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Problems with Grass tip
Posted: 08 February 2009 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
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So I am attempting to make an elmo for my next cake, so I need to make Fur. I got the grass tip and practiced today.I am having a hell of a time. It seems that after a few pipes, the frosting ends up covering some holes, and makes them ‘clogged’. I try wiping the end of the tip down but that doesn’t help (there are pieces of metal sticking out…like the tip isn’t flat so you cant just wipe it…i am thinking that is poorly made??? Should I file the end down???), so I ended up sticking a pin in each hole about 100 x’s during the process. Is this normal???

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Posted: 08 February 2009 03:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Because of the tiny holes on the grass tip, your frosting must be completely smooth.  Clumps of unblended sugar, etc, will definitely make piping very frustrating!
I’m not sure what icing you are using, but since you are having clogging problems I am assuming it is an American-type buttercream made with powdered sugar?  Make sure you sift the sugar before you mix the icing, or, to fix a lumpy buttercream that has already been made, pulse it a couple of seconds in a food processor fitted with the metal blade.  Oh, and the end of the grass tip isn’t supposed to be flat, so it’s not that yours is poorly made.  The little metal bits that stick out allow you to make “pointy” grass, or fur, in this case.  Hope this helps smile

michelle h.

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Posted: 08 February 2009 09:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I used the practice buttercream that was listed in the cake bible….so I guess it will be easier when I actually do it with Mousseline….

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Posted: 09 February 2009 05:47 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Mousseline will not clog.  BUT…...you said you are making Elmo? It is nearly impossible to get a nice true Elmo red using Mousseline.

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Posted: 09 February 2009 09:07 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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really?????  Oh no lol.
I thought if i used like a whole bottle of the red red it would turn true elmo red.
What do you suggest???

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Posted: 09 February 2009 09:52 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I don’t color my mousseline, so I can’t offer you advice based on experience, but large amounts of liquid food coloring, which is water based, probably won’t work as well as powdered or gel colors that are designed for oil/butter/cocoa butter.  Hopefully someone with personal experience can offer a better solution.

As for your clogged grass tip - the practice buttercream is a bit thicker than mousseline. 

For smooth frosting, here’s a trick I read about - get a cheapo pair of non-colored knee highs (you know the ones they sell in the little plastic bubbles at Wal-Mart for like .50).  Wash well and let dry, then squeeze room temperature frosting through the knee high - it acts like a super fine mesh strainer.

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Posted: 09 February 2009 10:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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well they sell these wilton colors at Michaels, they are in little jars. I used it once to make a red frosting (NOT mousseline) and i used a while jar and it came out pretty red.
Im really at a loss now, i dont know what i am supposed to use (Frosting AND coloring) to get a true elmo red. I certainly dont want to make a PINK or ORANGE elmo. ugh…......

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Posted: 09 February 2009 10:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Yes, the jars have paste or gel color in them - they would be better than a bottle of liquid food coloring from the grocery store.  Have you done a mini test batch to see if the food color colors your buttercream well?  If you end up with pink, maybe you can use it for Valentine’s day.

A lot of red can taste bitter, but Wilton makes a non-bitter red - just thought I’d mention it.

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Posted: 09 February 2009 10:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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no i haven’t done a mini test because I thought it would work with the mousseline (and i dont know how to do a mini batch of mousseline lol).  is the kind in the jars the ‘non bitter’ type??

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Posted: 09 February 2009 10:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’ve done Elmo cakes before, and I don’t go for realism in the fur -  just an outline of Elmo’s head/body filled in with either piping gel or fondant - for a young child I would use red piping gel and for an older child, make the Elmo from red fondant.  The fondant can be peeled off the slice so no one has red teeth/tongue (you can’t avoid that with the buttercream, though!).

If you are having trouble with the grass tip, you can use a small star tip for a similar effect.  Use the same piping motion as for the grass tip - you are making points of frosting to resemble fur.

If you are really artistic (I am not), you could make a chocolate transfer.  You use chocolate on a sheet of acetate to outline/fill in and then when you’re done, flood the back of the transfer with some white chocolate (for strength).  You could probably use the candy melts for this, just don’t overheat them (or it will streak).

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Posted: 09 February 2009 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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no, i definately want to do the fur with the grass tip I just want to make sure that it will be red. I am not that artistic, but I have an outline of the elmo that I want, and i have practiced with GREEN practice buttercream. It looked good green, so I imagine it will look good red…as long as i can GET it red.

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Posted: 09 February 2009 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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skiweaver9 - 09 February 2009 02:40 PM

no i haven’t done a mini test because I thought it would work with the mousseline (and i dont know how to do a mini batch of mousseline lol).  is the kind in the jars the ‘non bitter’ type??

Wait a minute, it’s called “No Taste” red.  I think Wilton makes a regular red as well as a no-taste red.  I thought I had both kinds, but I guess not.  Here’s a pic of the no-taste stuff.  (ignore the blue and orange - I found my food coloring storage container tipped over one day and there was a real mess inside).

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Posted: 09 February 2009 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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skiweaver9 - 09 February 2009 02:40 PM

no i haven’t done a mini test because I thought it would work with the mousseline (and i dont know how to do a mini batch of mousseline lol).  is the kind in the jars the ‘non bitter’ type??

Wait a minute, it’s called “No Taste” red.  I think Wilton makes a regular red as well as a no-taste red.  I thought I had both kinds, but I guess not.  Here’s a pic of the no-taste stuff.  (ignore the blue and orange - I found my food coloring storage container tipped over one day and there was a real mess inside).

No need to make a mini batch of mousseline - just take a little bit from a regular batch and color it to see if you get the results you’re looking for.

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Posted: 09 February 2009 11:14 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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yeah that looks like the stuff i bought. It said “red red” on the top of it.  I’m interested to hear why Michelle says you can’t make true red with mousseline. I am not going to bother try it if it won’t work! I might just have to use a regular buttercream???

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Posted: 09 February 2009 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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so i was just looking at wiltons stuff online, and there is a red red AND a no taste red. So looks like I got the wrong stuff.

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Posted: 09 February 2009 12:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I had to do a “Cars” cake and I used a combination of powdered red and the Wilton’s no taste red. It worked just fine. By the way I used the mousseline for it. Hope this helps.

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