Is This Even Possible?

Decorating By raylis Updated 16 Jul 2009 , 11:09pm by Adevag

raylis Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 6:19am
post #1 of 33

Hello everyone,

I live in a hot and humid climate.
I'm having abit of a dilemma with buttercream icing!

I do not want to add shortening, i.e. I only use butter+confectioner's sugar+vanilla+milk into the buttercream that I make.

However, I really reduce the amount of sugar, but people keep complaining it's really sweet! Hmmm... so if I don't want to use shortening, I've tried adding salt, sometimes to about 1-2 tsp, but they still say it's sweet! Short from having the deco just melt, is there any other option..?
Will adding Wilton's meringue powder help with crusting/holding it up - will it impart any odd flavour?

32 replies
Melchas Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 6:38am
post #2 of 33

I use meringue powder in my bc and it crusts really well. I use wilton's meringue and it has a slight lemony flavor to it, so it might cut down on the sweetness.
I know you said that you don't want to use shortening, but have you tried half butter, half butter flavor shortening? That might help with the humidity problems and some of the sweetness, while still keeping butter in.
I actually use the wilton's recipe but I use half white shoretning, 1/2 butter flavored shortening, two tbls of light corn syrup, 1/4 tsp of butter flavor and 1 & 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract. Everyone loves it.
I've also seen posts for indydebi's bc that everyone raves about and it crusts well. You can find it in the recipe section. HTH. icon_smile.gif

ceshell Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 7:27am
post #3 of 33

Honestly, with any icing that is made from PS and butter, I don't see how it could ever be made "less sweet." It's still full of sugar! Reducing the amt of sugar will just make it softer, not less sweet. If people are complaining about it being too sweet, it sounds like this is simply a type of icing they don't prefer. The meringue buttercreams (italian and swiss: IMBC/SMBC) are not nearly as sweet but they may give you grief depending on just how hot your climate is. Adding shortening really helps stabilize as pp mentioned...you can buy transfat-free shortening to at least avoid that ingredient if that's what you don't like about it.

The "whipped cream buttercream" recipe here in the recipes section is quite good and, to me, tastes a little less sweet than a standard American BC. It's kind of like a hybrid easy IMBC (uses meringue powder, and no cooking of sugar)+p.s. buttercream. I forget if it uses all shortening...but if it does, I use half or 3/4 butter anyway.

I've also read several threads about a popular icing at Publix; sources trying to figure out the recipe also say it's essentially just IMBC plus PS Buttercream.

I personally don't like straight vanilla PS buttercream because it's too sugary and crunchy for me, but I like it with cocoa added in to reduce the sweetness. Toba Garrett's chocolate buttercream is quite good; it uses bittersweet ganache for some of the chocolate so that helps offset the powdered sugar.

I really just think you need to experiment with other recipes to figure out what people will like. Experimenting is fun! icon_smile.gif

raylis Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 2:21pm
post #4 of 33

Thank you for your replies!

Hmm.. yes the shortening 'issue' it's coz it's not healthy. I don't know if I can get transfat free shortening here though, and whether it's costly. Normal shortening is really cheap (Cheaper than butter anyway!) however I find that it gives the frosting this odd, and almost fake smell, hmm.. or it's just me?

Ok I will try the meringue powder..
what about adding corn flour, will that give the frosting a powdery taste?
I really need to make my icing stiffer..
and am holding to not using shortening..
oh dear i hope i don't have to use it as a last resort..!

some people have told me to beat the butter till it's as white as possible, this will help contribute to a stiffer icing, is this true?

Thanks so much..!

CanadianCakin Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 3:38pm
post #5 of 33

personally I find that using half butter half shortening works great and you keep the good flavour and it crusts well. It's very humid where I live too and haven't had a problem, I also do half tsp vanilla flavour and half tsp butter flavour...just for that extra umph!
I had thought about the health issues of using shortening in my bc and decided that, for me anyway...this is a personal choice not saying there is a 'right' or 'wrong' way!!
(Everyone it seems has been so touchy here lately just wanna make sure I'm explaining myself clearly! icon_wink.gif) Anyhow.....after I thought about it I just decided I don't think that 1/2 cup shorteneing in the entire recipe isn't going be detrimental.....It's cake, It's not the healthiest choice from the get-go!
As I said this was just my thought process I understand not everyone will feel the same way...oh it's like when I am at a fast food restauraunt and the peron in front of me orders an up-sized Big Mac meal with a diet pop...or has KFC and takes the skin off..it just personally amkes my head spin!

As for stiffer icing....more icing sugar less milk! It's sweet it's icing! Are you filling your cakes with BC too......That will make sweeter I opt not to fill with BC and know that helps cut down on the overall sweetness...choosing something tart to fill with or creamy helps cut down on the impact of sweetness...kinda balances things out!
Well I hope thats helped I by no means am trying to criticize or ridicule other ways this is just my thought process and what has worked for me with these issues icon_smile.gif

Melchas Posted 14 Jul 2009 , 4:35pm
post #6 of 33

Crisco is transfat free.

BlakesCakes Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 12:39am
post #7 of 33

Well, actually no type of icing is "healthy"...........if someone is worried about healthy, they shouldn't eat cake, period.

The trans fats help the icing hold up under higher heat. Without them, icings soften, melt, slip, and slide much faster and at a lower temp. Meringue powder shores it up while working with it, but really doesn't help with the melting issue.

I use a recipe with hi ratio shortening, butter, whipping cream, a bit of salt, and flavors. I always squirt in some lemon juice, too. Between the cream, salt, and lemon juice, I never get any complaints about it being too sweet.

Rae

sadsmile Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 12:48am
post #8 of 33

I agree.. I use half /half and no it isn't healthy- it's cake. You could sub out 1/4 1/2 cup of PS for CS and that would keep the consistancy but cutt the sweet some.

cutthecake Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 12:49am
post #9 of 33

Wait.........icing isn't health food? Cake isn't a major food group? Frosting isn't supposed to be sweet? I've been misled.

smbegg Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 12:59am
post #10 of 33

I have made the a recipe that had a small amount of flour in it (high humidity BC??) and that really cut down some of the sweetness.

What I don't understand is why people say that. What are they expecting? They would complain if it wasn't sweet too. I am not a big frosting fan, so I just eat small amounts of it and leave the rest on the plate. No biggie.

Just a though


Stephanie

TexasSugar Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:07am
post #11 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by raylis

Hmm.. yes the shortening 'issue' it's coz it's not healthy.




Butter (Great Value Brand)
Serving size: 1 Tablespoon
Calories per serving: 100
Fat per serving: 11g fat (7g Saturated fat)

Crisco (Non trans-fat version)
Serving size: 1 Tablespoon
Calories per serving: 110
Fat per serving: 12g fat (3g Saturated fat)

Please tell me how butter is healthier??

TexasSugar Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:11am
post #12 of 33

repeat post.

auntmamie Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:16am
post #13 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutthecake

Wait.........icing isn't health food? Cake isn't a major food group? Frosting isn't supposed to be sweet? I've been misled.




ROFLMAO

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:48am
post #14 of 33

In our house the 5 food groups are Margaritas (beer if you ask the hubby), Pasta, Bread, Cake, oh and Chicken. Now I may die with clogged ateries but at least there will be a big slice of chocolate fudge cake slathered in dark chocolate cream cheese buttercream in my hand. And I can guarantee there will be a smile on my face.
Cake is a FEEL good food not a BE good food (Oh i like that one. I may have to change my signature). icon_lol.gif

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 1:48am
post #15 of 33

In our house the 5 food groups are Margaritas (beer if you ask the hubby), Pasta, Bread, Cake, oh and Chicken. Now I may die with clogged ateries but at least there will be a big slice of chocolate fudge cake slathered in dark chocolate cream cheese buttercream in my hand. And I can guarantee there will be a smile on my face.
Cake is a FEEL good food not a BE good food (Oh i like that one. I may have to change my signature). icon_lol.gif

artscallion Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:04am
post #16 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by smbegg

I have made the a recipe that had a small amount of flour in it (high humidity BC??) and that really cut down some of the sweetness.

What I don't understand is why people say that. What are they expecting? They would complain if it wasn't sweet too. I am not a big frosting fan, so I just eat small amounts of it and leave the rest on the plate. No biggie.

Just a though


Stephanie




I developed a recipe for a frosting based on raw chocolate chip cookie dough. Not chunks of cookie dough in the frosting. But an actual hybrid of my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and buttercream. In other words, I eliminated the things I didn't need for baking, like eggs and baking soda. And added substituted powdered sugar for some of the flour and crisco for some of the butter.

I know this is not what you're looking for, since it has brown sugar and chips. But it's just an example of how you can possible use flour in place of part of your powdered sugar. Maybe base your frosting on a butter cookie or sugar cookie recipe. Mine was a hit. It really was less sweet and everybody loves cookie dough!

Melchas Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:14am
post #17 of 33

artscallion - that sounds delicious...is this a recipe you'd be willing to share??? icon_lol.gif

artscallion Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:21am
post #18 of 33

16 ounces Flour
7 ounces powdered sugar
3 teaspoons Salt
16 ounces Butter
8 ounces crisco
2 cups Brown Sugar, Packed
1 cup Sugar
1 cup french vanilla non dairy creamer
2 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring
4 cups Chocolate Chips

Whisk flour, salt & powdered sugar together and set aside.

Cream butter, crisco, white & brown sugar til fluffy at medium speed (3 minutes)

Add vanilla, butter flavor & creamer and beat until combined (40 sec)

Add dry ingredients & beat at low speed until just combined (15 to 20 sec)

Stir in chips.

This tastes just like you're eating chocolate chip cookie dough out of the bowl. But it's lighter and fluffier, like buttercream.

mandysue Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 2:35am
post #19 of 33

I've gotta try this! Yum!

raylis Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 6:25am
post #20 of 33

Hello again,

I'm very sorry if I had offended anyone with my 'shortening is unhealthy' thing.

I'm new to this baking thing and have never used anything except butter.

A couple of years ago, I had seen an Oprah show (perhaps this is now outdated) with that Dr Oz (I think) and he had 5 most unhealthiest things on the show, and shortening was one of it.. so that has stuck in my mind for like.. ever.. so well.. that's where I got my take on shortening I guess..

And also, I've tried cupcakes with frosting containing shortening, and it really had a fake and funny taste/smell..

My apologies again.

Thank you all for your suggestions..

Melchas Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 7:12am
post #21 of 33

No worries Raylis..not offended. Alot of people on here don't use shortening either because of the taste. Use whatever suits you. Sometiems it comes down to taste vs. function and trying to find the middleground is not easy. Good Luck and please share if you find something that works well! icon_smile.gif

Melchas Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 7:16am
post #22 of 33

BTW...Artscallion thanks for sharing! icon_biggrin.gif My son's favorite cookies is choco chip and his fav ice cream is cookie dough. I can't wait to try this on him. What kind of cake do make to go with it? I was thinking choco...too much?

ceshell Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 7:45am
post #23 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Please tell me how butter is healthier??



Well the truth of the matter is, they are discovering that transfats are quite possibly one of the most damaging things you can eat. Zero nutritional benefit and they directly mess up your cholesterol, and increase your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It doesn't help that tf's in shortening are industrially manufactured. At least butter is a natural product. Fatty as heck, but natural. This info is from the Amerian Heart Association by the way.

Before 1990 they had no clue about this, they just thought tf's were great: low in saturated fat!! Now scientists are kind of alarmed at just HOW bad tf's are for the human body.

That said, I personally believe that anything in moderation can be OK. I too try to avoid using transfats but when certain recipes require it for stability, I put them in. I buy the plainwrap shortening WITH the tf's and I buy hi-ratio too. Load me up, baby!! icon_biggrin.gif I figure, if I put only 1/2 c into an icing recipe and ice a cake to serve 32 people, each serving will have a nominal amount of the dreaded stuff. I use it in my pie crusts, too (in addition to butter).

And I agree: Raylis, I don't think you offended anyone! I mean, it IS unhealthy! LOL. It is just kind of fun to spout off about some of the amusing inconsistencies we humans sometimes have about our eating habits. I don't think anyone would fault you for trying to avoid TF altogether - it is a sane choice for healthy eating...or more correctly said: for more "natural" eating. You can eat foods high in fat and calories, but which are still healthier for you than other options e.g. processed foods, tfs, etc. But the most important thing to note about the Oprah thing you watched is: you can get shortening with zero tf! So if it's just tf that you want to avoid in your diet, you can still use Crisco. But the point is, even if you use shortening WITH tf, as with any "unhealthy" foods: a tiny amount, occasionally consumed, will not be likely to harm you.

As for the weird smell/taste...shortening is odorless and relatively flavorless. Yours may have gone bad. That has happened to me and it ain't pretty. Although I do not like the "mouth feel" of icings made with all shortening (whether tf or not), when it is used sparingly in a recipe, I don't notice it at all. Except that I don't have icing sliding off my cake! thumbs_up.gif

artscallion Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 11:49am
post #24 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melchas

BTW...Artscallion thanks for sharing! icon_biggrin.gif My son's favorite cookies is choco chip and his fav ice cream is cookie dough. I can't wait to try this on him. What kind of cake do make to go with it? I was thinking choco...too much?




I like to use it on a nice yellow butter cake. You want a nice butter taste that compliments the frosting without competing with it.

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 11:26pm
post #25 of 33

We are just giving you some teasing. That is how you know you have been accepted into this strange gathering of cakers. thumbs_up.gif

BeeBoos-8599_ Posted 15 Jul 2009 , 11:27pm
post #26 of 33

We are just giving you some teasing. That is how you know you have been accepted into this strange gathering of cakers. thumbs_up.gif

TexasSugar Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 4:25am
post #27 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by ceshell

Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Please tell me how butter is healthier??


Well the truth of the matter is, they are discovering that transfats are quite possibly one of the most damaging things you can eat. Zero nutritional benefit and they directly mess up your cholesterol, and increase your risk for heart disease, stroke and diabetes. It doesn't help that tf's in shortening are industrially manufactured. At least butter is a natural product. Fatty as heck, but natural. This info is from the Amerian Heart Association by the way.




The numbest I posted came from the zero trans fat crisco. So while neither have trans fat they are still close in the other numbers.

I'm not saying shortening is better than butter, I'm just state when it comes down to the numbers, neither are all that great for you. While butter sounds better cause it is a natural product, it is still something you shouldn't have a ton of.

Either way, cake by nature is not a health food. In general most people only eat cakes for celebrations and don't eat them every week but in moderation. So it isn't like sitting there eating cup after cup of crisco or butter every day.

ceshell Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 5:22am
post #28 of 33

Totally agree with you on that one! OK you make a good point - I would actually like to see more research on 0 TF shortening and why it is still worse for you than butter (if that's the case). I mean, between legislation and simple demand, a lot of companies are switching to 0 tf baked goods. So you make a good point: at that point are they actually HEALTHIER than butter based goods?? Hmm. detective.gif

This is an interesting read, although it pretty much says what you just pointed out icon_rolleyes.gif : http://familynutritiononline.com/Health%20Articles/trans_fats_health.htm

QueenJessica Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 2:10pm
post #29 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexasSugar

Quote:
Originally Posted by raylis

Hmm.. yes the shortening 'issue' it's coz it's not healthy.



Butter (Great Value Brand)
Serving size: 1 Tablespoon
Calories per serving: 100
Fat per serving: 11g fat (7g Saturated fat)

Crisco (Non trans-fat version)
Serving size: 1 Tablespoon
Calories per serving: 110
Fat per serving: 12g fat (3g Saturated fat)

Please tell me how butter is healthier??




I think that the issue is the trans fat. Crisco has taken a lot out, but most other shortening still have loads.

Doug Posted 16 Jul 2009 , 2:26pm
post #30 of 33

simply put...

there's more than one kind of "fat" (just as anyone who as lived in snow country knows there's more than one kind of snow and the beach lovers know there's more than one kind of sand)

and it's not just trans vs. saturated vs. unsaturated.

this is why lard (pig fat) is different from tallow (cow fat) from chicken fat (does it have a special name?) from butter (fat from cow milk) from vegetable fat.

and even vegetable fat's are different -- corn oil vs safflower vs. olive vs. canola vs. etc.

this is why when you fry foods, different fats have different smoke points (tallow being one of the highest and why IMnotsoHO McD's fries were so good until they switched to a different type)

you also see this in how different fats are in different states (solid, mushy, liquid) at room temperature. which is why different fats are used for different purposes. we all know a shortening based icing is much easier to smooth and get to crust than a butter based one. Just as I can fry at much higher temperatures if I first melt a solid fat

your body needs "some" fat every day -- but....modern society as turned "some" into a "ton" with the way it gets buried in all kinds of foods. (about the only thing worse is how much sodium we inject into seemingly everything)

further -- your body process different fats differently, just as it does different sugars (ask any diabetic about this and the glycemic index)

some fats it can handle quite well and others, like trans fats, well > ::cue funeral dirge::

anything, even air and water, in excess is deadly.

Moderation (well except for chocolate!) is the key

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