Fine hand-piping has always been something of a mystery to me. I have seen piping so very fine it makes my eyes hurt, yet whenever I have tried it I get nowhere. My 1 tip clogs constantly, refuses to pipe and generally drives me mad.
Is it an industry secret? I don’t know. Do fine pipers sit there quietly smiling that they can do something that so many of us struggle with? Maybe it’s a right of passage??? Those who can, those who struggle – with no chance the two shall ever meet?
I’ve googled it searching for answers without much success, I’ve sifting my icing sugar to try and get it fine enough not to block. I’ve pounded the royal icing in the mixer, I’ve stuck countless pins and cocktail sticks into the end of the 1 tip in a vain attempt to unclog it, i’ve squeezed the bag so hard it’s split, i’ve beaten the bag against the work top, i’ve tried thinning the royal icing, making it with raw egg white, egg powder, ready-made, shop bought, i’ve tried everything without much luck.
I’ve finally figured it out, i’ve found the keys to the magical perfectly-piped kingdom and I am more than happy to share it.
The answer, for me, is not to use a tip at all!
Out of desperation one evening i ditched the tipped bag, grabbed a disposable bag and snipped the tiniest hole I could make. Instantly a wonderful fine line began piping out of the bag.
I was (suspiciously) overjoyed that the solution could be so simple..
I began carefully piping a very fine pattern and my ’1 tip’ bag worked perfectly. At one point about 2/3rds of the way through the design it did clog, yet as there was no tip or coupler to deal with I could just pinch the very end of the bag with my fingernail, pull, and out came the little clot leaving me with a wonderful free-flowing perfectly fine 1 tip line again.
This simple idea has changed my piping work completely, allowing me the freedom I need to create designs as fine and detailed as those who draw in pen. An unlike pen-work, this fine-line work has the added bonus of tasting great!
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