Buttercream Icing: When making buttercream icing using unsalted butter will make the icing sweeter and less buttery tasting. Salted butter highlights the butter flavour and reduces the perceived sweetness.
Piping Icing: A trick to make handling piping bags easier. Place the piping bag in a large glass or vase appropriate to the size of the bag. Fold the edges over the side of the glass to hold it in place while you fill it. This makes less mess and less ‘fingers and thumbs’ as it suports the bag, leaving both your hands free!
Lemon Icing: If you want a lemon tang to any icing, add lemon juice to it. It’s also really nice with some grated lemon rind added.
Instead of adding just vanilla essence to your chocolate icing, why not add a drop or 2 of Raspberry, Lemon or Peppermint, to make it, for instance, Raspberry Chocolate icing.
Don’t add lots of wet because you will end up adding lots of dry and you will make more icing then you intend to beat the butter really creamy before adding the icing sugar – it makes the icing even more creamy.