Friday, February 22, 2008

Which icing do you prefer?

When considering icing for your wedding cake, you normally have three options:
  • Buttercream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Fondant

Cream cheese frosting is not really an option here, as it will not hold its shape well enough to decorate with.

Buttercream icing is my preferred choice. It holds up well in most temperatures, is easy to work with, especially when creating details, it tastes great, and is easy to cut and serve. It also tints well, with paste color, or airbrush.

Whipped cream icings can be made with a stabilized whipped cream or a non-dairy whipped topping. It is easy to spread on the cake, and makes for a smooth finish. Some customers like it better because it is not as sweet as the buttercream and has a lighter texture. It is difficult to do detail work with whipped cream icing; it should mainly be used for borders. It also needs to stay cool, so it should not be left for long periods without refrigeration. It too is easy to cut and serve, but does not always tint well.

Fondant is quickly becoming the icing of choice for wedding cakes. It gives that smooth porcelain finish that looks great in pictures and holds up well in most temperatures, but it does have several negatives. It is more difficult to work with; therefore it usually costs more. It can also be difficult to cut and serve. The traditional fondant tastes pretty nasty. I have found a fondant recipe, made with marshmallows, that is much easier to work with, tastes much better, and is a little easier to cut. The fondant is rolled out (like pie dough) and carefully placed over the cake which has been frosted with a generous layer of buttercream. So, if your guests still don't like the taste of this fondant, they can always peel it off and still have the delicious buttercream underneath. Fondant covered cakes should not be refrigerated if you want to keep their "perfect" finish.

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