Friday, September 18, 2015

Almost A 'My Mother Used To Make This' Frosting

I made a birthday cake for a dear friend this week and decided that my cake icing skills were so rusty that the best bet was 7-Minute frosting. You may know of this stuff...fluffy, white like a marshmallow, soft and sweet, with a flavor mostly of sugar. My mom used to make it for my older sister's birthday cake, then cover the frosted cake with grated coconut. It was wonderful! I learned how to make it when I was about 10 and it wasn't my favorite because you had to hold a hand-held mixer over hot water for at least 7 minutes, which is a long time for a kid.

At my friend's party lunch, once the cake was served, I heard all around the table, "My Mom used to make this's boiled frosting, right?" I assured them that it was very much like the frosting their Moms used to make, but with a wonderful difference. For this frosting, the ingredients (egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and a pinch of salt) are whisked over simmering water until the sugar melts, but then are put on a stand mixer and the whisk attachment gets put at medium speed to do the rest of the work. It's like magic I tell you...easy and beautiful frosting, too.

One of the delights of this frosting is that you almost automatically make beautiful swirls and peaks just by spreading it on the cake. I glammed it up by putting on multi-colored sprinkles, little silver dragees and Autumn Mix candy corns and pumpkins. There were even candles at serving time. Of course I forgot to take a photo of the full cake, but I did take a photo of the cupcakes that I also made and which had similar decorations on that fabulous frosting.

It may be a while before I post the cake, but I wanted my friends to have the frosting recipe now so that they can give their family a blast from the past by making this icing for their family's next cake.

We can all thank Nick Malgieri for the ease of his method for making this treat with modern appliances.

Fluffy White Frosting – a version of 7-Minute Icing

3 large egg whites (scant ½ cup)
1 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1/3 cup light corn syrup

Half fill a 1 ½ quart saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat so the water simmers.
Use a hand whisk to combine the egg whites, sugar, salt and corn syrup in the bowl of a heavy-duty mixer. Place the bowl over the pan of simmering water and gently whisk until the ingredients are hot (about 130 degrees) and the sugar has dissolved.

Attach the bowl to the mixer and whip the icing with the whisk attachment on medium speed until cooled, about 5 minutes: touch the outside of the bowl – it should feel cool.

Use immediately to fill and cover a cake.

Makes enough for filling and covering a 9-inch two-layer cake.

Recipe from Perfect Cakes by Nick Malgieri

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