Tuesday, October 04, 2011

How to Make the Perfect Icing

Or frosting, as my American friends call it. :)

If you have been following me, you know that I recently signed up for a cake decorating class.  It is something I have been wanting to do for some time and I am so glad that I finally did it.

I am also very proud of my very first cake!

There is absolutely no makeover here.  Sweet, light and delicious.  I have said it before and I will say it again:  It is all about balance ;)

One of the first things that we learned was how to make the perfect buttercream icing, which surprisingly enough, does not contain any butter.

Most cake decorators use vegetable shortening in their icing as it will not harden or melt with changing temperatures and it keeps much longer.  However, you can use butter in your icing if you will be serving the cake very shortly after making it.

(For the record, I like the taste of butter a little bit better and will be experimenting with it over the next few weeks :)

It is really important to get the icing at the right consistency to make decorating a breeze.  For the most part, you want a medium icing to frost your cake and a thin icing to pipe.

Here is the recipe for the perfect cake decorator's icing.

Class Buttercream Icing (Makes 2.5 Cups, Thick to Medium Consistency)
from Wilton

1 cup solid white vegetable shortening
1 tsp clear vanilla extract*
7-9 tbsp milk or water
4 cups icing (confectioners) sugar
1 tbsp meringue powder**

Cream shortening, vanilla and water (add a few tbsp at a time until you get your desired consistency).  Add dry ingredients and mix (with a hand or stand up mixer) about 2-3 minutes until smooth and creamy.

*Clear vanilla can be found at baking supply stores and some grocery stores.  It adds the flavour of vanilla without changing the colour of the icing.

**Meringue power is used to stabilize the icing.  It can be found at baking supply stores or purchased in bulk.

You can use any flavouring your little heart desires depending of the kind of cake you are making.  You can also colour your icing (like I have done above), but that is a different post. ;)

Do you have a favourite recipe for icing?

Stay Healthy,

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