The Art of Darkness

Cocoa Skull

February 12th, 2008 by Cobwebs

Cocoa SkullThis cocoa skull over at Skull-a-Day reminded me of how easy it is to decorate cakes with stencils. It’s a fun way to add a touch of professionalism to your baked goods.

You can buy premade stencils, or simply find a design you like and cut it out of cardboard or heavy paper. Make sure that the stencil will fit on top of the cake with at least a small margin on all sides, and remember that fiddly little details will probably all run together into a blob.

Ice your cake, wait ten minutes or so until the frosting has set, then spray the top surface of the stencil with cooking spray so your sprinkly stuff will stick to it and not fall back onto the cake when it’s lifted.

Lightly lay the stencil on top of the cake (make sure you center it), then sprinkle something with a contrasting color (e.g., cocoa powder or tinted sugar for white icing, powdered sugar for chocolate icing) evenly over the top. Be careful not to pile it up too much or you’ll get a mini-avalanche when you lift the stencil.

Slowly lift the stencil straight up, taking care to keep it level. See? Easy!

If you want to try a more intricate design, use a pinhole stencil:

  • Place the design you want to use on a piece of styrofoam or heavy cardboard.

  • Lay a piece of waxed paper over top, and use a corsage pin to punch holes about 1/4″ apart in the shape of the design.

  • Make a “puff” by cutting off the foot of a clean pair of nylon stockings, putting in some cocoa powder or powdered sugar (tinted sugar crystals are too big), and knotting the end.

  • Place the stencil on the cake and lightly whap it all over with your powder puff.

  • Carefully lift off the stencil and admire your handiwork.

Valentine’s Day is coming up, so now’s the perfect time to give your sweetie a decadent chocolate cake with a skull on top. Hey…love hurts.

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