The new rules of icing

In Frosted: Take your baked goods to the next level with decadent buttercream, meringues, ganaches and more (Page Street Publishing, Co.; Jun 8, 2021; $ 22.99) Bernice Baran, Founder of Baran Bakery, shows readers how to make 60 delicious frosted treats, including awesome layered cakes and easy sheet cakes – the all creatively personalized toppings.

“Icing is a subject that can be intimidating as there are so many types to learn, each with their specific rules and challenges. Some icings are similar and can be used interchangeably, but some are quite unique and only work under certain conditions, ”says Baran in the introduction. “Fueled by my curiosity and the desire to learn how to successfully make and use the most popular types of icing, I experimented with each type. In the process, I discovered the nuances of preparing buttercreams, meringues, ganaches, creams and cream cheese frostings.

Baran learned the basics of his baking training from his mother, who cooked primarily for friends and family and specialized in European desserts.

“I learned what she knew from her, but I’ve always been a fan of science. I wanted a deep understanding of baking, ”recalls Baran. “I ventured out and learned for myself why and how things work and how to develop your own recipes and how to modify recipes without compromising the results.”

She has always been in search of learning everything and everything related to pastry making. Today, she considers her area of ​​expertise to be traditional American cakes and everything related to frosting.

“My first inspiration comes from cravings… lol. I usually cook whatever looks good at the time, ”says Baran. “I’m also a very visual person, so I take inspiration from flavors and texture in wanting dessert to look a certain way. “

Texture matters

Baran admits that if she was forced to choose, she would choose texture over flavor “but really you need both. The right texture is certainly much more difficult to achieve in cooking. For example, when baking a layered cake, you are not only looking for the right texture in the cake itself, but also in the frosting. Then adding different textures, like a crumble or a creamy caramel sauce, between the layers, can take it from good to excellent.

When she has a pastry idea, she does “a lot” of research. She starts with general basic recipes for most of the things she already uses, so they’re easy to adapt to different flavors. But she is always looking to see if something has already been done and how can she improve it.

She also learned how ingredients affect cooks, so she can get the perfect texture or change a flavor without compromising the texture.

In his new book, with the help of Baran’s expertise, readers learn how to make popular options like buttercream, meringue, cream cheese frosting and ganache using his frosting recipes from base and its infallible tips and tricks. They also learn which option is the perfect addition to every dessert and occasion in its Frosting 101 section, which describes the different flavors, textures and characteristics of each topping and what it pairs best with.

“I’m not sure I have a single favorite ingredient to work with,” admits Baran, “but I love creating desserts that involve homemade salted caramel sauce. It tastes amazing on just about anything. you put on and enhance all kinds of desserts.

New Horizons

Over the years, Baran has noticed that many people, including herself, are picky with frosting. The frosting should be neither too sweet nor too buttery, perfectly light and chewy, and full of flavor.

“I think it sounds easier than it actually is because, generally, the frosting isn’t very forgiving,” she admits. “Frosting can easily break, ruining its beautiful silky texture, so it’s hard for people to customize their own recipes. My goal for Frosted is to introduce the world to all the different types of frosting and how to customize them so that everyone finds their perfect balance when frosting their cakes.

Bakery professionals can learn from his experiences and wisdom starting with a good foundation and a good understanding of the basics and science of baking, which will give you much more creative freedom.

“I would love to walk into a bakery one day and see different options, especially for the frosting, because so often people just do what they’re comfortable with, which can sometimes end up feeling stagnant,” says -she. “I would like to continue my own training in different areas of baking, such as pastry making, decorating and bread making. I would also like to teach and help novice bakers acquire a good foundation in pastry making so that they can turn their hobbies into careers.

Quest for balance

Among other bakery professionals, Molly Wilkinson gives private lessons at her home in Versailles, France, and she takes a new step in her pastry journey with her first cookbook, French Pastry Made Simple: Foolproof Recipes for Éclairs , Tarts, Macarons and Plus (Page Street Publishing, Co: June 8, 2021; $ 22.99).

“There always has to be a balance – for example, a dessert with different layers of cream is a unique note and not super exciting,” she stresses. “There should be a mix of chewy, crunchy, chewy, chewy and crunchy to spark interest. The flavors must also combine to form a symphony on the palate. You can do this in several ways, mixing several flavors in different components or choosing the star and then those who will play the supporting roles. “

Go big with color

As cake decorators, never be afraid to add color. This is an important lesson to learn from cake decorating expert Mark Seaman, CMSA, Head of Culinary Applications, Specialties for Barry Callebaut.

“Color is ‘free’ to add to cakes and cupcakes! The color makes your product more attractive and provides a great background for popping chocolate decorations, ”he explains.

Seaman also recommends using different tubing nozzles. Just changing the style of the frosting on a cupcake or cake makes it feel completely different. Your customers will see your suitcase as filled with a wide variety of different options, even if you didn’t have to add new recipes or labor.

Another great tip is to use chocolate to your advantage.

“Chocolate is the favorite flavor of desserts,” says Seaman. “Pour chocolate (or colored white chocolate) over cupcakes and cakes for extra spice. You don’t have to be a chocolatier to add eye-catching chocolate accents or chocolate decorations.

Here is another idea. Pour chocolate ganache around the edges of your cakes or dip your cupcakes in it – the appearance of chocolate oozing down the sides of a cake or cupcake is eye-catching.

Plus, toasted natural almonds provide excellent color contrast to desserts as well as a great crunchy texture against the soft consistency of your cake and buttercream.

Almonds are also an excellent way to appeal to consumers looking for desserts with a “healthy” component.

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