"In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed. "
- Ralph Emerson
A cake without icing is okay, but if you want your cake to look as amazing as it tastes, then incorporating some kind of filling or icing between the layers is something you must try. The terms icing and frosting are often used interchangeably, although there is a minor difference in that frosting usually lasts longer than icing.
If you are a home baker or just love baking and are looking for ways to take your cake to the next level, then here is a list of different types of icings that you can experiment with. All you will need is a little bit of practice and patience till it’s perfect!
1. Royal Icing – It is often referred to as edible glue because it sticks the cake decorations onto the cake wonderfully. Royal icing is made with raw egg whites, icing sugar and lemon juice and hence it lasts quite long. The egg whites are used to form soft peaks and the lemon juice and icing sugar are added until the mixture thickens, acquiring a smooth and creamy consistency.
2. Glaze Icing – If you want your cake to look super decadent and fancy, then glaze icing is your thing! It gives a runny but glossy sheen to the cake when it thickens. You can add a lot of fun flavourings to it like coffee liquor, chocolate syrup and orange juice to make it tastier. All you need is icing sugar and water along with the desired flavouring.
3. Ganache – “I don’t really like ganache” – said no one ever. This is one of the most popular icings and is a favourite among chocolate lovers. Ganache is really easy to make, all you require is fresh cream, butter and chocolate bars. You can even add in some liquor or espresso for that extra richness.
4. Salted Caramel Icing – This is a sweet, gooey icing which has a distinctive flavour. It is also quite the trend nowadays and is used in a lot of other baked goodies like cookies and tarts. It is not that hard to make at home, but even one small mistake can ruin the whole thing – so you have to be very careful. To make this icing, you need to heat sugar until it becomes a deep caramel colour and then mix it with some butter and heavy cream. Then stir this mixture continuously until it becomes creamy and thick.
5. Fondant Icing – As compared to the other types, fondant icing is not as flavourful. But it is still widely used by most bakers, just because it can be moulded into different kinds of shapes to make theme-based cakes. This icing is made using water, sugar and liquid glucose or cream of tartar. These ingredients are boiled together until the syrup reaches a ‘soft ball’ stage after which the mixture is kneaded into a smooth dough. If you want, you can then add various kinds of food colors or flavourings to make it more attractive.
So now that you can differentiate between the different types of cake icing, go ahead and try them out at home for your next celebration, be it a birthday party, theme party or anniversary celebration!