Sunday, February 19, 2012

Perfect Buttercream Frosting

In the last month I've done quite a few cakes for people in my community: a fun pink baby gender reveal cake for a good friend, a whiskey cake for guys' pipe night, and a a few kids' birthday cakes; including these ones for a dinosaur-themed birthday party for the sweet little daughter of my friend, Julia.

The cake was lemon with blueberry filling, which I'm sure was fine, but the frosting (oh, the frosting!), was phenomenal.

I learned to make swiss meringue buttercream in my short stint in culinary school. The subtraction of a bit of butter (I know, it seems wrong to take away butter, but seriously, you were supposed to use a WHOLE POUND), and addition of powdered sugar and vanilla bean powder were welcome changes (it really is perfect now). And by welcome, I mean that making this frosting at 6:30 AM involved me eating leftover frosting with a spoon. I'm not proud.

If you make this frosting, it goes well on citrus-y cakes (especially orange), sandwiched between 2 cookies, and basically anything else onto which you'd want to put frosting. I hope you find it as bowl-licking-ly delicious as I do!

Perfect Buttercream Frosting
Makes enough to frost one two-layer 9" in round cake

1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup liquid egg whites
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature, cut into small pieces
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract)

Set a stainless steel bowl over a pot of simmering water (about an inch worth-make sure the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water).

Pour the sugar and egg whites, into the bowl and whisk constantly. Check the temperature every few minutes, while whisking, until it reaches 160 degrees F.

Pour hot sugar-mixture into a bowl of a mixture fitted with the whisk attachment (don't worry, guys, if you only have a hand mixer, it will work, too. It's more difficult but I did it this way for a year before I got my purple Kitchenaid mixer.) Beat on medium-high until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool.

With the mixer still running, add the butter, one piece at a time, until it is all fully incorporated. Add the vanilla bean powder (or vanilla extract, if you don't have the obsession with the powder like I do!).

Turn off the mixer. Add the powdered sugar and turn the mixer on low and mix until fully incorporated.

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About Me

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Salt Lake City, Utah
As a pastry chef by trade and by hobby, being diagnosed with Celiac Disease has not been easy. But through some experimental baking and a whole lot of faith, I'm living a full(er) life.