Seven-Minute Frosting

Frosting, sauces and garnishes

Yield: about 2  1/2 cups
Recipe: 97/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 150

    The next cake I planned to make was the delicious-looking coconut cake, so of course I had to make this seven-minute frosting to accompany it. I whisked the frosting by hand (but barely made it!) and was surprised by how well it all came together. I am usually not quite successful with egg whites, but this frosting recipe turned out marvellous. It is indeed very marshmallowy, both in texture and taste, and is as white and glossy as the first snow the fell upon us in Montreal. It looks beautiful (the frosting) and tastes even better. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 1  1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup ice water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Fill a saucepot with 2 inches of water and bring to a simmer.
  2. In a metal bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg whites, cream of tartar and water. Place the bowl over the pot of simmering water and whisk either by hand or using a hand mixer at medium-high speed for 7 minutes. The frosting will tun white and double in volume, but will still be a bit fluid by the end of the 7 minutes.
  3. Remove the bowl from the heat and add the vanilla extract. Whip the frosting on high speed using a hand or stand mixer until it becomes thicker and a spreadable consistency, about 5 minutes. Use the frosting immediately, while still warm, as it will solidify considerably as it cools down.

Notes from Anna:

  • This frosting is best for cakes that do not need refrigeration.
  • Using ice water helps the mixture to heat up gradually while whisking. This, in turn, allows the sugar to melt evenly before the frosting starts gaining volume.
  • If, after you have cooked your meringue for 7 minutes while whipping, you notice that it is grainy looking, do not panic! Simply add hot water, ½ teaspoon at a time, and whip it in until the icing looks smooth. This could take up to 2 tablespoons of water. This extra step should melt any sugar granules and return your frosting to its fluffy, marshmallowy state.

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Valerie

Maple Meringue Frosting

Frosting, sauces and garnishes

Yield: about 2 ½ cups
Recipe: 94/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 152

    An earl grey chiffon cake with maple meringue frosting evidently calls for… maple meringue frosting. I thus made this lovely frosting recipe and was surprised by the fact that I could do it and furthermore that it was delicious (and not too sweet)! Frostings are usually not my forte, but this recipe is fail-proof and was just the right consistency for spreading. As a bonus, it is very glossy since it consists mostly of egg-whites, so very appealing on cakes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 egg whites, at room temperature
  • ½ teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¾ cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. With a hand or stand mixer, whip the egg whites with the cream of tartar until foamy, then add the sugar and whip the whites just to a soft peak.
  2. In a small saucepot, bring the maple syrup to a boil and cook uncovered and without stirring until it reaches a temperature of 242°F on a candy thermometer.
  3. While beating the egg whites on medium speed, carefully pour the maple syrup into the meringue by pouring it down slowly down the side of the bowl. Continue whipping until the mixture has cooled but is not quite room temperature, about 3 minutes.
  4. Stir in the vanilla extract.

Notes from Anna:

  • This frosting should be used immediately after frosting.

Valerie

Caramel Frosting

Frosting, sauces and garnishes

Yield: 2  1/2 cups frosting
Recipe: 23/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 144

   For my sister’s 18th birthday I wanted to make her a special cake. She has quite the sweet tooth and I was consequently looking for a sweet and ideally chocolatey dessert. As I flipped through the pages of my favorite cookbook, I came across a recipe for a chocolate cake with caramel frosting. Yum!! I will post the cake recipe next, but for now the caramel frosting. I did not read the directions before doing the recipe, so although I made sure I had all the necessary ingredients I realized too late that I did not possess the candy thermometer required. I thus blindly guessed when the frosting seemed “hot” or cooked enough to 245°F (I guessed less than 5 minutes…), but I think that I may have heated the caramel a bit too long. Although the taste was delicious, very similar to sucre à la crème, the color of the caramel was very dark compared to what I was expecting. Next time I will definitely make sure that I have a candy thermometer on hand! Even considering this technical difficulty, this caramel frosting is delectable and smells heavenly. I think you can actually smell the sugar! I highly appreciate this frosting, it is a good change from the classic buttercream I usually make.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 2  1/2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • candy thermometer

Directions:

  1. In a saucepot over medium heat, melt 1/2 cup of the butter, the brown sugar and the salt, stirring occasionally. Bring to a full boil and boil for 4 minutes, stirring once or twice during this time.
  2. Whisk in the cream and boil until the candy thermometer reads 245°F (118°C).
  3. Remove from the heat and cool for 30 minutes, stirring once or twice.
  4. Using electric beaters, beat the still warm frosting mixture.
  5. Add the icing sugar and continue beating until the frosting is close to room temperature.
  6. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of butter and the vanilla extract. Beat until the frosting is smooth and of a desired consistency for spreading.

Valerie

Fudge Frosting

Frosting, sauces and garnishes

Yield: about 2  1/2 cups, enough to cover a 3-layer 8-inch cake
Recipe: 13/200
“Back to Baking”, pp. 142

   As mentioned in my previous post, I volunteered to make a cake and cookies for a colleague’s birthday. However, I could not for the life of me decide on which cake to make. The cake was to be made for the following day, so it had to be a recipe for which I had all the ingredients and ideally contained no nuts (due to the allergies of a colleague). I then stumbled across a beautiful-looking rich vanilla cake with a fudge frosting. First up: the fudge frosting! It was easy to make, tasted great and looked even better on the cake! Once again, this will enter my recipe book as a classic.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups icing sugar, sifted
  • 2/3 cup sour cream*

Directions:

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate in a metal or glass bowl placed over a pot of simmering water, stirring gently until melted. Once completely melted, remove the bowl from the heat and let cool the mixture to room temperature. Alternatively, the chocolate and butter can be melted in the microwave at 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  2. Using a hand or stand mixer, add the cocoa, vanilla extract and 1 cup of the icing sugar. Beat at low speed to incorporate the ingredients well, then increase the speed and beat until smooth.
  3. Beat in the sour cream and the remaining icing sugar (1 cup) until smooth. If the frosting is too liquid, add 1-2 tablespoon(s) of icing sugar and stir to combine.

* If you do not have sour cream at hand like was my case, you can replace it with 3/5 cup (~ 150 ml) buttermilk (simply add 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar to 3/5 cup milk and let sit for 10 minutes).

Valerie