Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Maple Buttercreams

Here are two recipes for Maple Buttercream. The first one is the Maple Frosting I use for my Maple Spice cake (pictured). It is super-easy to make, based on old-fashioned butter frosting (a.k.a. American Buttercream). The second is a Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

Christa's Maple Buttercream:
1/2 cup (1 Stick) Unsalted Butter, softened
2 Cups Confectioner's Sugar
2-3 Tablespoons Real Maple Syrup, Grade B if possible
(you can use 1/2 tsp maple extract to get a stronger flavor, but I prefer just the syrup)

Put all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed for about five minutes, until soft and fluffy.

Another great maple frosting is a Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream. If you aren't familiar with Swiss Meringue Buttercream, it is a frosting that tastes rich and buttery and less heavy than other frostings. Being less sweet than American-style buttercream, it doesn't appeal to everyone (namely my kids). Swiss Meringue Buttercream is somewhat tempermental to make, so if you need a step-by-step guide, here is a fantastic tutorial:Swiss Meringue Buttercream tutorial from Beyond Buttercream

Maple Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Adapted from Beyond Buttercream)

6.25 oz egg whites (about 5 large Egg whites, but weigh if you can because it is more accurate)
1 Cup Sugar
pinch of Salt
1 pound butter, cut into pieces and warmed to room temp (ideally 72 degrees or warmer)
1/2 to 1 teaspoon Maple extract (depending on your taste)

Combine egg whites, sugar and salt in the top of a double boiler. Whisking constantly, heat mixture until the sugar has dissolved COMPLETELY. If you have a candy thermometer, you can test the temp. It is ready at 160 degrees.

Transfer the egg mixture into the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment. Start at low speed and gradually increase to medium high, beating until stiff peaks form and the mixture is cool, about 10 minutes. If you are using a stand mixer such as a KitchenAid, you can set the timer and go do something else.

When the mixture has cooled and the egg whites are at stiff peak stage, turn the mixer off. Switch to the paddle attachment, and add the butter a few chunks at a time on the lowest speed. Then add maple extract and keep mixing on low. After a few minutes, the mixture will look soupy, then curdled, but don't give up! It can take as much as 15 minutes on low to come together, but don't rush it. If you crank up the mixer, it may still turn out, but you will get less volume and it may not be as silky smooth. Be Patient!

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