Sunday, February 28, 2010

Butter cream Icing Tip

Okay, as I promised, I will pass on my latest tip. As you will find, I am a Google nut. If I need to know something, my first response is to jump on Google. If you can't find it on Google then you just don't need to know it! Anyway, I was searching for a really good butter cream recipe. The ones I use every one else loves, but for me it just wasn't exactly what I wanted for my cakes. You know how it is. When testing something made by someone else, the scale I use is a little less critical. When testing something I make, I am down right "Simon" about it! So in a search for the best tasting butter cream icing I found something. No the secret is not so much in the recipe, it is in the method. Grant it I do realize there are many types of icing, but I really do not want to deal with egg products in the icing. I am more comfortable using the butter and Crisco recipes. I just feel there is less exposure to illness due to allergy and bacteria. Personal feeling only, nothing scientific. Oh, I also use Marshmallow Fondant (MMF) for decorating too. I will walk you through that sometime. Back to the butter cream tip. When reading reviews on an icing recipe I found, one woman noted that she creamed the butter and Crisco together in her electric mixer for 20 minutes before adding the sugar. WHAT!!!!!! Is she crazy? Who in their right mind would cream anything that long? Someone who wants a very creamy, yummy smooth, use your finger to get to the bottom of the bowl, then lick the rim good icing. That is who! Yes, that is the trick. It is not so much the recipe. They are all basically the same, just a slight variation in the ratio of butter to Crisco. The real difference is in the method of mixing the ingredients.

So, with this tip in hand, I headed to the kitchen to begin making my butter cream icing. I softened the butter (10 seconds in the microwave per stick) put it in the mixer with the Crisco and let her go. I let the mixer mix for just a few minutes, then scraped the sides and started it up again. I went about the kitchen preparing the rest of the goods to assemble the cake. To my surprise when I looked back at my mixer after about 10 minutes the two ingredients were beginning to emulsify (become one)! After the full 20 minutes it was a beautiful white fluffy product that resembled whipped cream! It was probably two to three times the volume of the original two products. I added my flavorings and then slowly began adding the powdered sugar. To my surprise I was able to add the full 2 pounds of sugar with out the need of any water. When I made this recipe before I would always have to add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water just to get all the sugar in and when it was done, it was a little heavy. Not so now, when the "fats" are creamed together in this way it accepts the sugar like a long lost friend creating a very light creamy and not too sweet icing. It piped nicely too. The only thing that I did not like was that I could not use Viva paper towel method to smooth the icing as it did not crust. I have a feeling though if I was able to let it set in the fridge for several hours it eventually would, I just did not have that kind of time yesterday. I will let you know progress with that on future cakes.

The moral to this tip though is, when an icing recipe says to "cream", it means to do it until it is fluffy and one product with out any trace of the two or more ingredients that originally went in to it. Okay, I see why they simply say "cream". It is much simpler to say than all of that. Oh, one more thing. Be sure you do not over beat the icing once the sugar is added. It will add too much air to your icing. If you have ever decorated a cake you know that bubbles are not your friend! Next I will try this on cream cheese icing. Mine always seem very heavy and sweet. I am guessing that if I cream longer like the butter cream the same result will be achieved! So pull out that stand by icing recipe and let me know what happens.

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Wow! Welcome to my blog. (Yes, that is a welcome to me, to my own blog. Well, no one else is here to do it!) Now, welcome to you too! This is so much fun. I mentioned that encouragement can come from many different places and I feel it is fitting that the encouragement for this blog came from a friend I really have never met. No...I am not crazy and I don't have an imaginary friend! Her name is Sara and she is a co-worker of my husband. We communicate quite regularly now via e-mail and Facebook. She is a faithful follower of my cakes (I call them T-Cakes) of which I will be posting on this blog. So with great encouragement and leadership from Sara I am now blogging! I have a lot to share with you. I hope you gain encouragement to do much for yourself and welcome shared thoughts from you.