I have been taking a cake decorating course that requires me to make this buttercream icing because, being Wilton, they claim that no other icing gets stiff enough to make their decorations, and that other icings won't crust the way this does. Problem is, I think it tastes gross and fake and sorta plastic and commercial, and not at all how I want the icing on my homemade cakes to taste.
I tried adding more vanilla and/or more butter flavouring to maybe make it taste better (I suspect the taste is from the shortening?) but it still tastes odd to me. The course instructor said we couldn't replace the shortening with butter because the icing wouldn't get as stiff as I need, and it wouldn't crust.
Is there a way to make a stiff consistency icing that doesn't taste so terrible?