Cake is delicious, but no one can deny that frosting makes it better. This sugary, buttery ingredient turns even the most ho-hum cakes into magical delights. At first sight, it looks pretty simple, right? After all, frosting is nothing but sugar and butter.
Well, there are a surprising number of things that can turn problematic. From runny buttercream to patchy fondant, the list of frosting disasters is quite long.
Here’s a list of common frosting issues and the ways to avoid them. To master the skills, you can enrol yourself for the cake classes with GurgaonBakers.
Problem #1: My buttercream icing is never smooth
Solution: This often happens when you’re rushed for time. The key to a silky smooth buttercream is loads of patience. The best way is to prepare the icing the previous day and have it ready.
For smooth buttercream, you have to start with butter that is at room temperature. Take the butter out of the fridge, cut into small cubes and leave it in a bowl and let it come to room temperature on its own. Don’t do the mistake of heating it to quicken the process.
Whip the butter with your beater for around three minutes before you add the icing sugar. This helps to create an aerated, smooth texture. Whisk again after adding in icing sugar till it’s nicely incorporated and creates a smooth finish. All this mad more is covered in the cake classes.
Problem #2: My crumb coat is crumby
Solution: This is one common problem faced by most beginners. The problem here is that you’re frosting your cake while it’s still warm. When you frost the cake, as soon as it’s taken out of the oven, you are sure to get pieces of the crumbs speckling the frosting.
The fix here is to let the cake cool down completely. Better still, freeze the cake for around 30 minutes to one hour. This seals in the freshness and gives you a firm cake. Also, once you’re finished with the crumb coat, let the cake sit in the fridge for at least fifteen minutes before you apply the next layer.
Problem #3: My Buttercream piping skills are terrible
Solution: This isn’t an issue as such. With a few tutorials and a couple of hours of practice, you can pipe a decent cake.
However, there are a few things to check. The first is the temperature of your frosting. Too warm, you end up with runny buttercream, too cold it becomes difficult to pipe. The right buttercream should feel cool when you touch but must also be pliable.
Fill your frosting bag with icing up to the three-quarter mark. Then twist the top to remove air. Start with simple nozzles like the open star. Squeeze at the top of your icing bag and don’t hold the tip directly touching the cake. Place it a couple of inches away from the cake. Squeeze and lift to create a peak. Repeat all over.
To pipe rosettes, move the nozzle in a circular motion. Start from the outside and finish at the centre. Practice on parchment paper to build your confidence. Scoop up the icing and reuse it to get the hang of the design. Remember the adage, “Practice makes Perfection.” Our cake classes follow the same philosphy.
Problem #4: Whenever I try to drizzle icing on the cake, it looks blotchy
Solution: For perfect drizzle icing, the key is “Swiftness.” Don’t worry about your unsteady hand. The smoothness of the movement is what creates the perfect flow.
Hold the icing bag away from the surface of your cake, around 4-6 inches above your cake. Apply steady pressure, squeeze the bag, and draw a swift line of icing on top of the cake. Repeat the motion for a pronounced effect.
Problem #5: I have runny cream cheese frosting
Solution: Cream cheese frosting has a super soft texture when compared to buttercream. If you have a runny icing, the first step is to check if it’s warm. If yes, then pop it into the fridge for a few minutes, before you use it.
If that isn’t the issue, the next step is to check the ingredients. Always make use of full-fat cream cheese for the frosting. Look for recipes that have butter, as butter acts as a stabilising agent and gives body to the frosting.
The surest way for stiff cream cheese frosting is to whip together butter and icing sugar before you add the cream cheese. This prevents overbeating of cream cheese. Also, ensure that your cake is completely cooled down before applying the frosting.
Problem #6: I am unable to achieve the smooth finish with fondant
Solution: This one requires a bit of practice and the right equipment. Always invest in a quality turntable so that you needn’t lift or move your cake when covering it with fondant.
Place the fondant layer on top of the cake. Trim off the excess but don’t cut too near the cake. Working with extra layers or cutting too much can cause your fondant to tear. Then, start at the top of the cake and smooth the fondant to remove any air bubbles. Move your hands to the edges from the centre and work your way down towards the sides.
A cake smoother is a handy piece of equipment to smooth the fondant. Finally, trim the icing at the bottom to achieve a smooth finish.
Problem #7: My fondant doesn’t look even
Solution: The reasons for this may be any of the following. Check out the list and possible solutions.
Dull Looking Fondant – If you use cornstarch to roll your fondant, it can look dull. Swap cornstarch with shortening to avoid this issue.
Streaky fondant – Soften your fondant before you use in on your cake. Massage it well, to add elasticity. When you pull fondant, it should stretch. If it rips, then it means you should knead it.
Elephant skin – If your fondant looks wrinkly, then it means it’s dry. Use shortening as cornstarch can further dry it out.
Shadow in the middle of the cake – This appears when you use a light coloured fondant on a dark cake. Separate the layers by using a frosting that is in the same colour as the fondant.
Get that Picture Perfect Finish
Make use of these tips to overcome all your frosting fiascos. Don’t fear frosting. Instead, tackle it with confidence, and you’ll be creating stunning pieces of edible art in no time.
GurgaonBakers is reinventing the cake classes segment, we believe in the idea of spreading knowledge. For more information on this subject and/ or any related topic we are available at www.gurgaonbakers.com | 989-9988-185 | 98999-88185.