Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Birthday Black Cake Saga - The Icing

Yesterday I wrote the recipe of how to make a Chocolate Layer Cake from Scratch.  Today I have the icing for you.  This is one of those sugary icings.  It's on a yellowed handwritten page in a spiral bound notebook.  Plenty of stains on the page, so you know it has to be a good one.  On the other hand for the cake from yesterday, you will need to double this recipe.

Vanilla Icing

4 Cups 10x Sugar (I used Confectioner's Sugar)
1/2 cup Shortening
2 Tablespoons of Butter
1/2 teaspoon of Salt
1/3 cup of Milk (I used 2%)
1 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Almond Extract
Optional: Add 8 Tablespoons of Cocoa Powder for Chocolate Icing

Start with the sugar in the mixing bowl, and add the dry ingredients.
Add the extracts to the dry ingredients, then start the mixer.

Cream the ingredients as best you can, and add in the milk slowly for consistency.

I tend to mix the ingredients until they are smooth and fluffy.  This icing will incorporate a lot of air into it and the more air into the icing you get, the lighter it will be.  Obviously a stand mixer is the best for this, but an electric hand mixer will certainly work.  Just like in the cake recipe, I tend to have a heavy hand with the flavors and with the creaming of the ingredients. 

Before you add any coloring, if you mix this icing a "long time" the icing will be very white, and will actually take on a sheen. 

Also remember that this recipe should be doubled for the cake recipe from yesterday.  You will basically need around 1 1/2 times the above amounts, but that varies based on how much air you incorporate into the mix.

I also double the vanilla and the almond but that's because I get the stuff in big bottles and I like a lot of vanilla flavor.

It's your basic cake icing.  If you make it with Cocoa, you may have to increase either the fats or the milk to make it moister - cocoa will soak some of the milk up resulting in a dry or thick icing. 

All that having been said, if you watch what you're doing, you'll find that this is an easy recipe to work with, and you will be able to get excellent results with some basic effort.   If you have a stand mixer, you can really get creative with timing and speeds.   You will also find that this works best if the icing is chilled in the refrigerator before going on the cake.

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