April 23, 2015

pastry 9 (1)When taking cooking classes in Boulder, you may decide to focus on baking and pastry. This culinary trade consists of making delicious desserts and baked goods and decorating them. A common tool used in decorating is a pastry or piping bag. This simple item can make some seriously gorgeous designs and additions to your pastry treats. Try these tips for choosing the perfect pastry bag:

Pick your bag material
When you only occasionally do piping, it’s OK to use what you have on hand, such as a gallon-sized plastic bag. Just fill it with frosting, cut a small hole in one corner and frost away. The trouble with this, however, is that you don’t have a lot of control like you would with a proper tip. When you plan to focus your time in Colorado culinary school on pastry and baking, you may want to purchase some canvas, reusable pastry bags and tips. These are idea for chefs who consistently use them because they hold their shape and can be washed and used repeatedly. There are also disposable plastic pastry bags that can be used with your regular tips and tossed in the trash when you’re done. The canvas versions are more environmentally friendly, but they do involve more clean-up.

Use the right size
If you are frosting a large cake and need a lot of icing, use a large pastry bag. The Better Homes and Gardens test kitchen typically uses 12- or 18-inch bags. These allow for you to continually ice (such as in a circle, layering frosting onto a big cake) without having to stop and switch bags or refill. For smaller jobs, like lettering or minute details, go for a small bag like a 6-incher. This will make it easier for you to maneuver the bag while frosting.

Perfect your cake piping skills with these tipsConsider tip varieties
Many of the beautiful, textured designs that can be seen on cakes are made with piping bags that have special tips. A round hole can be used to make incredible designs, but some tip varieties add interesting texture automatically, like ones with indents to look like a star or snowflake or with a thin slit. These also come in various sizes to fit the bag you’re using and to change the size of the design that comes out in the frosting. It’s fun to experiment and try these out. We recommend using a sheet of wax paper to test each bag and tip before using them. This way you know for sure you will be pleased with the design and amount of frosting that is coming out onto your cake or other baked item. If you are working on a masterpiece cake or design that requires the use of several tip shapes, consider using a coupler. This little device is inserted into the pastry bag and serves as a sort of socket for the tip, which is twisted on. When you need to change shapes, just unscrew the tip and switch to the one you need.