Test Kitchen Tip: Smooth frosting for cakes
Next time you're frosting a cake, consider having some hot water on hand to help you smooth out that final layer of icing.
Heat some water in a small saucepan (or microwave it in a measuring cup or bowl) as you prepare to frost the cake. After giving the cake a rough coat of icing, smooth it out by dipping the offset spatula in the hot water: Soak the spatula in the hot water just long enough to warm the metal, then quickly dry the spatula or tap it against the saucepan to shake off any water. Run the spatula gently over the surface of the icing -- the heat from the spatula will level the icing underneath, giving it a wonderfully clean, smooth surface.
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-- Noelle Carter
Photo credits: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times