Buttercream and frosting help

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by mgchef, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. mgchef

    mgchef

    Messages:
    112
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    Lately ive been making a lot of cakes but i cannot find a good frosting or buttercream. Those with good taste are soupy, and those that can be used for decorating taste horrible. I want a good sweet frosting, but when i say sweet, i dont mean 6 cups of powdered sugar. I dont mind the dietary downsides to a recipe, but some buttercreams taste like your eating just plain sugar mixed with butter. Does anyone have some good vanilla frosting or buttercream recipes or advice?
     
  2. anniesdish

    anniesdish

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Have you tried mousseline buttercream? It comes from the cake bible and is an excellent alternative to traditional buttercream. It is a little finicky to make but is well worth the results. It turns out smooth and silky and surprisingly not too rich despite the amount of butter in it.

    I recommend against preparing this recipe in a hot and humid kitchen because it is VERY temperamental and will not set up in a hot environment.

    Ingredients (This is the full recipe but I cut mine in half)

    * 2 c unsalted butter, softened but cool (65F)
    * 1 c sugar
    * 1/4 c water
    * 5 large egg whites
    * 1/2+1/8 tsp cream of tartar
    * 3 oz fruit syrup (strawberry, raspberry, mango) or 2 tsp. flavoring (vanilla extract, almond extract)

    Directions

    1. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy and put to a cool place. Have ready a heatproof glass measure near the range.

    2. In a small nonstick saucepan, heat 3/4 c sugar and 1/4 c water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low.

    3. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.

    4. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 c sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

    5. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until a thermometer registers 248 to 250F. Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

    6. Beat the syrup into the whites in a steady stream. At the end, use a scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure.

    7. Lower speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is cool. (This took me several minutes.)

    8. Beat in the butter at medium speed 1 tablespoon at a time.

    If at any time, the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed slightly and beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.

    9. Lower the speed slightly and drizzle fruit syrup or flavorings.

    This buttercream will keep for 2 days at room temperature, 10 days refrigerated and 8 months frozen.

    Allow to come to room temperature before rebeating or it will break down irretrievably.

    You can read more about this frosting on my blog http://anniesdish.blogspot.com/2010/08/dark-chocolate-cupcakes-with-mousseline.html
     
  3. chefross

    chefross

    Messages:
    2,780
    Likes Received:
    418
    Exp:
    Former Chef
    My recipe calls for butter and vegetable shortening, vanilla, a little milk and powdered sugar. That's all. The amount of sugar is what gives me the consistency I want. I find the "window" where the greasy taste is gone, but before it gets too sweet....if that makes any sense.

    I use the milk (or sometimes cream) to thin it out if it is too stiff.

    This mixture holds well in high humidity and forms very nice flowers.

    I'll tighten the frosting a bit if I had to water it down with food colorings for decoration.
     
  4. chefedb

    chefedb

    Messages:
    5,516
    Likes Received:
    177
    Exp:
    Retired Chef
    Many years ago this was called a boiled icing, now they gave it a fancy name.
     
  5. chefelle

    chefelle

    Messages:
    208
    Likes Received:
    18
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    Boiled icing here (which I think now goes by seven minute frosting) is just a sugar syrup (with the addition of corn syrup) and egg whites and cream of tartar ...that's it.  It's like a glorified meringue.  I don't like it...but it's very popular here. 

    You couldn't decorate with it though...not with a piping bag.  You're limited in your options to basically the porcupine look.
     
  6. kathys

    kathys

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Professional Pastry Chef
    You could always go with an Italian buttercream which is just hot sugar poured into egg whites and then butter added.  It's good to decorate with and in comparison isn't as sweet as simple buttercreams.
     
  7. mamachef

    mamachef

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Culinary Student
    I've used the recipe from my parent's cake shoppe when I was a kid for over 30 years. When it comes to a nice sweet and fluffy cake icing, I've never found anything better than the powdered sugar.Everyone gushes over my "shoppe icing" when I bake the cake.

    My advice is give in to the powdered sugar and experiment with just the right amount. Everything else just turns out very "artificial" tasting to me. Mix Crisco shortening, powdered sugar, milk. Then add your favorite flavoring vanilla, almond, or butterum flavoring. Add some mirangue powder for quick dry "royal" icing. Good luck!
     
  8. swilder

    swilder

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Home Cook
    I used to always just use powdered sugar, butter, and flavoring. But I kept having problems with it being too sweet after adding enough sugar to have a nice consistency. My advice... cornstarch! It doesn't change the flavor at all! It simply thickens it. When I'm having trouble, I'll add a tablespoon or two and it helps tremendously.
     
  9. cadub

    cadub

    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    10
    Exp:
    Cook At Home
    I used to start with butter, whip with a hand mixer, then add icing sugar and a LITTLE milk, repeating with icing sugar and milk until I got the right consistency, also a tsp of vanilla.  For chocolate icing just add cocoa powde and milk to the icing sugar - you would have to play with the quantities.

    Never had a problem with them being runny - hope this helps
     
  10. sgtgoodie

    sgtgoodie

    Messages:
    44
    Likes Received:
    12
    Exp:
    Professional Baker
    I made this cake with boiled icing. It's really light and easy to pipe with. Not too good through real small plain tips though. I tried to scrape off some writing that was on the cake and messed up the top a bit. I was very pleased with making flowers with it and even the rest of the decorating. It was in a short class I attended and they only gave us about 15 minutes to decorate our masked cakes. It took color well too. [​IMG]
     
  11. lentil

    lentil

    Messages:
    992
    Likes Received:
    13
    Exp:
    Owner/Operator
    We also use a combination of crisco and butter for cakes.  It holds up better than the straight buttercream in heat.  I believe our original recipe came from Wilton.  For wedding cakes, we do a Swiss buttercream.  It's not my favorite because it's much less sweet and more buttery, but it's good to decorate with and holds up even better in the heat.