Friday, May 25, 2012

Reverse Shell Border

The reverse shell border is one of my favorites. Oftentimes when I'm watching TV, I'll catch myself subconsciously practicing the hand motion of the forward and backward whorls. One of the essential tools for the successful execution of any border is a good turntable; I have the one made by Ateco
 First, place the nonstick rubber mat on it…
 …and then your cake.
 Fill a piping bag with medium consistency buttercream icing and fit it with a star tip (I used a #21). Hold the bag at a 45 degree angle just above the cake's surface, close to the bottom (keep about a tip's width between the tip and the cake's board).
 Squeeze firmly, and move the tip in a counterclockwise circle; basically from 3 to 12 to 9 to 6, and then decrease and stop pressure all together as you pull the tip away, forming a tail.
 Over the rough end of the tail, repeat the process, only this time in reverse: 3 to 6 to 9 to 12 and then sweep down while decreasing and then stopping pressure. Note: you could simply do the above piped shape over and over and leave out the reverse part; it would still turn out cute.
 I attempted to take photos while piping one of these shells; this sort of thing is never easy. Here I am going from 3 to 12…
 …and then finishing off from 6.
 Eventually when you reach the back of the cake, you'll probably be faced with a decision:  pipe one shell and have two going the same direction next to each other…
 …or cram in two rather close to each other. I pretty much always go with the latter option.
 Fortunately, most of the border will look nice and balanced.
 If you like, you can also pipe a star in the center of each whorl in the same or a contrasting color.

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