Making and/or decorating a cake is lots of fun. It's usually the pinnacle of the event - when happy birthday's are sung or newly married couples cut their wedding cake together.
Here are some tips, tricks and ideas along with some other resources for additional information.
Crumb coating and covering cakes with butter cream or ganache
Named for the buttery, creamy texture that makes up this sweet and popular topping. It colours well even when using supermarket bought food colourings. You can also use gels or pastes if you wish. You can also flavour it easily too. This is an easy, versatile icing to work with. Using a hot spatula or smooth knife, you can create a smooth, shinny finish. Alternatively you can create a textured, fluffy look using rough strokes or a fork. It is versatile enough that you can also use it to pipe flowers and boarders. This icing is great for most light textured cakes (vanilla, chocolate, sponge etc). This icing remains a soft soft, creamy texture.
A the key ingredients for this icing are beaten egg white, and icing sugar, this icing tastes very sweet and dries stiff. It colours well but uses more colour than butter cream to get the same result. It colours okay using either liquid, paste or gel colours. It's great for gluing gingerbread houses together, decorating biscuits and making piped icing decorations. Due to the nature of this icing to dry or set, it is important to keep icing covered with a damp cloth to prevent crusting when you're working with it.
I liken using fondants to working with play-dough. You can roll it out to cover flat surfaces and cakes or fashion it into just about your imagination can dream up, flowers, figurines, clothing. It colours best with gels or pastes but I would avoid liquid colourings as they tend to make the fondant sticky and wet. Fondant is best used as a covering on dense, heavy cakes such as chocolate mud cakes, fruit cakes and similar firm cakes. It is also perfect for sculpting the decorations that can be used on cakes using other icings or rolled fondant.
This is a yummy mix of melted chocolate and cream. It can be used to as a crumb coat on a cake or as a shiny icing on it’s own. You can also use it as a sauce for dipping fruit, pouring over pancakes, waffles or banana sundays.