Lazy Boiled Icing with Cacao Nibs

By • October 22, 2013 • 8 Comments



Author Notes: I've never been a big fan of frosting; to me, it detracts from the main attraction: the cake. But when boiled icing (also known as 7-minute icing or Italian meringue) finally entered my life (in the form of the Old-fashioned cupcake by local bakery Miette), I started to change my tune, at least where boiled icing is concerned. It has a slick sheen, which makes is elegantly beautiful. It's billowy and light but has a gratifying stickiness that makes it almost impossible to eat without getting it stuck on your lips.

When I looked up a recipe to make boiled icing on my own, I was bummed to find out that I needed a candy thermometer (my relationship with candy thermometers can be somewhat strained, but that's another story). Eventually, I stumbled upon a recipe for an uncooked boiled icing, which I was totally skeptical of at first, but when I saw it come together, I'm sure I jumped for joy.

This icing is a bit lighter and airier than the cooked kind, but it's still smooth and satisfying. I add cacao nibs for an even more adult flavor and a little fun with texture. It works well lightly torched or not, but who doesn't look for an excuse to break out the propane kitchen torch? Make the frosting as close as possible to serving time because like any boiled icing, it will weep and fall after a while; keeping it from getting too warm will help make it last.
vvvanessa

Food52 Review: This recipe is great. The texture was light, flavorful, and silky, and the bitterness of the cocoa nibs played really well against the sweetness of the frosting. There was something sophisticated about the outcome of this frosting -- plus, it was very simple to make. The only caveat is that you must use it right away or it may separate, but this could be a temperature issue. Audrey

Makes enough to frost one 8- or 9-inch layer cake or 24 (at least) cupcakes generously

  • 1 large egg white at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar, preferably superfine
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons cacao nibs
  1. Place the egg white, sugar, cream of tartar, and vanilla in the clean, dry, oil-free bowl of a stand mixer. Fit the mixer with the whisk attachment.
  2. Bring the water to a full boil. Pour it immediately onto the other ingredients and start the mixer on low. Mix for a few seconds to minimize splashing, then turn the mixer up to medium-high until the icing turns thick, glossy, and billowy, about 7-8 minutes.
  3. While the icing is mixing, using a mortar and pestle, gently crush the nibs (you can also use a plastic bag and a rolling pin). The nibs shouldn't be pulverized; just break up some of the larger pieces. Some residual powder is fine.
  4. Fold the nibs into the icing and use immediately.
  5. Consume the icing the same day and keep at room temperature or cooler. It does not store or freeze well.
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10 months ago em-i-lis

Emily is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I'm pretty psyched about this!!! Thanks vvvanessa!

Dsc00426

10 months ago vvvanessa

I hope you like it!

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10 months ago Cookingly Yours

it sounds to me as if it's supposed to be consumed ...raw? can I bake it?

Dsc00426

10 months ago vvvanessa

If you mean baked like broiled to get some color on the frosting, yes, definitely. But if you mean baked like a meringue cookie, I have not tried that, but I'm not sure this would work as well with the water in it.

But when I make meringues, I like to fold in cacao nibs, so it's similar to this frosting. I do 3 egg whites to 3/4 cup of sugar (superfine usually) plus 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar, plus vanilla extract.

Gator_cake

10 months ago hardlikearmour

hardlikearmour is a trusted home cook.

Gorgeous on many levels!

Dsc00426

10 months ago vvvanessa

Thank you!

Mrs._larkin_370

10 months ago mrslarkin

Mrs. Larkin is a trusted source on Baking.

Amazazing. I'm soooo lazy, this is right up my alley.

Dsc00426

10 months ago vvvanessa

I pretty my live on Lazy Alley!