Sunday, September 11, 2011

Buttercreams and Birthdays

I'm no expert when it comes to cake decorating.
I did take a course when I was about 14 so that totally makes me professional doesn't it?

I tell myself it does so don't burst my bubble.
I also like to hide the fact that it was nearly 20 years ago that I took said course when I cake talk.
So why not go into business?
Because until recently I didn't know a few things I'm about to share with you here:
  1. Never knew how people made such wonderful smooth fondant colours (when I try to mix I get streaks)
  2. Just learned about frozen buttercream transfers
And #3 is probably the most embarrassing for any true cake connoisseur
I have only ever made one type of buttercream because I didn't know other methods existed!
Now in my defence it WAS 20 years ago I took this course and it was only the beginner one at that.  I didn't want to make cakes professionally, I just wanted to make my parents a pretty anniversary cake. 

Since I am now hooked into researching, blog reading, fb fan page stalking and communicating with some wonderful people out there in the food world I've since found out that I have limited knowledge (or rather I should say experience) in the art of cakes.
One of my go to sites is Sweetapolita.  Amazeballs!  You should check it out if you haven't already!
This is where I learned there were other methods of making buttercream.

Since I had been asked by the mother of my good friend Muffy (no, she is not a stripper) if I would make her birthday cake I was on a mission to try something new.  Now, most people suggest (me included) that you should never try something new for others but the way I see it is I had time to mess up so why not?
I knew her family had enjoyed Fred's cake the weekend before but I know my friend, she likes vanilla not chocolate so I needed something different.
I saw this beautiful cake from Rosie (Sweetapolita) and I knew I had to mimic the look.
Dark Chocolate & Raspberry Buttercream Cake with Chocolate Ganache
Swiss buttercream!
What?  What the heck is that?
Its a new fandangled buttercream I have never made (or heard of) using egg whites.
So I sent Rosie a msg on her Facebook page and she gave me encouraging words: "You can do it, Katrin! You'll be amazed at how easy and incredibly yummy it is! :)"
She was right.  It was yummy and it was easy!
Here's my version of the cake

French Vanilla Bean with a raspberry (traditional buttercream) filling and a lemon Swiss buttercream for the outside!
I admit her picture is better but I refuse to say hers tastes better, if anything they are each wonderful!

To make Lemon Swiss Buttercream (I revised Rosie's version):
5 large egg whites
1 c. superfine granulated sugar - I took regular sugar and pulsed it a bit in my magic bullet
2 c. softened, cut into cubes
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
zest of 2 lemons
2 tsp. or so juice from the lemon
Pinch of salt
Add egg whites and sugar to the bowl of your stand mixer and place it over a simmering pot of water. Whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
Remove and with the whisk attachment, begin to whip until the mixture is thick, glossy, and cool. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on medium speed continuously, add softened butter in chunks until incorporated and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture.
(Its possible it will curdle, especially with the addition of the butter, don't worry keep it going, it will take form soon, promise!). Add vanilla, lemon zest and juice along with the salt, mix well.
It will store in the refrigerator for about a week in an airtight container or you could freeze it (so I am told).  Either way you are going to want to let it come to room temp and then whip until it goes back to its fluffy self.

Next time, I am gonna try my hand at Italian Buttercream!
What the heck is that?!

I'm listening to: Party Rock Anthem - LMAFO
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  1. This looks beautiful--thanks for sharing!

  2. thank you for the link!
    cake decorating is so out of my league right now. I've tried and while did not fail exactly but it was far away from being a success. You know how I do buttercream? Butter, sugar, pudding. The least fancy way. ;)


  3. You rocked this cake!!! Just beautiful!!!

  4. Well done! The cake looks amazing, and so glad you found a new buttercream to try! That's the best thing about cooking/baking - there is ALWAYS something more to learn - for ALL of us!

  5. The combination of flavors sounded so yummy, and bravo to you for trying out something "new" on friends... can I have a slice?! :)

  6. "Everyday I'm Shuffling", sorry couldn't resist that one. I love that song, it's perfect for working on and getting your groove on. You did a very good job with the cake you should be proud.

  7. thanks everyone! I had a great site to guide me :)

  8. I am just like you! For as long as I have been baking, (granted isn't very long) I have only ever used one made up frosting recipe which works every time. But today tried royal icing for the first time and it failed miserably. Take a look at my more successful baking adventures on my shiny new blog!