Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The most delicious buttercream

When it comes to cupcakes, frosting can make or break. There are three frostings that I use for the cakes and cupcakes I create for Spongedrop – Classic Buttercream, Cream Cheese Frosting and Meringue Buttercream. Each with their own unique flavour and texture.

Classic Buttercream is traditionally used on American style cupcakes. It’s sweet, buttery and provides a classic cupcake ‘experience’ – the perfect combination of light sponge and sweet creamy frosting.

Cream Cheese Frosting is Carrot Cake’s accomplice, the two go hand-in-hand and it’s a Kiwi favourite but it also pairs well with other cakes too. It’s creamy and sweet with a mellow tang.

Meringue Buttercream is the most luxurious and one of my all time favourites. Light, velvety smooth and not too sweet, it’s easily flavoured with fruit, chocolate or essence. I love it. Here’s my recipe for this beautiful frosting. It does take more effort but it’s well worth it.

Meringue Buttercream
170g egg whites
375g caster sugar
500g unsalted butter, room temp
Flavouring (vanilla, melted chocolate, lemon juice etc)

Whisk egg whites and caster sugar in a large metal bowl to combine. Place over a pot filled with a small amount of boiling water (creating a double-boiler) and gently heat until the sugar is melted. Whisk often to make sure the egg whites don’t start to cook. It’s an odd theory to heat egg whites without cooking them but it works, trust me. Make sure all sugar granules are melted by rubbing some of the mix between your fingers. Once ready, beat on high speed until the meringue has cooled close to room temperature – it will take at least 10mins. Add the butter a little at a time and keep beating, continuing until all the butter is incorporated. If it’s runny it means your meringue was a little warm when you added the butter – persist with beating and it will soon turn into a beautiful, creamy bowl of the most delicious frosting ever. Add flavouring of your choice.

Weekly Tip: Try using leftover egg yolks to make French Buttercream, this is similar to Meringue Buttercream but has a creamier, richer finish. 

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