Nothing says ‘challenge’ quite like black piping on a white cake. Beginner cake decorators need not apply.
I am always looking to try new techniques and I decided to try my hand at black piping. I have often admired the look a crisply defined high contrast cake. Over my years as a cake decorator, I have found nothing more challenging than piping the sides of a cake with black icing. The margin for error is high, so it can be intimidating to make that first mark. I have a few tips for those who want to try this technique.
One very important factor in successful black royal icing is making it thick enough to hold its shape while thin enough that your hand isn’t going to fall off when your done. A trick I use is to make a small amount of black royal icing a few days before, so the colour has a chance to deepen and turn to a rich black. When I’m ready to begin, I make a large batch of royal and add the pre-made black icing. This way there is no need to empty an entire bottle of black food colouring into your icing bowl.
I begin with just one 10″ round cake dummy. I start by outlining the larger flowers and filling them in with thin lines. Starting with the flowers makes it easier to tell if the icing is the right consistency for much longer lines. The cross hatch piping takes precision and a steady hand. I know I still have room for improvement in spacing my lines. You need confidence to do cross hatching so make sure to try this on a dummy before you take a cake order!
The simple black lace design turned into a richly detailed tower. I ended up with a sophisticated five tier cake, perfect for a black tie wedding or just a lazy Sunday afternoon labour of love.