Tuesday, November 14, 2017

A Kitchen/Baking Hack...that really works!!!

Mmm...multi-colored cupcakes.....
I'm sure you've all seen the videos and read the articles on the internet with so-called "life hacks". Not surprisingly, I can't pass up a list of hacks that claims to make life in the kitchen easier, and I always eagerly click through. Also not surprisingly, I usually walk away not having learned much...generally these hacks don't actually work as advertised, and at worst they actually make things harder.

But I ran across one a few weeks ago that I promised myself I would try one day, and today I got the opportunity. I was hired to do 60 cupcakes for a client's twins' birthday party at school. Easy, right? Except she wanted four different colors of frosting...ugh. I'm excited to work with gel food color and try out new hues and all, but my oh my the mess! It's bad enough when you have to refill a pastry bag multiple times in order to beautifully ice 60 cupcakes, but now I have to change colors, meaning I'll have to wash AND dry my pastry bag and all the accoutrement in between each color! Double ugh.

Enter this amazing baking hack....... Instead of putting your icing straight into the bag, and thereby having it make direct contact and necessitate cleaning in between colors, you basically just make a little plastic wrap pouch, slide that into your pastry bag, put on the tip and go to town. I discovered that not only did this prevent me from having to wash the bag, but it took care of that yucky mess at the large opening of the bag that always seemed inevitable before. Heavens to Betsy, a hack that finally works. I was practically dancing as I easily discarded the empty plastic wrap pouches and loaded up my next color.

Here's the play by play:
Start by making your frosting as you normally would.
Lay out a very long piece of plastic wrap on your work surface, and put your icing in the middle of it.
Roll your frosting up in the plastic wrap, then twist tightly like a piece of candy.

Slide plastic wrap "packet" into your pastry bag and pull one end of the twist through the small hole.
Snip off extra plastic wrap (doesn't have to be close to the frosting) and attach your desired piping tip.
Pipe as you would normally.  Look!!!! No mess!!!
Cleanup is a breeze! Just remove the empty plastic wrap packet.
The only thing to clean is the tip, and you may have to run a paper towel through the bag, but that's it!

Happy Baking!!