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  1. Thanks so much for asking. I was wondering the same thing. Short of dusting over it with icing sugar or cocoa...do you use an airbrush or something? ← The detail in the stencils is very fine and you can use almost anything to pass through them i.e royal icing, butter cream, cocoa pastes, fondants etc. You just have to be sure that the surface of the item to be decorated is dry enough to accept the use of a spatula. But yes, you can also use an airbrush. The company will also do custom work - they also offer a "how to" package with a DVD, book and sample stencils.
  2. In a pinch I've used stencils to decorate cakes and pastries, but most of the time I've found the ready made designs pretty lame. I chanced upon this website that has pastry stencils featuring 18th Century designs from the Winterthur museum in Delaware. Compared to the designs previously on the market, these are pretty impressive: http://www.designerstencils.net/Merchant2/...gory_Code=CAKES
  3. Try this ratio as a filling: 9 tablespoons (4.5 fl. oz.) heavy cream 6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate 3 tablespoons (1.5 fl. oz.) porter, stout, lambic, etc.
  4. After experiencing the same angst you're encountering, I became a practitioner of tarte Tatin cheating. I use whole cored and peeled apples (the cored inside parallel to the bottom of the skillet) and I make a separate pot of caramelized sugar which I pour into the bottom of the skillet and also over the apples. I then place the skillet with the apples in the oven on a baking sheet (to catch drips) to brown . To ensure a good compact form I place a clean baking sheet on top of the apples with weights (foil wrapped bricks work well). The baking time is about 25 to 30 minutes in a 350 to 400
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