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Thread: Frosting?

  1. #1
    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Frosting?

    I make a lot of cakes and cupcakes and such, and I usually use a pretty basic buttercream--butter and shortening (I think all-butter has a sort of heavy taste and feel), powdered sugar, a little vanilla, a little milk.

    Occasionally I'll make a cream cheese frosting instead. I've used marshmallow fluff a couple of times and that was quite nice, and when I made a key lime pie cake for the hubs's birthday I used evaporated milk.

    But--gasp and alas!--Hubs admitted to me the other day that he generally finds my frostings too sweet.


    I've considered/am considering a whipped cream frosting, which would be fine for a round layer cake but I have no idea how I'd store two dozen cupcakes (or even a dozen, to be honest) in my little British fridge.

    So I was hoping somebody might have some ideas for me, for a less-sweet frosting that can still be stored at room temperature? It's fine if it can only be safely stored at room temp for a couple of days, but I'd really like to avoid anything that can't be kept outside the fridge.

    (I can and have made chocolate cupcakes and just dusted them with powdered sugar, which is fine, but frosting is fun! )
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  2. #2
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Rats, sorry, all my recipes are fridge icings.

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    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Please share them anyway, though, if you feel like it/have time. I do sometimes make cakes that I have fridgespace for, so...

    I've found a few things on Google, but I thought you guys A) would probably have some good ones, and B) some of you might also like some less-sweet frosting recipes.
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    MacAllister's Official Minion & Greeter AW Moderator Ari Meermans's Avatar
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    Stacia, hubs might like this one. There's no sugar added and I've gotten so many compliments on it from those who don't like super sweet frosting that it's my "go to" cake frosting now. The white chocolate is plenty sweet enough and it also helps the finished frosting to stay firm.

    UNFORGETTABLE WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

    4-6 ounces white chocolate baking bar (or 4-6 1 oz. blocks), chopped
    1 (3 ounce) pkg. cream cheese, softened
    1 1/2 cups butter, cut in pieces

    In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat. Cool until only slightly warm.

    In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add butter; beat until fluffy. Gradually add cooled chocolate, beating until well blended. Refrigerate just long enough for butter and cream cheese to firm back up to spreading consistency.

    Makes enough frosting for a 9-inch 3-layer cake or a 17 1/2 x 11 1/2-inch sheet cake.

    Admittedly, it will have to be refrigerated eventually; but it should hold up to normal room temp for a whole day.

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    My most requested frosting is a chocolate ganache, which while not too sweet does need to be refrigerated (2 cups whipping cream, 8oz semisweet chocolate, vanilla).

    My next favourite is this one from epicurious, it is a cream cheese frosting but has brown sugar and oj concentrate in it - delish!

    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/fo...rosting-102419

    I also used to make a frosting called "sea foam" which was a version of the 7 minute frosting - but using brown sugar. This is basically a meringue -marshmallowy type but it's quite light - even though it's sweet it doesn't "read" quite so sweet because of the texture. If you google "Sea Foam Frosting" quite a few recipes pop up.
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    I just remembered eating a cooked frosting that had flour in it that was very good and not too sweet (not sure if it should be refrigerated or not). A quick google came up with this recipe from a cooking blog, but there were others.

    http://foodiewife-kitchen.blogspot.c...-frosting.html
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  7. #7
    but appreciated anyway... Unimportant's Avatar
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    Mine is basically a ganache-turned-frosting: Heat 150 mL cream to boiling. Add in 150 g chopped dark/bittersweet chocolate and stir till melted. Refrigerate till cool and slightly thickened. Beat with hand mixer till slightly stiff and fluffy, and the colour lightens to about milk-chocolate brown. Use to ice cake immediately as it hardens quickly.

  8. #8
    Pinkamena Diane Pie chloecomplains's Avatar
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    I'm a professional cake decorator and I loathe--LOATHE--buttercream for its sweetness. Because I teach decorating, I have to use buttercream with my students, but at home, I pretty exclusively use a roux based icing.

    In a saucepan, heat over medium:
    1c milk
    2T cornstarch
    whisking constantly until it gets really thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low and continue to whisk for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat and cover with plastic wrap. You'll have to place the plastic wrap on the surface of the roux, not the pan, but you can set it down gently and not burn yourself. Allow to cool to room temperature.
    In your mixing bowl, cream together:
    1c butter (softened)
    1c granulated sugar
    flavoring of choice--I always like to warm it up with some almond in addition to vanilla
    Once that's fluffy, start adding in your cooled roux. You'll want to add about a 1/2 to full cup at a time, and mix on medium speed until smooth each time. Once you have the roux completely added, mix until you can no longer feel the sugar granules when you taste it. It takes awhile to get there, but it will, and it will be much smoother than any uncooked buttercream.

    This icing does need to be kept cool. You've set yourself up for a bit of an impossible scenario looking for a icing that's less sweet and doesn't require refrigeration; the high sugar content is the preservative in buttercream. However, if you have a cellar or other colder room in your house, you can store it there, and it actually stays a bit more stable than in the fridge. My basement is typically around 50 degrees (F) when I'm not down there working, and I don't have any problems storing it there.

  9. #9
    Impractical Fantasy Animal sunandshadow's Avatar
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    Maybe a peanut-butter-based icing would be less sweet and also warmth tolerant?

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    the original blond bombshell MaryMumsy's Avatar
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    "I've considered/am considering a whipped cream frosting, which would be fine for a round layer cake but I have no idea how I'd store two dozen cupcakes (or even a dozen, to be honest) in my little British fridge."

    How about leaving the cupcakes out, and only put the whipped cream on when you are serving them? That way you only need fridge space for the whipped cream.

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    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    My mom used to make a cake topping... Butter and brown sugar cooked on the stove for a little while, then coconut mixed in. Spread on cake, put under broiler until bubbly. Totally counter stable.
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    I loved that cake Jen! It was a hot milk cake called "Lazy Daisy" cake that my mom used to make often.

    Hmm.. I should remind her that she hasn't made it in a while.
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  13. #13
    PBS Mind/MTV World Sarita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chloecomplains View Post
    You've set yourself up for a bit of an impossible scenario looking for a icing that's less sweet and doesn't require refrigeration; the high sugar content is the preservative in buttercream.
    This is what I was thinking.

    I have two refrigerator frostings/icings to contribute.

    I make a cream cheese frosting that isn't too sweet. 8oz cc and 1/2 stick butter. Room temp and whipped to a frenzy. Then almond extract and just a cup to a cup and a half of powdered sugar, just to thicken up the mix.

    Also, I LOVE this glaze-ish stuff that Jamie Oliver makes. It's delicious on his squash cupcakes and on just about anything else, including the tips of your fingers (who am I kidding, fistfuls are delicious, too.) My family is wild about this entire recipe, but the glaze really makes it.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/j...ipe/index.html
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  14. #14
    Girl Detective AW Moderator Stacia Kane's Avatar
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    Thank you so much, guys! I'm really excited about trying these.


    BTW, if we're talking glazes, I've used that Carnation canned caramel, heated to melt, as a glaze for pumpkin bundt cake. I've also glazed pumpkin bundt cakes with just melted cinnamon-sugar butter (melt 1/4 cup or so of butter with a couple Tbsp of sugar and a couple tsp of cinnamon, or to taste).
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    Pinkamena Diane Pie chloecomplains's Avatar
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    Oh, glazes are a great idea! I don't get the opportunity to use them much (can't really pipe a rose out of them...) but an excellent alternative.

    It also made me think of something else: if you want to cut down on the sweet but not sacrifice appearance, have you thought at all about petit fours? I could be going WAY outside the box here, and if you've never dabbled in poured fondant, I won't lie and tell you it's going to go awesomely the first time around. There's a lot of dumb luck and prayer in getting good, even coverage out of it. The perk is a standard cupcake is a great first-time petit four, and you can spruce it up with some piped buttercream decorations.

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    This is going to be "cheating" but I use a half of a small container of store bought frosting and a 8oz pack of philly. I've heard good things about it.
    Last edited by JustinlDew; 02-26-2013 at 02:31 PM. Reason: Wasn't specific?
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    the world is at my command jennontheisland's Avatar
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    I thought of Stacia and this thread as I was finishing 60 minicupcakes to take to my gamer group tomorrow for The Boy's birthday. Dark chocolate and I wanted a shelf stable topping.

    Icing sugar, a bit of vanilla and .... Rose's Lime Cordial. The glaze tastes like that powdered candy that came with a candy stick! Dip the cupcakes in the glaze, then press into shredded coconut. They firm up nicely, and the glaze kinda sparkles underneath. Plus, you got the lime and the coconut.

    I feel like some kind of freaky genius and I'm totally proud of myself on this one.
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    I love that idea Jenn. I always have Rose's Lime Cordial in my pantry (just in case the urge to make a Shandy comes upon me) it never occured to me to use it in baking.
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  19. #19
    Dr. Sniffles will see you now. A Li Shan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ari Meermans View Post
    Stacia, hubs might like this one. There's no sugar added and I've gotten so many compliments on it from those who don't like super sweet frosting that it's my "go to" cake frosting now. The white chocolate is plenty sweet enough and it also helps the finished frosting to stay firm.

    UNFORGETTABLE WHITE CHOCOLATE FROSTING

    4-6 ounces white chocolate baking bar (or 4-6 1 oz. blocks), chopped
    1 (3 ounce) pkg. cream cheese, softened
    1 1/2 cups butter, cut in pieces

    In a heavy saucepan, melt chocolate over low heat. Cool until only slightly warm.

    In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add butter; beat until fluffy. Gradually add cooled chocolate, beating until well blended. Refrigerate just long enough for butter and cream cheese to firm back up to spreading consistency.

    Makes enough frosting for a 9-inch 3-layer cake or a 17 1/2 x 11 1/2-inch sheet cake.

    Admittedly, it will have to be refrigerated eventually; but it should hold up to normal room temp for a whole day.
    This is similar to Rose Levy Birenbaum's Dreamy Creamy White Chocolate Frosting, and it is really delicious. There's enough sweetness in the white chocolate that you don't need to add any sugar. I think Rose has you add a little creme fraiche or sour cream, but at any rate this is my frosting stand-by.
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  20. #20
    I aim to misbehave Myrealana's Avatar
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    My husband's favorite frosting is the one my mom called "French cream frosting" but the recipe book where we found it just calls it "White frosting."

    1 Cup milk
    1/4 cup all purpose flour
    1/2 cup shortening
    1/2 cup butter
    1 cup sugar
    1 tsp Vanilla extract

    In a small saucepan, combine the milk and flour. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until it reaches a boil and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

    While the milk mixture cools, cream together the butter, shortening, sugar and vanilla.
    Add the cooled milk mixture and beat with an electric mixer for at least 7 minutes, or until frosting comes together smoothly.

    This can be finicky about temperature. Make sure the hot milk is thoroughly cooled before adding it to the butter. If you put it in while it's too warm, you end up with frosting the texture of melted ice cream. It's still tastes really good, but it doesn't stay on the cake at all.
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  21. #21
    Pinkamena Diane Pie chloecomplains's Avatar
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    Myrealana, that's technically an Ermine. I always see it listed as 'fluffy white' in my cookbooks, and your mom is right saying it's a French style. With the shortening substitution, I'm not sure if it's correct labeling it a 'butter roux', but it is an ermine.

    This is no way adds to this thread, I just thought I'd put a little insight into why you've heard it a couple different ways.
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  22. #22
    Loving you...waiting for you. Colchise's Avatar
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    I know I'm new here, but I feel as though I may be able to help.

    As far as a frostimg that can withstand room temperature, I'd go with a mixture of shortening and butter. (You want to use shortening to keep the butter from breaking down so fast in room temperature environments.)

    I'm primarily a "chocolate chef" (informally, actually), but what I do is I use a half-stick of shortening for a 9-inch 2-layer cake and one stick of UNsalted butter.

    Cream them together and add a pinch of salt, along with, I'd say, about a 3/4 cup to a cup of powdered sugar. I then add about a tablespoon of vanilla bean paste (which helps liquefy it to spreading consistency).

    This is just a basic "semi-buttercream" that you may be inclined to try--not to mention, it's not too sweet at all. People who buy my cakes often choose this frosting for that reason.

    Everyone knows, the less sugar you use, the more the actual ingredients stand out. The tough part is achieving that "balance".

    Hope this helps!

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