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Ina Garten's Pro-Tip For Low-Effort Cake Decorating

Ina Garten at event
Ina Garten at event - Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Cookbook author and TV food personality Ina Garten likes to show people how to make entertaining both easy and elegant. She's an expert at taking the stress out of preparing delicious and beautiful dishes. Garten is also great with transforming simple desserts into something stunning. Her take on decorating cakes is simply genius.

Garten showcased one of her decorating cake techniques on Instagram, and it couldn't have been easier. You'll need a pastry bag, but don't worry, you won't need to know any intricate piping techniques. You only need to be able to draw a few straight lines with icing, and you'll be on your way to making an elegant chevron pattern on your cake. Then, all you'll need is a knife or toothpick to gently run through the icing lines in a perpendicular fashion. This simple trick creates a cake pretty enough to appear in the window of a Parisian patisserie.

Read more: Cake Hacks Every Baker Will Wish They Knew Sooner

Chocolate Ganache Is The Best Choice For This Hack

Pouring chocolate ganache onto chocolate cake
Pouring chocolate ganache onto chocolate cake - WS-Studio/Shutterstock

Ina Garten uses this decorating hack on a cake that has been frosted with a chocolate ganache. The ganache works great as a blank canvas for the design. It's also thinner and runnier than most other frostings, which is key for getting that blended effect when you apply the lines of icing. Timing is also another important factor when creating this decorating effect. You don't want the ganache to be fully set when you add the icing; you need it to be just soft enough to blend easily.

Ganache is pretty simple to make: It's really just a combination of chocolate and cream. Some recipes also call for a tablespoon or two of corn syrup, but that's not absolutely necessary. Warm up a cup of cream and pour it over about 2 cups of chocolate chips, though the amount of chips can vary, depending on how thick or thin you want your ganache to be. You can make it runny, so that it's easily pourable over your cake, or use more chocolate to replicate the texture of frosting. Just make sure to wrap and chill your cake before covering it in ganache.

Icing Is The Key Part Of This Decorating Trick

White icing in a piping bag
White icing in a piping bag - this_baker/Shutterstock

The consistency of the icing also plays a role in this cake decorating trick. To form an icing, simply mix powdered sugar with just enough water. You want the icing to be thin enough to come out of your pastry bag easily, but not too loose that it's runny. And when it comes down to the design, you want to make your lines of icing as evenly spaced as you can.

You're going to want to move relatively quickly once you've got the icing on top of the ganache. Take the tip of a knife or a toothpick and move it through the lines, working in a smooth motion and in a perpendicular direction. Run your utensil back and forth until you've achieved the desired effect.

While Ina Garten used the dramatic contrast of white icing on a chocolate cake, there are many other ways to go with this decorating trick. You can make a ganache using white chocolate, which can be tinted with food coloring to be nearly any shade you like. You can tweak the color of the icing, too, so let your creativity run wild.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.