Cake icing or cake frosting are the terms used for cake decorations. There are several types of cake icings, some cooked and some uncooked. A type of icing may vary in recipes according to the style.
CAKE ICING TIPS
No matter what type of cake icing is used, there are a few things that should be taken care of before icing a cake.
• The cake is properly cooled down, so that the icing won’t melt by the heat of the cake.
• The crumbs are brushed off the cake, so that the cake icing won’t end up as “Crumbed Icing”.
• See that the icing is of the perfect consistency, so that it is smoothed easily over the cake and won’t spoil the cake’s surface.
• Apply a thin layer of icing first on a very soft cake, let it dry and then apply the decorative icing so that the very soft cake could carry it well.
BASIC CAKE ICINGS
Buttercream Icing: Buttercream icing is the most common type of icing and it comprises of a range of buttercream icings. Some are simple and some are complicated, some are cooked and some are uncooked. Buttercream icing has a sweet flavor and a soft smooth texture. Generally buttercream icing is made of butter, icing sugar, flavor and some liquid whipped to form icing. Sometimes shortening is used instead of butter.
Whipped Cream Icing: Whipped cream icing is the most delicious sort of cake icing, it has a light sweet vanilla flavor. Whipped cream icing is made by whipping icing sugar, heavy whip cream and flavoring in a chilled bowl until firm peaks appear. Whipped cream icing should be kept in fridge to keep it from melting.
Ganache: Ganache is melted chocolate whipped with cream or butter. Cream-based ganache has a delicate flavor, while the butter-based ganache is a sturdier mixture. Cream-based ganache icing is usually preferred. Dark chocolate, milk chocolate and even white chocolate can be used in ganache. One can be versatile with ganache icing. It can be poured as a glaze over a cake, spread with a knife or whipped to a paler color and fluffy texture, and used as buttercream. Hardened ganache can be piped to decorate cakes.
DECORATIVE CAKE ICINGS
Fondant or Roll-Out Icing: Fondant icing is a combination of sugar, corn syrup, gelatin and glycerin. Fondant icing is rolled out in sheets and wrapped around the cake. This gives a beautiful clean finish and smooth texture to the cake. You can create a variety of shapes with fondant icing that will stay firm and will be edible. It can also be colored. This is by far the most versatile icing. It also serves as an excellent base for flowers and piped decoration. However, fondant icing cannot be refrigerated.
Royal Icing: Royal icing is a decorative icing. It is made of icing sugar, egg whites and water, mixed to a smooth flowing batter consistency. Royal icing is used to make flowers, beads, petals and other decorations. Royals icing dries and hardens in open air. It has a very sweet taste and cannot be used to spread on the whole cake. Royal icing can be tinted with color or its decoration can easily be painted with food color.
OTHER CAKE ICINGS
Meringue Icing: “Meringue” is the term used for beaten stiff egg whites. In meringue icing, egg whites and icing sugar are beaten together until thick and fluffy. Meringue icing is decorated on cake and then cooked in oven until slightly golden. Cakes decorated with meringue icing should be consumed in a day.
Cream Cheese Icing: Cream cheese icing is a delicious, fluffy, cream colored icing made of cream cheese, butter, icing sugar and milk. Cream cheese icing is traditionally used to decorate carrot cakes and some cupcakes. It can be smoothed to a relatively even finish, or fluffed up for a more casual cake.
Glazes: Glazes are thin, watery icings which form a hard, crisp shell when poured or brushed over cakes and pastries. Glazes are usually made with a fruit flavor, although other flavors, such as chocolate or coffee can be used too. Glazes can be used on sweet breakfast pastries like coffee cakes. They add flavor, and also help keep the pastry moist and improve its shelf life.