20 February 2011

Icings, Frostings, Glazes & Ganaches

dairy free egg free nut free vegan

If you bake as often as I do, then these are recipe essentials.

You can do a very respectable job of icing your cupcakes and cakes and staying dairy-free. But you need to observe two rules:

1. Never allow your dairy-free margarine to 'soften' before using, like you would with butter. Due to its higher water and lower fat content, it seems to break down and you will run into problems mixing it with other ingredients and it won't hold its shape.

2. Always chill your icing before using.

This is as comprehensive a list as I can manage - but if you have an icing recipe that just must be shared, please drop me a note!

Dairy free Vanilla Frosting
125g dairy-free margarine
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract (or other flavourings)

Beat margarine in small bowl with electric mixer until as white as possible - then beat in sifted icing sugar. You can replace vanilla with lemon juice or other juice if you want a flavoured frosting - you might want to increase it to 1tbsp.

Makes 1 3/4 cups

Dairy free Chocolate Frosting
100g dairy free margarine
4 tbsp water
1/2 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 cups icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder

Combine margarine, water and caster sugar in small saucepan; stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.

Combine sifted icing sugar and cocoa in medium bowl; gradually stir in hot spread mixture until smooth. Cover; refrigerate 20 minutes. Using wooden spoon, beat frosting until spreadable.

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Dairy free Cream Cheese Icing
60g dairy-free margarine
160g dairy-free cream cheese
3 cups icing sugar

Beat margarine and cream cheese in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually beat in sifted icing sugar.

Makes 2 1/2 cups

Fluffy Mock Cream
2 tbsp rice/soy milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon gelatine
2 tbsp water, extra
250g dairy free margarine
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Combine milk, water and sugar in small saucepan; stir over low heat, without boiling, until sugar is disolved. Sprinkle gelatine over extra water in cup, add to pan; stir syrup until gelativne is dissolved. Cool to room temperature.

Beat butter and extract in small bowl with electric mixer, until as white as possible. While motor is operating, gradually pour in cold syrup; beat until light and fluffy. Mixture will thicken on standing.

Makes 2 cups

Glace Icing
4 cups icing sugar
2 tsp dairy free margarine
4 tbsp hot water, approximately

Sift icing sugar into small heatproof bowl; stir in margarine and enough of the hot water to make a thick paste. Place bowl over small saucepan of simmering water; stir until icing is spreadable.

Makes 2 cups

2 cups icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice (approx) or other flavoured juice

Sift icing sugar into small heatproof bowl, stir in enough strained juice to give a thick pouring consistency. Stir over small saucepan of simmering water until thin enough to make a spreadable opaque glaze.

Makes 1 cup

Chocolate Ganache (dairy free, vegan)
You can make an excellent ganache by first finding a dairy/egg/nut free chocolate (Kinnerton Luxury Chocolate Bar is my favourite). Ganache is fantastic for drizzling over a cake and letting harden, or allowing to cool slightly before icing and a filling a cake (goes well under fondant when decorating). You can also let it cool and then whip into a frenzy and use to pipe frosting onto cupcakes.

Rice or soy milk is fine to use, but lately I've been trialling coconut cream which results in a richer taste and more luscious texture.

1 cup rice/soy milk or coconut cream
400g dairy-free chocolate, chopped coarsely

Bring milk or cream to boil in small saucepan; remove from heat. Add chocolate immediately and stir until melted and smooth.

Use while still warm and pourable, or cool and then beat with a wooden spoon until spreadable.

Makes 2 cups

Chocolate Mousse Frosting (dairy free, vegan)
Sometimes, you just want to give the Nuttelex a break. Using tofu makes a nice change, as long as you sweeten and flavour it well.
350g silken tofu
1/4 cup rice or soy milk
2 tablespoons honey or golden syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
350g dairy-free choc chips

Blend tofu, milk, vanilla and golden syrup in a blender and mix. Melt choc chips over a double boiler or in the microwave, allow to cool slightly then add to blender and mix with the tofu. Refrigerate in covered bowl for at least an hour before using.

Ready to roll Fondant Icing (dairy free, vegan)
This is what you use when you want to try a fancily decorated cake. I wouldn't dream of making my own, though there are recipes out there for home-made fondant and marshmallow versions. Luckily, most commercial varieties are dairy/egg/nut free (eg Orchard available at most supermarkets).