Frosting and icing, what’s the difference? For your information both of them are totally different but share the same purpose which is to decorate the cake or in baking terms we call it as a finishing step.
Frosting is made of butter and sugar and the texture is fluffy and light. There are few types of popular frosting in the baking industry where eggs are incorporated into the frosting to give it a more light and glossy look. Yes we’re talking about Swiss Buttercream, Italian Buttercream and French Buttercream. All of this buttercream shares the same method but a little bit of twist. Swiss buttercream has a stage where we need to dissolve sugar into egg whites and beat it into a stiff peak over a bain marie. Once the meringues are stable, lots of butter will be incorporated into the meringue and will produce a Swiss Buttercream. However, bear in mind that in order to use this kind of frosting you need to use pasteurized eggwhite. Next, is Italian Buttercream, this buttercream also using the same ingredient as Swiss Buttercream but the differences is that for Italian buttercream we need to cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 117c and when it does reach that temperature, the piping hot sugar syrup will be poured slowly into the egg white while running under the mixer. The egg white will be cooked by the hot syrup and thus creating a very glossy and stable meringue. When it reaches that stage, cubes of butter will be incorporated and Italian buttercream is produced. Lastly, French Buttercream, this buttercream is the same as Italian buttercream with only a little change on the ingredient where egg yolk is used instead of egg white. This will result in a more yellowish buttercream with a great taste and velvety texture.
Icing is a mixture of powdered sugar and other liquid stage ingredients such as syrup, water, milk, egg whites and many more. The most popular icing is Royal Icing where powdered sugar is mixed with egg whites and this mixture will dry, resulting in a very nice hard sugar crust on a cookie. It is used as a decoration and is the most versatile.
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