Creating a perfectly smooth iced cake can seem like a tricky task, but following these easy "icing a cake" tips you will find it's not as hard as you first thought.
First you need to have the proper tools. A flat metal spatula, turntable and a bowl of hot water. Make sure you have all these placed in the same spot, close to eachother for easy access.
Also, when you're icing you want to try and keep all the crumbs out of your icing, unless you want lumpy icing!
There's a few ways of doing this. You can place your uniced cake in the freezer for about 20 minutes and then ice your cake. This helps in keeping the crumbs to a minimum and makes it much easy to ice as well.
Or, you can "dirty ice" or "crumb coat" your cake. They're basically the same thing. What it is a very light layer of icing first, allowing a crust to form, and then adding another, final layer of icing. This gives you a very crisp look but does take a bit more time.
Another trick to keep the crumbs out of your icing is to keep the spatula from coming into contact with the cake as much as you can because this will pick up crumbs from the cake and attach them to the icing on your spatula.
Spread the icing on the top portion of the cake first, smoothing out carefully, pushing towards the edges.
Now cover the sides with icing. If you have a caketable the spins this will be much easier. Smooth the sides of the cake with the spatula while trying not to lift it from the sides. This will give you a nice consistent edge.
Repeat until sides are smooth.
*Icing Tip* For easier smoothing I like to have a bowl of hot water beside me so I can dip the metal spatula into it and then glide it across the entire surface.
Ganache is a glaze, icing or used as a filling made from chocolate and cream. Ganache is normally made by heating cream, then pouring it over chopped dark semi-sweet chocolate. The mixture is stirred or blended until smooth, with liqueurs or extracts added if desired. It creamy, smooth, and delicious!
Here is a great link that shows exactly each step to make the perfect ganache. How To Cover Your Cake With Ganache.
*TIP* You need to work fast with Royal Icing as it will dry fast as soon as the air hits it and will crust over, making it hard to work with.
First, apply a thin layer of royal icing to smooth out the surface. This is called crumb coating or dirty icing.
Second, place a small scoop of icing in the top of the cake, in the centre. Spread the icing over the top with a metal spatula so that it just tips over the edges a bit.
Third, spread an even layer around the edges, smoothy out carefully. Dip your spatula in hot water and go over the entire cake again, trimming away any excess around the edges.