Hey guys!!!
This is our topic for today Saturday.  Hope you find it helpful especially if you are a beginner.

Essential Tools for Cake Decorating:

-Rolling Pin: A 20 inch French style rolling pin (with no handles) is perfect for rolling out fondant or gum paste. You simply dust the surface with cornstarch or confectioner's sugar and roll over the palms to create a lovely smooth finish.

-Offset Spatula: This tool is also called a palette knife and is wonderful for spreading icing without hitting the cake with your hand trying to get a smooth surface. You should purchase at least two in different sizes such as an 8" offset and a 6"straight one.

-Featherweight pastry bags: Piping bags come in various sizes, different materials and can either be disposable or reusable. These bags can be made of plastic, silicone, polyurethane-coated nylon, polyester and other materials and are designed specifically to resist staining, absorbing flavors, or tearing. The bigger bags can be unwieldy especially when dealing with stiff royal icing so try to purchase bags between 10 inches and 16 inches for ease of use.

-Couplers: The coupler consists of a base and ring. It fits most decorating tips and gives you the option of changing tips without emptying the piping bag. You should have at least four or five on hand in your decorating kit.

-Decorating Tips: A beginner set will include most of the basic types of tips such as round tips(#1, #3, #5, #12), closed star tips( #24, #29, #35),open star tips (#15,# 20,#172), leaf tips(#74, # 113, #352) and petal tips(#59s, #101, #104, #126). These are perfectly fine for most decorating projects but a few more types will allow for even greater creativity. A basketweave tip (#47), a multi opening tip (#234), a ruffle tip (#100) and a drop flower tip (#106, #190,#1B) should round out your collection nicely. A few oversized tips along with a cake icing tool (# 789) are also handy.

-Serrated Knife: This knife is basically a bread knife but is perfect for leveling cakes. Simply cut the dome off a cooled cake before icing or decorating to create a level working surface. You can also use a serrated knife to torte (cut in layers) your cakes without wrecking the sides.

-Turntable: This might seem like a tool that is not required in a basic cake decorating kit but it can be invaluable, especially for a beginner. You can slowly rotate this table to create smooth designs and borders with little effort.

-Gel food colors and luster dust: Gel food colorings are thicker than typical food coloring and can create deep rich colors with very little product. The gel colorings can be effectively mixed to create different hues so you can start with a few primary colors such as blue, yellow and red. Always blend the colors in very tiny amounts in your icings, fondants and gum paste or the color may not turn out to be exactly what you want. Luster dust is a powder that is applied to dried gum paste and fondant design elements such as flowers to create subtle realistic color and sometimes sparkle. If you need a deeper color from the luster dust mix it with a little alcohol and paint it on.

-Gum paste cutters and tools: These can also be used for fondant as well as gum paste to create lovely flowers and design elements. They are available in a broad assortment of sizes, shapes and can be either plastic or metal. Cutters come in sets to create specific flowers and design elements. Some of the essential cutters include a basic five piece rose cutter set, daisy cutters (three sizes), rose calyces (three sizes), blossom cutters and rose leaf cutters. You will find that your collection of cutters will grow as you purchase specific ones for new projects. Gum paste tools are recommended for creating realistic flowers and a cake decorating enthusiast should at least have a ball tool, dog bone tool and veining tool.

-Pastry brushes: Cake decorators use pastry brushes in various sizes to apply luster dust or gel color to gum paste flowers or fondant. Small craft paint brushes used for actual painting are great for this delicate task. Larger pastry brushes can be used to brush crumbs off cakes or to dust bigger sections of fondant.

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