Frosting? Icing? Or just make cake pretty stuff?

Oh Monday morning how you bring me so much joy. After a hectic weekend of catering for a horse show, visit to Melbourne Zoo, Melbourne Museum and Bridal Expo I am really quite happy to welcome Monday along.

After icing 4 doz cupcakes, three dozen cookies late into Friday evening I got into thinking about frosting/icing. What exactly does it all mean?

Thankfully the amazing Sweetapolita spread some wisdom on this exact issue. Here is a brief extract from her recent post on the topic;

 

Frosting? Icing? Tom-aa-to, tom-ah-to? Well, that depends. It depends on where are you live, and maybe even what the confection is made from. In some parts of the globe, people simply prefer to call all versions ”icing” and leave out the term “frosting” all-together. In Canada, we tend to use the word “icing” much more frequently than “frosting,” regardless of the dessert in question. Confused yet?

And then just when you get that straightened out, there are countless varieties of the sweet and creamy bliss: meringue buttercream, sugary frosting, ganache, royal icing, fondant, gumpaste, chocolate frosting, chocolate glaze, whipped cream frosting and more.

. Rolled Fondant

  • Some say “FOND-ent” and some say “fond-AHNT.” Both are accepted as correct, and you know I’ll love you no matter what, but can we all (please) unite and say “FOND-ent?” Also known, in some cases (such as in UK) as “sugarpaste.”
  • Made from icing sugar, corn syrup, oil and flavourings (and several other binding ingredients).

 2. Whipped Cream Frosting 

  • Made from whipping cream, sugar and vanilla.  Light, airy, not-so-sweet, cloud-like.
  • Best used for frosting and filling vanilla cake, berry desserts and cupcakes.

3. Ganache

  • Pronounced guh-nahsh.
  • Made by whisking chopped solid chocolate covered by warm heavy cream (36-40% fat content). In Canada, it’s more common to find whipping cream (35%), which is what I use.

4. Sugary Frosting

  • Also known as “american buttercream,” “icing,” “cupcake frosting,” and more. 

5. Chocolate Glaze

  • Made my melting chopped chocolate and butter together (sometimes corn syrup).

6. Gumpaste

  • Similar to fondant, gumpaste is a soft, knead-able “dough” for creating cake decorations. You would not, however, cover a cake, cupcake or cookie with gumpaste, as it dries rock-hard and really has no taste at all. 

 7. Chocolate Frosting

  • Chocolate version of sugary frosting. 

8. Meringue Buttercream 

  • Swiss Meringue Buttercream (aka SMB and SMBC) and Italian Meringue Buttercream (aka IMB and IMBC) are most popular variations. Both variations are the sophisticated cousin, of sorts, to the sweet and simple sugary frosting. Baking purists might say that meringue-based buttercream is the only actual “buttercream.” 

9. Royal Icing

  • Typically made from meringue powder/egg whites, icing sugar, cream of tartar and water.

 

To read the full article head on over to Sweetapolita

The following cakes are all wonderful creations from Sweetapolita.

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