“ Brand: Dr Oetker's / Type: Baking Aids „
I'm always on the lookout for products that make neat icing work easier. I spotted these Dr Oetker icing tubes in a local supermarket, and purchased them in white and black.
These tubes come in a large range of colours, although you would probably have to go online to find them all. Most large supermarkets stock the basic colours (black, white, red, green, yellow and blue).
-Ease of Use-
The instructions on the back of the pack are straightforward to follow. First you knead the tube to make the icing more workable and to ensure an even consistency. Then you snip off the end of the tube and apply the appropriate nozzle. 3 nozzles are supplied in the pack - for fine writing, 'ribbon' effect and a star effect. You can also use the tube without the nozzle for thicker lines. The pack also comes with a screw on top to seal the tube.
The icing comes out easily when pressure is applied, but even with the fine nozzle, the icing still has a thick, slightly lumpy appearance. Due to this, it is difficult to use the tube continuously e.g. doing a border around the edge of a cake. The end result doesn't look too professional.
The quality of the actual icing lets down the product. It would be fine for homebaking, and possibly childrens' cakes, but if you're baking for others, stick to a higher quality product or make your own piping icing.
I took up a new hobby last October of cake decorating and found I had a little bit of a flair for it. After a year I have decorated upwards of 25 cakes and this product has become a regular feature.
It comes in a variety of colours and I have used all of them. The colours are:
The product retails between £1.50-£1.70 dependent on where I purchase it (Sainsbury's, Tesco's Co-op) and while I often buy it from Co-op due to its locality to me, it is usually on the upper end of the price bracket there.
It comes in a tube containing 120g of product. The tube is shaped like a toothpaste tube and has the colour of the contained icing used as the theme colour to decorate it. When first opened the top is sealed by soft plastic and needs to be removed by scissors.
Before use, this product must be kneaded in the hands to make it warm. This improved the consistency and makes it easier to work with. This can be time consuming and if I intend to use the whole tube in one go I will pop it in the microwave for about 7 seconds to speed up the process. I would not recommend this if you plan to store it or use it again on the same cake.
If it has been put in the microwave and stored it has a tendency to go very hard when it returns to room temperature and it does not respond to a second blast. Using the microwave to slightly ware the product can also change the colour shade by slightly darkening it for some reason.
Once the product has been warmed slightly and the cap cut off, you have three options of nozzle.
This is a nozzle about 3mm thick which produces straight lines of icing. This is of very acceptable quality, however 3mm is quite thick and for a smaller cake/fine details. The range also has a set of fine wrting pens, but the shading is not always exactly comparable.
As I make novelty cakes this is the nozzle I use the least. The packaging states it is useful for boarders, edging and leaves.
This is a firm favourite. I often go around the bottom of my cakes and seal the icing to my board with a series of small 'flowers'. It is a great tool if you need forgiveness from a less than perfect cutting ot the icing. As an amature I find this extremely helpful!
Finally there is a cap for storage.
As it is a screw cap, it is not possible to attach your own nozzles. I assume you could dispense it into another icing bag, but this would reduce it's convenience.
Once used it takes a few hours to set and develop a skin, however it keeps a soft texture underneath this when it is consumed.
The product is loaded with sugar and very much so for use as a special treat! I have done cake decorating workshops with my students and they were all able to use the product effectively.
It has a good use by date of over a year, and the product does keep well even after the initial opening. It is to be stored in a cool dry place - the fridge with harden the product and make it useless.
Overall this is a very good product. I do hope to start making my own icing to this quality in the future, but for now I will stick with the professionals!