Hey guys, now that I’ve posted my new and improved recipe for Swiss buttercream (also known as Swiss meringue buttercream) let’s see how you can flavor it
As I mentioned in my last post, Swiss buttercream has a deliciously light flavor with a subtle sweetness that pairs beautifully with fruity flavors such as raspberry, orange, and, you guessed it, blackcurrant. Enter fruity cassis buttercream!
Why cassis buttercream for this post? Why not raspberry, or orange, or something else? Well, the Rocking Rebel once took me to a baking class at a not-so-local bakery, where we were not only taught how to bake chocolate dome mousse cakes and coffee petite-fours, but where we were also fed a number of delicious pastries and chocolates. Once of those chocolates was a dark chocolate shell filled with dark chocolate cassis ganache, which just so happened to be on my mind when I was whipping up the Swiss buttercream. That’s when the idea of a chocolate cassis cupcake was born!
First I had to flavor the buttercream, of course…
One way to give Swiss buttercream (or any kind of buttercream for that matter) a real fruity kick – in this case: cassis – is to combine it with a few tablespoons of fruit jelly or jam. However, the thing you want to keep in mind when flavoring buttercream is that buttercream is mostly fat, and therefore does not mix well with liquid. While buttercream can absorb a certain amount of liquid, it will tragically separate if you add too much. Yuck. Hate it when that happens…
Anyway, the fact that buttercream doesn’t like to be mixed with liquids is not much of a problem when you use concentrated extracts to flavor your buttercream, because you only need to add a few teaspoons at the most. Most buttercreams can handle a few teaspoons of liquid. However, when it comes to using jams or jellies – and jams and jellies qualify as liquid in this context – you need to add a lot more than just a few teaspoons to get the desired fruity flavor.
For this buttercream, I added about 5 tablespoons of strained blackcurrant jam to about 1 1/2 cups of unflavored Swiss buttercream. I think I could have added a bit more jam without separating the buttercream, but as I was happy with the flavor after adding 5 tablespoons of jam, I didn’t want to risk it. The resulting cassis buttercream has a subtle, fruity flavor and a deliciously velvety smooth texture!
And yes, it’s amazing on top of those dark chocolate cupcakes!
But that’s it for now, guys! If you have Instagram, click here to check out my profile. Or, if you want me to let you know when I got a new post up, sign up to my new mailing list. Back soon with my recipe for those delicious dark chocolate and cassis cupcakes!
- 2 large egg whites (about 65g or ¼ cup)
- 125g (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons) granulated sugar
- 113g (or ½ cup) unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature
- 100g (or ⅓ cup – 1¾ teaspoons) strained blackcurrant or cassis jam, I used Bonne Maman
- Add egg whites and sugar to a medium-sized heatproof bowl (or the bowl of a double boiler) and whisk until combined. Set the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure the water doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl, and gently heat the egg mixture, whisking continuously, until the sugar has dissolved. You can check whether the sugar has dissolved by rubbing a bit of the mixture between your fingers; you should no longer feel any sugar crystals. At this point, you can either pasteurize the mixture, or use the mixture unpasteurized.
- If you want to pasteurize the mixture, continue to heat it, whisking continuously, until the mixture reaches a temperature of 71°C/160°F. You will need a sugar or candy thermometer, or a multimeter to properly register the temperature. If you decide not to pasteurize the egg whites, proceed with the next step.
- Remove the egg white mixture from the heat and, using an electric whisk fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the mixture until the resulting meringue holds stiff peaks and has cooled to room temperature. The bottom of the bowl should also have cooled to room temperature.
- Add the cubed, softened butter one cube at a time, mixing well after each addition. If the mixture looks like it it’s separating after you’ve added all the butter, don’t panic. Just keep beating the mixture and the buttercream will magically come together again. If the buttercream is too soft to pipe, the butter was too hot when you added it. In that case, place the bowl with the soft buttercream in the fridge for about 20 minutes, then mix again. The buttercream should firm up.
- When the buttercream looks smooth and creamy, beat in the strained cassis or blackcurrant jam one tablespoon at a time and mix until well combined.
- Use the buttercream immediately (or within a few hours) or store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Allow buttercream that has been refrigerated to come to room temperature, then beat with the mixer until smooth and spreadable again before using it.