Where There's a Whisk... | Homemade Frosting
If you've been following this blog for a while, then you know I Stan for homemade baked good. There's just no comparison! Well, same goes for homemade icing. Not only does making your icing at home give it a fresh taste that pre-made icing will never have, but you'll also be able to infuse your icing with any flavors you want.
Remember last week when I topped cupcakes with rum and cream cheese flavored frosting? Yeah--you definitely won't find that flavor of icing in your grocery store. I get a lot of questions about homemade icing, and from experience, I know it's real easy to screw it up. So here are a few tricks and tips I've learned along the way.
1. Did you know there's more than one type of frosting? Choosing the right one for your cake or cupcakes it the first step. American-style frosting is basically just butter and sugar, go figure. You can add any flavor your want, and maybe some milk to thin it out if it's too thick. This frosting is always hella sweet, so it's better used in small amounts. It also melts very quickly, so either frost the dessert right before serving, or keep it cool.
European-style frostings are egg- or meringue-based. Whether you're using Italian, Swiss or French style buttercream, it will be a lot more stable than your typical American frosting and take longer. That being said, these frostings require a little more work. With Italian style buttercream, you have to slowly drizzle hot sugar syrup into meringue and Swiss-style requires you to dissolve sugar over a double boiler and then whisk into meringue.
2. Pay attention to the temperature of your ingredients. It seems a little silly. Does the butter really need to be room temperature before you start mixing up your frosting? Yup. Too cold and your frosting could curdle. Too warm and the frosting won't hold. Nobody wants melty frosting.
3. Don't add too much liquid! If you frosting is too thick, just one small splash of milk can fix that. If your flavoring your icing with a liquid (like rum or Kahlua for example), add bit by bit, and mix it well before you add more. Too much, and your frosting will be droopy.
4. Frosting takes time. Don't stop the mixer too soon! It could take up to ten minutes for the texture to be just right.
5. Taste it, duh! Add a little flavor, taste it. Add more sugar, taste it. Think about how the frosting will go with the dessert you're using it for. If you've already got very sweet cupcakes, maybe tone down the sugar in the frosting.
Got another baking question you'd like me to answer on "Where There's a Whisk..."? Shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Happy Baking, everybody!