Question from Ruth Smith - Which piping nozzles do you tend to favour?
Answer - My favourite nozzles are the classic 1M large star piping nozzle, the large round open tube nozzle, the petal piping nozzle Wilton 123 and the Ruffle piping nozzle 104.
Question from Emma Whitfield - How do you core out the middle of your cupcakes?
Answer - I use a cupcake corer from Lakeland. It is a red plastic one, which works well. Make sure your cupcakes cool fully before you use it, and I find that it helps to twist the corer as you pull up.
Question from Ellie Hughes - Which piping nozzle do you use to make piped roses in buttercream?
Answer - I use a Jem 123 nozzle that you can order from Cakecraftworld.co.uk. Don't forget to use discount code CRUMBS for 10% off :)
Question from Cara Gunther - What is the best way to "dirty ice" a cake?
Answer - A turntable is very useful here. Make sure your buttercream is very soft rather than stiff. Apply generous amounts to the top of the sides of your cake, and spin the turntable while covering the whole cake using palette knife or bench scraper. Continue to spin as you smooth the sides. Refrigerate between each covering of buttercream
Question from Cara Gunther - How do you avoid seams when covering a cake with royal / fondant icing?
Answer - If you have the right balance of thickness and pliability of icing, you shouldnt need to have seams, as the icing should be workable to the extent that it can be smoothed in such a way that you have one smooth covering on your cake. Make sure you use fresh icing. If it goes hard, add a few droplets of water and work well between your hands until very pliable.
Question from Wendy Izzo - What is the best ratio of mixture for piped icing on cupcakes?
Answer - I tend to use 1 part butter to 2 parts icing sugar with milk and a flavouring. Eg 250g unsalted butter, 500g icing sugar and a tablespoon of milk, with cocoa powder or vanilla paste / pods. make sure you beat it all together well until fluffy and soft.
Question from Julie Slevin - I made a 6 inch red velvet cake and it collapsed on the sides.... Any ideas?
Answer - Did you put bicarbonate of soda and vinegar in your recipe? They are crucial for the rise and structure of your cake.
Question from Yvette Armstrong - Do you take your cupcakes straight out of the tins after baking or do you let them rest?
Answer - I take them out immediately and put them in my plastic boxes, this prevents them from continuing to bake if you leave them in the hot tins. Do not cover the boxes until they have cooled.