Sunday, February 15, 2015

The Art of Buttercream

Today we're having the Buttercream talk. If there is one thing I know it's ... Buttercream. I've made literally hundreds of batches. I am positive I could make this blindfolded.
   Buttercream also know as butter icing is a type of icing used inside cakes, as a coating (meaning to cover the cake) and as decoration.  It's made by creaming together the butter or fat with Confectioner Sugar (aka Powder sugar). Coloring and Flavorings  are often added such as chocolate, fruit compotes or various extracts. Buttercream is a common popular topping for cupcakes, cakes, and other desserts.

Lets get started with a no Fail Buttercream Recipe.

First we are going to use the creaming method:meaning we are going to break down our Fat. In this recipe it is Crisco Shortening and Butter. I use Salted butter, it helps to cut some of the sweetness. Usually this takes 1-2 minutes on a Stand mixer speed 2 or 4.  If you don't have one you will need at least a 325 watt hand mixer and your speed is only going to be 1 or 2.

The next step is to add your flavoring. This can be in any combination for an example: can be vanilla extract , butter and almond extracts. the only requirement is that they equal you flavoring measurement.

Then I always use a piece of saran wrap and wrap it around my Kitchen Aid mixer. This is to prevent a powdered sugar blitzed.  I mix in the whole 2 pounds of Powder Sugar slowly .  If you have a hand mixer i would mix 1-2 cups at a time.

 Optional: You can add Meringue Powder ( powder egg white) this helps preserve you recipe. this allows you to leave you buttercream out overnight without it going bad. 

 As I am mixing the powder sugar in I start to add my liquid slowly about 1-2 tablespoons at a time. This in my case is always whole milk but you can use water the same way.

Now you have a great icing for any dessert. 
Here are few facts:

  • Your need to cover your buttercream so it doesn't crust over. 
  • Buttercream can left out overnight without refrigerating…the sugar and the Meringue Powder  acts as a preservative.
  • Basic Buttercream recipe can be changed by adding Flavorings: Peanut Butter, Fresh Fruit, Nutella, and etc..
  • Buttercream can be stored airtight in the fridge for up to 2 weeks,  honestly I always use mine within a few days.
  • Buttercream can be stored airtight in the freezer for up to 6 months.
  • When icing a cake, if I beat the icing on low for 10 minutes my icing becomes whiter and a smoother texture.

Decorator's Buttercream 

1 1/2 C Crisco Shortening 
1 1/2 Tbs Vanilla extract( or any flavor combination)
1 2 lb bag or Confectioners Sugar ( Powder Sugar : 10x means sifted ) 
1/8 -1/2 C milk
Optional: 3 Tbs Meringue Powder

  1. Let you butter sit out to come to room temp and to soften. DO NOT put in the microwave. If you do not have time to wait, cut the butter into smaller chunks.
  2. Cream the butter and the shortening until s
  3. oft and creamy in the mixer. Usually takes 1-2 minutes. Remember if you don't have a stand mixer , you can do this with a 325 watt hand mixer. 
  4. Add the vanilla or any combination for flavoring . Usually 1 minute.
  5. Add in the Powder sugar the whole bag. Unless you have a hand mixer then add 1-2 cups at a time. If I am going to add the Meringue Powder, ii would add it now as well.
  6. Add the milk 1-2 tablespoons at a time until you get the desired consistency.