There’s one in every celebrating crowd. As the cake is about to be cut, they lay claim to the piece with the most icing via proclamation. I am that person. End piece please! If said cake includes edible garnishes, kindly pass them my way. The price of over consumption may come with a little tummy ache, but it’s worth it to this frosting loving fool. Icing as we know it didn’t begin to emerge until sometime in the 17 th century. And even then it was often only used to decorate elaborate display pieces for feasts of the wealthy. It wasn’t until the French began serving dessert as an entirely separate course (what took them so long??) that decorated cakes started to appear regularly. My obsession, er rather, affection for icing has led me to study the three most popular variations here at Haydel’s.
Arguably the most common, buttercream in its simplest form, is made by creaming butter with
powdered sugar, and can be used as icing and filling. Buttercream made with shortening and a higher sugar content tends to withstand warmer temperatures better than that made solely with butter. It is the least expensive icing option and easiest to manipulate for decorators. I tend to lose my mind around buttecream. It’s hands down my favorite when it comes to taste.
Rolled fondant is dough-like in nature. Often the most visually appealing, it produces a smooth satin finish and can be molded into nearly any shape. Rolled fondant can make for some showstopping creations. Although some may not agree that it’s as palatable as buttercream or the poured variety, it sure is sexy. Rolled fondant can be a bit pricier than other options depending on the intricacy of the design.
Sweet and creamy, poured fondant is often simply born out of sugar, corn syrup and water. A multi-talented medium, poured fondant is used on multiple bakery items. Petit fours, sugar cookies, king cakes, and cinnamon roles are bathed in it. The look of poured fondant on cake is elegant and delicate. It reminds me of days gone by…romantic, vintage. Of course it can also be the most temperamental. If not heated to the ideal temperature, poured fondant will be too thick to pour. If heated too high, it becomes too thin and will run off the cake. Treat it just right and a stunning and delicious reward awaits!
Tell us which one is your favorite. Not sure? Maybe it’s time for a taste test. And might I also suggest that you keep the wise words of author Ernestine Ulmer in mind, “Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first.” Live it up y’all! – M.T.
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