Italian Meringue Buttercream & some impromptu red velvets.

This is the buttercream that took me a couple tries to perfect. I couldn’t keep making frostings and icings with so many cups of confectioners sugar because they were way too sweet! These confectioners sugar based icings take away from the flavor and textures of the cakes I bake. Some buttercreams call for 6-8 cups of conf. sugar with a pound or so of butter!! I honestly can’t imagine giving that to people. I’d feel like I’m handing them diabetes!

So I searched long and hard for a buttercream that didn’t use confectioners sugar and this is just one variation (the most difficult, but most gratifying one). The sugar syrup is flexible, you can use less sugar syrup but you’ll have a more buttery icing. Unfortunately, if you don’t use enough butter, it won’t hold together. I’m working on a splenda icing (we’ll see how that goes lol).

The instructions are super specific because it’s got temperamental ingredients but it’s really pretty easy.

 

Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC).

Makes 8 cups.

1/2 cup of cold water

2 cups of granulated sugar

1 cup of eggwhites (10)
1 1/2 pound of (softened at room temp) unsalted butter (6 sticks)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Kitchen stand mixer

(candy thermometer)

 

**First, pour the eggwhites into the kitchen mixer with whisk attachment.

Step 1:
Place sugar & water in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil on medium high temperature.

If you have a candy thermometer, set it in the pan as well.

Step 2:
When the sugar syrup has been boiling for about 5 mins. (240 degrees), start the kitchen mixer on full speed and whisk the eggwhites for the last 2 mins. When the timer is up the sugar syrup is done (245 deg). With the mixer still going on high speed, slowly pour the hot syrup between the side of the mixing bowl and the whisk to prevent the syrup from hardening. Don’t scrape out the syrup. Only use what can be poured out. Be very careful with this hot syrup. (I sometimes have a bowl with ice and water ready for the bottom of the sugar syrup pan right after I turn off the heat so the syrup stops cooking and the pan cools down a little. This gives me better control when I’m pouring.)

Step 3:
When all sugar syrup has been added it should look thick and fluffy. Stop the mixer and change for the paddle attachment. Set the timer on 10 mins and beat on high speed. This is how long it usually takes in my mixer for the mixing bowl to be cool to the touch. You can put ice packs at the bottom and sides of the bowl to speed up cooling.

After 10 mins. You should now have a thick meringue

Step 4:
Time to add the butter. Start the mixer on high speed and cut pieces of the butter into the meringue. When all butter is added it will not take long for mixture to turn into a thick, smooth, buttercream. When that happens slow down the mixer and add 1 tsp of vanilla extract (or whatever flavor you want). Stop the mixer and scrape down the bowl and start again. I do this two times and then the buttercream should be ready.

Note: If buttercream won’t combine, just continue to whip whip whip. At some point, it will look curdled (like cottage cheese) but It will eventually get smooth. If you are still having problems, put the whole bowl with paddle attachment into the fridge and let it “cool” down a bit and then whip it again. Or use the ice bath again and use a hand mixer. This is why it’s important that the sugar syrup was the right temperature and consistency, and also that the meringue was cooled before putting in the butter.

Coffee: 2 tbsp of instant coffee mixed with 2 tbsp of warm (not boiling) water pr 3 cups of IMBC


Watch how this guy does it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxWmiHRTMz8

 

 

Made some red velvet cupcakes with my cousins for christmas and we crushed some candy canes and threw them on top. They were so yummy!

 

& of course, the favorite, oreo balls. I didn’t have candy melts so we used nestle milk chocolate chips.

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Mocha Cake & Italian Meringue Coffee Buttercream Frosting

My family ADORES mocha cake..specially when it comes out right! I’ve probably baked this cake over 6 times in the past 3 months for birthdays, orders, and just because! I’ve finally perfected it! Enjoy!

Mocha Cake courtesy of Adriano Family Blog with my own tweaks.

You’ll want to cut this recipe in half if you just want the 2 layer cake or 2 dozen cupcakes.

Ingredients:

2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp. fine iodized salt
1-1/2 cups white sugar
3 tsp. baking powder
2 tbsp. instant coffee
3/4 cup hot water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
8 egg yolks
8 egg whites
1 tsp. cream of tartar

Procedure:

· Preheat oven to 350 deg F. Grease and flour 8 -inch round baking pans and 3 inch in height. For mocha roll, use 12 x 16 x 1.0 inches tray lined with parchment paper (lightly grease the bottom of pan before putting the liner).

· In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, salt, 1 cup of the sugar, baking powder and coffee. Make a well in the center, and pour in oil and hot water.

· Using the electric mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the mixture at medium-low speed for 3 minutes. Continue mixing at the same speed; add egg yolks one at a time, blending well after each addition, until thoroughly mixed. Set aside.

· In another medium bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with wire beater attachment of electric mixer at medium high speed until frothy. Add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar in three additions, beating until mixture is stiff and glossy.

· With a rubber spatula, gently fold one fourth of beaten egg whites into batter, scrapping bottom of bowl, until lightly blended. Gently fold about 1 cup of batter into beaten egg white mixture. Repeat until all the batter has been blended into egg white mixture. Pour evenly into prepared pans.

· Bake for 25 – 35 minutes (check for doneness at 25 mins.), then remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Fill and frost then refrigerate.

For rolls, baking should only take about 15 minutes.

 

Italian Meringue (Coffee) Buttercream:

2 tbsp of instant coffee mixed with 3 tbsp of warm (not boiling) water pr 3 cups of IMBC
1/2 cup of cold water (120ml)
2 cups of sugar (530ml)
1 cup of eggwhites (10)
1 & 1/2 pound of soft unsalted butter (6 sticks)
1 tsp of vanilla extract
Kitchen stand mixer
Timer
Candy Thermometer (optional)

 

TIPS***This seems like a ridiculous amount of eggs and butter but the recipe makes two 8in. layers and a sheet cake (for the roll).
**Make sure your beaters and bowls are clean clean clean because the proteins in egg whites are very sensitive. Not a drop of egg YOLK should be in there!

Procedure:

1.Pour the eggwhites into the kitchen mixer with whisk attachment. Set aside.
2.Place sugar & water in a sauce pan and bring it to a boil. Boil it on medium high (closer to high) temperature.
3. When the sugar gets to 225 degrees, (after 5 min.) start mixing the egg whites.

4. When the sugar reaches 240-245 degrees (8 min.), take off the heat and pour in a thin stream into the egg whites while the mixer is on high speed.
5. Mix on high speed until the mixture is cool to the touch. I cradle the mixer with ice packs to speed up the cooling process.
6. Once the mixture is cool (make sure it is cooled! NOT warm!), switch to paddle attachment and drop in pieces of butter one at a time.
Continue mixing on medium high speed.
It may look curdled after a while but just continue mixing (patience..) pour in the coffee mixture and mix for another minute until combined.
7. Spread on cake and enjoy!