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Brush embroidery-- It's elegant and easy to do.

How to Brush-Embroider Your Cakes

Whitney M.

This is the best cake I have ever made.

(So far. Onward and upward, right?)

Before we go any farther, I have to tell you about the flavor. I know, this is a blog about decorating cakes on a site designed to show off cake designs... but I’m a whole-package kind of baker. I need the cake to be delicious.

I need the cake's visual theme to coordinate with the culinary theme of the cake's flavor. That's why I don't do so well when decorating a cake from a box; the flavor is too generic. 

So, for this cake, it started with the flavor. Luscious, deep chocolate cake flavored with Earl Grey, layered with orange cardamom curd and covered in ganache so dark it was almost bitter. 

Told you it was good.

The plan this month was to learn brush embroidery. Have you seen this before? It's elegant, easily sophisticated, and deceptively easy to do. You may have seen it on cookies.

pipe cleaner
I twisted a pipe cleaner into an appropriate square-brush-like shape.

Basically, you pipe an outline of a flower, then use a painter's brush to sweep the outline into several lovely, delicate petals. It is easy and it is fast. I recommend it when you need a nice-looking cake in a short amount of time.

Here's a tip: you don’t even need a brush. I twisted a pipe cleaner into an appropriate square-brush-like shape and used that. Bonus: the width is easily adjustable.

Lessons learned this month:

  • Ganache, typically made as 1 part cream and 2 parts chocolate pieces, should NOT be made extra-thick if it’s going to be used as icing. I got a nice hard surface as a base for the brush embroidery, but (a) I don’t think the surface needed to be quite that hard; regular ganache would have been fine, and (b) the too-thick ganache became brittle, which was kind of annoying to eat with a fork.
  • Royal icing is probably not necessary for brush embroidery. It just needs to be something soft. A tube of decorating icing from the cake aisle would probably be great for this. 

Next time: more painting!

Brush-embroidery cake


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