What is a Paper Cone?
Adapted from Professional Baking

The paper cone is widely used in decorative work. It is inexpensive, easy to make, and it can simply be discarded after use. It is specially valuable if you are working with different colors; simply make a separate cone for each color icing. See the illustrations on how to make a decorating cone from a triangle of parchment. Although it is possible to fit metal decorating tubes inside the paper cones, the cones are usually used without metal tubes, for writing inscriptions and for making line drawings and patterns. In other words, they are used the same way you would use a pastry bag fitted with a small plain tube. Because paper cones can be made rather small and are easy to control, pastry chefs generally prefer them to pastry bags when they are doing delicate work. For the most delicate work, a special type of plastic or cellophane is available that makes finer lines than paper because a smaller, cleaner opening can be cut on the tip.

Two factors are important if you are to be successful with both the paper cone and the pastry bag:
Consistency of the icing:
Icing must be neither too thick nor too thin. With the paper cone or the writing tube, the icing must be thin enough to flow freely from the opening, but not too thin to form a solid thread. Stiff icing is very difficult to force through the opening and tends to break off. For flowers and large decorations, the icing must be stiffer so that it holds its shape.
Pressure on the cone or bag
Pressure control is necessary for neat, exact decorations. As described below, sometimes you must keep the pressure steady and even. For other types of decorations, such as shell borders, you must vary the pressure from heavy to light, and then stop the pressure at the right time. Learning to control the pressure with which you squeeze takes a lot of practice.

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