This week, my ILP time has been dedicated to researching and learning various frosting techniques and designs that can be created using a simple set of piping tips. One of the resources I have used the most to guide me throughout this learning process has been the Serious Eats webpage. Lauren Weisenthal’s column “Sweet Technique: Piping 101” provides some wonderful information for anyone who is currently at the beginning level in the world of pastry decorating and wanting to learn more! Weisenthal uses Swiss Buttercream frosting which I have not had the chance to experiment with yet, but would certainly like to at some point. From my experience so far, canned frosting (even though it may not be as fancy) works just fine and is both cheap and convenient. There is a great photo gallery that accompanies this post showing images of the tools necessary for piping, how to assemble a bag, and visual examples of different piping designs you can create using these basic tips. Below are some of my attempts at these designs.
The hands-on baking project that I have chosen to do for this week of my ILP is frosted football brownies, since the Superbowl is played this Sunday. I began by baking one batch of chocolate fudge brownies. After letting them cool, I cut the brownies into rough football shapes using just a steak knife. Then, I cut a small hole in the corner of one of my disposable piping bags and placed the open star tip inside it. Next, I filled the bag full of brown chocolate frosting and began piping in a very close rounded zig-zag pattern across the length of each little football. Once the “leather” of the football was completed, it was on to the “laces”. For these, I had two options. I could either fill a separate piping bag with plain white frosting and use a small round tip to frost, or I could use a prepackaged cake decorating squeeze bottle full of sparkly white frosting. For the sake of time and convenience, I chose to go with the prepackaged frosting.
Just as the Patriots and the Falcons have tried to do today, I have done my best to “tackle” the art of piping frosting this week. My designs are nowhere near perfect, but I already feel like I have learned so much and with some more practice, they will continue to improve. I’m excited to keep learning!!