Posts tagged Frosting
Posts tagged Frosting
Here are some simple tips and techniques to help you make beautiful cupcakes. If you have ever been curious about the pretty, ruffly swirls… I’m hear to show you how simple it really is! Piping frosting on cupcakes is actually quicker than spreading it on, and the results are much fancier!
Ready to make some beautiful cupcakes?
A large pastry bag
A Wilton 2D or 1M tip (the 2D is a closed star, the 1M is an open star, the end results are similar, with the 2D being slightly more ruffly)
A batch of delicious, thick icing (my favorite American Buttercream)
Baked and cooled cupcakes
1. Hold the piping bag straight up, start frosting from the outside edge (about 12 o’clock position), and begin swirling around the outside edge.
2.-3. Continue squeezing with constant pressure as you work around the edge of the cupcake (I go counter-clockwise, but I don’t think you have to).
4.-5. Continue in a spiral motion, creating another layer of icing, working in toward the center.
6. Finish the spiral in the center, release pressure on the bag, and pull straight up.
Voila! A beautifully frosted cupcake. At this point, you could add sprinkles and you have a beautiful dessert perfect for most any occasion.
A few notes… the most common problem people seem to have with piping frosting on cupcakes is the frosting not being thick enough to hold it’s shape. Make sure your ingredients (butter, milk, etc) are nice and cool as you make your icing, and make sure not to add too much liquid. If you find the icing a bit soft, you can put it in the refrigerator to firm up a bit, or if necessary add a bit more powdered sugar.
As with any craft or skill, making beautiful cupcakes requires a bit of practice and experimentation… but it shouldn’t be too hard to find people willing to eat your “practice”.
** Credits: TheTomKatStudio
WHAT YOU WILL NEED:
Tip: Start each rosette from the outside and work inwards.
Tip: Don’t do more than 3 – 4 rosettes at a time to avoid air bubbles from popping your rosettes. Simply remove your rosette with a teaspoon if you make a mistake.
Tip: Fill in any gaps with a star shape and don’t be afraid to do some wonky rosettes to avoid gaps.
This recipe is very simple to make. All you need is unsalted butter, powdered sugar, vanilla, and a little milk (or cream if you prefer).
To being with I always slice up the butter, even if it’s been sitting out. This makes it easier for the mixer to whip it up.
Give it a good beating on a medium speed until it has paled in color.
Next add in your powdered sugar.
Getting it all over your kitchen aid in the process is not obligatory, but that’s just how I roll.
Add in your vanilla and milk and beat until it’s combined. It should be nice and stiff, otherwise it won’t hold it’s shape when you pipe it. If it is too runny, place it in the fridge for 10 minutes.
Now you just have to prepare your icing bag. My favorite pipping tip for cupcakes is a large open star like this Ateco one.
I always put the pipping bag into a tall glass. It’s the easiest way to fill it up with icing.
Then just pipe your swirls and add the sprinkles of your choice. Easy!
Guest Blog: Summer
When I was first teaching myself to work with fondant, I found one of the hardest parts was actually covering the cake and having it look smooth. I struggled with pleats around the bottom, cracking and tearing fondant and corn starch or powdered sugar spots all over the fondant.
I looked at pictures and instructions, watched youtube videos and read forums. While there is a lot of good information out there, I felt like there was a lack of good suggestion all in once place or the videos went by so quickly. I watched adept hands make quick work of covering a cake with no issues and I struggled to figure out what they were doing.
I’m going to take you through my biggest tips and pointers for getting a nice finish so you can learn to cover your cake without pleating, tearing, holes, or any other frustrating issues that have you beating your head against the counter. This is good for those new to fondant as well, however, I will say that watching videos does help immensely so combine my information with some other videos and information out there.
Tip 1: Start with the right fondant
I originally used marshmallow fondant. While it’s easy to make and I’ve seen other people achieve professional-looking results with it, I found it sticky and hard to work with and I had issues getting it the right consistency. I started making fondant from scratch and the best recipe and the one I use all the time is Michele Foster’s Fondant recipe. A half batch (what I usually make) will cover up to one 10-inch round and it’s actually not all that hard to make.
One thing I found that really helped me was to buy a package of pre-made, high quality fondant to see what the consistency was like. That way I could better achieve the correct consistency when making it at home. I bought a container of Satin Ice, but I’ve heard good things about FondeX. Just avoid the Wilton stuff, okay? (Ick!)
Tip 2: Get your icing as smooth as possible
The icing on your cake (under the fondant) should be as smooth and hard as possible. For this reason, many people really like working with ganache under fondant. You can get it as smooth as glass and it sets up as hard as a rock. I like ganache, but it’s really rich and expensive so I mostly work with meringue buttercreams under my fondant which also provide a nice smooth surface. I use metal bench scraper and an icing spatula to get my buttercream smooth before I apply my fondant.
Tip 3: Knead your fondant in pieces
I divide my fondant into several pieces to knead it. Then I zap each piece in the microwave for two 5-second increments to soften it slighty (no more than 5 seconds per zap or you’ll melt it!) and then I work it on the counter. I keep the other chunks wrapped in plastic wrap so that they don’t get dry and crusty while I work.
While I’m kneading each section, I add a dollop of shortening and a dollop of glycerine to soften the fondant and make it smoother and more pliable. The shortening also helps the fondant to be less sticky. That way, you can use less corn starch (or powdered sugar) when you’re rolling. Corn starch and powdered sugar leave white stuff everywhere and can dry out your fondant.
Once you’ve gotten all the chunks kneaded individually, put them together and knead the fondant until it’s warm, soft, smooth and pliable. Remember silly putty? It should be a lot like that in consistency
Tip 4: Put away the spray bottle
I had always read that you should spray the cake with water (after frosting) before putting the fondant on. This never worked properly for me. The coverage was always uneven, with some spots too wet and some too dry, and the fondant was always slipping around and gooey. What a mess!
Then I watched someone apply piping gel with a pastry brush on youtube. Ding! I don’t generally have piping gel on hand, but the pastry brush works perfectly. I generally use water with a small amount of tylose powder dissolved in it (which is what I use to adhere pieces of fondant or gumpaste together when making my figures or applying them to the cake). But water works, too. The coverage is nice and even and you can apply it pretty thinly. It also helps do some final smoothing on your cake. Win!
Tip 5: Use your corn starch or powered sugar sparingly
Less is more. My preferred anti-stick is corn starch. Really, you don’t need much corn starch to keep the fondant from sticking to your counter and rolling pin. I dust just a slight amount on my slightly flattened disc of fondant, rub it around, flip and do the same on the other side. Then I sprinkle a small amount around the countertop where I’ll be rolling.
As I roll, I put my hands under and all around the edges to make sure it isn’t sticking to the counter. If need be, I sprinkle just a bit underneath and rotate the fondant slightly to distribute.
Tip 6: Roll it out bigger than you think it needs to be
Measure your cake across the top and sides. Got that added up? Great, add another 2 inches to the dimension. So if you measured 10 inches across the top and your cake is 3 inches tall, that’s 16 inches of cake total. Roll out the fondant to at least 18 inches. I actually like a little more. More fondant along the bottom means you have more to work with when it comes to lifting and smoothing around the bottom and less opportunity for pleating and folding along the bottom.
Tip 7: Roll it up
When you’re ready to put it onto the cake, roll the whole thing back onto your rolling pin. Don’t try to lift it with your arms or your hands and put it onto the cake. You’ll get more air bubbles if you try to do it like that. The rolling pin method allows you to roll it slowly over the top of the cake.
Tip 8: Secure the top edges first
Once you’ve rolled it onto the cake, secure all around the very top first. This will prevent the weight of the fondant from pulling away from the edge and tearing your fondant. The other thing that helps prevent fondant from tearing and breaking is the glycerine and shortening you added when you kneaded the fondant earlier as well as using a scant amount of corn starch (or powdered sugar).
Tip 9: Lift up and in
Now you’re going to work your way down from the top, smoothing out the fondant. Work your way around the cake, smoothing a half inch to an inch at a time all the way around, then keep going around until you get to the bottom. Sounds easy, no? This is the moment of truth. The trick? As you smooth with one hand, use your other hand to lift up the excess fondant on the bottom and push in towards the cake just slightly. It sounds completely counterintuitive, but just try it. Up and in. All that excess will help you with this. Keep lifting as you smooth down.
Tip 10: Cut, smooth, cut
Once you’ve smoothed it all out with your hands all the way around, cut off all the excess with a pizza or pastry cutter.
Then use a fondant smoother to smooth it all down. Push in and move it up and down all around the cake. You’ll end up with a little bit more along the bottom edge. Use your cutting wheel to cut it again as close as you can to the bottom edge.
Tip 11: Use a butter knife to get a clean edge
Are you always putting something around the bottom of your cake to hide that ragged edge? I take a butter knife and work my way around, using it to gently remove and/or tuck in any excess underneath and create a nice smooth edge.
If there’s still a lot you didn’t get, use the pizza cutter again. If it’s just a tiny bit stuck to the cake board, you can scrape it off with the butter knife. If there’s some that is uneven, use the butter knife to press it gently up into the cake.
That’s it! Now you have a smooth cake with no folds or pleats and a nice clean edge along the bottom. Now you don’t have to worry about positioning your decorations to cover up your mistakes!
*Photo Credits: Sugar Coated Chronicles
Ever wonder how some people can make their cupcakes turn out so pretty? The trick is to pipe the icing onto your cupcakes instead of just frosting it on with a butter knife.
Piped icing makes cupcakes taller, more elegant, and in my opinion more tempting. It’s not overly difficult to learn to work with a piping bag…Yes you do it with a little practice!
One stumbling block in learning to pipe is that it can be messy to get the icing from the bowl into the bag. That is why I am going to show you how to avoid the frustration of getting the icing all over your hands, tools and counter.
This easy tutorial will start you out with a solid foundation for your icing adventures. Neat freaks—this lesson is for you!
What You’ll Need
1. A bowl of fresh room temperature icing. In this example, we’re using vanilla meringue buttercream.
2. A reusable piping bag. I like to use Ateco bags , but what you’re looking for is a sturdy bag that’s fairly large so you don’t have to refill it too many times while you are working. If you only plan to make small batches, then a smaller bag will do just fine.
3. A large piping tip. For this example I’m using an open star tip.
4. A rubber spatula.
5. A plastic bowl scraper that has a straight edge…and your secret weapon.
6. A tall glass or mug. A glass that’s about this shape.
Let’s get started!
Drop your tip down into the piping bag, small side down. Notice I am not using a plastic coupler here - it’s not really necessary unless you’re going to be switching the tip a lot with the same icing in the bag. I just use lots of bags, usually one per flavor.
Take your newly tipped bag and put it into your tall glass or mug. Putting the bag in a mug or glass just makes it easier if you are new to the experience. Fold the top edges of the bag down around the outside of the glass, about halfway down. Congratulations, you are ready to fill your bag with that delicious icing you just made (or bought…I won’t tell)! Once you are more comfortable with the process, you can fold the bag over one hand and fill it with the other.
Above, you can see the no-glass method.
Grab your trusty spatula and start transferring icing into the bag. Don’t worry if you get icing on the edges. You turned it inside out for a reason. You will be filling it about halfway, which will allow you enough control of what you are piping, plus give you something to hold onto at the top.
Once you’ve filled the bag up to the edge of the glass, or maybe just a little higher, lift the bag up by the edges and gently shake everything down toward the tip. Satisfying, right?
Take the flat edge of your bowl scraper and push any remaining icing down.
Grasp the top of the bag and give it a twist or two to make the icing snug and cozy inside.
Holding the bag as pictured, squeeze a little icing back into your bowl to get rid of any air pockets.
You now have a perfectly filled icing bag that is ready to begin decorating delicious cupcakes!
As much as I love American fudge frosting, nothing beats the decadent, indulgent taste and texture of chocolate ganache. Made of pure chocolate and heavy cream, ganache is a chocolate lovers best friend. It’s versatility as a glaze, decorative piping, and whipped cream answers the need for icing, frosting, and filling.
Below I have pictured 3 different ways to adorn cupcakes using the same recipe. As a glaze, you can easily pour ganache over cakes for a nice smooth finish.
If you are looking for a chocolate whipped filling, look no further. Just whip the ganache as you would heavy cream, making sure your mixing bowl and beater are nice and cold. And whatever you do, not put your ganache in the freezer with the hopes of whipping it. It will not whip and have a curdly like texture.
For a thick frosting or decorative piping, allow the ganache to cool for a truffle like texture.
Anyway you decide to eat it, this ganache will satisfy your sweet tooth and chocolate cravings.
Below are step by step photos to guide you. Enjoy!
Place chocolate pieces in a large bowl. Heat heavy cream on medium high until it comes to a boil. Remove from heat and immediately pour cream over chocolate and stir until completely mixed and glossy. Allow ganache to cool before pouring over cakes as a glaze.
The longer you allow the ganache to cool, the thicker it will set. Typically I stick mine in the refrigerator so it is slightly cold before whipping.
For piping or frosting, allow the ganache to completely cool and set up. When you are able to spoon the ganache and it can hold its texture, it is ready for piping.
Materials Needed: All you really need to frost this cake is:
Step 1: Follow steps 1-4 over here until the cake has it’s basic layer of crumb coat and has chilled. The cake should be cold and the frosting should be room temperature.
Step 2: Fill a large pastry bag with icing and create a row of straight dots going from top to bottom.
Step 3: Gently spread each dot with a knife, cleaning the knife on a rag as necessary to make sure the scallops are even.
Step 4: Create another row of dots where the frosting ends and spread each dot with a knife. Repeat over and over until the whole cake is finished. (Pro tip: It’s easy to remove a mistake with a knife and begin a row again.)
Step 5: When the scallops end add a final row of dots to “seal” the seam for a finished look.
* Photo Credits: Oh Happy Day