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How do you clean piping tips?
Posted: 04 June 2008 02:36 AM   [ Ignore ]
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How do you guys clean your piping/decorating tips??

Do you use a narrow bottle brush? Do you soak them in hot water first? Especially with the star tips, it’s hard to get them clean, especially if the frosting has any sort of zest or anything in it.

This might sound like a stupid question, but I feel like I spend too much time cleaning them and one of you is bound to have a more efficient way!

grin
Rachel

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Posted: 04 June 2008 03:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi, I have a spiral cone shaped tip cleaning brush that I got from a cake decorating supply store - it works really well and makes clean up a dream even on tiny and star tips.
Happy Baking!

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Posted: 04 June 2008 11:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I used to use that little brush, but now I just throw the tips into a dishwasher basket with a lid.  You can also get small mesh fabric bags for use in the dishwasher - I saw one recently as Michael’s.

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Posted: 04 June 2008 05:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks to you both!

I don’t have a dishwasher in my kitchen at home so using the cone brush sounds like my best bet for now. I actually had pictured something like that in my head so I must have seen it before.

A dishwasher would be great! I hear the newer models clean grease much better so I can see how they would work for the tips.

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Posted: 04 June 2008 06:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I agree with Patrincia. I dishwash my tips as well, making sure they are safely enclosed in the silverware basket. Often, I toss the tips into a cup of water as soon as I finish with them so that the icing doesn’t dry hard and crusty.

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Posted: 06 June 2008 03:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I do not have a dishwasher either…and use a little brush.  Sometimes with the zest…it still gets stuck…and then I use a straight pin or little toothpick…and it takes forever.

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Posted: 06 June 2008 09:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I’ve just got a new tip brush cleaner, looks heavy duty and easy to hold; I really dislike the small ones with a tiny wire holder plus I get them lost in my drawer shuffle (which believe me, my tool drawer is the most organized you can dream of).

I’ve been recently ordering pastry equipment from http://www.pastryitems.com  They are very reasonable and fast, and actually where I bought my Ateco turntable.  My other favorite equipment suppliers are JB Prince and La Cuisine.  I make a point to order from La Cuisine first since they are lovely people with WELL selected merchandise, a cute family group running the business for decades.  Last October, I was in Washington D.C. area for a convention, and made huge effort by Metro subway and by foot to visit La Cuisine in Alexandria (picture posted on http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/09/post_provencepart_2.html)

Pictured, other goodies, I am sure blogger will love to have.  Particularly fond of the disposable plastic pastry bags, smooth on the inside, and textured on the outside which should help shield your hand heat and also give you a feeling like a less-slippery parchment cone.  The Germans think of everything.  $18 for a 100 pack, comes in a reel for easy dispensing, you beat a pack of parchment triangles!  Also pictured, beloved Matfer bread dough bread, icing triangle, and a set of large Ateco closed and french star tips (not pictured).

Christmas in June.

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Posted: 08 June 2008 04:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hector, enjoy your “Christmas in June!”

I own NO piping equipment at all—so far all the piping I have done has been with plastic baggies with the corner snipped off. But I am thinking that it is time to get some “basic” piping equipment.

So, what do you experienced types recommend? Plastic tips, metal tips? Wilton, Ateco? What sort of bags do you like?

I would be doing some basic cake decorating plus perhaps some piped pastries (S-cookies, cream puffs, ladyfingers). Nothing really fancy.

Any books or videos you recommend for “learning to pipe?”

Cheers,
Barbara A. - in Wisconsin where we are having way too much rain, thunderstorms and hot muggy weather—also too many mosquitos!

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Posted: 09 June 2008 03:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Hi Barbara, welcome to cake decorating!!!

I recommend a starter set of either Wilton or Ateco, it comes with a handful or dozen or so of tips, that is really ALL you need.  My first 10 years of baking consisted of a decorating gun (metal) plus only 5 tips (metal), still sold:  Ateco 7-Piece Fancy Cake and Pastry Decorating Set.  Wilton is also fine.  And regarding piping bags, use parchment cones, really the best to use, just that for me it is more time saving to use disposable bags although I always recur to parchment cones because they really work.

Cake Bible has a very good summary of cake decorating.  I would start there.  Also, visit your local craft store for Wilton’s products, they are the best for home bakers that decorate.

Cheers. /H

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Posted: 09 June 2008 11:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I don’t see much difference between Wilton or Ateco tips either.  I’ll say this though - not all, but most of the tips in the Wilton 29-pc or larger sets are useless (too tiny).  I much prefer to purchase the larger tips individually at the craft store.  I have a nice little bakery close by that sells a few odds and ends (tips, boxes, boards).  The tips usually cost around $1-2.  I love parchment triangles too… they are wonderful once you get the hang of wrapping them into a cone shape.  I also like large plastic disposable bags… no need to clean and they hold more buttercream than the cones do.  I never use the reusable fabric bags anymore… they are a pain to clean, they stain, and no matter how well you wash them, they will eventually smell rancid (I always washed by hand followed by a trip in the washing machine). 

Rose has a good “practice buttercream” recipe in the cake bible - use that to practice on a plate, the counter, or on an upside down cake pan.  You can scoop it up and reuse it over and over again - you’ll have a ton of fun with it I promise!

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Posted: 09 June 2008 03:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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agreed, there is very little need on sets larger than 29-pc.

pls get all metal tips, Wilton or Ateco.  The inexpensive plastic ones are not very precise, and sold everywhere starting from grocery stores.

The only plastic ones that are precise would be the Matfer set, clear polycarbonate (mentioned in Cake Bible, available at La Cuisine, JB Prince, and Pastryitems.com), runs about $75 for a small set of about 20 tips, I will get this when I have more $$$ to spare.  IT IS NOT a set you want to start with.

A must is a couple of plain round tips.  From #1 to #10 or so, get the #3 which is perfect for writing, then get something close to #10 to make big dots, and if you like something in between for smaller dots.  Smaller than #3, like #2 or #1 maybe if you dare to make such tiny dots or string work which is seldom.  Actually, anything larger than #5, I prefer the “large” tubes, which Ateco sells.  Large tubes are easier to use, wash, and handle, but they don’t come as small as #3, so you know.

The second group to get would be a set of stars.  Open stars is my favorite.  Follow similar sizes to the plain round tips above (the numbers are different thought):  a tiny size, a medium, a large.  And again, I absolutely love the “large” tubes.  I find vital to have a large open star tube.  You can get closed stars, and French stars, too, if you want to have all the star types, but the open stars is the very first to get and most used.

THAT is all you need.  You could perhaps add some rose petal tips and leaf tips.  The leaf tips are very nice because you can make nice ruffled borders and not just leaves.

Again, pls read The Cake Bible, equipment section, it mentions the perfect tips to get for a nice beginners/intermediate set.

So you know, there is a German brand of metal tips, made of brass/steel, they are so strong and don’t rust AT ALL.  Available at JB Prince, and mostly used at commercial bakeries.  My wilton and ateco tips do rust, if I am not careful washing them and drying them well.

Happy cake decorating.

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Posted: 09 June 2008 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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My favorite tip is an open star too!  And I couldn’t agree with you more that the larger tips are wonderful and more useful than the small tips (with exception to the rounds you mentioned).  I’ve never had a tip rust, but I have experienced them “oxidizing” or discoloring after long soaks or repeated use.  I’ve lost a few to the garbage disposal in my sink too (oops).

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Posted: 09 June 2008 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Hector-

Thanks again for the advice and tips, as always!
I think your brag about your tool drawer deserves a photo!  tongue wink
I would love to see how you’ve organized it.

I also love the huge roll of pastry bags - great idea….

Rachel

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Posted: 09 June 2008 04:31 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Hector - I’d love to know more about your new disposable pastry bags.  Have you used them yet?

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Posted: 09 June 2008 04:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks so much everyone for your advice!

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Posted: 11 June 2008 07:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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By the way, the next Tuesdays with Dorie http:/tuesdayswithdorie.wordpress.com recipe is a ring of piped cream-puff pastry filled with mint-infused whipped cream. I’d like to make it, but I think individual cream puffs may be more practical for a household with just two members. And I may go with a different flavor for the filling. I’ve always wanted to try working with cream-puff dough!

So I will be running out to buy some piping equipment very soon—thanks for the advice.

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