I woke up with a very sore arm after my second cake decorating class where we traced a couple of practise boards and piped a rainbow pattern. It must be the lack of muscle tone in my body... how embarassing! We were required to bring an 8 inch cake, but I wasn't planning on eating shortening/icing so I took out my cake mix from hmm.. 1999? only to discover that there were little black bugs everywhere! Having just made Dorie's devil's food cake, I decided to buy a devil's food cake mix for comparison. I have to admit that I'm pretty jealous of the fluffy texture that I can never achieve with homemade cakes. Tastewise, Dorie's cake wins hands down! The cake mix seemed a one dimensional and it was like eating a very sweet brown cake.
As easy as shortening + icing sugar frosting is to make, it is a huge mess to clean up. Hydrogenated oil does not seem to want to come off anything it touches. I didn't even bother to measure it out and just eyeballed it off the measurements on the box. Thankfully, I had lots of practise icing left. I love these classes and would recommend them to anyone who desperately needs to learn basic piping skills. Those who are more advanced may probably find it a little boring though.. espeically with all you amazing decorators out there! I'm excited that after one month of blogging, I've learned so much and piped frosting on a cake.
This icing is really good for practising, especially if you don't want to waste your precious butter!
1 cup solid vegetable shortening
1 teaspoon Clear Vanilla Extract
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar (approx. 1 lb.)
2 tablespoons milk or water
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use. For best results, keep icing bowl in refrigerator when not in use. Refrigerated in an airtight container, this icing can be stored 2 weeks. Rewhip before using.
YIELD: Makes about 3 cups.
For thin (spreading) consistency icing, add 2 tablespoons light corn syrup, water or milk.