Hello, hello, hello!
Well! I have some good news readers! I have found a spectacular cream cheese icing recipe, which not only adapted well to be lactose free, but has ticked all the boxes I needed ticked to use it on my friend’s wedding cake! It’s taken quite a bit of testing and experimentation to get to this point, which isn’t cheap, unfortunately. But I am very pleased with the results. It’s also proven to me time and again that the Liddell’s lactose free cream cheese is a fantastic substitute for regular cream cheese when needed!
I was quite worried at first that it would be too soft when I first brought some home. Often the cream cheese in tubs is spreadable, and therefore too soft for a lot of cream cheese icing recipes unless mounds of icing sugar are added. The other lactose free/dairy free substitutes I have used in the past for other things, like butter, have been far too soft at times too. And when it came to ice cream the substitutes could often be too hard! But this cream cheese was firm enough to begin with that when beaten until smooth and spreadable it didn’t turn into something with the texture of warm margarine! I was delighted! And the flavour was still spot on!
I once again used Zymil’s lactose free thickened cream for this recipe and it worked a treat. Despite being different to the standard thickened cream it still has that lovely flavour, whips with ease, and remains stable when whipped! Cream in icing also gives it an extra fluffiness that I adore, and I’m so glad there’s now a lactose free thickened cream available that isn’t based on almond or soy. As those have tended to stand out too much flavour wise in other icings I’ve made.
I also like that this recipe uses cream of tartar for stabilisation more than excess icing sugar, as it meant the finished product wasn’t at all sweet. And yet it wasn’t sour either. The richness of the lactose free cream and the cream cheese together was so perfect. It allowed the cream cheese flavour to come through very clearly! And as the title of the original recipe suggested, the finished product was quite “sturdy”. Yet it also had the soft, smooth texture of something like Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Yum! The author also agreed with another commenter that they could certainly add powdered gelatine as well. I’ve never added powdered gelatine to a recipe outside of jellies and puddings, so I’m quite intrigued by the notion of using it in whipped cream.
I didn’t get a chance to weigh out all the ingredients this time around either, apologies. But hopefully when I make another batch I’ll be able to write their weights down.
I have, for this post, also used up the last packet I had of the Melinda’s Decadent Red Velvet Cake Mix and made cupcakes. The standard ingredients for this cake mix are 140ml milk of your choosing, 50g butter, and 2 eggs. I used about 155-160ml lactose free milk, added two tablespoons of cocoa powder, added a generous squirt of tulip red americolor gel and 50g of nuttelex instead of butter. My eggs are also large size, 60g and up, as a rule of thumb.
Adapted from Faux Martha’s
Yields: Enough to naked ice a 2 tier 8-9″ cake, Prep: 10-15 mins
- 2 cups/500ml thickened cream, chilled (I used 500ml Zymil’s lactose free thickened cream)
- 1 cup icing sugar (Make sure it’s gluten-free)
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- 1 tsp/5ml vanilla extract
- 8 oz/226g cream cheese, chilled (I used Liddell’s lactose free cream cheese)
- In a bowl, combine the cream, icing sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla.
- Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, as if you were making regular whipped cream.
- NOTE: The author advises that if your cream starts to curdle because you’ve whipped it for too long, slowly incorporate a tablespoon or more of cream at a time to bring it back to the desired consistency.
- In a separate bowl, beat the chilled cream cheese until it’s spreadable and creamy. Which can take 2 mins or more.
- NOTE: You really do want the cream cheese spreadable. If it’s too stiff it won’t incorporate properly into the whipped cream. The author advises testing spreadability by dragging a spatula through it.
- Add the cream cheese to the whipped cream mix and whisk on medium speed until completely smooth. This took me less than a minute, as I was using a stand mixer with a balloon whisk attachment.
- I prefer my icing a little firmer when trying to use it, and as I hadn’t yet made anything for it to go on (oops!), I popped it back into the fridge while I cleaned up and got the cupcakes ready. But feel free to try and use it right away, as the author does.