Monday, 17 June 2013

7 Types of Cake Icing for New Bakers to Try

There are many types of cake icing and each woman prefers a different one on her cake. Also, while some are quite easy to make, others will take plenty of time and practice to perfect, not to mention, it can be really intimidating for beginners as well as some of those who have been baking for a long time.

The most important thing to remember to master each of these is to not be afraid to repeatedly try and fail, until such time that you will achieve the right consistency for each. It can be a lot of fun to learn how to make a cake from scratch and you

Here are the most popular kinds of cake icing that you can use to finish your cakes.

1. Butter Cream

Butter cream is made of sifted powdered sugar, milk and superior butter. The quality of butter used will reflect on the appearance, consistency and taste of your butter cream frosting. 

Children love this type of frosting and is one of the most common types used in cake decorating and the secret is whipping up the butter at the right temperature. Also, since this type of cake icing melts easily in hot weather, the finished cake must be chilled prior to serving to prevent the butter cream frosting from losing its stiffness.

2. Whipped Cream

This type of cake icing is achieved using cold heavy whipping cream and sugar. Some would advise you to use powdered sugar but ordinary granulated sugar would work just as well. 

You can also add your preferred extract or flavoring to match your cake's flavor. This is a favorite among those who love a light and easy-to-make frosting on their cake.

3. Royal Icing

This type of cake icing dries into a hard outer shell. It is also one of the easiest to dye with edible colorings. There are two ways to make this type of frosting: using egg whites (like a meringue icing) and powdered sugar or by using meringue powder in place of egg whites. 

This type of icing is also used to "flood" or color sugar cookies by adding a bit more water to make it pourable. The baker then uses different cake decorating tools to draw features on plain biscuits or cookies.

4. Cream Cheese Frosting

Cream cheese frosting is made with part butter cream frosting and a good quality cream cheese. This type of frosting is usually perfect for carrot cakes, red velvet cakes and as a filling for doughnuts and cupcakes because of its consistency. 

It is a bit heavier to spread than most types of cake icing. Some would even put cream cheese frosting on their bread as a standalone spread!

5. Meringue

The basic ingredients for this frosting are egg whites, cold water and granulated sugar and is one of the most common types of cake icing. It is light and fluffy because air is introduced into the egg mixture to create a stiff consistency. 

Adding some butter and you'll have a combined meringue and butter cream frosting, and there are three popular varieties for this type of cake icing: French, Italian and Swiss. The difference between the Swiss and Italian Meringue frosting is the method of beating the eggs. 

Swiss meringue butter cream frosting involves whisking the egg whites au bain marie or on a hot water bath, heating them to a certain temperature and is an entirely different topic on its own. 

On the other hand, Italian meringue butter cream frosting involves adding the caramelized sugar into the meringue mixture, thereafter, adding the butter cream mixture. Ideally, you should have two separate mixing bowls to beat the two mixtures before combining them.

French meringue butter cream frosting, in contrast, does not require heating the egg whites. Essentially, it is an uncooked meringue butter cream frosting.

6. Fondant

This is a popular heavy frosting among celebration cakes because it is easy to sculpt and work out. Usually, cake decorators also frost on top of the fondant using butter cream or other types of cake icing. 

Basic fondant ingredients include gelatine, glycerine, water, icing or castor sugar (lighter than powdered sugar) and shortening. Other bakers would recommend using marshmallows in place of gelatine and glycerine.

Fondant is made by melting marshmallows (or heating the gelatine mixture) and adding the rest of the ingredients until you achieve the right consistency, which ideally, should stretch but should not tear easily. This cake icing is quite heavy and sculpting it to various shapes is possible with the use of carving and decorating tools. 

7. Chocolate Ganache

Chocolate ganache and glazing are probably the most easiest cake icings to make. Watch my video tutorial how to prepare chocolate ganache:

You can watch this video by clicking the play button above or on my YouTube channel under "How to make easy dark chocolate cake frosting recipe"

These are only some of the types of cake icing that you can use to finish your cake. However, always remember that a cake should be delicious even when eaten without the frosting. 

The finishing touches and the decor should then heighten the cake eating experience to a higher level. Also, there is no limit to what you can do with edible cake toppers for your cake decorating, so have fun while you're at it.

Some images are courtesy of digitalart

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