This week I'm talking about buttercream icing which is a staple in cake decorating and when prepared correctly will save you much frustration and allow you to focus on the fun part of caking; decorating! If your buttercream is made incorrectly you will end up fighting with your icing rather than being able to focus on piping beautiful art!
There are a number of ways to make buttercream. Some recipes call for butter only some call for shortening only and some call for half and half. Today we will be talking about shortening based recipes, but we have included two recipes in this article for you to enjoy.
Shortening usually can be purchased in your local supermarket two ways. White shortening, which is unflavored shortening or yellow shortening which has been flavored to taste like butter. If you are making white icing you will want to make sure that you do not use butter flavored shortening otherwise your icing will not be white.
I will tell you that since Crisco changed their recipe in an effort to cut out trans-fats it has effected the way the buttercream icing tastes and feels. The trans-fat found in the original Crisco is what made your buttercreams tasty and didn't leave a greasy film on the roof of your mouth.
There is also another type of shortening that will make your buttercream tasty; High Ratio Shortening, which is a little harder to find but whips up smoother, creamier and is less greasy than traditional shortening. What's the difference you ask? High ratio shortening contains emulsifiers that allow your buttercream to hold more sugar and liquids before breaking down.
I will tell you that High Ratio Shortening is very expensive compared to Crisco but you will use less in your recipe and once you've tried it you'll have a hard time going back to Crisco. Use 2/3 cup of high ratio shortening for every 1 cup called for in the icing recipe.
Where can you buy it? Well that can be a little tricky. It's not readily available at the grocery store and if by chance your store does carry it, it will be packaged as just "High Ratio Shortening". It can be found online at CK products (packaged as High Ratio Shortening) or through a bakery supply company (or Cash & Carry/Smart and Final) as Sweetex. Sweeter also makes trans fat free shortening so be sure you check that label.
I have been told by other decorator's that a less expensive route is to purchase store brands of shortening. Just check the label and if it contains trans-fats then that shortening will be like the old Crisco before they changed the recipe. However, keep in mind this route will not have the same flavor as a Sweetex, but it will be easier on the pocket book and give you some of the other qualities that the new Crisco recipe no longer has.
The other thing I wanted to say when making your buttercream icing is that you don't have to use 100% shortening in your recipe. If you want to make it a little tastier, you can take the shortening amount called for in the recipe and split it in half using real unsalted butter for the other half.
So go which up a batch of buttercream and go create beautiful art!
Make it sweet or savory, but always delicious!
By Susan Carberry, Owner
The Cake Cottage
It's that time of year; Graduation! Why note create these cute Owl cookies for your Grads party!
Bake Cookies using Susan's favorite Sugar Cookie Recipe and Susan Carberry Designs owl cutter. Let cool.
The Body- Lighten some of the chocolate fondant by kneading it with a bit of white fondant. Roll out and cut using the owl cutter.
Using a small pizza cutter or palette knife cut off the lower end of the owl where the feet would be. Use a veining tool to draw lines in the fondant to resemble feathers.
Eyes - Roll out white fondant and cut two large and small circles using the makins round cutter set. Roll out dark chocolate fondant and cut out two medium size circles using the middle Makin's cutter and two small circles using the #10 Decorator Tip.
Attach using water.
Feet - Mix a tiny bit of orange fondant into the yellow fondant, roll out and cut for the feet. Use the veining tool to add lines for the toes.
Beak - Roll a small ball of the tinted yellow fondant into a teardrop shape and attach the large end beneath the eyes in the center. Use the small embroidery scissors to cut open the beak.
Belly - Mix white fondant with a bit of chocolate fondant to create tan. Roll into a long teardrop shape approx 2in long and flatten. Attach to the center of the owls body and use the embroidery scissors to cut v shapes creating texture.
Diploma - Roll out white fondant and cut into a 1 1/2 in wide by 2 1/4in tall strip. Roll the top end down and the bottom end under.
Attach using water. Dry Dust the edges using Classic Gold Sterling Pearl and use tip #2 with black royal icing for the inscription.
Highlights - Dry Dust the Orange Sterling Pearl on the beak and feet.
Cap - Melt the black chocolate in the microwave slowly to prevent burning. Be sure to stir it in between 15 second intervals. Pour into the candy mold. Tap the mold on the counter to release any air bubbles and place in freezer for 5 to 7 minutes. The caps should release easily by themselves. Attach the the two pieces together using a bit more of the melted chocolate.
Roll out a cord of blue fondant, cut in half and place the pieces next to each other. Twist them together to create the rope. Place blue fondant into the tassel mold and release. Attach rope cord, then the tassel and finish it off with a tiny ball of blue fondant on the top of the rope in the center of the hat. Mix the Classic Gold with lemon extract and paint highlights of gold on the tassel and rope.
Be sure to check out the trailer for this video and keep an eye out for additional Valentine's Day tutorials!
In this action packed video, Susan Carberry will show you how to create this adorable 3D Valentine's Bear using sugar cookie dough, rolled fondant and chocolate.
By Rose of The Cake Cottage
Fire up your ovens! Pulled out your pans! Gather all your ingredients, it's time to create your gingerbread master piece!
Epicurean Delight is holding an online gingerbread contest! Open to all those that love to create!
The contest is open from now until Dec 31, 2014. Winners will be announced on Jan 5, 2015. Prizes will be award from companies such as Luck's Food Decorating Company, Satin Ice Rolled Fondant, Edible Artist Network, Marvelous Molds, NY Cake,, Icing Images, Cakefu and Susan Carberry Designs! Prize range from product gift sets, silicone molds, cutters to books and annual magazine subscriptions.
Special Judges' pick awards include an autographed copy of "Great Cake Decorating: Sweet Designs for Cake & Cupcakes" by Craftsy Instructor and Author, Erin Gardner. As well class gift certificates and dvds by Lambeth expert, Kathleen Lange. And thats just a few mentions, there so much more!
Michele Hopps of Epicurean Delights
Susan Carberry of Susan Carberry Designs & The Cake Cottage
Peggy Tucker of School of Cakelogy
Erin Gardner of Wild Orchid Baking & Craftsy Instructor
Michelle Curran Aka Chef Mitchie of Mitchies Munnchies
Amelia Carbine of CakeFu
Jason Everett of Jason's Sugar Shack
If you are looking for inspiration check out our two Pinterest pages one with gingerbread house inspiration and the other with all things gingerbread.
Have fun with it and we look forward to seeing your creations!
Fall is finally here! The days are getting shorter and Halloween is right around the corner. During a recent Epicurean Delights teaching trip I spent a few days at The Cake Cottage in Murietta, CA. Susan Carberry is the shops owner.
If you live in Southern, California you may be familiar with her shop, her classes and her delicious jumbo cupcakes.
Can I just talk about those cupcakes for a minute...20 flavors to pick from. They are moist and iced with a tasty American Buttercream and adorned with cute edible decorations. My favorite picks include; Pina Colada, Cinnamon Streusel, Caramel Apple and Smores.
I just love wandering around her shop looking at the custom molds, sprinkles, tools and the largest selection of cutters I've ever seen. I have many of her custom copper cutters and use to sell them in my retail shop in NH. I just love them.
I had an opportunity to catch up with Rose who keeps The Cake Cottage in tip top shape and is Susan's right hand gal! She shared this fun tasty recipe with me on how to make Fall Candy Corn Bark. It consists of three layers of colored candy melts (Merkens) and each layer is flavored a different flavor. Its fast, fun, colorful and tasty.
I'm pleased they are allowing me to sharing the recipe with you! I can also tell you that it's a tasty addition to the top of one of The Cake Cottage's Pina Colada cupcakes. Perfect for a Halloween party. Enjoy this Epicurean Delight, we give it a big thumbs up!
Candy Corn Bark Recipe:
Courtesy of: The Cake Cottage