Baking is not just whipping up a quick batch of chocolate chip cookies for your child’s school bake sale. It can be much more than that. The art of baking involves tradition, history, and thousands of years of trial and error that have resulted in our favorite treats we enjoy today.
Often, baking is used as an avenue for a hobby or a past-time, as we might see our grandmothers or mothers do. We may all have fond memories of helping our mothers in the kitchen making delicious confections that are later shared with family and friends.
Crafting these yummy treats brings people together and creates a sense of happiness and joy. You can’t deny picking out your favorite pastry at your local bakery isn’t a special moment.
However, over the years, baking has become much more than what we see our families doing in our kitchens. This craft has spread so wide, that we are now seeing more and more bakeries and cakeries pop up in our towns and cities. We even have entire TV channels dedicated to baking competitions and shows.
Especially with cake making, the competition to make the most delicious and beautiful cakes is nothing like we’ve ever seen. What bakers now can do with cakes is astounding; adding beautiful designs, decorative flowers, or even creating entire landscapes on just a cake is something worth noticing. These cake makers have a talent that far reaches the abilities of what you typically see on your average grocery store birthday cakes.
Especially on wedding cakes and other celebratory cakes, you will notice cakes so beautifully made and meticulously iced, you won’t even want to cut into it. But, you might wonder what makes these cakes look so special and also last so long? Wedding cakes, in particular, have to be transported from bakery to wedding venue, so how does the icing not melt and maintain its shape?
Most cake bakers and decorators have a few tricks up their sleeves to ensure their cake creations make it from the kitchens to the cake’s destination without the worry of icing melting or being damaged. That one trick is icing shortening.
What is This Ingredient?
Shortening is a widely used ingredient in the world of baking that has been utilized for many years. But, for someone unfamiliar with this versatile ingredient, let’s break it down and show exactly how it’s used and why it’s such a great ingredient for cake icing.
The actual word “shortening” refers to the fats used to shorten or cut doughs in pastries or other dough-based treats.
By definition, shortening is any sort of fat that remains solid at room temperature. More modern versions of shortening refer to hydrogenated oils, which consist of vegetable oils, and lard. Most types of shortening you can find in the grocery store consist of hydrogenated palm, soybean, or other neutral vegetable oils.
Back in the day, shortening was used widely in many home kitchens for more things than just baking. You can use it to make pie crusts, pastries, or even fry with it. But, this ingredient is now more commonly used in cakeries for cake icing.
Why Do Bakers Use Icing Shortening?
Icing is typically made by whipping sugar and fat. Unlike common fat sources like butter, shortening is completely white, so it’s very useful if you want to achieve a bright white color for your icing. Shortening also has a higher melting point, meaning your icing won’t melt in higher temperatures. This is especially helpful for icing decorations to hold their shape no matter the temperature the cake is exposed to.
Another perk ofshorteningis its ability to create high volume, creamy, and fluffy icing. Who doesn’t want that slathers all over their cakes? Do you ever wonder how those intricate flowers made of icing hold their shape on a cake and never melt? Most likely, the frosting was made with icing shortening.
Where to Buy?
Now, if you own a baking business, you might be wondering where to get your hands on some high-quality shortening to use in your future cake frostings. Typically, this ingredient is used in high volumes at a cake shop, so it’s best to find a great bakery ingredient distributor that supplies everything you need.
If that’s something that sounds of interest, then check us out at Stover& Company. We are the leading bakery and decorating tool distributor that stocks our warehouse with all the necessary ingredients and tools every baker needs.
From icing shortening to every flour you can think of, we at Stover & Company want to provide our customers with the best products and service. Come check us out at stovercompany.com or give us a call at 724-274-6314 and we can answer any questions or concerns you may have.