More buttercream plus the recipe!

After the buttercream, post a few days ago. I received the comment, “Where's the butter cream frosting recipe!!!! vegan or not!” So here is the rest of the story…and the recipe.

So after I decided that I WAS going to make a non-vegan Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with White Butter Cream-–I needed to consult with an active cake maker. ALL of the desserts I made at Rupperts and the ones I make for dinners and home restaurants are assembled at the last minute and never needed to sit all day or be presented prior to eating. Because of this I never really needed to venture in to the world of butter creams and quite frankly I have never come across any I liked. At Rupperts if I needed a frosting like substance nothing could beat fresh whipped cream or a white chocolate mousse. But, alas this cake was going to sit on a pedestal and be presented at a Birthday celebration and I needed it to hold up.

I wrote to my friend Kendall at Kendall’s Cakes. Kendall said that she never likes the way a butter cream feels in the mouth unless is made of all butter and no shortening and this can result in a yellowish butter cream. To get a white butter cream with a delicious taste she suggested a Swiss meringue butter cream. This was a super suggestion from someone who practices caking everyday. I thanked her and promised vegan cupcake and frosting recipes anytime!

A Swiss meringue is the process of carefully cooking sugar and egg whites to dissolve the sugar before beating, cooking them just enough to create a smooth texture. This is a process that I am familiar with that I have used to make many desserts. When receiving an unfamiliar recipe my immediate instinct is to find some way to think in terms of a process I am already familiar with and Kendall’s suggestion opened up my thinking process—I realized I knew this but was very grateful to be part of a network that can spark my memory as well as my imagination in the revealing of what is already in front of me with the confrontation of what is in front of me.

Kendall sent a recipe AND after comparing with some of my recipes AND taking into account the clients request for a “white butter cream” I came up with a recipe I am very satisfied with… as well as an amazing practice exchange–Thank You Kendall!

White Swiss Meringue Buttercream- makes about 12 cups

2 c egg whites (from about 12 large eggs)
3 c sugar
pinch of salt
2 lb 8 oz unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 t vanilla extract
squeeze of lemon juice

1.Combine the egg whites, sugar and pinch of salt in a large metal bowl (do this right in standing mixer bowl). Put the bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler-style), and whisk until the sugar is completely dissolved. The mixture will feel hot to the touch.

2.Transfer the hot mixture to your stand mixer and whip on high speed until it turns white and about doubles in size. This will take about six minutes. Beat in the vanilla and the lemon juice.

3.Add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, on medium speed, mixing after each addition. Raise the speed and beat until smooth; this may take up to ten minutes. The mixture may appear curdled along the way; no worries. Just keep beating and the mixture will become smooth again.

4.Buttercream will keep, covered air-tight and refrigerated, for at least one week. Bring to room temperature, then beat on low speed before using.