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Icing it up

india Updated: Jul 16, 2010 01:32 IST

AFP
Highlight Story

Icing is what gives visual character to any cake or pastry, and unlike popular perception, whipping it up at home is just a piece of cake. All icings can be classified into buttercream, foam, fondant, fudge, royal icing and glazes.

Here is a quick cheat-sheet to feed your inner pastry chef and make yummy cakes and desserts topped with the correct icing. Check out the links to learn how to make it perfectly.

Buttercream icing: It’s a very popular icing because it’s easy to spread on cakes. Most store-bought cake icings are buttercream. It’s normally made with butter and sugar, and varying thickness and texture can come from eggs or milk.
Level: Beginner
Use for: Cakes, cupcakes
How-to: www.5min.com/Video/How-to-Make-Buttercream-Icing-142090098

Royal IcingFoam icing: It is essentially a meringue made with whipped egg whites and flavoured syrup. The most popular is marshmallow foam, but it can also be made with vanilla or chocolate.

Level: Moderate

Use for: Pies, spiced cakes and breads, baked Alaska

How-to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4lB3Y4pvEzg

Fondant icing: Made with sugar, water and glucose or cream of tartar. It gives an elegant, smooth, porcelain look to confections.
Level: Moderate to advanced
Use for: Wedding cakes and show pieces
How-to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=uAaICRRscfc

Fudge icing: This is a thick, chocolatey, rich icing made with butter, shortening, syrup and sugar. It is time consuming to make but can be made in advance and refrigerated until needed.
Level: Moderate
Use for: Cakes, cupcakes
How-to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nvl7iEtie38

Royal icing: Made like flat icing but with egg whites, for a heavier, harder icing. It doesn’t score much on the taste front but it’s perfect to create flowers, etc.
Level: moderate to advanced
Use for: Decorations on cakes and sugar sculptures
How-to: www.howcast.com/videos/168375-How-To-Make-Royal-Icing

Glazes: Glazes are light, runny icings that create a hard shell on the confection it is used on, thus keeping the pastry moist and fresh longer. It is normally enhanced with a fruit, chocolate or coffee flavour.
Level: Beginner
Use for: Cakes and sweet pastries
How-to: http://how2heroes.com/videos/dessert-and-baked-goods/simple-cookie-glaze