When adding extras (such as pistachios to our pistachio cupcakes or strawberry puree to our strawberry cupcakes) be very delicate and don’t stir too much because it can make the batter tough by building the gluten. Fold gently!
So this week I thought I’d talk a little bit about buttercream, since we make so much of it at the patisserie. It is a real tricky thing to make, at least in the beginning. For those who don’t know how it is made, you first have to boil sugar with a real teeny tiny amount of water, just enough to get the sugar wet basically. Then you have to watch the boiling sugar and make sure that it does not crystallize on the sides of the pot. You can tell when it starts to do this because it looks like little grains of sand on the sides or it gets kind of glossy. If this happens, you have to quickly brush it away with water.
You want to bring the sugar up to a boil, to about 230 degrees before you start whipping the eggs you will need for the recipe. Then, going back to the boiling sugar, once it reaches 238 degrees, you add it to the still whipping eggs then let the two of them go on whipping until they cool down. Once they are cool, you can start to add the butter.
Then you get a product that looks like this.
Buttercream is super tricky and if you make it at home be careful and be sure to have the proper equipment (such as a thermometer and a kitchenaid appliance or something similiar). Homemade buttercream is worth the effort though. It is light and delicious and once I have the boiling sugar down, I will be able to make this decadent topping myself!
Butter, I learned briefly on Monday, is a tricky thing. If you add butter to caramel when it is too hot, you get greasy, separated caramel, not the smooth, tasty kind. When butter is too cold and it is added to a recipe that calls for it to be at room temperature, it can make a batter separate and loose (which is not what you want).
Be aware when using butter. It is a necessity but I’m finding it can make or break a recipe.
Thus I start on this endeavor! I knew going into this that this was going to be an exciting, new adventure for me but starting a blog about interning at a bakery was the mastermind idea of Kristen D’Angelo, my new boss and owner of of Sweet Hearts (let me see if I spell this right) Patisserie here in Annapolis Maryland. I’ve only been in to see it twice and both times I’ve went it’s been absolutely adorable.
The inside is beautifully decorated in soft lavender colors, soothing to the eye (which is part of the reason why the blog is the same color). It makes a person just want to pop in, if just to enjoy the decor. Of course, if you want to buy a delicious treat to go along with our long list of different beverages, we’d be more than happy to help you out!
I’d love to go more in depth about what the inside looks like but you should just pop in and visit us when we open or better yet, follow me when I start talking about all the interesting things I learn about as an intern.
(Soon this will be full of cakes, pastries, cookies and sandwiches!)