Everybody has them though nobody wants to admit: Secrets! While secrets are widely outlawed to be a bad thing, I would like to stress the bright side of them which is the mystery. Be it secret friends, guilty pleasures, loves or recipes, some things are just too good to share. Like your favourite cafe that you don’t want to be too crowded or that cool friend whose attention you don’t want to share. And there are those secret recipes that you have brought to perfection over time, that earned you so many ahs and ohs, the one thing you are really proud of and you want to keep a mystery until you pass it on to your descendants on your deathbed, sealed with a blood pact that they keep it til their own dying day. Well that’s how I feel about my recipe for vanilla buttercream. I have tasted myself through a lot of recipes, measures and directions, tried, combined, tweaked and adjusted them to come to this one in my own eyes perfect recipe.
The first buttercream I ever made was an American Buttercream, which is mainly a mix of butter and confectioner’s sugar. I don’t like this kind of buttercream because it is way too sweet for me, it gnashes between my teeth and the texture is powdery. I played around with custard-mix buttercreams as you can find them in almost every baking book you get here, but I didn’t like the yellow colour, the artificial taste, it was simply not worth all the hassle with handling the warm custard. When I made my first Frankfurt Crown Cake for my Grandpa (his absolute favourite), my Mum recommended to get a little help from the Doctor (Dr. Oetker -housewives helper since forever) and try out their buttercream mix. It’s easy to handle and tastewise much better than any custard-packet-mix-buttercream… I have been using this for a while since it was convenient but over time ambition arouse, I didn’t want to be the foodblogger that relies on a packet mix. After I tried out a few recipes I stumbled over „The battle of buttercreams“ on the Tough Cookie Blog, which gave a great overview on different kinds of buttercreams including recipes and directions. Reading through the series gave me the right impulse to give my already balanced recipe the final twist. There is a „battle of buttercream 2.0“ series definately worth a read on The Tough Cookie, but I won’t keep you much longer and finally share the result of all this with you. Vanilla Buttercream (enough for one batch Frankfurt Crown Cupcakes, Vanilla Cupcakes or one tray of Donauwaves)
- 500 ml milk
- 45 g flour
- 90 g sugar
- 1 scraped out vanilla bean (or 1 tsp good quality vanilla extract)
- 300 g butter at room temperature
First mix the flour with only a little milk to a thick paste free of lumps. In a saucepan mix the rest of the milk, sugar, scraped vanilla bean and flour-paste and bring to boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. When it starts to bubble, cook for another minute while stirring. Transfer to the bowl of a stand-mixer (or if you don’t have one just a bowl, but you need a strong arm then…) and beat on medium speed until lukewarm, that takes about 5-10 minutes.
Once the custard is lukewarm add the butter in small cubes, bit by bit. Once all butter is in the bowl increase the speet to high and keep beating until the buttercream gets thicker and noticably whiter in colour. For the unlikely event your buttercream is not thick enough, just keep beating for another 5 minutes. And for the even more unlikely event that your buttercream is still not thick enough, add a bit more butter at room temperature, but this really shouldn’t be necessary.
You can use the buttercream on Cupcakes such as Frankfurt Crown Cupcakes, on tray bakes like Donauwaves or to sandwich in a chocolate layer cake, there is no limit, only your imagination! Enjoy with a good cup of coffee 🙂
Today’s photos where also featured in the local newspaper -yay! If you fancy a read you can do so here (German only). I am so flattered and couldn’t be happier!