Sunday, November 23, 2008

Week 9 lecture and lab

In lecture this week, we talked about frosting. There are 7 different frostings:
  • Buttercream
  • Foam
  • Fudge
  • Fondant
  • Glaze
  • Royal Icing
  • Ganache
There are three different types of buttercream: Simple, Italian (with Italian meringue) and French (like Italian but with egg yolks).
Buttercream is a mixture of fat (preferably butter) and sugar. I don't particularly like buttercream frosting, but have only had the simple buttercream (as far as I know), so it'll be interesting to make.
Foam is just Italian meringue. This frosting cannot be stored in a cooler, and should be used right away.
Fudge is a warmed mixture of sugar, butter and water or milk. This is applied warm b/c when it cools, it forms a "crust" This can either be vanilla of chocolate flavored, which is something I never knew; I thought it was just chocolate.
Fondant is a thick sugar paste. It can be in the form of a poured-on paste or rolled-out paste. It's hard to make, so it's better to be bought.
Glaze is a think coating that is usually poured onto a cake. It's used for more delicate cakes like last week's chiffon.
Royal Icing is what we used on the cookies in week 6. It's a bit thicker than glaze because it used egg whites, not milk or water.
Ganache is a blend of pure chocolate and cream. This is a common base for truffles.
We also studied for our final next week. I am a bit nervous b/c there is a lot to memorize, like the 9 steps for the baking process and the 12 stages of the bread baking process. I' d didn't do so well on the mid-term, so that's why I nervous about next week. We'll see.....

For lab this week, we used the butter cakes and lemon curd from week 8 to put together our cake. The only thing we really made was the Italian buttercream frosting.

Italian Buttercream
14 ounces Egg whites
27 ounces Granulated sugar (1 lb. 11 oz.)
Water, as needed
2 3/4 pounds Lightly salted butter, softened but not melted

1. All ingredients should be at room temperature before beginning.
2. Place the egg whites in a mixer bowl. Have 9 ounces (270 grams) of the sugar nearby.
3. Place 1 pound 2 ounces (540 grams) of the sugar in a heavy saucepan with enough water to moisten. Bring to a boil over high heat.
4. As the sugar syrup's temperature approaches soft ball stage (240°F (116°C), begin whipping the egg whites. Watch the sugar closely so that the temperature does not exceed 240°F (116°C).
5. When soft peaks form in the egg whites, gradually add the 9 ounces (270 grams) of sugar to them. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and continue whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks.
6. When the sugar syrup reaches soft ball stage, immediately pour it into the whites while the mixer is running. Pour the syrup in a steady stream between the side of the bowl and the beater. If the syrup hits the beater, it will splatter and cause lumps. Continue beating at medium speed until the egg whites are completely cool. At this point, the product is known as Italian meringue.
7. Gradually add the softened butter to the Italian meringue. When all the butter is incorporated, add flavoring ingredients as desired.
8. Yield: 5 lb. 5 oz.

We halved the recipe and it was more than enough to cover and decorate this cake. I have a lot leftover....

We had to cut the tops off the cakes and then make three layers. We used a turntable to do it. The key is to mark off all around the cake w/ the bread knife so you know where your layers are doing to be. And you use both hands. Use the hand that doesn't have the knife to keep the cake sturdy on the turner and also to help turn. You do not want to oush the bread knife thru to make the layers, you really want to "saw" through it so that it doesn't get all crumbly and makes an even layer, not angled.

We poured the lemon curd on top of two layers and then frosted it. We used food coloring, pipping bags and tips to make designs. End result:


Anamika:The Sugarcrafter said...

hi niki
all the best for your endeavour !

Ivy said...

Niki, good luck with your exams. What about whipping cream. Isn't that considered as frosting? I don't like butter frostings either.

I hope you have check out Animika's site. You'll see the most amazing cakes.

NikiTheo said...

Funny Ivy, I said the same thing about whipped cream frosting! We classified it under foam. Since making whipped cream and meringue is essentially the same process, it made sense. I personally prefer using whipped cream instead of meringue (or buttercream!!!). But oif couse, my all time fav will always be chocolate fudge. Mmmmm....