Nick’s Birthday Cake / A version of our wedding cake

August 11, 2012 § 1 Comment

Here’s Nick’s birthday cake this year, and possibly all future years. Used the buttercream recipe from the last post. Two-layer white cake with raspberry buttercream and lemon curd filling. Just a store-bought jar of lemon curd placed in the first layer, topped with halved raspberries and then a thin-layer of the buttercream. My fear of the raspberry buttercream being too sweet was again unfounded. It really worked well with the cake and the lemon curd.

I did however have my first real issues with the buttercream coming together. I thought it got to hot, but it was really too cold and found some resources online to help. This one helped the most and was exactly what happened to me. And I’m quoting it here for future reference. The buttercream will always work!

“Finally, I found post where someone had the same problem I did… and an answer that made me think I could still pull it off.

Published March 1, 2001. From Cook’s Illustrated.

Can I save broken or curdled buttercream frosting?

Given proper proportions and supervision when its sugar base is cooked, buttercream frosting can be made quickly and easily. But cooks are inclined to read catastrophe into their finished efforts if the icing looks curdled or broken. However, appearances can be deceiving and most problems with buttercreams can easily be corrected.

The biggest threat a buttercream faces is temperature. If the frosting appears soupy and slippery, it’s likely grown too warm. Plunge the bowl into an ice bath and whisk briskly until the icing becomes silky and cohesive again. If the buttercream resembles fine-curd cottage cheese and slides about in the bowl, it’s likely too cold (from cold butter or a chilly ambient temperature). Wrap a steaming hot dish towel, turbanlike, around the bowl to heat it up and whisk or stir it with a wooden spoon to bring the icing back to its shiny, satiny self.

I had to read it a couple of times, and then I laughed. My frosting seemed to have a little bit of both problems, being both soupy and clumpy. First, I plunged it into an ice bath and while things started to firm up a bit, it really just turned back into butter. I put it back on the stand mixer, with no success. I then decided to put it back on the steam to melt it all down and start over. After it melted down, I plunged it back into the ice bath and whisked it by hand as the mixture cooled. Once I thought it had cooled enough, I pulled it out of the cold water and kept whisking. My arm was getting tired and sore (can you tell I don’t do this kind of thing often?!), and I was just about to give up on the clumpy mess when it suddenly began to change, and become a smooth and creamy mixture.”

Buttercream Harumph! / Delicious Science

March 29th, 2010 by Steph.



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