The icing on the cake

ARTY PASSION

The icing on the cake

Do you remember those days when everyone at a birthday party fought over who would get the sugary roses that sat atop the creamy cake? Although biting them was a task in itself, nothing could have tasted better at that moment. It was a luxury that was well worth the tussle.

Over the years, cakes, like everything else, have taken on a new avatar. They are no longer the untidily finished desserts that can send you on an immediate sugar-rush. The market is now flooded with newer types of icing that have quickly outdated the once-popular royal icing and butter cream. Katherene, of ‘Ms K Cupcakes’, says, “When I was a kid, there was no concept of icing. My mother would drizzle sugar or use butter cream icing, which was basically sugar and butter mixed with one tablespoon of milk — a good way to get a heart attack! Now, there are so many types of icing, from marzipan and fondant to ganache, which have become popular with people.”

Aeliya, of ‘Cake Toppers Shoppe’, also has fond memories of cakes from her childhood. “For my second birthday, my aunt bought me a cake from Nilgiris that was shaped like a plane. It was made from marzipan. It goes to show that even then, cake-making was evolving.”

While some are happy with this change, others think there is an overload of choice. “I haven’t been very fond of icing ever since I became a professional baker. I make money out of it but I’m not for it. I don’t appreciate fondant all over a cake; I think the basic cake is not getting enough glory. It is very competitive these days,” says Katherene.

But Thripti, of ‘Happy
Belly Bakes’, says, “Change is natural — people used to wear bell bottoms and now they like slim fit jeans; it is the same with icing. I don’t believe the older form of icing is completely gone, however. While 90 per cent of my clients ask for fondant, there is still that 10 per cent who ask for royal icing.”  What icing do bakers prefer these days? “I swear by fondant when it comes to work. I have to transport most of my desserts and fondant is sturdy. It can survive Bengaluru’s potholes,” laughs Katherene. Thripti also enjoys working with fondant. “You can create realistic art with fondant that you can’t achieve with any other medium,” she says. However, Aeliya says, “I prefer working with butter cream as the decorations and icing hold well.”

Whether it’s the classical royal icing or fondant, baking these days is more than just about giving a finish. It’s an art that requires every ounce of dedication from a baker.

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