We carry all those brands and more. Mostly we carry Bakery Craft's tips since they are almost half the price of Wilton's. (Except for tip #86, which we get from Wilton). There may be others we can get only from this or that company too.
I am told by our vendors, that all tips are made in the same factory overseas and dif. company names are imprinted according to which one has them order them.
I find no particular company to be better quality than another. At least not exclusively. For awhile Wilton's #104 was not shaped good. Probably is still that way. It is too 'rounded' on the wide end. It really needs squeezed in on the large end to make the best petals. I carefully use pliers to do that. I always explained that to my students. Another is the #67, #68 etc leaf tip. No matter who makes it, you have to pry the prongs apart when you buy a new one or it breaks the leaf with no points on your leaves.
Though you may not know, PLASTIC tips are also the same shapes/numbers. And these work much better if you are using them with melted chocolate. They won't clog nearly as fast as metal. We carry all plastic tips that are produced. One point, you can't re-shape these of course.
TIP: Have you ever thought you needed a tip to be FLAT and didn't have one? Maybe for caligraphy writing? You could just smash a round writing tip flat for this. Ideally, you would use tip 44. This is great for writing company names on cakes!
LEFT-HANDED PEOPLE AND WRITING: Since
I have a left-handed daughter I have personally see the struggle lefties
have with writing. Lefties are familiar with being different but its still
a struggle. Just remember that you must also hold the bag leaning to your
RIGHT and move from left to right. Yes, the bag is in your way,
but no, you can't do it any other way. It gets easier with practice. We
DO carry "cheaters" that impress the
message onto the cake so you only need follow that impression. Of course
you are on your own for names.
***PRACTICE BUTTERCREAM ICING***
ADD IN ORDER GIVEN IN MIXER BOWL:
1 cup Crisco
1 teaspoon vanilla
5-6 TB water
1 pound confectioner's sugar
Beat on low to medium speed until sugar is no longer lumpy and icing is fluffy. Remember to check and make sure there are no lumps in your icing before you finish. I do this by skimming my rubber spatula over the icing. If there are lumps, you will see them. If you see lumps, beat it some more until no more lumps remain.
This is only 'practice' icing. Its
too greasy to use forever. For regular buttercream icing you really only
need 1 cup shortening to 2 pounds conf. sugar...to 'hold' the icing together,
or make it 'gel'. But this icing makes it easier to learn and I have my
students use it. (If it doesn't gel the icing will 'slide' off the cake
- not enough shortening). OTHER
ROSES: To start with, is your tip right? For making roses with the tip #104, sometimes it is spread too wide at the bottom and the rose looks too fat on the bottom. *Refer to last week's chat about fixing your tips. Don't be afraid to bend your tips a little and experiment. The problem may not be the way you are doing it after all.
Roses are the first flower people try to make usually...and one of the most difficult. Usually roses are made with buttercream icing. Made with royal icing, it dries too hard to eat because it is so thick. Only make very delicate-thin petaled flowers with royal icing. Try this buttercream icing if you are having problems with your roses:
TO DO A ROSE:
CENTER: Make a cone-shape with tip 12, then with tip #104,
BUD: Place the tip firmly against the nail, whirl the nail counterclockwise and pipe a bud. (Just use a tiny bit of icing). If you are right-handed, you should try to learn to turn your nail counterclockwise (clockwise for lefties).
1st ROW: Make 3 petals that are even in height with the top of the bud and evenly spaced. Overlap the first petal with the last one. 2nd ROW: Now make 5 more petals in the same way.
To remove it from the nail: Open thin-bladed scissors and spin the nail forcing the flower onto the scissors. Apply it to the cake. OR - pipe it onto a square of waxed paper and let it crust for a few days. NEVER set the flower straight, tilt it a little for a natural affect.
HERE (My private website and one of our AOL
chats from long ago)
DAISIES: My other most favorite flower to make is the daisy made with royal icing. (Not too stiff). I don't make it anything like the Wilton method. My petals are flat 'loops' made from the center of the nail, out and back again. I lay the tip 101 flat against the nail at about 2:30-3:00 and squeeze out very little icing in the center so I don't have a buildup. Turn the nail when you are at the outer edge...not too big of turn or you'll have holes in the center of the petals.). CAUTION that you keep the small end of the tip touching the nail at all times. (The small end of the tip is the outside edge of petals). Pipe a tip 3 yellow center and dampen your finger and apply yellow sugar for stamens affect. I stripe my bag with a pastel icing and leave the rest white. This makes a nice soft color. Sometimes I make the center of the daisy the color of the stripe. You could also add glitter (the color of the center).
***ROYAL ICING*** for delicate thin-petaled
ADD IN ORDER GIVEN:
5-6 TB hot water
3 TB meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Beat until meringue powder is thoroughly dissolved, (It will begin to froth like egg whites)
THEN SLOWLY ADD:
1 pound conf. sugar...or less if its already thick enough
*You do not have to add all the conf. sugar if icing is getting too thick. At first, expect it to be soupy. Beat until the icing thickens. Watch for it to lose it's shine and stand in peaks. It takes less time if you have a heavy duty mixer. Maybe about 10 minutes. 15 minutes with a hand mixer.
Many decorators shy away from using royal icing, especially at first. I've taught students how to make royal icing many times. What is ALWAYS wrong when something is...is that it is not beat long enough.
It is really hard to make with a hand-held mixer and that is what decorators have usually, when they first start out. TIP: If icing bogs down your mixer and it gets hot, you must turn it off and let it cool for 20 minutes. Set a timer!
Ising C: (For daisies) I use
tip #104 or 103, making the petals-using royal icing then a ball
of yellow icing, dip the yellow ball" only in granulated. Sugar dry on
flower formers for a curved petals, looks nicer the granulated. sugar
gives it a "natural" look for the center use empty paper towel rolls cut
CCChefDol: daisies...I dry by curving the wax paper squares, propping them against each other on a tray as I go. Fast! I can do a whole tray in 30 minutes this way. I do make daisies dif., but mine are totally faster.