Sunday, April 24, 2011 7:25:22 AM
As I promised in this post
, here is my recipe for chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream frosting. Most bakers will tell you it is a bit more work and time than traditional buttercream but infinitely worth it. This stuff tastes light, fluffy and not altogether unlike chocolate mousse. The stuff also freezes pretty well. Just put it into freezer-safe containers and remove a few hours before you want to use it. You will need to whip it in the mixer again once it is thawed to achieve the right consistency. When I made my last batch, I doubled the recipe and ended up freezing more than half. I intend to thaw it today and use it as a part of my upcoming cupcake extravaganza.
1 cup sugar
4 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened, bitter cocoa, more to taste)
Whisk sugar and egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer or a heat-safe glass bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the sugar melts//dissolves (3-4 minutes). Remove from heat. Beat on medium speed with electric mixer until cool (approx. 5 minutes). Add butter, a small amount at a time. Then add cocoa and vanilla. After all the butter is beaten in, continue to beat the mixture on medium-high until smooth (10-15 minutes).
At some point in the process, the mix will look terrible, like it is curdled. Relax and let the beating continue. It will come together with time.
Sorry for the blurry pics. I suck at this.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010 11:32:19 AM
"Do you love me, do you, surfer girl?"
Apart from about an hour during which I was transfixed by five deer in my yard (I literally could not stop staring at them as long as they stayed in my yard - sadly could only get the most horrible pics of them through a closed window), I spent the entire weekend baking.
My final bake of 2010. The snow was falling, the driveway like an ice rink. I blasted nostalgic (but inappropriate for the scene) music – 60s surf music à la Beach Boys and Jan & Dean. My brother and I grew up on this stuff – my mom had all the records, and we loved to get the records out and play them all the time when my parents were sleeping. We were not supposed to use the turntable or touch the records, but that certainly did not stop us. We did a lot of things we were not supposed to do. (I should not mention the time when we were very young and found all the very sharp cookie cutters and placed them sharp-side-up in front of my dad's bedroom door (?!) so he stepped on all of them and cut his feet up when he stumbled out of bed. Hmm. Why would we even think of something like that?
The last bake coupled with surfer music.
Most people seem to be escalating their baking activities as the holidays approach, but I usually stop mine. I go on vacation during this time of year and am usually alone while other people are with family and, at the very least, away from the office (the only place I take my cookies). Therefore, December is actually a big break in my baking schedule once Thanksgiving is over.
Speaking of holidays, yesterday en route to work I saw a house along E18 (quite near Oslo) completely decked out for Christmas. Already? Really? I expect these too-early shenanigans inside a Wal-Mart. But this?
I have chronicled my hatred for raisins in another post about oatmeal-raisin cookies
. I made these cookies again (to get rid of the raisins, actually) this past week. I made them very small and turned them into little sandwiches, which I stuck together with some very simple cinnamon-honey buttercream. Follow the link above to get the recipe for the cookies. Meanwhile, the recipe for the buttercream:
1 1/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 tablespoon honey
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Beat all ingredients together until smooth. Use!