Buttercream Frosting: Try Again

6 Apr

It’s been a long time (long time)
I shouldn’a left you (left you)
Without a dope recipe to bake to (bake to)

How about a cheesecake recipe for that Old School Lunch-esque song reference? (R.I.P. Aaliyah)

Last weekend, after a two month baking “sabbatical”, I decided to dust off my stand mixer and set out copious amounts of butter and eggs  for a Vanilla Buttercream comeback cake.  The recipe was simple and with over a dozen eggs and nearly two packs of butter, this cake was a sure thing.

Only, it wasn’t.

I followed the cake recipe almost exactly, deviating slightly with an overdose of PAM Baking, which made the crumb less delicate than anticipated. Still, the cake was fine. Flavorful, a little dense, but yummy. The frosting was a completely different buttery beast.

As I removed my yellow cake from the oven, I thought I was golden. This is the point in the story where if you were reading a textbook, there would be an insert titled “Moriah’s Troubled History with Non-Cream Cheese Based Frostings”. It would share the tale of me fudging up Martha Stewart’s favorite Mrs. Milman’s Chocolate Frosting recipe, which calls for three ingredients. You can watch the video of sweet Mrs. Milman effortlessly whipping up the perfect chocolate frosting, with only two ingredients (Martha’s folks added the light corn syrup), then consider the fact that I messed it up so badly that I had to salvage the cake with a can of Betty Crocker Rich & Creamy.

Back to this weekend.  The frosting recipe instructs you to heat nine egg whites with three cups of sugar over simmering water for about ten minutes, then whip the egg and sugar on high until it holds medium-firm peaks. Next you add six sticks of butter, one tablespoon at a time into a mixer.Then it is pretty much whip until it’s fluffy.

In true rookie fashion, I started frosting the cakes before really tasting the frosting. Bad idea. It was greasy, ugly, and fatty without the redeeming delicious sweetness that is expected from a butter-based treat –  a total frosting failure. After my taste tester suggested we save the “frosting” to put on toast, the baker left the kitchen.  My taste tester then proceeded to scrape the icky frosting from the cake to salvage part of the dessert and suggested that we get some frosting from the store to save the cake.  Sweetie, and Betty, to the rescue.

I need to investigate where I went wrong. Since the cookbook I used has a collection of goodies, I will definitely give the recipe a second change. Perhaps with a half batch and confectioners sugar on hand just in case.

It is a good reminder that baking is an experiment and I am still a novice.  In the end there are much worse things to do-over. Hopefully next time, I will stumble across a tasty mistake rather than a colossal bowl of butter.


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