The basics of cake icing
Icing sugar decoration
To avoid damaging a decorated cake when storing, place the cake on the inverted lid of the storage container and cover with the base.
ICING & CAKES
My page “ The Universal Cake Recipe- One size fits all” has sparked some questions about icing and cake decorating. This is a fun subject. There is nothing more satisfying than icing a cake and of course, cleaning off the spatula at the end.
A cake with a simple home made icing is exactly the way cake should taste. Store bought cakes always have way to much icing in my view. All that sugar could be put to better use in a variety of recipes imminently more satisfying and better for you.
If you want to become a black belt cake decorator in no time at all, make simplicity your companion. Simple decorations are most attractive.
A sandwich cake looks perfect with a dusting of sifted icing sugar or a pattern made by sifting through a doily.
Unfilled sponges can be topped with glacée or butter-cream icing and a sprinkling of chopped nuts or chocolate polka dots (chocolate chips) to give contrasting texture and taste.
Fruit cakes are best left plain.
Icing should be firm but easy to spread. For the right consistency the ingredients must be in correct proportion to one another.
Glacée icing. The simplest type of icing . It is also known as water icing. The method of making simple glacée icing is shown here step-by-step.
The usual proportions are 30 ml [2tablespoons] warm water to every [100 g ¼ pound] icing sugar. As simple as that. Once more so it sinks in.
- 2 Tablespoons of water
- ¼ pound (100g) icing sugar
This is the most common icing, because it is easy and accessible, the basic skills of being a chef.
For flavoured glacée icing, simply use lemon, orange, pineapple or other fresh fruit juice in place of the water.
Colouring is a sticky issue these days with everyone being allergic to colouring and additives, so I tend to stay away from them, but if you need a blue cake there is little else you can do.
The good news is that most food colours these days are produced from vegetables in stead of chemicals. You can get the primary colours with no additives and make any colour you like, just like in grade school. You know, red & yellow make orange and yellow and blue make green etc…….
For butter-cream icing
- 50 g [2 oz] butter at room temperature
- [100 g ¼ pound] icing sugar.
Flavour with one of the following:
- 25 g [1 oz] melted chocolate
- 15 ml [1 tablespoon] cocoa powder
- 10 ml [2 teaspoons] coffee
- 2.5 ml [½ teaspoon] vanilla (or other flavour) essence
- finely grated zest
- juice of half an orange or lemon
- 15 g [½ oz] chopped nuts.
Butter-Cream & Glacée Icing Quantities
- 15 cm [6"] round - 100g [¼ lb] Icing Sugar
- 18 cm [7"] round – 175g [6 oz] Icing Sugar
- 23 cm [9"] round – 225g [½ lb] Icing Sugar