Piping techniques

Piping techniques

By
From
Boutique Baking
Photographer
Georgia Glynn Smith

It's very useful to practise your general piping skills. Instead of piping directly onto a cookie or cake, simply take a piece of greaseproof paper and pipe on to that instead. You can also place templates underneath it and trace them through the paper with your piping bag. If you have never piped with royal icing before, this task is a great way to train your skills, after all practice makes perfect.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

  1. First snip a small tip off your piping bag already filled with icing. Hold the bag between the thumb and the fingers of your preferred hand; place your thumb over the folded end of the bag so that the bag stays firmly closed and place your index finger along the seam at the back of the bag. Use the index finger of your other hand to guide the nozzle.
  2. Piping lines

    Holding your bag at a 45°angle to the surface, touch the starting point with the tip of the bag and slowly squeeze out the icing. As you are squeezing, lift the bag up about 2.5cm and guide the line straight towards you or, for example, along the sides of a cookie. Once you are approaching the finishing point, gradually bring the bag down, stop squeezing and lay the line by touching the finishing point with the tip of the bag. This is called the lifting method.
  3. Piping dots

    Hold the tip of your piping bag 1mm above the surface and squeeze out the icing to produce a dot on the surface. Keep the tip low inside the dot and allow the dot to spread to the required size. Once the dot has reached the required size, stop squeezing and lift off the tip while flicking it in a circular motion. Should the dot form a little peak at the top, flatten it carefully with a damp artist’s brush.
  4. Piping loops and swags

    Start as you would for piping lines. Holding your bag almost vertically to the surface, touch the starting point with the tip and slowly squeeze out the icing. As you squeeze, lift the bag up by about 2.5cm and move it from one side to the other in circular movements, overlapping the lines in even intervals to create evenly spaced loops and swags.

Tip

  • If you find it difficult to space the loops and swags out evenly, mark the points where the loops will meet and use them as guides.
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