Thursday, November 11, 2010

Vanilla frosting taste test challenge

Yesterday was National Vanilla Cupcake Day. I have been wanting to try out a few different frostings lately, so this was the perfect opportunity.

I made 68 mini vanilla cupcakes and 3 different kinds of vanilla frosting.

First up was 7 minute frosting. I halved the recipe so I wouldn't end up with tons leftover. This frosting is made of egg whites and a cooked sugar syrup. It wasn't too hard, it just took a while to get the sugar syrup up to the right temperature.

The frosting is super fluffy and white, almost like marshmallow. I mounded it on top of the cupcakes and used some festive fall sprinkles.

Second was traditional American buttercream. This is the easiest to make, with only butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.

I tinted it purple to distinguish from the other frostings. This is the frosting I use most often, as it is easy to make and use. It can be too sweet for some, since there's usually 4-5 cups of powdered sugar in it. I also added a tiny squeeze of lemon juice.

Last was swiss merengue buttercream. This is the trickiest to make, although it was a lot easier than in the past. This is made with a warmed egg white and sugar mix, which is beaten to stiff peaks, and then butter (4 sticks!) is added in gradually. I usually have trouble with this frosting, but it was perfect this time. After adding the butter, it looks all goopy and wrong, but you just beat it like crazy for a few minutes and it's perfectly fluffy and smooth.

I tinted this pink. It's much less sweet, but richer than other frosting. When Jason tasted it, he said it tasted fattier, and that's due to the pound of butter. This is also a recipe that I can easily adapt to be sugar-free.

Anyhoo, took these to be tasted this morning. The 7 minute frosting had flopped overnight, so I knew that wasn't going to get good reviews. I think most people like the american buttercream, which is good, since it's easier and cheaper to make than the swiss merengue buttercream. I'm glad to know that I can produce any of these frostings rather easily.


Carrie said...

I wish I could have tried the swiss one. That sounds delish.

Tania said...

Carrie- it's my mom's favorite since it isn't as sugary sweet. It's hard to find cupcakeries that use it, probably because it's a lot of butter! There was a place in Pittsburgh that I went to that had it.

Heather said...

I have never tried the 7 minute frosting, but I found that most people prefer the traditional American buttercream as well. I made a Swiss meringue bc once, it turned out great, but most people didn't love it. Enjoying reading about all your culinary successes!