Chocolate, Peanut Butter, Vanilla, and Cherry Buttercreams

 

Perfectly smooth and delicious!
I love using buttercream as opposed to frosting. It captures all the
good flavors of a frosting without being overly sweet or thick.


Chocolate Buttercream

Cut the butter into 2-3 tablespoon pieces.  Bring to (1)room temperature or slightly cooler.

In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate for one minute. 

Stir and microwave an additional 30-60 seconds and stir until smooth.  Set aside to (2)cool.

Put an inch or two of water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. 

In a large bowl add the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt.  Whisk well. 

Place over the simmering water and whisk constantly. 

Heat to (3)160 degrees (about five minutes)  The mixture should be doubled in volume and frothy.  Remove from heat. 

Beat on high speed for five minutes until stiff peaks form. 

Reduce speed to medium and add the butter one piece at a time until each is incorporated. 

Add the chocolate and vanilla and beat on high an additional minute.

Cover and store at (4)room temperature until ready to use.     

 

Problems

Soft Peaks: If the egg whites aren't holding up properly after beating them for five minutes, the eggs may be too old, or the mixture may have overheated. Beat an additional minute of two, but if they don't hold up start over again before wasting the butter and chocolate into a frosting that won't turn out.

Hot Chocolate: Make sure the chocolate is cooled a bit before adding it to the meringue. It will melt it and may curdle the butter if it's too hot. Let it cool at room temperature about 10 minutes. Don't use an ice bath or refrigerator, it will harden it.



Chocolate Buttercream
use with chocolate cake

1 pound unsalted butter

4 oz unsweetened chocolate
12 oz semisweet chocolate

4 large egg whites
1 c sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
¾ t salt

1 T vanilla

Cut the butter into 2-3 tablespoon pieces.  Bring to (1)room temperature or slightly colder.

In a microwave safe bowl melt the chocolate for one minute. Stir and microwave an additional 30-60 seconds and stir until smooth.  Set aside to (2)cool.

Put an inch or two of water in a large pot.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.  In a large bowl add the egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt.  Whisk well.  Place over the simmering water and whisk constantly.  Heat to (1)160 degrees (about five minutes)  The mixture should be doubled in volume and frothy.  Remove from heat.  Beat on high speed for five minutes until stiff peaks form.  Reduce speed to medium and add the butter one piece at a time until each is incorporated.  Add the chocolate and vanilla and beat on high an additional minute.

Cover and store at (2)room temperature until ready to use.      

Peanut Butter Buttercream
use with peanut butter cup cupcakes

2 c (1 lb) unsalted butter

4 large egg whites
1 c sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
¾ t salt

2 ½ c (20 oz) peanut butter
1 T vanilla

Follow the instructions for the chocolate buttercream except adding the peanut butter instead of the chocolate.

Vanilla Buttercream
use with white cake or sugar cookies

1 c (8 oz, 2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 c (8 oz) shortening (not butter flavored)

4 large egg whites
1 c sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
¾ t salt

1 c (4 oz) powdered sugar
1 T vanilla

Follow the instructions for the chocolate buttercream except adding the powdered sugar instead of the chocolate. Add the shortening the same as you do the butter.

Cherry Buttercream
use with cherry cupcakes

1 c (8 oz, 2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 c (8 oz) shortening (not butter flavored)

4 large egg whites
1 c sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
¾ t salt

1 c (4 oz) powdered sugar
1 T vanilla
1 T cherry extract
1/4 t almond extract
3-4 drops red food coloring

Follow the instructions for the chocolate buttercream except adding the powdered sugar instead of the chocolate. Add the shortening the same as you do the butter.

Notes
1. The butter needs to be at room temperature or slightly cooler. Cold butter won't incorporate and melted butter will curdle and ruin the buttercream.
2. Make sure the chocolate is cooled a bit before adding it to the meringue. It will melt it and may curdle the butter if it's too hot. Let it cool at room temperature about 10 minutes. Don't use an ice bath or refrigerator, it will harden it.
3.160 degrees is the point where the eggs are pasteurized and safe to eat.
4 .  It’s best to keep this at room temperature because of the high butter content.  Refrigerating it will make it hard.  If you do refrigerate it soften it carefully in the microwave 5-8 seconds at a time stirring between each interval to make sure it doesn’t melt.  Once it melts it’s ruined.


 

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