Edna shows us the basics of making buttercream frosting for professional, decorative cakes starting with the right ingredients. She uses a basic buttercream recipe, but makes sure that she does not over-mix the ingredients. She also explains how she used to use Crisco, but when the company changed its recipe to zero trans fat, she decided to started using real butter, which makes the frosting a lot less yellow. Additionally, use of Crisco, makes the frosting drier and much more crumbly. If you want to still use crisco, use whole fat milk, she suggests. You might also try shortening from Wal-Mart, or anything that does not say "0 Trans Fat." Just make sure not to use lard. The other tip in making the icing, is to use a high ratio shortening to make a smoother icing. CK Products manufactures a high ratio shortening as does Sweetex and Alpine. Another ingredient you will need to use is Meringue Powder, which is just simply powdered egg whites. The first step in actually making the icing is to start with 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening in a mixer. Add good quality sugar, such as Domino, to the shortening/butter mix. Use a medium setting to cream these ingredients together and then add vanilla extract, 2 tablespoons of water, 10X powdered sugar, 4 cups of sugar, and sift the mixture. After that, you need a 1 tablespoon of water slowly to this mix. The rest of the steps in this tutorial show you how to not over-mix your ingredients. Follow these step-by-step instructions and ingredient tips to learn how to make buttercream icing for cakes.
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