RECIPE | Cake decorating tips from Les Petits Gâteaux

Want to try your hand at cake decorating. Follow these tips from the girls at Les Petits Gâteaux for perfect cakes every time. 

Lelly Fenech, Leonie Pace Vincenti and Eliza Gera from Les Petits Gâteaux
Lelly Fenech, Leonie Pace Vincenti and Eliza Gera from Les Petits Gâteaux

Baking is a lot of fun and even more so when your cakes come out perfect every time. Lelly Fenech, Leonie Pace Vincenti and Eliza Gera always loved to bake for themselves, family and friends. Last year they set up a Les Petits Gâteaux and started making cakes to order. They have been overwhelmed with the response so far.  They offer some cake decorating tips that will help you create your own works of art.

Chocolate fudge cake
Chocolate fudge cake

Chocolate fudge cake

Makes 28 cupcakes and a 10-inch cake

Ingredients

  • 400g all-purpose flour
  • 160g cocoa powder
  • 1 tbsp baking soda
  • 260g brown sugar
  • 260g sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 340g butter
  • 750ml buttermilk
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 eggs

Method

  1. Sift together the cocoa, flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  2. Put flour mixture with the rest of the ingredients in a mixer and mix for 3 mins.
  3. Pour into cupcake pans or three cake pans.
  4. Bake at 180°C for 15 – 20mins (for the cupcakes) or 50 – 55mins (for one large cake).

Frosting ingredients

Makes lots

Ingredients

  • 118g chocolate cocoa
  • 800g icing sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • ¾ cup heavy cream
  • 226g butter
  • 4 tbsp cream cheese

Method

  1. Frosting instructions: Mix together the butter and cream cheese.
  2. Mix the icing sugar with the cocoa powder.
  3. Add salt and icing sugar and mix well.
  4. Pour in heavy cream, which will begin to thin the frosting. Once the frosting is at the consistency you like, add the vanilla and mix until done.
  5. You can make the frosting a day ahead, cover with plastic and once ready frost the cakes. Take out for 30 mins.

Tips for perfect frosting

Working with fondant icing is fun as it allows for limitless creativity. However, getting a professional looking finish is not always easy. Follow a few of our tips for flawless fondant icing.

  • Before you start, make sure your cake is completely flat. Shave off any imperfections so that you start with a perfect shape.
  • Bake two or more cakes and stack them on top of each other with frosting in the middle to get higher cakes.
  • Start with a crumb coat of icing. Use more icing than you need and then level it off with a palette knife.
  • When the crumb coat has set put another layer of frosting over the top and make sure this is as smooth as possible. Allow to chill overnight before adding the fondant icing.
  • Roll out the fondant to approx 3mm thick, covering the surface with cornflour to make sure it does not stick to the surface and then place the fondant icing over the frosting.

Roses with sugar paste

If you find flowers with sugar paste difficult, try cheat’s roses. Cut out around seven hearts for petals, making a small bud and shaping the heart petals around the bud. We used a damask embosser as a background for the rose. 

Tie-dyed cupcakes

We started making these mostly by accident. When clearing up after a day of decorating with sugar paste, we collect all the scraps and loved the way the colours blend together. One day we thought, why not roll them out and use these interesting patterns that are never the same twice.

It is important not to knead too much as the colours will blend together. Roll into a ball, cut the ball in half and roll out. This is useful when you have sugar paste scraps. 

Tappit letter cutters

Initially we found these quite hard to use. It is important to make sure that the tappit is covered in corn flour and that the sugar paste is rolled out very thinly, so that it almost looks see-through. Firmly press the tappit into the sugar paste and wiggle it slightly to loosen the area of fondant around the letter. Lift the cutter and with your fingertips brush the extra paste away from the letter.  Hit the tappet against a hard surface and the letter should fall out easily. Leave to harden as if the letter is dry it is easier to place. We tried various methods but we found this to be the easiest. 

For more information contact Les Petits Gâteaux on [email protected]

First appeared on Gourmet TODAY

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