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!