In the first place, the eggs should be cold, and the platter on which they are to be beaten also cold. Allow, for the white of one egg, one small
teacupful of powdered sugar. Break the eggs and throw a small handful of the sugar on them as soon as you begin beating; keep adding it at intervals until it is all used up. The eggs must not be beaten until the sugar has been added in this way, which gives a smooth, tender frosting, and one that will dry much sooner than the old way.
Spread with a broad knife evenly over the cake, and if it seems too thin, beat in a little more sugar. Cover the cake with two coats, the second after the first has become dry, or nearly so. If the icing gets too dry or stiff before the last coat is needed, it can be thinned sufficiently with a little water, enough to make it work smoothly.
A little lemon juice, or half a teaspoonful of tartaric acid, added to the frosting while being beaten, makes it white and more frothy.
The flavors mostly used are lemon, vanilla, almond, rose, chocolate and orange. If you wish to ornament with figures or flowers, make up rather more icing, keep about one-third out until that on the cake is dried; then, with a clean glass syringe, apply it in such forms as you desire and dry as before; what you keep out to ornament with may be tinted pink with cochineal, blue with indigo, yellow with saffron or the grated rind of an orange strained through a cloth, green with spinach juice and brown with chocolate, purple with cochineal and indigo. Strawberry, or currant and cranberry juices color a delicate pink.
Set the cake in a cool oven with the door open to dry, or in a draught in an open window.
The whites of three eggs, beaten up with three cups of fine, white sugar. Blanch a pound of sweet almonds, pound them in a mortar with a little sugar, until a fine paste, then add the whites of eggs, sugar and vanilla extract. Pound a few minutes to thoroughly mix. Cover the cake with a very thick coating of this, set in a cool oven to dry, afterwards cover with a plain icing.
The whites of four eggs, three cups of powdered sugar and nearly a cup of grated chocolate. Beat the whites a very little, they must not become white, stir in the chocolate, then put in the sugar gradually, beating to mix it well.
PLAIN CHOCOLATE ICING.
Put into a shallow pan four tablespoonfuls of scraped chocolate, and place it where it will melt gradually, but not scorch; when melted, stir in three tablespoonfuls of milk or cream and one of water; mix all well together, and add one scant teacupful of sugar; boil about five minutes, and while hot, and when the cakes are nearly cold, spread some evenly over the surface of one of the cakes; put a second one on top, alternating the mixture and cakes; then cover top and sides, and set in a warm oven to harden. All who have tried recipe after recipe, vainly hoping to find one where the chocolate sticks to the cake and not to the fingers, will appreciate the above. In making those most palatable of cakes, “Chocolate Eclairs,” the recipe just given will be found very satisfactory.
TUTTI FRUTTI ICING.
Mix with boiled icing one ounce each of chopped citron, candied cherries, seedless raisins, candied pineapple and blanched almonds.
To one pound of extra refined sugar add one ounce of fine white starch; pound finely together and then sift them through gauze; then beat the whites of three eggs to a froth. The secret of success is to beat the eggs long enough, and always one way; add the powdered sugar by degrees, or it will spoil the froth of the eggs. When all the sugar is stirred in continue the whipping for half an hour longer, adding more sugar if the ice is too thin. Take a little of the icing and lay it aside for ornamenting afterward. When the cake comes out of the oven, spread the sugar icing smoothly over it with a knife and dry it at once in a cool oven. For ornamenting the cake the icing may be tinged any color preferred. For pink, use a few drops of cochineal; for yellow, a pinch of saffron dissolved; for green, the juice of some chopped spinach. Whichever is chosen, let the coloring be first mixed with a little colorless spirit and then stirred into the white icing until the tint is deep enough. To ornament the cake with it, make a cone of stiff writing paper and squeeze the colored icing through it, so as to form leaves, beading or letters, as the case may be. It requires nicety and care to do it with success.
To one pound of finest pulverized sugar add three wine-glassfuls of clear water. Let it stand until it dissolves; then boil it until it is perfectly clear and threads from the spoon. Beat well the whites of four eggs. Pour the sugar into the dish with the eggs, but do not mix them until the syrup is luke-warm; then beat all well together for one-half hour.
Season to your taste with vanilla, rose-water, or lemon juice. The first coating may be put on the cake as soon as it is well mixed. Rub the cake with a little flour before you apply the icing. While the first coat is drying continue to beat the remainder; you will not have to wait long if the cake is set in a warm place near the fire. This is said to be a most excellent recipe for icing.
FROSTING WITHOUT EGGS.
An excellent frosting may be made without eggs or gelatine, which will keep longer and cut more easily, causing no breakage or crumbling and withal is very economical.
Take one cup of granulated sugar; dampen it with one-fourth of a cup of milk, or five tablespoonfuls; place it on the fire in a suitable dish and stir it until it boils; then let it boil for five minutes without stirring; remove it from the fire and set the dish in another of cold water; add flavoring. While it is cooling, stir or beat it constantly and it will become a thick, creamy frosting.
Soak one teaspoonful of gelatine in one tablespoonful of cold water half an hour, dissolve in two tablespoonfuls of hot water; add one cup of powdered sugar and stir until smooth.
A very delicious and handsome frosting can be made by using the yolks of eggs instead of the whites. Proceed exactly as for ordinary frosting. It will harden just as nicely as that does. This is particularly good for orange cake, harmonizing with the color of the cake in a way to please those who love rich coloring.