Assuming that 7 min icing isn't meant to be CRUNCHY....
- alex8alot Apr 8, 2007 07:42 PM
what did I do wrong?
IT seemed fine at the time of preparation, I spread it, it looked pretty, but when I bit into the next night, it was grainy and crunchy. I have never made this before, or tasted it before, so I am completely in the dark here.
any ideas anyone?
How did you store the cake? I think if the air gets to it, it can dry it out, making a sort of crunchy skin on the outside.
Your icing "went to sugar" as my Mom would say. I'm not an expert on the science of this, but I think the sugar crystalized. This tends to happen when you over beat it. When making 7-minute, you have to stop beating just as soon as the consistency is right. Did you notice that it was a little too stiff going on the cake?
That was the problem, I didn't know if it was too stiff or not! :) I followed the instructions, which said to beat ont he double boiler for 3 min, and then 5-7 minutes off the heat. I did double the recipe, I don't know if htat was it. The recipe said that this was a "form" of 7 minute icing. It still seemed quite pliable. It didnt stand in stiff, straight peaks or anything.
And the graininess seemed to be under the skin, if you know what I mean.
That's almost the way I do it...from memory, I think low speed 3-4 minutes, high speed 3-4 min, off the heat 3-4 minutes. Did your recipe call for corn syrup? A tiny bit of corn syrup with the sugar, water, cream of tarter, egg whites and salt will help keep the sugar from crystalizing.
It sounds like your icing had the right consistency originally. If icing the cake seems like mounding fluffy globs of lightweight frosting, rather than trying to spackle the cake, then you have it right. No telling what happened. Every once in a while this icing will screw up for me, too, but I think it's worth it. Confectionery can be tricky.
I know with fudge, you need to put a lid on the pot and let the steam wash down the crystals on the side for about 15-30 seconds after all the sugar has dissolved and just as it is coming to a boil, or else those sugar crystals will turn the fudge grainy. The other thing is not to shock the mixture with anything cold being added to it once it has gotten to the boil, because that can cause crystals to precipitate.
If you live in a very humid climate, sometimes the icing will sugar no matter what you do. Typically, the outside of the icing does form a thin, slightly crunchy shell, but the interior is still creamy/fluffy. But like I said, some days it sugars, no matter what, due to the ambient humidity.
I love this frosting. HOWEVER it can be tricky. I tried many different versions until I found one that was called Kaye's Buttercream. The directions included state that it is important to brush the sugar crystals down the side of the pan with a Clean Brush and Cold Water as the water heats. The recipe and extensive directions can be found the the book "The Whimsical Bakehouse" by Kaye and Liv Hansen
One other note when I do use this icing in large scale I usually cut it half and half with regular buttercream for more substantial flavor. It still has the pearly sheen and light texture.