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What's your secret?

post #1 of 52
Thread Starter 
Hello friends!
It is now 12:21 am and I am headed for bed after making 9 batches of icing for the last 2 hours. It always takes me so long to do!

Anyway, here's my question-
I have read about so many different little tricks and secret ingredients that some of you add to make your favorite icing. Soooo, what's your secret? How do you make that perfect icing that people just "oooh" and "ahhh" about?

My secret is that I add LorAnn's Bavarian Cream flavored oil to each batch of icing, especially chocolate buttercream. I use this either instead of or in addition to the vanilla extract. I love it especially in the buttercream recipe that uses half butter, half Crisco.

Okay, I had better get in bed. I've been on here too long, but what can I say, I may be a "Junior Member," but I am a forum addict! icon_lol.gif

Brandi
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post #2 of 52
I use just a little heavy cream and a pinch of salt in my bc every time. People tell me that they love my bc because it's not soooo sugary sweet and it doesn't overpower the flavor of the cake. Funny - professional chefs and the like say that a pinch of salt makes sweet things taste sweeter - but IMO it balances the sweetness with the actual flavor of whatever you add it to....for example: if you've used butavan or hazlenut flavoring or whatever - you can taste the flavoring, the butter and the sugar all seperately - but it's all balanced more evenly.
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post #3 of 52
Thread Starter 
I'm with you, I always add a pinch of salt to help balance the flavor.
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post #4 of 52
I added flour to the batch of practice frosting I made yesterday. I really dislike crisco/pwd sugar buttercream and the flour at least masked the sicky-sweet taste. icon_razz.gif
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post #5 of 52
I usually add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp of almond extract - I get so many compliments on the flavor - I've had some people tell me they don't usually like buttercream but it's not so sweet - I guess it helps!
post #6 of 52
Wow ..secrets they're so many.
As for myself I use a little heavy cream in my Buttercream recipe.I don't use crisco I prefer usuing the unsalted sweet cream butter with a mixed flavored extract.
It's just a recipe I use and every one likes it, I don't mess with it.
I once used just half (4oz) of cream cheese in a buttercream recipe with heavy cream and just a 1/2 teaspoon of a flavored liquer in a recipe once..Now that got plenty of good reviews.
But it's up to each individual.
post #7 of 52
I usually add 1 tsp of butter flavoring and almond flavoring....I'm excited to try the salt technique....Anyway....people seem to love it (except my sis who doesn't like almonds)
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post #8 of 52
I also just use butter, not shortening, a little heavy cream and a pinch of salt. Oh, and vanilla. People always tell me they like it!
post #9 of 52
Chefgirl,

I just learned how to make real buttercream and love it. However, I found it too soft except for the most basic of decorations. How do you decorate with the real buttercream? Do you keep your buttercream in an icebath?

I will still make "practice" frosting out of crisco and pwd sugar just for convience sake. And yes, I add vanilla and almond to the crisco based frosting. It still tastes icky. The flour really helped with the taste. It now has a neutral flavor.
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post #10 of 52
I would have to say it's my mexican vanilla and corn syrup add to the buttercream.
post #11 of 52
How much flour do you add?
post #12 of 52
I always make my icing with just crisco, mostly because everyone seems to want "pure white" icing. I use vanilla, almond and butter extract, and ALWAYS add salt. It really does make a huge difference.

I know crisco icing isn't "as good", but I've never had a complaint!
Steph

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?" --Mahatma Gandhi
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Steph

"What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?" --Mahatma Gandhi
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post #13 of 52
I added about 2tbls to a 2lb bag of pwd sugar. I just kept adding a little until the sugar taste no longer set my teeth on edge. I also added a splash of Smirnoff Appletini just cause I like experimenting.

I don't think people would complain about the crisco based frosting because people are used to grocery store cakes. Our grocery store bakeries here vary widely in the taste of their frostings. Kroger has the absolutely worst frosting and people just scrape off some of the frosting. We're conditioned to it so no one makes a big deal about it. Little kids fight over the piece of cake with the most frosting, not adults. My 5yr old really doesn't care how mommy makes the frosting as long as it gets made!

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post #14 of 52
Didn't mean to upset anyone with the butter vs. crisco comment. It's just what you, and your customers, prefer.
Bubblezmom, I also love the real buttercream. I don't know that I would use an icebath, you don't want it that cold. It is hard decorating with it sometimes, especially when your hands heat up the bag. Maybe have a couple bags filled and swap out. Put one in the fridge for a few minutes to cool it off. And make sure you keep the bowl in a cool place. I haven't done much more with it than basic decorations, so I guess I'm not much help there.
post #15 of 52
I live in Houston and it is Hot Hot Hot. Seems most cakes I make are for outdoor parties so I've only made real buttercream once. I stick to Crisco so it won't melt off the cake!
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