And we need to have a serious talk about frosting. Because it pains me when people say they don’t like frosting.
True story: I feel this way.
You have been fed a lot of bad frosting in your life. Heck, some of you even like it. (If you didn’t Betty Crocker wouldn’t have half an aisle in the grocery store filled with cans of the stuff). But that, and dreadful american buttercream (powdered sugar + butter + vanilla + milk) give frosting a bad rap.
But to just totally eliminate an entire category of pastry toppings because you don’t like the super-sweet, slightly gritty, dries out when left out kind? That would be like saying you don’t like any cake because you don’t like yellow cake.
You have heard of SMB (Swiss Merengue Buttercream) and a pastry chef friend of mine prefers the Italian Merengue Buttercream. Most bakers are familiar with American Buttercream (see above). But there is French Buttercream. And German Buttercream.
What does all that mean?
American Buttercream – The powdered sugar frosting we have all had a gazillion times. It is common because it is incredibly easy and fast. It stands up well to the elements (it doesn’t melt, it stiffens a little so it isn’t as delicate)
Swiss Merengue Buttercream (SMB) – Made from a cooked egg white & sugar mixture, this frosting is made by whipping the cooked whites and sugar, whipping them into a merengue and then adding butter and flavorings. It is the frosting technique that I use the most and makes a light & fluffy frosting.
Italian Merengue Buttercream – Similar to SMB, this is a merengue frosting, but instead of cooking the whites, you beat a hot sugar syrup into the egg whites.
French Buttercream – Instead of egg whites, a hot sugar syrup is beat into egg yolks and then combined with butter. This stuff is rich and incredibly decadent.
German Buttercream – You start with pastry cream, beat it and add butter. You can thank me later for introducing you to this.
This is German Cream Cheese Buttercream. And it is a dream.
It isn’t the best for piping pretty designs, but it really will rock your socks. (I might have overheard someone in the office compare it to ice cream that wouldn’t melt). That’s the thing with frosting.
Feed the frosting naysayers this. You will rock their socks hard core.
Best-Ever Cream Cheese Frosting
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 5 mins
Total time: 20 mins
This recipe was adapted from [url href=”http://bravetart.com/recipes/GermanButtercream”]Brave Tart[/url] & [url href=”http://www.gilttaste.com/stories/2292-the-original-red-wine-velvet-cake-recipe”]Gilt Taste[/url]. It makes enough to frost & fill a 3 layer cake and pipe a decorative border or to decorate 48 cupcakes. This frosting will pipe simple designs like the one in the photo, but intricate piping techniques won’t hold up.
16 ounces whole milk
1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste
10 ounces sugar (1¼ cups, by volume)
1½ ounces cornstarch (6 tablespoons by volume)
2 egg yolks
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
16 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
¼ teaspoon salt, or more to taste
In a medium sauce pan, bring the milk to a simmer. Meanwhile, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, eggs, and yolks in a medium bowl.
Temper the egg mixture by whisking about a half cup of the hot milk into the egg mixture—it will be quite thick but while you whisk, it will loosen as the milk incorporates. Whisk in a little more hot milk until the egg mixture is fluid and warm. Pour the egg mixture back into the pot of hot milk with the heat set to medium and keep whisking.
Once the mixture starts to thicken and bubble sluggishly, continue whisking and cooking for a minute more, then remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
Put the custard in the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the whisk attachment and beat the custard for a few minutes, until it has cooled to room temperature and is creamy.
Whip in the cream cheese, one tablespoon at a time, until it has fully incorporated. Then repeat with the butter. Add the salt and beat for about a minute more.
Chill for about 15 minutes before using, if you want to be able to pipe with it.
You can make this a regular german buttercream by swapping the cream cheese for an equal amount of butter
This post is part of the Gluten-Free Ratio Rally, a group of gluten-free bloggers inspired and empowered by Ruhlman‘s Ratio. We get together each month and post many different takes on the same theme. This month that theme is Gluten-Free Bagels and the rally is being hosted by Morri from Meals with Morri
I cannot believe that it is May, much less that it isMay 2nd and that it is Ratio Rally day. Because April was one ca-razy busy month.
Today felt like fall. There was a chill in the air. It rained a gloomy rain. I was wishing I had worn a sweater. This week is framed by college football. An Illini game last Saturday and a Notre Dame game this weekend. Fall has arrived.
And so has the insane amount of weekends filled with obligations. Blondie and I have one weekend “off” between now and November. There is a football game (our second in a row), a trip to Dallas, Blondie is running the Chicago marathon, reservations at Girl & the Goat, my aunt’s 60th birthday and a wedding.
But all that happening is ok because that means it is fall, and fall means pumpkin everything. Pumpkin lattes. Pumpkin soup. Pumpkin pancakes. Pumpkin pasta sauce. Carved pumpkins. And pupkin cupcakes.
Here is the recipe in stop motion. It might make you a little hungry, so grab a snack before you watch it, and don’t say I didn’t warn you.
(I made this video for a class I am taking at U of I to get my portfolio beefed up for grad school)
Gluten-Free Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
#ratingval# from #reviews# reviews
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Mary Fran Wiley
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 22 mins
Total time: 37 mins
The flavor of fall in a cupcake.
240 grams (2 cups) gluten free all purpose flour
teaspoon xantham gum (omit if your blend contains this)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
1 stick (for the cake) + 5 tablespoons (for the frosting) butter, softened
175 grams (3/4 cup) pumpkin puree
320 grams (1½ cups packed) brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup milk (I used SoDelicious coconut milk)
8 ounces cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
225-350 grams (2-3 cups) powdered sugar
orange food coloring
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Whisk dry ingredients together.
Cream together the whole stick of butter with the brown sugar.
Mix in the eggs one at a time.
Add half the flour and mix til combined.
Next, stir in the milk and pumpkin puree. And mix thoroughly, scraping down the sides of your bowl.
Add in the rest of the flour and mix completely.
Use about 3 tablespoons of batter per cupcake. Don’t overfill your cupcake pan!
Bake for 20-25 minutes. A toothpick should come out with just a crumb or two.
Beat together the cream cheese (straight from the fridge) and 5 tablespoons of the butter until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and 1/2 cup of sugar. Stir to combine. Add the remaining sugar a bit at a time so you don’t send powdered sugar flying around your kitchen. Keep adding sugar until the frosting is the desired consistency. Add color if desired.
Pipe frosting on to each cupcake, and decorate as desired.
I have had great success with both Jules Nearly Normal flour and Cup4Cup All Purpose flour. If you are making your own blend use 80 grams sorghum flour, 8- grams brown rice flour, 80 grams sweet white rice flour and 80 grams tapioca starch.