Vanilla Buttercream

With the arrival of April, 2015 already has had so much good news on its sleeve that I have difficulties to digest it all, let alone summarise it. I am going to go casually over this, but it does sound something like ‘moving in together (!), getting engaged (!) casually having coffee for breakfast together every single day (!) and having a month off before my new job starts in Frankfurt’.

I am fully aware that eating cake is supposed to be saved for very special occassions, but at the moment every day feels like something completely new and exciting, which more or less equals eating cake in unhuman amounts.
Until I will have to give into a full-time working hamster-ball schedule again, I am enjoying my free time with as much unlimited cycling, cake-baking and bookreading as I can (oh hello, Wisteria Lane;)).
As cake decorating is pretty much new to me, I am going through baby-steps, which means that you either find this recipe just as enlighting as me or just have to bear with me until I am having my act together.
This buttercream recipe and piping technique have really blown me away as they both are really easy and the result is (well in my view at least), breathtaking.
Vanilla Buttercream
Enough to frost and even fill a medium sized cake, based on Molly Yeh’s recipe.
  • 250 grams of softened unsalted butter
  • 2 good pinches of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of vanilla extract, preferrably with the vanilla seeds in it (to give it beautiful black specks)
  • 250 grams of icing sugar

Simply beat all ingredients together with a handmixer or a handblender (I have found that that just works fine as well), until it looks a little more smooth and airy.
You can now store it in the fridge or freezer.
I have baked this lovely honey cake from Smitten Kitchen as a basis and as it really seems to suit well with the spring season, having said that, I think ths buttercream tastes great on really everything.
Applying it to the cake would be done in two steps. The cake needs to be cooled thoroughly, to make sure the buttercream won’t get runny. First, you would apply a thin layer of buttercream all over the surface of the cake to make sure all loose crumbs are caught and won’t inflict on the buttercream topping.
Then the cake with the first layer of buttercream goes back into the refrigerator. After an hour it is ready to pipe on the rest of the decoration. I have used a ‘rose’ technique, which means that you make small rounds, very close to each other. It is really as simple as it sounds.
Considering the high amount of butter in this recipe, it really is a simple buttercream that might not hold up very well in hot weather (in which case Italian or Swiss buttercream might be more suitable). It is however very tasty and easy to handle, and might be just perfect for beginners.
I hope you enjoy it just as much as I did. πŸ™‚

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