Saturday, May 21, 2011

Best Ever Buttercream Frosting & FIlling

I'm not kidding. Best. EVER. I wanted to eat it all straight from the bowl. I added almond extract instead of vanilla. To die for!!



Perfect Cupcake Frosting and Filling
recipe by ourbestbites.com
3 T Flour
1/2 C milk (whole milk is best, but I used non-fat when it's all I have and it's actually fine)
1/2 C real butter
1/2 C sugar (that's granulated sugar, not powdered sugar)
1 t vanilla extract, or other flavor if you wish.

Whisk together the flour and the milk. Heat in a small sauce pan on medium heat. Whisk continuously until it starts to thicken. Do not under-cook this part. Let it cook, while stirring, until it looks like pudding (you should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir it). Even though it's thick, you can still push it through a mesh strainer (just whisk the mixture in the strainer to push the thick stuff through) and then let it cool completely to room temp. or chill it in the fridge. It needs to be cooled completely. If you don't let it cool completely, it will melt the butter and you'll have runny frosting.

It an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and the sugar for a minute or two until well combined and fluffy. You'll want to use the whisk attachment on a stand mixer, not the flat paddle. Then while beating, add in the thickened milk mixture and the vanilla. Beat on the highest speed you can get to without it spraying all over the place for 7 minutes. Yes, 7 whole minutes, maybe even 8 or 9. I know that seems like a long time, but that's when the magic happens!

You will be scared because it will look like a weird goopy mess at first and you'll wonder what on earth you did wrong. Keep beating and something amazing happens. It goes from that goopy mess to something thick, velvety smooth, and perfectly fluffy.

Use it to fill cupcakes or other pastries, or as a frosting on top. You can't go wrong putting this on just about anything :)
One batch makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes .

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Friday, May 20, 2011

Marshmallow Fondant


This was my first attempt at marshmallow fondant and I thought it turned out pretty good! It definitely tastes better than regular fondant and is easy to make. I made 2 batches of this recipe for the above cake. One batch for the bottom layer (had some left over) and 1 batch for the top two. FYI, I would NEVER try to make it by hand. I used my stand mixer with the dough hook attachment and it worked perfectly. No messy hand-kneading....I also added almond extract. Yum!

*ignore the piping skills....there's only so much you can do with a ziploc bag!

Marshmallow Fondant

Ingredients:

  • 1 package (16 ounces) white mini marshmallows (use a good quality brand)
  • 2-5 tablespoons water
  • 2 pounds (about 8 cups) sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening

Makes:

About 2 pounds marshmallow fondant.

Instructions:

To make marshmallow fondant, place marshmallows and 2 tablespoons of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave 30 seconds on high; stir until mixed well. Continue microwaving 30 seconds more; stir again. Continue until melted (about 2 1/2 minutes).

Place 3/4 of the confectioners' sugar on top of the melted marshmallow mixture. Fold sugar into marshmallow mixture. Flavoring can be added at this point if desired. Place solid vegetable shortening in easily accessed bowl so you can reach into it with fingers as you are working. Grease hands and counter GENEROUSLY; turn marshmallow mixture onto counter. Start kneading like you would dough. Continue kneading, adding additional confectioners' sugar and re-greasing hands and counter so the fondant doesn't stick. If the marshmallow fondant is tearing easily, it is too dry; add water (about 1/2 tablespoon at a time) kneading until fondant forms a firm, smooth elastic ball that will stretch without tearing, about 8 minutes.

It's best to allow Marshmallow Fondant to sit, double-wrapped, overnight. Prepare the fondant for storing by coating with a thin layer of solid vegetable shortening, wrap in plastic wrap and then place in resealable bag. Squeeze out as much air as possible. Marshmallow Fondant will keep well in refrigerator for several weeks.
When not working with fondant, make sure to keep it covered with plastic wrap or in a bag to prevent it from drying out. When ready to use, knead fondant until smooth. Roll out fondant 1/8 in. thick.

To color fondant: If you need to tint the entire batch of fondant, add a little icing color to the melted marshmallow mixture before adding confectioners' sugar. For smaller amounts of tinted fondant, add icing color to portions of fondant as needed.

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Sunday, May 1, 2011

Strawberry Trifle

Strawberry Trifle
2 8-oz pkgs. cream cheese (I used the reduced fat/Neufatchel)
2 c. powdered sugar
1 c. sour cream
1 1/2 t. vanilla extract, divided
1/4 t. almond extract (optional)
1/2 pint whipping cream
4 T. sugar, divided
1 angel food cake, cubed
2 qts. strawberries, sliced.

Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add sour cream, 1/2 t. vanilla, and almond extract; set aside. Blend whipping cream, remaining vanilla, and one Tbl sugar. Fold into cream cheese mixture. Add angel food cake pieces. Combine strawberries and remaining sugar. In a a large glass bowl, layer strawberries, then cake mixture. Continue layering, ending with strawberries as top.

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