French Buttercream with espresso flavor
Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 15 min
Yield: Roughly four pounds of buttercream (enough to ice a 3-tier cake)
- 5 qt. mixer w/ bowl and whip attachment
- Rubber Spatula
- 7 egg whites
- 14 Oz. granulated sugar
- 1 pound of room temperature butter
- 2 T instant espresso powder with 1 tsp. boiling water
- 1/4 cup Kahlua
1. Start whipping egg whites slowly in the mixer by themselves (no sugar or butter yet) until the whites are foamy. Make sure to have a completely clean and dry bowl when you start your process, any fat or liquid at all in the bowl will stunt the protein development of the albumen (egg white protein) and you will not have a proper meringue at the end, the results could be disastrous.
2. Increase the speed of the mixer and slowly start adding the sugar until all the sugar is incorporated.
3. Once all the sugar is in, increase the speed of the mixer even further and whip until the mixture is shiny and stiff. You now have a meringue. You know when your meringue is done when you pull out the whip, hold it horizontal, and if you have what looks a "sparrow's beak" on the end of the whip.
4. Replace the whip, turn the mixer on medium and start adding the butter a bit at a time, once all the butter is incorporated, turn the mixer on high and leave it for a while. Depending on the weather, the buttercream could take anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes to form. You will know when it has formed when you hear the motor of the mixer starts to slow down and whine a little bit, also, when you first add the butter, your meringue will break down and look nasty, this is good and is what you want. When the buttercream is done, the mixture will be homogeneous and consistent...and tasty.
5. Add the espresso and Kahlua while the mixer is on and whip until completely mixed. The color should be a light brown. Flavor can be enhanced with more espresso powder and Kahlua.
6. Remove the buttercream from the bowl and place in an airtight container. Buttercream can be kept at room temperature for a few days or in the fridge for a week or two, but always use warm buttercream when icing a cake. To warm up the buttercream, put it back in the mixer using the whip or the paddle, and apply direct heat with a propane torch you can find at any hardware store.
**Using a blowtorch directly on a food product is a very standard practice (see creme brulee) and anyone who says otherwise is a jackass who knows nothing about cooking.
**Don't worry about using raw egg whites in your buttercream, the sugar cooks the egg whites and makes them perfectly safe to eat, if you are still uneasy about this, use a pasteurized egg product.
Get started making your own amazing cakes with Chef Duff: www.duff.com.
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