Guest Post

Tom, the article manager over at www.a-crock-cook.com/, sent me an article about different types of frosting/icing to post on my blog.  I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have a hard time differentiating between what frosting to use on what pastry.  Not anymore!
You should go check out the site!  Lot’s of good crock pot recipes! 🙂  The dessert section is obviously my favorite. 

The Secret of Perfect Icing
Whether we are making a devil’s food cake or cupcakes, the best finish to our handiwork has to be perfect icing. Indeed, the expression “the icing on the cake” more than sums up the importance of decorating cakes. Without it, the cake would taste very boring and it certainly wouldn’t look as good. Icing, or frosting, comes in many varieties and colors and you can vary it each time you bake.
One of the most interesting varieties has to be http://www.cupcake-creations.com/cupcake-icing-recipes.html as this determines the style of the whole cake. Putting the icing on a cupcake is an intricate art form and it is what has made these little cakes so popular. In fact, exclusive cupcake bakeries and cafes have opened based upon the many kinds of http://www.cupcake-creations.com/cupcake-decorations.html that they have on offer. 
Let’s take a look at the different kinds of icing that exist and what they are made from. They are good for any kind of cake, both large and small.
  • Marzipan – This sweet icing is made from sugar and almond meal, and some varieties contain a hint of rosewater. Marzipan is also traditionally used to create confectionery and candies in its own right. However, it is used to cover Battenberg cake – a sponge cake with a two-colored check pattern – and Prinsesstarta – a Swedish cake containing layers of cake, whipped cream, jelly, and pastry cream.
  • Fondant icing – This is used to decorate wedding cakes, and it is made from gelatin, glycerin, and sugar. Alternatively, it can be made from powdered sugar and melted marshmallows. Other flavorings, such as chocolate or lemon, are also added. The advantage of using fondant is that it is very smooth – hence its use in wedding cakes. It has recently become extremely popular in home use.
  •  Buttercream – This comes in several varieties. The simplest kind is made from butter, margarine, or shortening, creamed in with powdered sugar. Eggs and milk may also be added, along with flavorings according to taste. This kind of buttercream is the sweetest and easiest to make. However, if you would like meringue buttercream, you may want to add some sugar syrup (made from heating sugar and water together) to whipped egg whites and whip this mixture together till it has cooled to 100F. Another variation is French buttercream, which is made like the above recipe, but with egg yolks instead of whites. Then, once the sugar syrup and egg yolks have cooled down and made a light foam, butter and flavorings are added. This makes a rich, smooth, light icing. Use this kind of buttercream for plain icing rather than for decorations.
  • Royal Icing – this is made from beaten egg whites, confectioner’s sugar, and a drop of lemon juice. This is used as a smooth covering or as a decorative icing. It’s great if you want to make shapes, such as flowers or figures. Add some glycerin to prevent it from setting too hard. If you are a little nervous of using fresh eggs, substitute for meringue powder instead.
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