CAKE . THIS WORD IS ENOUGH TO BRING WATER IN EVERYONE’S MOUTH. BUT WHAT IF YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR CAKE TASTIER, AND MORE ATTRACTIVE WITH JUST AN ICING OVER IT??

SO NEXT TIME Before you BUY A CAKE SHOP OR MAKE  your next cake, browse this collection of icing recipes. They’re spoon-licking good! From chocolate ganache to buttercream, cream cheese icing and more.

What is icing made out of?

Icing, often called frosting in the United States, is a sweet, often creamy glaze made of sugar with a liquid, such as water or milk, that is often enriched with ingredients like butteregg whites, cream cheese, or flavorings. It is used to cover or decorate baked goods, such as cakes or cookies.

Different types of icing

Buttercream

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Buttercream comes in every flavor imaginable—chocolate, cream cheese, vanilla, caramel, white, browned butter, almond and fudge. This soft, buttery icing can be spread over a cake or piped into patterns. It can also be flavoured with colour or chocolate and is perfect for small cakes, like cupcakes. Buttercream hardens on refrigeration, and does not keep for more than a few days.

Made with butter and icing sugar this may be flavoured for example with lemon zest or chocolate.

Fondant

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This stiff and shiny icing can be kneaded and rolled out to cover fruit or chocolate mud cakes, often over a layer of marzipan. Since its firmness helps keep cakes fresh, it is often used for big cakes, wedding cakes and cakes that require traveling.

Fondant can be made at home although it’s usually purchased in a ready-to-use block, It comes in white and ivory shades, but can be tinted to any colour.

Meringue

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This typically American-style frosting is made from egg whites, caster sugar and water. It is whipped and then spread with a palette knife onto the cake to create an edible looking icing that looks particularly striking when decorated with fresh flowers. Be warned though, you must act quickly when icing your cake as it sets within moments of coming off the heat.

Did you know? Meringue does not hold up well in humidity.

Ganache

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Is ganache a cake topping? Pastry filling? Glaze? Chocolate filling? The answer to all of the above is yes. This rich chocolate icing is made from either white of dark chocolate and cream. Ganache can look shiny or matte and is also used as a filling or piped into decorations.

This may be poured over cakes to achieve a smooth shiny chocolate finish, used to top cupcakes or once cool you can whisk the ganache to make a delicious alternative to buttercream to fill and crumb coat cakes, yummy!

It is important to use higher-quality chocolate, which includes chocolate liqueur and cocoa instead of vegetable oil.

Cream cheese icing

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The combination of cream cheese, butter and icing sugar makes a delicious fluffy, cream-coloured icing. Cream cheese icing traditionally decorates carrot cakes and cupcakes. It can be smoothed to a relatively even finish, or fluffed up for a more casual cake.

Royal icing

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Often confused with fondant, This is a pure white icing that dries to a smooth, hard, matte finish and it is the most traditional of all icings. Royal icing is a white meringue-like mixture made from egg whites, acetic acid and icing sugar. Becoming rock-hard once set, it is ideal for attaching decorations to cakes and is a popular icing for piping.

Super sweet, it is mostly used for cookies and gingerbread houses. I call it edible glue because it gets so stiff. It hardens completely with a matte finish. It can be used to make cake decorations and applied to the cake at the time of the party or used for piping flowers, lettering and borders on a cake.

Royal icing is used to create the traditional snow scene Christmas cakes, it may be used to ice cakes and it is perfect for adding piped detail such as dots or swirls and for piping messages. Royal icing can also be used to create piped flowers.

Written by Manaswini Gupta

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