About buttercream icing

Written by angela robinson
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About buttercream icing

No matter if you are icing a cupcake, birthday cake, wedding cake, or a cookie, the frosting is the most desirable addition to the baked creation. Buttercream icing is a popular choice of frosting because it is so rich in flavour. Typically, buttercream icing is made from scratch by simply using butter, confectioner's sugar and cream with the addition of vanilla or almond flavour for taste. The icing can be store bought also.

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Significance

Buttercream icing is used to frost cakes and cookies. It is widely used for covering wedding cakes, but it is also used to give other cakes and cookies a rich and flavourful icing. Its mixture of simple ingredients has the ability to turn an ordinary cake or cookie into a special treat.

Types

Buttercream icing can either be soft or stiff. You must know how you will use the frosting in order to determine the consistency. Stiff buttercream icing is a simple form of buttercream icing. It is used to form flowers and other embellishment for cake decorating. Due to the large amount of sugar content, stiff buttercream icing tends to form a thin crust when left untouched. The thin crust is what keeps the formation of the flowers, piping and other cake decor made with the icing.

Soft buttercream icing is used specifically to frost the cake or cookie. Adding additional cream to the stiff icing makes the consistency thin. Its thinness allows it to be spread easily. Due to the amount of cream added to the icing, the high sugar content is diluted. As a result of being diluted, the soft buttercream icing does not form a thin crust; making it difficult to hold the shape of a decoration.

Considerations

When adding colour to the frosting, consider using colour paste as opposed to liquid food colouring. When you use liquid food colouring, you could possibly alter the consistency of the icing which would make forming embellishments difficult. Colour paste can be found in the cake decorating aisle of your grocery or hobby store.

Effects

It is best to work with buttercream icing at room temperature. Placing the icing in the refrigerator will cause it to harden and crack, preventing you from being able to spread it evenly on the cake or cookie. If you must refrigerate the icing before using it, soften it by placing the bowl of icing in a double boiler. Never apply direct heat to the icing.

Misconceptions

It is common to believe that store bought buttercream icing has the ability to be used as cake decorating. In fact, store bought icings--such as Betty Crocker or Duncan Hines--are typically only soft. Homemade buttercream icing will have the ability to hold the form of the decorations because you are able to control the amount of cream that is added to the icing.

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