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Buttercream, the foundation frosting universally used by pastry chefs, has a versatile nature that makes it suitable for many delicious creations. Working with buttercream frosting, however, can be a trying experience for novice cake decorators. Practicing cake projects using the frosting eases uncertainty and turns possible frustration into an enjoyable artistic venture.
- Buttercream frosting in large mixing bowl
- Electric hand mixer
- Measuring spoons
- 3 pint-sized plastic containers with lids
- Corn syrup
- 1 box toothpicks
- Food colors
Add clear extracts to flavor buttercream. Note that vanilla's brown coloring muddies white and alters other colors.
Add flavor to the buttercream by following the directions on the extract bottles' labels. Beat well with hand mixer after adding.
Taste the frosting to discriminate correctness. Add more extract if the flavor is weak. Add more buttercream if the flavor if too strong.
Divide prepared buttercream icing for further alterations before using on a cake project. Decorating textures are discriminated by function. Scoop 1 cup of buttercream from initial batch and place in a pint container. Cover and set aside to color for piping flowers and embellishments.
Select two of the pint containers and measure 1/2 cup of frosting into each from initial batch. Cover with lids and set aside. One container will be used as color for leaves; the other will be thinned for vines and lettering.
Add 1 tsp. of corn syrup to the container set aside for vines and lettering to thin the contents.
Mix thoroughly with a spoon, cover and set aside until it is time to color frosting.
Add 1 tsp. increments of water to initial batch of buttercream to thin it for spreading. Beat thoroughly with mixer after each addition. Consistency should be thick enough to hold its shape, yet not thin enough to run off of cake when applied.
Separate and set aside containers of frosting that are to be used only for decorations. Dip the tip of a toothpick into a food color jar, pick up a small amount of the color and wipe onto frosting. Stir each container thoroughly after color additions.
Add more color if needed or more buttercream if color is too strong.
Taste frostings after tinting. Some colors impart added flavors that may be unwanted additions.
Store buttercream frosting in an airtight container. Cover cakes decorated with buttercream with plastic wrap or in an airtight container.
Refrigerate container of unused buttercream and cakes decorated with the frosting.
Place containers of buttercream in the back of shelf to extend its freshness. Frosting should hold its quality for 4 to 6 weeks. Discard if unused. Cakes decorated with buttercream stay fresh for up to one week.
- The Complete Step-by-Step Guide to Cake Decorating; Carol Deacom; 2003
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