Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

cream cheese icing / frosting (inc buttercream)


fiftydollars
 Share

Recommended Posts

A friend has asked me to bake a coconut pecan birthday cake with a cream cheese frosting just like the one her aunt used to make. I would really like to put forth the best possible effort, but have to stay within the bounds of her request (she gave me a what appears to be a good, from scratch, recipe for cake and frosting).

Bear in mind that I have dangerously small amounts of cake decorating knowledge/skill and practically no imagination. I have previously put coats of icing on cakes, piped a border or two, and dabbled in fondant and gum paste. Unfortunately, as my friend's luck would have it, I am not quite that good at anything, yet, and at this point my cakes always have a certain... kindergarten-art-project quality about them.

Anyway... what would be a nice way to put together such a cake?

I would really appreciate any kind of guidance or ideas.

Thank you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Wull, if you mean like the decoration??? If you toast some coconut, you could use it for the bottom border - it's fluffy and textural - and you could place pecan halves above or below that. Then if you can pipe a scroll border around the top the white cream cheese icing would be pretty or if you added cocoa powder (& a little water if it got too thick) brown would be a pretty border with the toasted coconut. Then write HB. Grate some chocolate (white or brown) and sprinkle it around.

Or or or get some fruity roll ups & make ribbon roses - or break out the gum paste or fondant - some people use bubble gum to make ribbon roses. Pink and/or red roses go with everything.

What about perusing a cake book or wilton.com to get a few ideas broiling???

Or or or play up the kindergarten look - if that's what you've got going - do something whimsical & childish - pipe a birthday cake & candles on the side, some gift boxes, bowl of ice cream - that would be real cute.

Get some confetti - confetti, sprinkles, edible glitter covers a multitude!! Hey go here clicky and look at the tool box and then arrow over right one spot and see the difference the curliques make??? Read the captions if you want.

Curliques are sooo easy!! And make a big difference - just make 'snakes' out of gum paste or fondant and wrap them around plastic straws or dowel - let 'em dry - wa-a-a-la.

PS. When I am asked to make something like 'her aunt used to make' - I always smile and say, "Sorry, I don't do legends. But I can make you an unforgettable great cake"

PPS. I always use a rum splash - rum flavored simple syrup - squirted into in my baked butter pecan cake before I ice it. Then I use a toffee filling made with toasted coconut so it's a similar kinda cake.

...maybe I will try to post the pictures... :laugh:

sans curlques

Tool box still in progress...

OK now on this cake I should have a.) trimmed my tools better and b.) used a bigger board & not stacked the tools up the side of the cake - tacky but in the next shot...

with curliques

Curliques are our friend

...See how the curliques redeem the effect?? Love a well placed curlique! And I just used the upside down cake board all brown because it was a tool box after all.

Edited by K8memphis (log)
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like to use sugar glazed (half) pecans as garnishes on pecan cakes.

This is not extremely glam, but if you have piping capability, you could pipe rosettes around the top and place a glazed pecan in each... Combined with covering all or part of the sides with toasted coconut as k8memphis mentions-- could be nice.

I'm sure others will have some more suave ideas...

"Under the dusty almond trees, ... stalls were set up which sold banana liquor, rolls, blood puddings, chopped fried meat, meat pies, sausage, yucca breads, crullers, buns, corn breads, puff pastes, longanizas, tripes, coconut nougats, rum toddies, along with all sorts of trifles, gewgaws, trinkets, and knickknacks, and cockfights and lottery tickets."

-- Gabriel Garcia Marquez, 1962 "Big Mama's Funeral"

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Birthday cakes are one of those things that are more endearing when they have the homemade look, so don't stress too much about it. Just try and do something simple and nice.

Cream cheese frosting will soften at room temp, so it depends how long you want to hold it.

Definately put the frosting on the cake and then press on the coconut, it will give the cake a nice textured look. If you mix the coconut into the frosting it will just look like lumpy frosting. Decorate with some pecan halves.

Perhaps you could share the recipe? And do let us know how it turns out.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Go real light on the liquid you add to the cream cheese icing and it will perform better. Like technically, two hours is how long you could leave it out. But the bakery I used to work for left it at room temp after decorating and it was fine.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I want to make a carrot cake with a cream cheese frosting. Now the cream cheese I can buy over here is the Philadelphia kind (and imitations of it). All of them have salt added. I think over here they are mostly used for savory dishes and to spread on bread.

Is this the kind of cream cheese to use for a cream cheese frosting? I am worried about the salt, won't you taste that?

I was thinking of using a mix of mascarpone and whipped cream instead, but I'm not sure if that will have the right flavor.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All you get is phillidelphia cream cheese in the netherlands. What a mind job....

I've used it before in a rush for individual carrot cakes one time it was fine. Salt shouldn't make too much of a difference consider the low amount and also considering the high amount of confectioners' sugar you use to sweetened and soften your icing.

American standard in Europe, crazy.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

philly cream cheese. I'm just always hearing about how great baking products are in Europe that we can't get in America.

I'm not use to buying products like cream cheese at the store, I get most stuff like that through the resturaunt.

Dean Anthony Anderson

"If all you have to eat is an egg, you had better know how to cook it properly" ~ Herve This

Pastry Chef: One If By Land Two If By Sea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have always used Philly cream cheese for frosting (I think about 2:1 with unsalted butter and "enough" icing sugar, a bit of vanilla or else a tsp of lemon juice will cut the icing sugar metallic taste). Thank God for the Kitchen-Aid.

It has always gotten rave reviews and requests for the bowl to lick.

Edited because I am not sure of the cream cheese:butter ratio; I have used several different recipes and I think maybe I like the 4:1 better since it needs less sugar to hold it together.

Edited by *Deborah* (log)

Agenda-free since 1966.

Foodblog: Power, Convection and Lies

Link to comment
Share on other sites

thanks everybody

I feel much better now ! :laugh:

This is going to be my husbands birthday cake to serve 15 guests so it has to be good...

The recipe has creamcheese, butter, sugar, orange zest and fresh grated ginger. Indeed, that will cover up the salt!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I was thinking of making the Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes for the coffee house just to have for a weekend. I'm wondering about them sitting on the counter at room temp. Is there a safety issue with the cream cheese icing? Is it ok if they are at room temp during the day and then refrigerated at night? If they didn't sell in 2 or 3 days tops they would be thrown out. I know buttercream is fine at room temp but the cream cheese worries me and I don't want any lawsuits. Any thoughts?

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was thinking of making the Barefoot Contessa's Coconut Cupcakes for the coffee house just to have for a weekend. I'm wondering about them sitting on the counter at room temp. Is there a safety issue with the cream cheese icing? Is it ok if they are at room temp during the day and then refrigerated at night? If they didn't sell in 2 or 3 days tops they would be thrown out. I know buttercream is fine at room temp but the cream cheese worries me and I don't want any lawsuits. Any thoughts?

Cream cheese will "turn" really quickly at room temp. I'd be leary of leaving cream cheese frosting at room temp for too long. I think longer than 8 hours or so would really be pushing it.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ok, so I gotta tell ya.....

There's what you should do, and what actually happens. A lot of folks won't cop to it, but hey,

I figure I'll tell it like it is......like Mel does.

I have worked in a LOT of places where cream cheese icing was left at room temp, and no one sweated it. As a matter of fact, the place I work now leaves their carrot cakes out all day, AND those exact Contessa Cupcakes you were talking about.....out all day. The icing never turned, no one got sick, no lawsuits....nothing.

One place I worked at a few years ago, did these things called "Pink Cookies" wholesale, for espresso stands. Have you ever seen them? They are a giant shortbread cookie covered with pink icing. The pink icing is made of nothing but cream cheese, powdered sugar, and pink food coloring. It was my job to mix the icing and ice up dozens and dozens of those suckers. They had to be done the day before they went out because they had to be allowed to sit at room temp and form a crust so we could pack them and deliver them. So they're sitting out 24 hours right off the bat. Then we send them out, and the espresso stands keep them out at room temp til they sell, so there's a couple more days. I worked there for 3 years.....iced up thousands of dozens of them.....left out at room temp for days....even a week. No sickness, no turning, no lawsuits....

nothing. Truth.

I must say, when I first got there, I questioned the cream cheese icing/room temp thing, because I wasn't long out of school and you're trained (of course) to think "safety safety safety" (I still do). I asked the chef about it......"these pink cookies are ok, sitting out like this?" He said, "Heck yeah!" and kinda chuckled at me. So I figured if he wasn't sweating it, I wouldn't either.

So, after all that.......

and knowing that leaving cream cheese icing out really isn't that big of a deal, and that I regularly pull cream cheese out to sit at room temp overnight before I mix cheesecake batter.....

would I tell people "Hey, it's OK!" No. I'm afraid to for some reason. I have no problem doing it myself, and I have no problem when I see other people doing it.....but I stop short of telling people to do it. I kinda think it's the same principle as the raw egg thing (like people concerned about caesar dressings and certain mousses).....the truth of the matter is the incidence of salmonella in raw eggs is ridiculously low. I also think that any sickness that may come from room temp cream cheese is even lower than that. I've never seen it happen and I've never heard of it happening.

That's what I know. :wink:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I, too, have heard of unforetold dangers associated with leaving cream cheese at room temperature, but I don't buy it. Many moons ago I packed food for Outward Bound classes as a summer job, and we always put in bricks of cream cheese to be toted in backpacks through the summer heat for at least a week. No reports of cheese-related illness, and there was a lot of thought that went into food safety in that organization.

Since than, I have disregarded all of the cream cheese doomsayers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm no expert, but what exactly is the perceived danger with room-temp dairy? It might eventually go sour and taste weird, but that's certainly not a health risk. Is there a bacterial growth risk? And would it even be "bad" bacteria?

I'm confused.

Sherri A. Jackson
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm no expert, but what exactly is the perceived danger with room-temp dairy?  It might eventually go sour and taste weird, but that's certainly not a health risk.  Is there a bacterial growth risk?  And would it even be "bad" bacteria?

I'm confused.

I think the risk would be mainly due to growth of bacteria which would change the taste of the cream cheese, not so much risk of illness. Certainly you could get sick if the right bacteria colonized the cream cheese and multiplied on it, but most bacteria are not pathogens and most likely the only detriment would be to appearance or taste.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I kinda think it's the same principle as the raw egg thing (like people concerned about caesar dressings and certain mousses).....the truth of the matter is the incidence of salmonella in raw eggs is ridiculously low. I also think that any sickness that may come from room temp cream cheese is even lower than that. I've never seen it happen and I've never heard of it happening.

But then again, most cases of foodborne illness are not something you'll ever know about, unles you're in the habit of following up with people who eat your food and ask them, or have them tell you whether they experience mild nausea of brief diarrhea after they ate your food. Most foodborne illness is very mild and the person who has it doesn't even know that food caused it.

But in any event, I would imagine that the risk from cream cheese is indeed lower that from eggs, as you say. The risk from eggs is that the egg already contains a pathogen, and that pathogen can multiply at the right temp. The cream cheese on the other hand, should not have any pathogens to start with. A pathogen would have to get onto the cheese, and then multiply for a while before there could be any risk.

"If you hear a voice within you say 'you cannot paint,' then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced" - Vincent Van Gogh
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the varied and interesting info. I think maybe I'll compromise and have them brought out at lunch time and then put in the fridge at close until lunch the next day.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...