This visual guide shows what the pudding base for my Less Sweet Ermine Buttercream should look like after cooking.
No. That doesn’t look like something you’d want to eat. But today is not about beautiful cakes or cupcakes. It’s about the pudding base for my Less Sweet Ermine Buttercream.
If you’re unfamiliar with my flour buttercream recipe, stop reading and go make some NOW! It’s delicately sweet, super smooth, and infinitely better than your regular American buttercream, so not something you want to miss out on. It’s easy to make to! First, you whip up a simple pudding base with flour, sugar, a pinch of salt, and some milk. Once that has cooled, you beat it into beaten butter to make the best buttercream you’ll ever taste.
If you HAVE already experienced the deliciousness of flour buttercream, read on 😉
My recipes for flour (or ermine) buttercream are among the most popular posts on my blog, because they’re awesome. However, some readers have commented that they are a bit unsure about the pudding-making part of the recipe. In particular, how they can know for sure whether the pudding base is cooked properly.
Time for Pudding Base 101! (← isn’t that the lamest 101 title ever?)
First of all, if you follow the recipe, the pudding base should come out the way you want it and you should be able to make the best buttercream ever with it.
So let’s go over the recipe’s cooking instructions first…
Recipe Cooking Instructions
1. Bring the milk-sugar-flour mixture to boiling point: heat the mixture over low heat, stirring continuously with a whisk (switch to a rubber spatula when the pudding thickens), until it starts to thicken and bubbles appear at the surface of the pudding.
Sometimes, especially as the pudding becomes thicker and you’re stirring vigorously, it’s difficult to see the bubbles. To check for bubbles, stop whisking for 2-3 seconds every now and then. If a slow, big bubble breaks through the surface of the pudding, you’ll know it’s come to the right temperature: boiling point.
2. Next, cook the pudding for 1-2 minutes: keep the pudding at that temperature for 1-2 minutes to cook off the taste of the flour. Keep stirring with your rubber spatula as you do this, scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as you go, to prevent the pudding from catching at the bottom or sides of the pan.
And then the pudding is done! Scrape it onto a plate, cover it with plastic wrap (press the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the pudding to keep a skin from forming) and allow it to cool to room temperature.
What to look for after the pudding base has cooled
- the pudding base should stick to the plate when you hold the plate upside down for a few seconds.
- when you touch the pudding with a finger, it shouldn’t feel sticky, just wet (first photo in this post).
- the pudding is thick enough to hold its shape on a spoon (second photo in this post).
Note: the pudding for my original flour buttercream looks a little different, because it contains a lot more sugar. I’ll do a post about the consistency of that particular pudding next time I make some.
That’s about it. Those are the things I look for in my pudding base whenever I make flour buttercream. Easy, right? 😉
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- 35g (or 4½ tablespoons) all-purpose flour
- 130g (or ½ cup + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon) granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 240ml (or 1 cup) whole milk
- Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk together. Add the milk and whisk until combined.
- Place saucepan over low heat and allow the mixture to come to a boil, whisking continuously. Once the mixture starts bubbling, cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring with a rubber spatula and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan as your go. Remove from heat and stir for a minute to knock some of the heat out of the pudding.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the pudding onto a clean plate and immediately cover it with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap directly onto the pudding to keep a skin from forming. Allow to cool to room temperature.