Create your perfect showstopper this Easter with Paul Hollywood's top tips.
From the seductive elegance of a Simnel cake to a the simplicity of an iced bun, Easter is full of traditional temptations. The baking's only half the fun though - your Easter cake deserves to stand out and impress family and friends. For flawless decoration, look no further than Paul Hollywood's top 8 tips for seasonal success.
Paul's top cake decorating tips for Easter
Decoration is key
Always think of the decoration. Think of what you’d like to see on it. Use sugar paste to decorate, or better still, marzipan - it’s fantastic and effective.
If you have any elements that need to be coloured, paint them with food colouring. It is easy to do and lots of fun - the kids love to get involved in that.
If you want something simple and classic, just use the very easy and quick ganache. Ganache is equal amounts of chocolate (about 50% cocoa solids) and double cream. Melt them together and you’ll end up with a very shiny, silky ganache.
Leave the ganache to chill slightly and thicken, then pour it over the cake you’ve made. It will set and form a beautiful shine. So whether you are using a sponge, a Madeira, a Genoese, ganache is the perfect finish.
Fruit is always useful
If you don’t want to go for chocolate or colouring, fan a bit of fruit onto it. Fruit is so useful when baking cakes and sweets. I made some hot cross buns recently and I used fresh fruit as well as dried fruit, with apricot jam on the top.
You can put Mini Eggs around the top to give it the feel of Easter, as well. The crunch and texture can add a lovely contrast and it is Easter, after all!
When it comes to piping, keep the piping nozzle quite small and make sure there are no air holes in it.
Practice piping a few times on your own – and not on the cake! If you are using melted chocolate or an icing, make sure you practise, practise, practise. Once you’ve done it three or four times and you are happy then take it to your cake.
Use a cook’s blowtorch to brown anything that needs to be heated up to stick to the cake. It’s an easy way and everyone likes to use the blowtorch, even if it’s just for sticking something to the side!
One thing you should never do is over-decorate. Over-decoration is the most common error. Every good artist must know when to stop. And it’s the same when you’re decorating the cake. Sometimes a cake can be great with just a bit of ganache and a strawberry. Leave it there! It will be ruined if you go over the top by putting loads of gold on it. Simplicity is often the best way.
For tickets and information to see Paul Hollywood on his Get Your Bake On Live Tour go to www.paulhollywood.com. Our cakes & baking section is packed with lots of recipes to help you practice your decoration skills, too.