Basics

Basics

By
James Martin
Contains
28 recipes
Published by
Quadrille Publishing
ISBN
978-1-84949-557-8

Piping

This is a skill that, unfortunately, can only be mastered over time – the more you do it, the better you get at it. I remember the first time I tried to write a name on a cake, I spelt it wrongly, which didn’t go down too well with the baker who had spent the night making it! The most important rule is to have everything ready. Don’t start anything until you’ve drawn your templates or planned exactly how and where you are going to pipe the mixture. Here are a few handy tips from someone who does this all the time!

Piping éclairs, profiteroles and sponge fingers

I find it best to hold the piping bag at a 45-degree angle to the tray. As you finish piping, simply flick the bag up. This will make a nice clean start and finish. Also, try not to draw the nozzle over the tray, but keep it at a distance, even if it’s only just a centimetre or so away, as this will also make the shapes nice and even.

Piping macaroons

First, draw a circular template on silicone paper, then reverse the paper. This will give you the correct size to pipe to, as well as the right amount of mixture, and a good, clean circle. Hold the bag vertically as you pipe.

Piping discs

This may sound weird, but it works: if you’re piping a disc (of meringue, say, or biscuit dough), try and move from the hips. Start in the centre and, holding the bag vertically above the tray, swirl the disc from your hips to get a nice Catherine-wheel effect.

Piping baby meringues

Hold the bag vertically and pipe a small bulb of meringue onto silicone paper, then sharply, lift directly up and away from the tray. This will give a nice little peak to your meringue.

Making a piping bag

Cut a 30cm x 30cm x 42cm triangle out of silicone paper. Hold it with the longest edge between your hands, point away from you.

Twist to form a tight cone. The tip needs to be quite sharp, so maybe twist the paper tighter than you think and the layers of paper shouldn’t separate.

Fold the top corner of the cone over to secure it in place.

Fill with royal icing and twist the top over to seal. Snip the tip off the end point to give yourself a fine, delicate line. For Danish Pastries, pipe in a zig-zag pattern, working quickly. You can also fill the piping bag with melted chocolate, lightly whipped cream or meringue.

Featured Recipes in this Chapter

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