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Simple icing that looks like poured concrete


paulraphael
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If you were to make a gingerbread house in the brutalist architectural style, and wanted the icing to look like poured reinforced concrete, and if you wanted the icing to be easy to make and easy to apply (because you're not much of a cake decorator), and you wanted the icing to have good longevity (because people might not be in a huge hurry to eat a brutalist gingerbread house), what kind of icing might you use?

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Notes from the underbelly

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Done my share of gingerbread houses but you brought me up confused at "poured reinforced concrete", Reinforcement is not an actual form but concrete that is reinforced by underlying re-bar or mesh. Do you have an image you are trying to go for?

Anything in these look or sound like what you want?

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/159892-the-gingerbread-house-topic/

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/96340-gingerbread-houses-pictures/

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/96367-gingerbread-houses-tips-techniques/

 

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I'd just go with a royal icing, add a bit of finely-ground edible charcoal, and press some canvas against it before it fully hardens, to give a rough, dull texture.

Is an icing a must? I once thought it would be a great idea to make empandas with buckwheat flour, and although they were tasty, the crust was a surprise, a concrete grey; buckwheat flour may be an option that would let you skip an icing.

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Michaela, aka "Mjx"
Manager, eG Forums
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4 hours ago, Mjx said:

I once thought it would be a great idea to make empandas with buckwheat flour, and although they were tasty, the crust was a surprise, a concrete grey; buckwheat flour may be an option that would let you skip an icing.

 

Skipping the icing sounds like a great idea.  Some of the photos at the link I shared above look most realistic without icing.  Of course, that effect is enhanced when they are photographed in B&W.  If you could use buckwheat flour, activated charcoal or black cocoa to give a darker color and impress your texture on it prior to baking, it could be a win. 

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On 12/14/2021 at 10:03 PM, heidih said:

Done my share of gingerbread houses but you brought me up confused at "poured reinforced concrete", Reinforcement is not an actual form but concrete that is reinforced by underlying re-bar or mesh. Do you have an image you are trying to go for?

Anything in these look or sound like what you want?

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/159892-the-gingerbread-house-topic/

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/96340-gingerbread-houses-pictures/

https://forums.egullet.org/topic/96367-gingerbread-houses-tips-techniques/

 

 

Yes, I don't need actual rebar in my cake ... poured reinforced concrete is just how an architect would describe a structure, and tells you a bit about the esthetics.

 

Here's a typical brutalist building ...

37426538706_9aa680cb31_h.thumb.jpg.10b05ecfbb3cc7a8040eef50e20f1a1f.jpg

 

 

My gingerbread house won't be this awesome, because I'm not a genius, but it's something to aspire to.

 

BTW, I'm working for a company that's involved in architecture, and we're having a gingerbread house contest for our holiday party, so I just thought this would be funny.

 

 

Photo: Arch Daily https://www.archdaily.com/963115/brutalism-in-european-schools-and-universities-photographed-by-stefano-perego/60b42c1cf91c81fb8200003d-brutalism-in-european-schools-and-universities-photographed-by-stefano-perego-photo?next_project=no ©Georges Adilon

Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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6 hours ago, Mjx said:

I'd just go with a royal icing, add a bit of finely-ground edible charcoal, and press some canvas against it before it fully hardens, to give a rough, dull texture.

Is an icing a must? I once thought it would be a great idea to make empandas with buckwheat flour, and although they were tasty, the crust was a surprise, a concrete grey; buckwheat flour may be an option that would let you skip an icing.

 

This sounds like a great idea for the icing.

 

Skipping the icing and doing a concrete-like dough does look like the most pro option. I just don't have enough gingerbread experience to improv this and have confidence that it will work. A structural collapse would ruin Christmas. So unless you know of a tried and true recipe ...

Notes from the underbelly

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Are there rules like it has to be all edible?  A lot of the gingerbread houses are meant to be storable for following year(s) so you can go pretty firm on the dough especially is nobody is going to taste test it.. Like the ones our late @David Ross shows in the links. What you use for the "glue" is key. Also if can have non-edible parts think of how wedding cake decorators stabilize tiers. Sounds like a lot of fun. Hope you post pics from the contest.

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11 minutes ago, heidih said:

Are there rules like it has to be all edible?  A lot of the gingerbread houses are meant to be storable for following year(s) so you can go pretty firm on the dough especially is nobody is going to taste test it.. Like the ones our late @David Ross shows in the links. What you use for the "glue" is key. Also if can have non-edible parts think of how wedding cake decorators stabilize tiers. Sounds like a lot of fun. Hope you post pics from the contest.

Excellent question. I like the idea of it being edible, so it doesn't go to waste. But this is all going to happen on zoom. So we could get away with faking it.

 

I have to leave town the next day so will probably try to give it away, preferably to friends with kids. My partner and I are not going to eat a whole concrete bunker by ourselves.

Notes from the underbelly

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Here's how it turned out. 


Raphaelson-Brutalistginger-5.thumb.jpg.52456689ed5b6c610e6ac94c71228a3a.jpg

 

Raphaelson-Brutalistginger-6.thumb.jpg.7efd5ac568fdde6764401c1427c32018.jpg

 

Raphaelson-Brutalistginger-7.thumb.jpg.94e3f0bc20cafe67640c759f61d72b89.jpg

 

Basically, if Grandma was Le Courbussier.

 

The royal icing, plus 1 drop of black food coloring, plus my ham-fisted icing skills, gave some pretty realistic poured concrete.

 

Crumbling, delaminating, post-Soviet looking concrete, but those are just fancy words for rustic charm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Notes from the underbelly

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2 hours ago, JeanneCake said:

I like it!!   Pretty cool inspiration and execution.  You won first prize, right?

 

The contest is tomorrow. This will be a test of some architects' sense of humor.

 

They sent us all a prefab gingerbread house kit which I didn't find inspiring enough to open.

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Notes from the underbelly

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16 hours ago, paulraphael said:

 

The contest is tomorrow. This will be a test of some architects' sense of humor.

 

They sent us all a prefab gingerbread house kit which I didn't find inspiring enough to open.

 

I came in 2nd! The winner followed the rules.

Edited by paulraphael (log)
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Notes from the underbelly

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