Following on from the previous blog post which you can find here, we're going to discuss icing. You've finally mastered the art of baking, but now it's time to ice those treats. Ever got so excited and thought 'it can't be that hard'until the result is just a pipping disaster and even your 5-year-old sister can do better. Same. Here are the different types of icing and some essential tips to enable you to be a Great British Bake Off pro!
Buttercream is an ultimate favourite of mine, it is the gem of the cake/cookie and is the perfect finishing touch, however, it doesn't always go your way. Sometimes when biting into that cupcake, you find that you're basically eating sand. This is due to the icing sugar. It's essential to buy high-quality icing sugar that has cane sugar! If the ingredients in the bag don't state this, then don't go there, unless you want grittiness.
Another common mistake when it comes to buttercream is that people don't use flavouring. Vanilla extract is always a favourite and adding a drop can make all the difference, however, don't go crazy and pour like a mad-man because this will make a bitter taste!
Royal icing is a cookies best friend if done right. Patience is critical, and the results look too good to eat, but it is a tricky one! The problem I've noticed most about royal icing is that air bubbles continuously appear, they cause a break in your string work and then it's pretty much ruined. To resolve this, you should mix your icing less vigorously, instead, let the icing rest in a bowl with a damp cloth on top. When it comes to covering cookies, you can quickly pop sneaky air bubbles with the end of a cocktail stick.
Bleeding, it's terrible! With a rainbow of colours, royal icing can seep and flow into other parts of your beautiful artwork. To prevent this disaster, leave dark coloured icing to sit and rest as this helps the colour to settle. Alternatively, ice the dark sections of your cookie first and leave them to set on their own for 24 hours before adding your extra colours.
Fondant icing means wedding cakes but let's go all posh with the tips and tricks, yeah? If you've ever tackled this form of frosting, then you'll have noticed that it can crack. The most important advice is to get the actual cake perfect. It's vital to have a super sleek crumb coated/ganache covered cake, and away you go.
Another top tip is to rub over the cracks in the opposite direction because the warmth from your fingers will make the icing easier to smooth over. Always use more fondant than needed, so you have more to play with! Different people prefer different fondant but make sure the texture is perfect. We think triple chocolate fudge Gookie Dough wrapped in fondant would be very fancy!
There's nothing like a gorgeous slice of carrot cake which is smothered in cream cheese frosting. The downside? Runny cream cheese frosting. NO! Why does this happen? What am I doing wrong? It could be that you overbeat your frosting or the temperature within the room is too high so of course, it melts.
It's important not to beat (remember, you should know what beating is now!) this form of frosting for longer than five minutes. It can also be down to low-fat content cream cheese which is why it's important to use the most delicious fattening pot you can get your hands on!
Now you don't have any excuse for perfect looking and tasting goodies. Now it's time to slather Gookie Dough in buttercream. Ooft!