Sometimes, though, a thick and decadent frosting is not What Is Needed. Sometimes what is needed is a light and poofy frosting. One that will enhance rather than overpower. Oh, okay, I know that all frosting is supposed to enhance, but the trend these days seems to be to pile on as much frosting as possible so the poor cake doesn’t even know what to do with itself. I feel especially sorry for cupcakes.
I admit, the leaning tower of frosting looks great, but since most frosting tends to be rather dense and rich (and sometimes cloying), the 4:1 ratio of frosting to cake ends up landing you in a sugar coma.
Here’s away to have your leaning tower of frosting and eat it too. Make a fruity whipped cream frosting. And to help it stand up proud and tall, stabilize it with some gelatin.
I still think 4:1 is a bit much, but if you want to go for it, this frosting feels fairly light on the tongue and in the tummy, and using sharp fruit such as raspberry or passion fruit adds a lot of flavor while keeping the overall feel light and bright.
As a bonus, it can also be served as a light dessert. I wouldn’t try that with cream cheese frosting unless I was by myself! Just add a bit extra of the fruit puree. The standard ratio for the frosting is 2:1 cream to puree (1 1/2 cups cream to 3/4 cup puree), but if you up the puree to say 3:2 (1 1/2 cups cream to 1 cup puree), you’ll have a lovely fruit mousse made without eggs. Hooray!
As far as stabilizing goes, I generally go with 1/2 teaspoon of gelatin per cup of liquid for a soft and fluffy set (think Whips from Yoplait) although you could go as high as 1 teaspoon gelatin per cup for a much firmer set.
And there you have it. Short and sweet. I will write this up as a recipe, but know that it’s really more of a technique. And if you don’t want to make fruity whipped cream, leave it out. In that case, bloom the gelatin in a tablespoon or two of cold water and then melt it over low heat until it’s not grainy. Whisk that madly into your cream to prevent any gelatin nubbins from forming.
- 12 oz (1 1/2 cups) heavy whipping cream, cold
- 6 oz (or up to 8 oz) fruit puree/purees of choice
- heavy pinch of salt
- 2 oz (1/2 cup) powdered sugar, sifted
- 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
- Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the puree. Stir and let sit for about 5 minutes.
- Heat the puree and gelatin mixture over medium-low heat, stirring often or swirling the pan, until the gelatin has all melted and the mixture is completely smooth and not grainy.
- Strain through a fine mesh strainer. The mixture should not be very hot to begin with, but make sure it cools to at least 90F before proceeding.
- Whip the cream and salt on medium speed, adding in the sugar a bit at a time, until you've reached medium peaks.
- Scrape the bowl and whip in the cooled fruit puree.
- Scrape the bowl again and whip to make sure the mixture is blended.
- Pour or pipe into dessert dishes (for mousse) or use to decorate your favorite cakes/cupcakes.
This frosting needs to stay refrigerated, so it will work best on cake/s that have no solid fat in them that will get harder in the fridge. Angel food or chiffon cakes come to mind. Any cake that is either fat-free or uses liquid fat in the recipe should be just fine.
To make stabilized whipped cream without the fruity goodness, just leave out the puree and bloom the gelatin (1/2 teaspoon per cup, as before) in 1-2 Tablespoons of cold water. Heat to melt the gelatin and then whisk into your cream after you've sweetened it. Make sure you are whisking/whipping madly to prevent any weird gelatin nuggets from messing up your beautiful cream.
And there you have it. Short and sweet today. And fruity!
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Thanks for spending some time with me today, friends, and I hope you have a lovely day.