|Some cupcakes I made for my husband's niece's wedding.|
Ingredients are incredibly important when you make icing. Real butter, pure vanilla extract are not a luxury, they are a necessity in good icing. You can also use any liqueur to flavour your icing as well - as they are not extracts, the flavour will not be as pronounced but you can combine them with an extract to make them extra special.
Put about 2/3 - 3/4 cup butter into a decent sized bowl that has higher sides. I know it is an obscene amount of butter but this icing is for special occasions - I don't use it very often but we all love it!
Start adding in your icing sugar, a little at a time until it starts to get a bit stiffer (not stiff though).
Add a couple tablespoons of milk and continue to mix well.
Add about 2-3 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp almond extract - depending how much icing you are making. Mix in well.
Add more icing sugar and a wee bit more milk. Mix well.
Taste the icing - it should feel smooth and creamy - not gritty at all. If it feels gritty, add a bit more butter - about a tablespoon and about a teaspoon of milk.
Keep trying it until it feels like it melts in your mouth. Just taste a smidgen - not a whole teaspoon or anything like that.
Cream it gently for about 5 minutes.
Ice your cake or cupcakes. Leftovers freeze well - just stir well and gently when it thaws out.