Piping Class by The Foodie Chef

Piping Class by The Foodie Chef

Back at the City-Ranch, Katherine mastered piping from the best in H-Town, Morgan of The Foodie Chef. Featuring Simple Buttercream Recipe that's sweetly made of three ingredients, low-lactose, migraine-free, and low-FODMAP (in small quantities).

My cake decorating skills have been subpar, folks. Not one to take mediocrity in stride, I sought out the help of a trusted professional to guide me toward making my cakes look as pretty as they taste. Enter the lovely Morgan, The Foodie Chef, who created a one-on-one piping class tailor-made for moi. She came to the City-Ranch on a beautiful, mid-February Thursday and gently led me through proper techniques including preparing a cake pan, making buttercream frosting, piping a multitude of shapes and patterns, and finally frosting a cake from layers to crumb coating to top coating.

A perpetual student, I am totally on a sugar-high from all of the wonderful things I learned from Morgan. Here are a couple to share with you. Firstly, I make things way more complicated than they have to be. A simple cooking spray works like a charm to grease the inside of a cake pan. And unless one expects the cake to rise beyond the lip of the cake pan, then there is no need to line the inner edge of the cake pan; simply line the bottom of the pan. Also, once a cake comes out of the oven, immediately press down (gently) with a clean dish towel to make the surface of the cake more level. This technique will greatly aid you when it comes time to level the top in preparation for the crumb coating...and it feels like an amazingly warm hand massage. Spa Day - Bake Day? Yes, please! This one will blow your mind: Morgan says skip the cooling rack! Simply allow baked goods (this goes for cookies, too) to cool in their pans or on their baking sheets. My Mr. Wonderful will be ever so ecstatic to learn this, as he is often on hand washing duty and despises cleaning those tiny wire holes!


Simple Buttercream Recipe

In advance of our class, Morgan asked me if I had a frosting recipe that I like to use. And I do! It is a tried-and-true basic buttercream from Ms. Martha Stewart that gets the thumbs up from the Niece-and-Nephew Squad and my Mr. Wonderful, so it has to be good. Here is a variation based on the technique that The Foodie Chef taught me. Trust me, you will want to make this your go-to frosting from now on.

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces unsalted butter (3 sticks; at room temperature)
  • 1 lb powdered sugar (I use Imperial Sugar)
  • ½ tsp pure vanilla extract

Method

  1. Affix standing mixer with whisk attachment. Fit bowl onto mixer. Place into bowl butter. Beat butter at medium-high speed for a minute or two until pale, soft, and creamy. Do not over beat (I have done this before, and it is terrible).
  2. Remove bowl from mixer. Using medium-mesh strainer, sift one-quarter of powdered sugar over butter. Return bowl to mixer. Beat at lowest setting until powdered sugar is incorporated, then increase speed to low setting for a minute or two.
  3. Repeat sifting and beating method until all powdered sugar has been used.
  4. Use spatula to thoroughly scrape interior sides and bottom of bowl, and then mix again on low speed to make certain everything is nice and smooth and fluffy.

Suggestions

  • Frosting may be used immediately to perfectly decorate a special cake, cupcake, or cookie. We kept ours on the counter the entire length of the class, several hours, and it was still perfect for piping up until the very end.
  • If not using immediately, store in refrigerator in lidded container for up to 3 days. Before using, bring to room temperature and beat on low speed until smooth and fluffy once again. Folks, it takes a while for it to come to room temperature, so give yourself plenty of time.

Course

This is the first time that I have had a culinary course taught to me in my own home. And let me tell you, being in my own digs rocked! I could show Morgan what I have on hand to work with, and I felt comfortable in my own space. Enough about the setting.

The Foodie Chef is a dream to learn from as she is classically trained in the culinary arts, is trained in pastry, and is a down-right lovely person. Morgan has a calm demeanor and really worked within my limitations, with my needs, and at my knowledge level. The things I already knew, we briefly reviewed (always good to have a refresher on technique) so that we could focus the majority of our time on new methods that I did not know. One amazing thing about Morgan's teaching style: she listed to my initial concerns about finding a way that I could work around my Rheumatoid Arthritis lack of grip and hand strength; she helped me find a good technique that made sense for my body. It was truly like having a personal trainer in my own City-Ranch kitchen. Loved it!

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