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How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)

How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)

The forcing bag is the tool needed whenever you need to deposit a blob of something precisely in a particular place (in a mould, a glass, on a plate, etc). Here is how you do it.

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Last modified on: January 14th 2011

Step by step recipe

1 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #1

Decorative nozzles



Using a forcing bag also means you can use decorative nozzles. You will find many different shapes and sizes in specialist stores, either singly, or in sets. There are two main types:

1) Metal ones, a bit outdated now, and which eventually go rusty.
1 min.
2 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #22) Plastic ones (polycarbonate), a bit more expensives, but easier to clean. 1 min.
3 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #3

Forcing bag



You will find forcing bags in specialist shops, sometimes for single use (packet of 100 in general).
1 min.
4 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #4You can of course use washable forcing bags (more economical and more environmentally-friendly). 1 min.
5 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #5If it's a disposable forcing bag, or a new one, cut off the end with scissors, about 3 cm from the tip. 1 min.
6 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #6Put your hand inside to open it. 1 min.
7 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #7Slip the decorative nozzle you have chosen down into the bag and push it until it is firmly in place (well sealed around the edge). 1 min.
8 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #8Position your hand as if you were holding a bottle in it (forming a "C" with your thumb and your forefinger), and put the forcing bag into this "holder", and fold the wide open end back over your hand.

This is to leave the opening as large as possible and make filling the bag easier.
1 min.
9 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #9If your preparation is more liquid than thick, here is a tip: fold up the nozzle end, and secure with a rubber band during filling. 2 min.
10 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #10Take the forcing bag in your hand, (still in a "C"), and fill with preparation, here apricot macaroons.

For this you can use a maryse as in the photo, or a dough scoop which is much easier.
3 min.
11 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #11Another tip, if you need both hands to fill the bag, put it in a tall container like a vase or a measuring jug. 2 min.
12 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #12Once all the preparation is in the bag, close it while trying to exclude air as far as possible.

Twist the end of the bag to to squeeze the contents, and in doing so make the "handle" of the forcing bag.
1 min.
13 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #13If you opted for the rubber band trick (for fairly liquid contents), hold the bag point upwards when removing rubber band.

Finally twist the handle so that preparation is ready to be squeezed out.
14 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #14Tip the forcing bag nozzle downwards, and begin using it. The right gesture is:
  • Press lightly on the end of the bag to push out just the required quantity of preparation
  • Give the nozzle a smart little lift forward to stop the flow of the preparation, and go on to the next "blob".
5 min.
15 How to use a forcing bag (piping or icing bag)  : Photo of step #15Finally, if you use a washable bag, I recommend that after washing you slip it over a bottle to dry it faster. 1 min.

Remarks

The difficulty is to succeed in making "blobs" or "heaps" that are even and well-shaped. It is tricky gesture to learn, it might seem trivial but it's not: to start with you'll make plenty of mistakes and untidy heaps, but eventually you will become a forcing bag professional.

You will also notice a difference in feel according to the preparation, it's always much easier with a thick preparation like confectioner's custard (French pastry cream), than with a rather runny one like macaroon mixture.
Source: Home made.
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