Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Pink Buttercream

This weekend was a mix of parties, beach walks and domestic fun. Being a Cupcake Goddess, as family likes to call me, I baked a few dozens of strawberry cupcakes on Sunday morning, and we delivered them to family and friends who live up in LA. Apparently, I have changed my interests quite a lot in the last years, because when we made our first stop at Varuzh’s parents home, his brother, who is visiting from Armenia and who hasn’t seen us for at least two years or so, looked at the cupcakes and said:

“Oh, wow, these are beautiful! Who baked them? Zuma?” and he laughed.

So you know, he was being sarcastic, because, in his wildest dreams, he could never imagine me standing by the stove in an apron! Last time he saw me, I was a lawyer in a suit – that says enough, right? Well, he was very surprised to hear that actually, I was the one who baked the cupcakes. It turned out that I was not a lost soul after all, no offense to lawyers in suits. 

I think I shared my frustrations with you when I was a beginner in my The Cupcakes post. But now, baking is easy, creative and therapeutic. It fills the home with the smell of childhood and sweetness. So, if you have never baked before, you should start and be persistent until you achieve the level of easiness and enjoy making and eating sweet treats. 

Today, I want to share with you a strawberry buttercream recipe.  But beware, the recipe calls for melting sugar and egg whites over a saucepan with simmering water. This is the key to the smooth and silky texture of any buttercream. Do not skip this procedure by replacing sugar with powdered sugar. I’ve done it, and it did not give me the results I was looking for. After making buttercream a few times, you will achieve the level of easiness I was talking about earlier. (The recipe is below).

There is lots of cupcake recipes on line, and after reviewing them, you will see all the ingredients they have in common. Being a Martha fan, I always go on the Martha Stewart website for recipes and tips.

My favorite part of baking, though, is decorating. Having time restrictions as my usual state of mind, I always try to set aside a few extra minutes for decorating. I love making pretty little things that look so cute, that everyone wants to eat them!

After we delivered more cupcakes to my parents, we were off to our visit our friends. And despite the fact that the last dozen of cupcakes fell on their sides in the container, thanks to Varuzh’s rough driving, and smashed all the frosting, our friends loved the cupcakes and ate them till the last crumb was gone.

What a sweet day!

Strawberry Buttercream recipe(for 12 cupcakes):
Ingredients you need:
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
Pinch salt
14 tbs unsalted butter, cut into 14 pieces, at room temperature
¼ Cup strained strawberry preserves

In a heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over simmering water in a saucepan (not touching, though) and heat the mixture. Whisk periodically until the sugar is dissolved (the mixture should be warm to the touch).

Remove the bowl from the saucepan, and beat the egg white mixture by using mixer on high speed, until the mixture is cooled to room temperature and is white, fluffy, and holds stiff peaks. Don’t over-beat, though!

Switch the mixer to a medium speed, ad the salt and butter one piece at a time. Make sure each piece is incorporated before you add the next piece. When everything is incorporated, switch the mixer to a high speed and beat for another 5-6 minutes or until the texture of cream thickens.

At the very last 30 seconds, add strained strawberry preserves to incorporate into the buttercream.

With love always,
xo Zuma A.

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