The proverbial ‘Icing on the Cake’ gets even better when there are 6 different ways of professional cake decoration by which you can add visual and toothsome pleasure to your freshly baked delicious cake. Whether it be creating an artistic looking cake for an occasion or simply a dessert to finish a special meal or something that you would indulge in only to satiate those cravings - a cake does not seem complete without the icing over it. Here are the most well-liked kinds of icing that you can use to finish your cakes.
1. Butter Cream
Buttercream is softer and more spreadable than most icing and is the preferred choice for taste and flexibility. It can be used as a filling inside cakes and also as a coating for decoration. It is made by creaming together sugar and butter or other fats like lard or margarine. The quality of the fat used will affect the taste, consistency and appearance of the cream frosting, as also the temperature at which the butter is whipped. Add a burst of flavour with vanilla extract. The cream melts easily in hot weather and so must be kept chilled to keep its form.
2. Whipped Cream
If lighter frosting is what you need then whipped cream is the answer. Often called Chantilly cream or crème Chantilly, it is made by cold-whipping together heavy cream and sugar till light and fluffy. You could also add or use meringue powder for stability. Enhance your cake’s taste by adding flavours to the cream.
3. Royal Icing
Traditionally used to cover and decorate dense fruit cakes, Royal icing is a pure white and fluid paste that solidifies into a hard outer shell on drying. Made by beating together egg whites, icing sugar, and lime juice, it looks smooth, hard and matte when dry. Some may use meringue powder instead of egg whites because of the risk of salmonella when using raw egg whites. Glycerine is often added to prevent the icing from setting too hard. It is easily dyeable using edible food colourings.
4. Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream cheese frosting is perfect for carrot cakes, cupcakes, red velvet cake, as a filling for doughnuts and well just about any kind of pastry with all that creamy and cheesy deliciousness. It comes together quickly by creaming together part buttercream frosting and a good quality cream cheese. A bit heavier than most types of cake icing, the texture and taste are best when made with high-fat cream cheese.
This very light & frothy icing is made by beating together egg whites, cold water, and granulated sugar. The technique of introducing air to the mixture gives it a foamy consistency. The added sugar stiffens the foam. It can be plain or flavoured and with nuts added to it. There are 3 popular varieties of meringue – French, Italian and Swiss. The difference lies in the methods of beating the eggs. Uncooked meringue can be used as pastry toppings, or it can be baked until crisp and eaten likes cookies.
Fondant is a popular heavy frosting that can be easily sculpted and is used mainly for celebration cakes. Basic fondant ingredients include water, gelatine, glycerine, water, sugar (icing or castor sugar) and shortening. Some use marshmallows in place of gelatine and glycerine. The ideal texture is a fondant that can be stretched without tearing. It can be worked into different shapes using carving and decorating tools.