April 10, 2012

ISO the Perfect Frosting - Take One

Frosting? Icing? Whatever you choose to call it, I’m in search of the perfect one!

Craving a typical birthday cake for my birthday, and being left deflated by the traditional American buttercream, has sent me on a quest for the perfect frosting. I am looking for a frosting that is light and smooth, not overly sweet, and easily workable. I am not interested in being able to pipe intricate details, flowers, or anything of the sort on my baked goods.

I decided to start with flour frosting. Selecting 3 different sources and finding that they were all near identical, I created two variations and amended the methods as necessary. I was pleased with how the flour frosting with granulated sugar turned out. It was mildly sweet and had a full texture for being so light. With the confectioner's sugar, the butter was overpowering, which led to a greasy frosting that wasn’t sweet at all. It did pipe smoothly, but I suspect that's all thanks to the butter.

I have my go to for chocolate frosting, it’s decadent in all its fudgy simplicity. I’ll go more into detail about that one in a future post along with a super moist chocolate cake.
Next up will be a Swiss meringue buttercream, stay tuned...

Flour Frosting
1 C heavy cream, can also use whole milk
1/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C granulated sugar or confectioner's sugar (10X)
1 t vanilla
1/2 t salt

The above recipe makes enough to frost 24 standard size cupcakes or fully ice a 2-layer, 9-inch cake.
In a small saucepan, whisk flour into milk and then add the salt. Heat on medium-high, whisking constantly until it thickens to the consistency of pudding. It may seem like it isn't going to thicken and then, voila!, it's done. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Once cool, stir in the vanilla and set aside.

If using granulated sugar, complete using method below.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the cooled milk mixture and beat for about 5 more minutes.

If using confectioner's sugar, complete using method below.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. Add the cooled milk mixture, combining well. Add the confectioner's sugar in 4 increments and then beat for about 5 minutes.

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