Whipped Buttercream

"It takes a touch of genius to move in the opposite direction."

I'm no Albert Einstein, but I love the quote.  And you could say  I have lived my life blazing my own trail,  so to speak.
 For example,  I  blog only when  inspired. No more, no less. Even, alas, at the risk of losing potential readers.

   And today—with Valentine's Day around the corner—I'm inspired.

And so, I'm blogging about Christmas...

Yes, it is common  knowledge that the sheltering sky moves faster than me.   But truth to tell, I'm here to deliver on a promisethe buttercream  recipe I offered to share, before life got its nose in my business.

  I used the buttercream  to decorate the Christmas gnome. Don't you just love that he's 50% beard?

His imperfect little tree house, with lopsided windows, is just right for the tiny man and his wildlife friendsIt consists of four 6-inch layers, with filling in between. Then, everything is covered with a chocolate version of my buttercream.

I used a decorator's comb for the 'bark' on the tree but a new, wide-tooth comb, or even a fork, will achieve the same effect. 

The gnome is simply a cupcake baked in a mini Wonder Mold pan.

 As you can see, this buttercream is made with all butter, so it's not perfectly white. 

I will admit that, during the hot summer months, I  tend to incorporate a little Crisco shortening into the buttercream to give it some stability, and to keep piped flowers from wilting.  Don't judge me.

And please,  don't get me wrong either.  The idea of eating white, vegetable fat makes me queasy too. But consider this, when was the last time you looked forward to gnawing on a solid stick of butter? 

At any rate, this buttercream is simply delicious, with a very light texture, and not cloyingly sweet. Use it to cover a cake, pipe borders and flowers. It's a bit fancy and kind of special.

Submitted  for your approval...

Memories in the Baking Whipped Buttercream

½ cup granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
½ cup boiling water
¼ cup meringue powder *
1 pound sifted confectioner's sugar
1½ (3 sticks) cups unsalted butter, room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ teaspoon Crème Bouquet, or a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia, optional

Dissolve sugar and salt in the boiling water (I normally do this in the microwave. You could put the sugar, salt and water in a small saucepan, bring it to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, until sugar is completely dissolved).

 Set sugar mixture aside to cool to room temperature. You can make the syrup ahead of time, and keep at room temperature  for a few days, or refrigerate indefinitely.
 If you decide to refrigerate the syrup, be sure to bring it to room temperature before using.

In a mixer bowl, fitted with a whisk attachment, combine sugar mixture and meringue powder, and beat until soft peaks form.  Gradually add sifted confectioner's sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. You're basically making  stiff Royal Icing.

On low speed, beat in the butter for about 5 minutes, or until fully incorporated. Add the vanilla extract,  and the Crème Bouquet or Fiori di Sicilia, if using. Continue to beat buttercream a few more minutes, until smooth.

Use immediately, or cover well and refrigerate for up to a month. When you're ready to use it, bring buttercream to room temperature and beat  at low speed,  to a light, creamy consistency.  

For the chocolate buttercream:

Gently melt 4 ounces of dark chocolate. Allow chocolate to cool to room temperature.  Beat chocolate into prepared whipped buttercream,  using  the paddle, or wire whisk attachment.

 So start practicing the messy art of piping  decorations  on for your Valentine. Yeah, let's go with that.



Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a splendid creation! You are really talented. This whipped buttercream sounds amazing.

I hope that you are doing well...



Debbie@Mountain Breaths said...

It's great to hear from you. I am not fibbing when I tell you I was thinking of you yesterday! The whipped buttercream sounds divine.
xo Debbie

La Table De Nana said...

It's funny Sol..I searched my emails to find your addy just this AM..to no avail.
So it gives me great pleasure that you have posted.
I don't blame you for only posting when inspired..and you will never lose readers as we are the ones that are treated at every visit and who can resist a screen hug..with all your beautiful confections..
This gnome takes the cake:) I LOVE him.
What a beautiful creation..and true..who does munch on a stick of butter..:)
Thank you for sharing your secrets..and your creations:)

Fete et Fleur said...

Wow! Wow! Wow! Eloquent, I know.

Love this cheeky little cake. I always have such a hard time with my buttercream. This recipe gives me hope. We have some major bakers here in our home. They'll be thrilled to try this recipe too.

You make me laugh? Thanks! I needed that today.


Kathleen said...

Beautiful, Sol, so adorable!
Good to see you, hope all is well.
And Debbie is fibbing, she told me she was going to! :)

Carol said...

That is one awesome creation! Hi Sol, hope all is well :)

Maureen Reynolds said...

Other irregular posters I say goodbye to. But not you! Oh Sol you are so delectably bad!

Marysol said...

You're very sweet to think of me. Thank you Rosa!

Marysol said...

Debbie, I suppose that would explain the ringing in my ears yesterday :)

Marysol said...

If you have any trouble with this icing, I'll eat my weight in it.
Not much of a punishment, is it?

Nancy, this one is even easier than it looks, but if you run into any problems, please let me know.

Thibeault's Table said...

Sol, you are always worth waiting for. You never fail to impress. I need to bake something just so I can make your buttercream.


SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

Well, I just posted gingerbread cookies so I certainly don't mind a gnome sneaking in the month of February :) He's adorable! You can take all the time you want and I'll always find your post. It's always a delight to find a new one. Thank you so much for sharing your whipped buttercream. Now that I finally have conquered my fear of Royal Icing, I think I had handle this. Hmmm, what can I find to decorate....?

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Marysol, this is utterly delightful! I wish I had these sorts of wonderful decorating skills! I love the details from the texture on the door frame to the door and the gnome, well he's so very special :D

Rocky Mountain Woman said...

ahhh... you are worth waiting for! I just love this!!!

If I had one creative bone in my body, I'd attempt it, but mine would just be kind of a lump of buttercream I'm afraid...

Marysol said...

I hope those of you affected by Old Man Winter are keeping safe and warm.

I'm sitting by the fire, wearing 2 pairs of socks and layers and layers of clothing (try not to envision that).
But, due to all the warm and fuzzies here, I'm getting the feeling back in my hands and feet :) Thank you sweets!

A Cuban In London said...

Hahaha! What a funny, inspiring post you've written. That's why I've stuck with you and your blog for so long. I love your creativity and originality. Great recipe. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

tigerfish said...

It is never too early for Christmas buttercream or shall I say, no time is a good time for buttercream? :p especially when it is made fresh like that.

cakewhiz said...

that cream sounds delicious and your gnome is adorable!!!!

lisa is cooking said...

I love the beard and the nose! And, I'd love to attempt doing texture like the bark on the tree. The buttercream sounds delicious.

Marysol said...

Cuban, I'm learning from one of the best writers I know :)

Laura said...

Just bumped into your blog following a link (from a FB friend who found you). Given that this southwest Michigan girl is having Very Winter Weather today, your little gnome fits right in! :-) I like this place.

Marysol said...

Hello there, Laura! Welcome to another Michigander :)

Thank you guys for hanging out with me!

joey said...

Yes, you are more than a touch of genius, dear Marysol! Your talent is amazing ... I can't imagine how you do it! Lucky are those who are near to sample your of tasty works of art! Hugs dear friend.

adf8e080-8354-11e2-8fa6-000bcdcb2996 said...

Hello! I just discovered your blog and am thrilled that you posted a different variation of buttercream. I look forward to trying it next week on a homemade birthday cake. However, i am far more of a "cook" than I am a "baker" and i am unfamiliar with Crème Bouquet, or a few drops of Fiori di Sicilia, Can you tell me a bit more about these ingredients? They sound intriguing. Also, where would I find meringue powder? thank you!!

Annie said...

Question - is cake a requirement? Or can one just make a batch of buttercream and eat it with a spoon?

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Happy Monday! I hope that you are doing well.



Marysol said...

Creme Bouquet and Fiori di Sicilia are both similar in taste; a combination of citrus and vanilla flavors. Only difference, the former is an artificial emulsion, and the latter is natural.

Both flavorings are very strong, so only a few drops are needed. Creme Bouquet can be found in most shops selling cake decorating supplies, or online. KitchenKrafts.com and Amazon, carry it.

You should be able to find Fior di Sicilia at kingarthurflour.com.
Meringue powder is available at most grocery stores, but can also be found online.

If you can't find either, a combination of orange flower water and vanilla extract will yield similar results.

Thank you for dropping by. And have fun creating your birthday cake!

Marysol said...

Annie, I think you already know the answer to that! I'm not above using a salad spoon. Hugs

Fete et Fleur said...

I would love to see your beautiful home. I'm sure it's a dream. I scattered abalone chips over my fireplace mantle today. It looks very beachy indeed. Have a lovely week.


zurin said...

Hi Marysol...I like that you blog only on inspiration..cos tts what ive been doing...i visit blogs on inspiration too..and tt goes for leaving comments as well...m def pinning tt buttercream recipe...never thought of using part crisco...now i will..weather issues here all year round...love the beard! x zurin

Marysol said...

Dear Nancy, my house IS like a 'dream.' The kind one gets after having had Mexican food before bed :)

Hi Rosa and Zurin!

Jenny said...

Marysol, this is so special. Your posts are always so inspirational. And Albert Einstein is so quotable, isn't he? We have a painting of him in our office and people always say to me, "I didn't know you were into math and science." I'm not, just love his thoughts on life.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope that you are doing well.

Have a wonderful week.



Fete et Fleur said...

Dear Marysol,

Looking at your cake art makes me smile. How are you? I need a post from you soon. How about a seashell cake extravaganza for summer? Hope all is well.


Marysol said...

My friend, I think you might've read my mind :)
Hugs back.

La Table De Nana said...

Me too:-) how about a summer gnome dear Sol:-)
I need a fix of you:-)