Friday, 17 October 2014

PME Royal Icing and Piping Diploma

This week I have been back in Maidstone completing the final PME diploma, Royal Icing and Piping. With the completion of this diploma I achieved my masters in Sugarcraft. For me this was the hardest diploma and it was the one that filled me with the most dread. I have only done a little piping before and I usually have some issue with it. Making royal icing was a bit of a mission too as I was never sure I was doing it right and all these skills were things I looked at but scared me. 

I decided to do it as a 4 day intensive course as I got on so well with this last time. It's helpful for me to have all the equipment provided and so I just have to bring myself each day. I also find that it takes the pressure off practicing a little. I will of course practice but I don't need to do this in a time scale and can do a little each week rather than needing to get to standard by a set point. 

On this course we learnt a huge range of techniques. We learnt the basics so covering a cake in royal icing, getting a nice smooth and sharp finish
Sides Covered
Royal icing is rarely used these days and is considered quite old fashioned, however, it really is beautiful and the detailing you can create with it is so impressive, as I hope you'll see from my photos. We also learnt how to put patterns along the edge of the cake. 
Patterns along the edge of the cake
Throughout the 4 days we learnt how to use lots of different nozzles and piping techniques. We used these around the edges of the cakes but also created a display board to show all the variations. 
Finished display board
We learn how to make runout collars and designs. We used this to decorate the top of the cake and to create some swans. 
Run out collar for cake

Collar on cake with swans
We also learnt how to make string work, this didn't survive the journey home but fortunately I got a picture before I left. 
String work
We learn extension work for the edge for the cake and we topped this with lace work. 
Extension work
Finally we used basket weave to cover the top of the cake. 
Basket weave on the cake
Over the course of 4 days we used tubs and tubs of royal icing to create all these designs. We spent hours huddled over tables learning about piping but looking at these photos I feel like it was all worth it. There is lots more practicing required to perfect these skills but they look really beautiful and delicate. 
If anyone would like a royal iced cake I'd love to make another one. and practice these skills. Beautiful cakes,