My two hours of ILP time this week were spent diving into pools of frosting! (Well, not literally. Even though that sounds like it would be a very sweet time.) The recipes, procedures, and uses of five very different cake toppings were my focus for the week. These included store bought icing, buttercream frosting, cream cheese frosting, fondant, and meringue. While my independent learning this week was limited strictly to research and the gathering of recipes and frosting tips, I plan to utilize each of these different cake toping options throughout the following weeks.
In both of my creations these past two weeks, I have opted to use store bought frosting. The first week, I used cream cheese frosting and this last week, I topped my football brownies off with some classic chocolate frosting. This has worked well because it was cheap, convenient, and flowed through the piping bags very smoothly. I am however, extremely anxious and excited to experiment with these other frosting recipes throughout the remainder of the semester.
The second frosting I did some research on was buttercream. This is made with butter, icing sugar, vanilla, and milk. To create this yummy frosting, www.bestrecipes.com suggests that you beat 125 grams of butter (not margarine) until it becomes a pale white color. Then, add ¾ cup icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk and beat until mixed. Add another ¾ cup of icing sugar and 1 tablespoon of milk and repeat process. One of the advantages of buttercream is that it hardens when chilled, but it also melts easily when exposed to warmer temperatures.
Cream cheese frosting (one of my personal favorites) is made with cream cheese, butter, and icing sugar. This is commonly placed on the tops of carrot cake and other cupcakes. Beating 30 grams of butter and 80 grams of cream cheese until “light and airy” and then slowly adding icing sugar will give you a fluffy and creamy frosting that is mouthwateringly delicious.
Fondant is something that I have always wanted to play around with, but have never really had the chance to use. Unlike all of the other cake toppings, this one cannot be spread or piped, but instead must be rolled out with a rolling pin and placed flat on top of the cake surface. Once it has been smoothed over the cake surfaces, any extra fondant can be trimmed with a knife. Sometimes, there is a thin layer of frosting underneath the fondant to help it stick, but once it has been applied, this will leave you with a stiff and shiny look covering the outside of your cake. Fondant can be made at home, but is typically bought at the store in a premade block. It only comes in shades of white, but can be dyed to any other color.
The final topping I spent some time learning about was meringue. This light, whipped frosting is made from egg whites, sugar, water, cream of tartar, salt, and vanilla. The process required for making this is slightly more complicated than all of the others. Take a look below at the tutorial I used to learn how to make my own meringue!
I have always been a lover of almost all kinds of frosting. Now that I have looked over various recipes and watched many tutorial videos, I am excited to apply these new frostings to baking creations coming in the near future!