April 19, 2012

ISO the Perfect Frosting - Take Two

As previously posted, Swiss meringue buttercream was up next in my frosting quest. I had a strawberry cupcake all picked out to try as well. This time it wasn’t one of my own, but the strawberry cupcake recipe from Sprinkles that you can find on the interwebs. Funny enough, I just got a new cookbook recently published by Back in the Day Bakery for my birthday, and had tagged the strawberry cupcake in it. Then it hit me that the recipes were identical. The ingredients and quantity were the same with one minor addition. Also, the buttercream frosting recipes were identical, again with the same small change.

I too made a couple of minor changes and the result was a flavorful cake that held it's shape upon being unwrapped and bitten into.

The Swiss meringue buttercream, on the other hand, left something to be desired. It was much simpler and quicker to make than anticipated, which is always a plus. The consistency was incredibly rich and smooth. A thicker texture than the flour frosting, but when you dipped into the frosting, it was as light as air. This time around I was smart enough to make cupcakes and one 9-inch cake to get a better feel and taste for the frosting. Piping onto the cupcakes was a breeze, even after adding strawberry puree. Spreading it onto the cake was also smooth and effortless.

The flavor of the plain frosting was similar to the flour frosting made with 10X. There was only a hint of sweetness and butter flavor coming through and not much else. Once I added the strawberry puree it developed a sweeter taste and a mild strawberry flavor which I will definitely make again.

Next up are the seven-minute frostings!

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting
2 large egg whites
1/2 C sugar
1 C unsalted butter, room temperature, cubed
2 t flavored extract (I used 1 t fresh lemon juice and 1 t vanilla)
1/2 C strawberry puree, optional

In a double boiler, lightly whisk egg whites and sugar until temperature reaches 140º F, then remove from heat. Pour egg mixture into the bowl of stand mixer, and using the whisk attachment, whip on medium-high until doubled in volume, about 2 minutes.

Remove the whisk attachment and put the cubed butter into the mixing bowl. Push the butter to the bottom of the bowl, and then begin mixing with the paddle attachment. Starting on the lowest speed, increase the speed in 10 second intervals until medium-high. Continue mixing until light and fluffy, for a total time of 2 minutes. Pause mixing, scrape down sides of bowl, and add extracts (and strawberry puree if using), and mix on medium-high for one minute.

Makes enough for 24 cupcakes or a 2-layer 8-inch cake.

Strawberry Cupcakes
1-1/2 C fresh strawberries, pureed
1-1/2 C all-purpose flour
1 t baking powder
1/4 t coarse salt
1/4 C whole milk, room temperature
1 t vanilla
1/2 C unsalted butter, room temperature
1 C sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
2 large egg whites, room temperature
zest from one lemon

Preheat oven to 350º F. Line 12 standard muffin tins with liners and set aside.

Puree strawberries in a food processor and then add milk and vanilla and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt, set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high speed, until light and fluffy. Add egg and whites and continue mixing on medium-high until just blended.

Mixing until just incorporated after each addition, add half of the flour mixture, then the strawberry mixture, then the remaining flour mixture.

Divide batter evenly among prepared cups. Bake for 18 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the center comes out clean.

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