Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Gareth's 33rd Birthday Cupcakes

I planned on baking three batches of cupcakes in one extremely hectic week so I used cake mix. So the base is mix but the frosting is Martha Stewart's Swiss Meringue Buttercream (a.k.a. my new bff). I love this frosting; easy to make and pipes beautifully.

You can find this recipe in Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook on page 386.

4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine the egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar ha dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees Fahrenheit).

Attach the bowl tot he mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it hold stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture if fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.

switch to the paddle attachment. With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. (If the frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth.

This was the second time that I made this frosting so I just put the egg whites and sugar over medium high heat because it took forever to heat up the first time around. As long as you keep whisking until they're warm, you won't overcook them.

After filling a piping bag with the frosting, I put it in the fridge to firm up a bit and then it piped perfectly. There was more than enough to frost 24 cupcakes. This frosting will most likely be my all-purpose go-to for cupcakes.

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