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Thursday, 11 October 2012

Icing Run-Out.

   How to Create Icing Run-Outs

Royal icing run-outs are one of the most useful cake decorations you can have.  They can be made from stencils of pictures, shapes or letters and can be made well in advance to save time when the final cake decoration is nearing completion. There are multitudes of stencils available on the market today and these stencils can be used in run-out techniques to give a beautiful, unique and finishing to your cake.

Choose bold, plain outline shapes, fill with colours of your choice and finish with shading using powder tints.  The stencil making world is your oyster - let your imagination really go to town for cake decorations.

More advanced techniques even allow you to create run-outs over formers to give movement and a 3D dimension, but for now we'll concentrate on the basics.
                                                     Your template

Royal Icing Consistency
You will need two different strength royal icings, and the consistency of the Royal icing is crucial.  The outline of run-outs is created using a piping consistency.  Too stiff and the bead will break as you pipe, too wet and the line won't hold its shape and stand up well.  The filler royal icing should be wetter. It needs to flood into the outline, flowing into all the corners before settling to a smooth surface.

                                                       Perfect Peak.

Make a batch of royal icing and bring it to piping consistency (soft peak). It should hold the shape of the trail, with only a little spreading. Take about half of the batch and put it into a fresh bowl.  Add a couple of drops of water, mix well and then check the consistency by spooning some out, drizzling it back over the top of the surface and looking to see how it sets.  If it holds its shape and won't budge, it's too stiff, add another couple of drops of water, beat and try again.  Keep going until the drizzled trail holds its shape for two seconds and then reluctantly melts back into the bulk of the icing leaving a smooth surface.  If you overdo it with the water, it will be difficult to handle and may sink as the moisture dries out, leaving you with a dent instead of a nice plump, softly rounded surface.  If the test trail floods back into the main bulk of the icing immediately, then it's too wet.  Add a little of your reserved piping consistency icing, mix well and start again. Yes! It’s not that simple or easy.

Once you're happy with consistency of the run out icing, gently bounce the bowl up and down on a flat surface to bring the air bubles to the surface.  Using a cocktail stick or pin, break as many of the air bubbles as you can - you don't want them in your run-out. .

Preparing the Run-Out
Trace the design on the stencil you want onto a piece of paper.  Place the design to a flat surface.  Cut out some parchment paper or greased paper a bit bigger than the design and tape it over the top.  Make sure you can see the design clearly through it, because you need to follow the outline with piping.
Piping the Outline
The outline should be piped with a size 0 or 00 nozzle.  It's best to use the same colour outline as you are using for the filler, as the very edges will show after the shape has been flood iced. 

Fill a small piping bag, or preferably a paper piping bag, fitted with the 0 or 00 nozzles.  Start in a corner or join, and touch the piping bag to the design.  Once you have secured your piping bag, keeping the thread running smoothly, lift the nozzle slightly up from the paper and allow the thread to drop back onto the guidelines.  This technique allows you to follow gently curves easily.  If you need to change direction, touch the piping nozzle to the paper again to anchor it and start the next section

Once the outline has been piped, fill another small piping bag fitted with a size 4 nozzle, with the flood icing.  If you are doing large areas, a size 5 is much faster, but you need a size 2 if your design is in small sections.

Rest the nozzle onto the paper of the area you are about to flood on the inside of the piped outline and work toward the centre. Once the whole area has been filled, gently tap the board to bring any air bubbles to the surface.  Prick them with a fine pin, the icing should run back to fill in the holes leaving the surface smooth.

                                                      Classic and Beautiful.
Leave the run-outs to dry overnight and they will set solid.  The more quickly they dry, the glossier they will look, so if you have an angle lamp with a bulb that throws out heat, dry them under that.

Make sure they are thoroughly dry before removing the design from the paper.  To check this, peel back the paper from the edge, if at the centre there is icing stuck to the paper, the lay back down and continue drying.  When they are perfectly dry, the run out  will peel from the paper without leaving a trace.

Run-outs are quite fragile, so it's always a good idea to make a few spares in case they break when you are securing them in place on the cake.  Secure to the cake using small dots of icing. 


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