When it comes to the culinary arts, all aspects related to food must be taken into account. While it's important for the food in question to taste amazing, cooking schools in Florida along the lines of the Art Institute of Ft. Lauderdale will stress the idea of presentation as well. Entrees across the board must look appealing, after all, and I believe this to be especially true in regards to cakes.
One of the many reasons why cakes are picked up, aside from flavor, is because of how they appear. As a result, it's important to understand the specifics behind cake decorating. It's true that while this is an enjoyable endeavor for graduates of many culinary colleges, it is also an endeavor that takes time and effort to be perfected.
First of all, you're going to want to familiarize yourself with fondant. To put it simply, fondant is a type of icing that is commonly used for the purpose of decorating cakes. For example, if you see a wedding cake being rolled out and you find that there are pink and blue flowers resting atop it, you can probably assume that said flowers were a result of effective fondant utilization. You will soon see that fondant will become one of the go-to products for decorative cakes.
Of course, with icing comes a number of different subtypes and this is where consistency will come into effect. Basically, depending on the amount of milk or water that you decide to add, your icing will either become thicker or thinner. If your cake calls for a thicker coat, add a few drops more so that you can attain the perfect consistency. This is especially important for cakes that have floral designs, as referenced earlier. However, thinner icing is ideal for messages including "happy birthday," so take it easy on the liquid during the culinary process.
What if your icing has to be colored? Let's say that you have the idea of decorating icing flowers so that they are red; you are going to want to work with an appropriate paste food color. You may find that, surprisingly, it does not take a tremendous amount of food color in order to attain the results that you want. An ounce of this product can result in darker hues. With that said, make sure that you keep the finished cake in a cooler environment in order for said hues to hold up over time.
In order for the icing to be spread as evenly as possible, though, you are going to have to know how to effectively work with a spatula. The general rule of thumb is that the spatula should never touch the cake itself; it should only be used to spread the icing for the sake of consistency. Keep in mind that you are going to have to level the icing with all sides of the cake, which means that this is going to be a time-consuming endeavor. However, the end results across a number of cakes will be more than worth it.