Whenever I make a cake (it's rare.... condolences to my husband can be made via the comments section....), everyone always comments on the icing.
If we hand pieces out, or send them along for kindy teachers and the likes, invariably nobody wants to mention the cake. It's all about the icing. After all, it is
All. About. The icing.
In fact, that shall be my new motto. "Why can't I get ahead in life?" "Where has my happiness gone?" "What makes a good cake?" See? Each can be replied with one simple sentence: it's all about the icing.
So, I am going to let you in on my little icing secret. I have formulated a few good variations from this very simple base. You wanna know the secret to my icing?
I feel a little like Homer when he goes mad and blurts out that the secret ingredient to his and Flaming Moe's magical drink is...... "cough syrup! Ordinary, everyday, over-the-counter cough syrup! Tee hee!" For that is how simple it is in this case too.
Be warned, this makes a CRAP-TONNE of icing so either be prepared to use it or freeze it, or reduce quantities - I can halve this and it fits perfectly over your average-sized cake.
Try this out on your next batch of muffins or cake! You will soooooooooo thank me.
Butter Cream Icing
225g/8oz unsalted butter, softened
500g/1lb 2oz icing sugar, twice sifted
2-3 Tbsp milk
1 Tsp vanilla
Beat butter with electric mixer til light and fluffy. Add icing sugar with milk and vanilla, fold it all in carefully. Beat til pale and creamy (mmmmmm, creamy). Add more milk if necessary but do it in tiny amounts carefully, it wants to be fairly firm in consistency.
If you want to make a choc icing, reduce qty of icing sugar to 325g/11 1/2 oz, and add 55-85g/2-3 oz cocoa powder plus an extra 1-2 Tbsp milk.
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