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Sandy Sheppard: Hi! I am Sandy Sheppard, a master cake decorator, and I am here to show you my technique for smoothing most cakes. First of all, I am going to take this ice cake and set it on my nice foil covered board, so that it is ready to work with. I do that by taking a small amount of icing and spreading it on my board that works like glue. I am going to take my spatula and slide it underneath the bottom edge of the cardboard to lift it onto my fingers and move it over to the board, must move that messy turn table out of our way.

Now, I have got my cake on the nice foil board. As I said, this is a fairly nice smooth cake, but I like it even nicer than that and this is my favorite technique. This is just an ordinary paper towel with a very little design in it, I like it best with a very small design. When you look at paper towel, you notice that they are textured in many ways. I just take that paper towel -- let me tell you first how to know when your icing is ready to use this technique. Your icing should be dried at the touch, so when you touch it nothing comes off on your fingers. If that was moist and fresh and I touched it, I would have icing on each of my finger tips. Now, I am going to take my towel and lay it across the top of the cake and gently rub it. As I do this, my fingers are leveling up the surface and the cake will pick up the texture of the paper towel. I have another paper towel that I use that has a very smooth texture, now do you see that pretty little texture on the cake? I like that design for the background of my birthday cakes and any special or all occasion. Then we are going to continue around the sides because of course I want the sides of the cake to look as nice as the top of the cake.

So, continuing I just gently, am rubbing my hands up and down and back and forth. When I run out of paper towel, I pull it off and reposition it and continue. I should pull the cameraman over here and have him do this part, this is easy and I get all my students to do this and they are amazed at how simple this technique is.

Now, I have come back full circle to where I started and this is where I just take a moment and check to see if I missed any spots. Well, right here I have got a little bit of an empty space where it is got a wrinkle so to speak in the icing and Ill just go back with my paper towel one more time over that area and smooth it again and it needs a touch more. This is what happens when you work with a chocolate cake on camera, chocolate cake always tends to still leave a little touch of a crumb underneath the icing or in the middle of the icing.

See, here I have got a couple of more little dips and divots in the cake and I am just going to smooth them up a little bit more with that paper towel. That is my preferred method for giving a nice smooth professional look to a cake.