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Frosting and Filling Recipes

 


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Mascarpone Whipped Cream 

When you want a topping that is now too sweet, this one is perfect. While it is whipped cream, the mascarpone cheese stabilizes the whipped cream a bit, giving a lovely texture and body, as well as a little bit of tang.

Makes about 3 cups

1 cup heavy whipping cream
6 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
8 ounces mascarpone cheese


With a mixer, beat the one cup of whipping cream until it holds very soft peaks. Add in the confectioners' sugar and beat until it holds stiff peaks. Stop the mixer and add in the mascarpone cream. Beat again just until combined. Beating too long will cause the mascarpone to look curdled.


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Mascarpone Whipped Cream
Mascarpone Whipped Cream
atop Chocolate Mousse Pie

Browned Butter Scotch Sauce 

Whether filling for a cake or as a topping for ice cream, however you use it, this sauce is rich and flavorful. The browned butter with its deep caramel note, along the Scotch makes this true "Butterscotch" sauce and the vanilla bean rounds out the flavors.

Makes about 2 cups

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
¼ cup Scotch
¼ cup water
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
¾ cup heavy cream
¼ cup light corn syrup
A good pinch Fleur de Sel, or other coarser salt

In a small skillet, set the butter over medium heat and allow to brown, swirling the pan occasionally, for about 4 – 6 minutes. It should be a nice nutty brown, not burnt. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan combine the white and brown sugars and the Scotch and water. Add in the scraped vanilla bean and seeds. Bring this to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula. Brush down sugar crystals with a moistened pastry brush, then cover the pan and allow to boil for one minute; this insures that all sugar crystals are melted.

Browned Butter Scotch Sauce
Browned Butter Scotch Sauce
Remove lid, add in the rest of the ingredients and set a candy thermometer in place. Cook, stirring occasionally, to 242 degrees. Remove from heat, strain out the vanilla bean and allow to cool to room temperature. Store in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature to use.

If this sauce will be used over ice cream, you may want to strain the sauce before cooling and storing. The scraped vanilla bean leaves some bits behind.

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Walnut Cream Cheese Spread 

A touch of honey, cinnamon and some walnuts make a delectable spread whether for a bagel, French toast or a filling for a cake. Simply good.

Makes about ¾ cup

1 (8-ounce) block cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup honey
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

In a small bowl with a hand mixer, combine all ingredients together.

NOTES: This makes a good filling for a 2-layer French toast also.



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Walnut Cream Cheese Spread
Walnut Cream Cheese Spread

Chocolate Buttercream 

This is a relatively quick icing that could be made whipped a bit longer for a fluffier texture. Remember that once the cocoa is added, the longer beating time will lighten the color. Once cocoa is added, only mix until combined for a darker chocolate color. The flavor is not affected.

Will frost top and sides of an 8-inch cake

½ cup shortening
½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch salt
1 pound confectioners' sugar
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons vanilla
¼ - ½ cup water or milk

In one bowl sift together the cocoa with one cup of confectioners' sugar and set aside. Into another bowl, sift the rest of the confectioners sugar with the pinch of salt and set aside.

In a stand mixer, beat the room temperature butter and shortening. This step can be just until combined, or may be beaten for about 5 or 6 minutes for a lighter and creamier outcome. Add in the confectioners' sugar and on low speed, combine the ingredients. Beat for 3 to 5 minutes to achieve a lighter texture. Add in the vanilla and ¼ cup of water or milk (or see notes for other ideas).

Add in the confectioners' sugar and cocoa mixture and on low speed, combine well. This is where the difference between a dark chocolate color and pale chocolate color is a  choice. Longer beating will lighten color. Add in up to ¼ cup more liquid if the buttercream is not of spreading consistency.


Chocolate Buttercream
Chocolate Buttercream

NOTES: This icing can be flavored many ways. Use ¼ cup of a liqueur to flavor, such as Chambord for a raspberry flavor or Gran Marnier for orange flavor, as long as it is not meant for children. Add in some espresso for a mocha flavor or almond extract. The choices are almost limitless.
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Whipped Buttercream Icing  

This basic Buttercream can be altered and flavored in many possible ways. The main ingredients are 1 stick of butter to one cup of confectioners' sugar, with a pinch of salt tossed in. For vanilla, add in vanilla extract and/or the seeds from a vanilla bean.

Makes enough to frost an 8-inch cake

3 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 - 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, to taste

In no recipe is it as important to have the butter at room temperature as in this one.

Place soft butter into the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat on medium high for about 8 minutes, or until the butter is nearly white and very creamy. Reduce mixer speed to very low. Sift together the confectioners' sugar and salt, and add this to the mixer bowl on very low speed, until moistened, about 1 minute. Return speed to medium high and beat for about 6 minutes more. Add liquids only if needed, and only in very small increments.

VARIATIONS:

Matcha Green Tea Ginger Icing 

1 to 3 tablespoons Matcha Green Tea Powder
½ teaspoon powdered ginger

Sift these ingredients in with the confectioners' sugar, then follow instructions as for Whipped Buttercream Icing above.

Whipped Buttercream Icing
Whipped Buttercream Icing, with flecks of vanilla bean

Matcha Green Tea Ginger Icing
Matcha Green Tea Ginger Icing
topping Hazelnut Sweet Potato Tortes

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Sweet Hazelnut Creme 

I created this recipe over 25 years ago. Rich and sweet and the perfect spread for any fruit and nut loaves. Toast some banana bread and spread this on and you have a real treat. This makes a goodly amount. If you give away loaves, this is a great accompaniment.

Makes about 4 cups

cups hazelnuts
1 can sweetened condensed milk
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread hazelnuts on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for about 25 minutes. Move the toasted nuts to a towel and rub vigorously to remove dark skins. Place nuts in food processor and grind to a fine consistency. Add sugar and continue to process till very fine. Add in the butter and condensed milk to combine.


Coconut Pecan Filling 

A traditional filling and/or topping for a German Chocolate Cake, but wonderful as a filling for my Caramelized Sugar Cake and others. Gooey and rich.

Makes about 2 cups

¾ cup evaporated milk
¾ cup sugar
6 tablespoons butter
2 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup shredded coconut
¾ cup chopped pecans, or nuts of choice

Combine milk, sugar and egg yolks in a medium saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring, for about 12 minutes, or until thickened and golden brown. Remove from heat and stir in the coconut, pecans and vanilla.  Cool until of spreading consistency.
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Coconut Pecan Filling in Cake
Coconut Pecan Filling in Caramelized Sugar Cake

Royal Icing , Two Ways

Royal icing is delicate to make, only in that all equipment must be grease free. It dries hard and relatively quickly, making the formation of flowers and leaves and other decor, quite easy. It can be thinned out and used to coat cookies, also.

From Scratch:
3 egg whites
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
½ teaspoon cream of tartar

With Meringue Powder:
3 tablespoons Wilton Meringue Powder
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
5 or 6 tablespoons water

For either method, place all the ingredients into a glass or metal bowl, beat with an electric mixer until combined, and then for 7 to 10 minutes in a heavy duty stand mixer (such as Kitchen Aid), or 10 to 12 minutes if with a smaller, or hand mixer, until very stiff.

Icing may be tinted, as necessary. Liquid food colors may be used, though they are liquid and may thin the icing. Paste colorings may contain glycerin and could deflate the icing. Read labels.

This icing is best used in an icing bag and piped into decorations or flowers. It is not suited for frosting a cake. For the little cookies, right, the icing was thinned to a fairly thin ribbon consistency, the cookie tops dipped into the icing, allowed to drain, then set aside to dry. These were dry enough to stack in two hours. It makes a beautiful satiny smooth finish.

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Royal Icing flowers on cake
Royal Icing flowers on cake, above
Royal Icing thinned down for cookies, below

Thinned Royal Icing on Cookies

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Cream Cheese Icing 

Rich & tangy, the perfect accompaniment to a Carrot Cake or Fresh Apple Pecan Date Cake, among others.

Enough to frost an 8 or 9-inch, or 9 x 13 cake

12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
3 - 4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions: Mix together on low speed of an electric mixer, and once combined increase speed to high and beat until completely smooth. 

Cream Cheese Icing
Cream Cheese Icing with Flecks of Vanilla Bean

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If the icing is too stiff, beat in one tablespoon of milk or cream at a time, until of spreading consistency.

NOTES: The longer you beat, the fluffier the icing will become, as air is being incorporated into the mixture. This is wonderful for the fluffy icing of a cake, but trying to decorate with too much air in the mixture will give difficulties when trying to get an even extrusion from a decorating tip. The air bubbles will constantly cause breaks in the flow. If using a hand mixer it would take a long while to accomplish this, but with a large heavy-duty mixer, it would be best to keep the speed at medium, thus lessening the quantity of large bubbles forming in the icing.



Chocolate Ganache 

Decadent chocolate ganache that is great as a truffle filling (chilled) or piped onto cupcakes.  Less intensely sweet than many icings, but smooth, silky and rich. This can be made with white chocolate (make sure there is actually cocoa butter in the ingredients) or dark chocolate.

Makes a small amount (double if using for mini cupcakes)

¼ cup whipping cream
3 ounces bittersweet baking chocolate, or ½ cup dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter

In a 1-quart heavy saucepan, heat the whipping cream just to simmering over medium low heat. Remove from heat; stir in the chocolate with a wire whisk until melted.  Stir in the butter pieces, a few at a time, until melted. Refrigerate until thickened, about 30 minutes.

If using for truffle centers, once chilled, roll into balls. Dust with cocoa, roll in nuts, or dip in chocolate.


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Chocolate Ganache
Chocolate Ganache,
used as Icing on Mini Cupcakes
Ateco 829 large Star Tip