Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This is the ULTIMATE BUTTERCREAM that all cupcakes maker should always have on hand. I adapted this recipe from Martha Stewart’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

I have to quote what Martha had said in her book: “This all-purpose buttercream has an ultra-silky, stable texture that spreads beautifully over cupcakes, and can be piped into perfect peaks and patterns.”

This buttercream is not too sweet, not too buttery (like regular buttercream recipe which is actually just a mixture of butter and sugar), and….. This is the best part: It can be varied with different extracts, juices, zest, and other flavoring agents, and can be tinted any shade!! Isn’t it wonderful?! I just love one basic recipe that can be transformed into zillion possibilities!!

ps: It’s maybe tricky to make this buttercream for the first time. But all you need is more and more practice.

Ingredients

  • 5 egg whites
  • 1 cup + 2 Tbsp sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 pound/450 gr unsalted butter, room  temperature
  • 1 ½ tsp real vanilla extract

 How to Make

  1. Combine the egg whites, sugar, and salt in a heatproof bowl (better using stainless bowl) over a pan of simmering water.
  2. Whisk them constantly by hand, until the sugar is completely dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed with your finger) and the mixture is warm to touch.
  3. Remove the bowl from the stove. Whisk the mixture on medium-high speed until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Continue mixing until the mixture is fluffy, glossy, and (the most important) COMPLETELY COOL. It takes about 10 minutes, depends on your mixer.
  4. Now using medium-low speed, add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, to the egg mixture. Mixing them well after each condition.
  5. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla, and continue beating on low speed until the frosting is completely smooth and all air bubbles are eliminated.

You can keep the buttercream in a room temperature for 1 day. Or you can transfer them to the airtight container and refrigerate up to 3 days, or freeze up to 1 month! Life cannot be easier! Remember to bring the buttercream to room temperature and beat them on low speed until smooth again before using.

To Make Chocolate Meringue Buttercream

Fold 4 ½ ounces/127 gr melted and cooled semi-sweet chocolate into the buttercream mixture in step number 5, along with the vanilla extract.

To Make Matcha (Green Tea) Meringue Buttercream

Fold 2 ½ Tbsp Matcha (Green Tea) powder into the buttercream mixture in step number 5, and eliminate the vanilla extract!

– it can be used to frost 30 cupcakes-

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Perfect Pancakes

pancakes

I’m pretty sure that every family has its own pancake’s recipe. But have you been satisfied with yours? Still looking for a wonderful, fluffy, and thick pancakes like the shop-bought ones? Well…your quest ends here! 😀 Café-style american pancakes will be served straight from your own kitchen!

Pardon me for not posting any photos of these beautiful pancakes. I’m always late to capture those pancakes as husband had already eaten them all 😀  I’ll post some photos if I make a batch for brekkie.

Note: I’ve updated this post with yesterday’s photo of our breakfast pancakes. 😀

Ingredients

  •  400 ml buttermilk. If you only have regular milk, you can substitute the buttermilk with this mixture: Add 2 Tbsp lemon juice or white vinegar to your milk. Stir, and let it stands for about 15 minutes.
  • 3 eggs, separate the whites and the yolks
  • 250 gr plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 30 gr sugar
  • 50 gr unsalted butter, melted

How to make your beautiful pancakes

  1. Mix flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. Sift this mixture.
  2. Separate the eggs, putting the whites into one bowl and the yolks into another.
  3. Beat the yolks until you get a pale batter.
  4. Add the buttermilk and baking soda into the yolks, then fold them.
  5. Add the sifted flour mixture and the sugar to the yolks and mix to a smooth thick batter.
  6. Whisk the whites until they form stiff peaks, and fold them gently into the batter.
  7. Add the melted butter into the batter, and fold them until everything is combined.
  8. Let the batter stands for half an hour before it’s ready to use!
  9. Heat a non-stick pan on a medium heat. Pour some of your batter into the pan and fry for a couple of minutes. Wait until the top forms bubbles, then flip the pancake over. Continue frying until both sides are golden as desired.

Enjoy while they’re still warm. Call me old-fashioned, but I have to have a real maple syrup pour over my pancakes. Nothing can beat it!

Basic Sponge Cake

Sponge cake itself maybe looks not too appealing. But you know what? There are MANY kinds of delicious cakes you can make by using sponge cakes as its base. Strawberry shortcake is one of them. I promise I’ll post more recipes using sponge cake later.

For first time baker, mastering basic cake recipes will help you a lot to minimize chaos and all those clutters in the kitchen. Once you’ve mastered one basic cake, you can make many variations. Your imagination is the limit.

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs (remember to use room temperature eggs)
  • 85 gr confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 gr unsalted butter, melted
  • 92 gr cake flour, or low protein flour (Indonesian people can use “tepung kunci biru”)
  • 15 ml milk
  • 1 tsp real vanilla extract

How to Make

  1. Preheat your oven to 180° Celsius, line a 18 cm (7 or 8 inch) circular cake pan with baking paper, or grease the cake pan with butter, then lightly coat the pan with flour.
  2. Using your hand mixer, or stand mixer, or otherwise, your hands, whisk the eggs and sugar together, until you get a white and lightly stiff batter. Here’s a clue so you will know when to stop whisking: After whisking about 7 to 10 minutes (depends on your mixer), try to lift up your mixer from the bowl. When it’s ready, your batter will hold a “ribbon” for about 10 seconds.
  3. Gradually add the flour into your batter, and fold the batter lightly using a spatula. Move the spatula across the bottom of the bowl, then bring it back up the other side, carrying some of the mixture from the bottom over the surface. Repeat it until ingredients are combined.
  4. Add milk, vanilla, and melted butter to your batter, and fold them in the same way you fold the flour.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan (don’t forget to spread your batter evenly into the pan), and pop it into the oven. Bake for 35 minutes or so. .
  6. You will know when the cake is done by touching the top lightly with your finger. It will springs back when it’s done. Or use another trick by inserting a wooden toothpick near the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, your cake is done.
  7. Rest the cake on the cooling rack.

Now jazz up your sponge cake and jump into this Strawberry Shortcake recipe!

Basic Muffin Recipe

I’ve posted Banana Muffin recipe few days ago, and thought that some of you, maybe, ain’t really fond of the taste of banana. So this is a recipe for you! A basic muffin recipe that you can transform into any kind of muffins you like.

This recipe is inspired by Nigella Lawson’s Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins. She’s my domestic goddess! 😀

Ingredients:
– 250 gr all purpose flour (Indonesians can use either “Segitiga Biru” or “Kunci Biru” flour)
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda 
– 175 gr sugar
– 250 ml milk
– 90 ml vegetable oil
– 1 egg
– 1 teaspoon real vanilla extract
(the real vanilla extract is quite expensive.. You can substitute it with cheaper vanilla essence)

Modifications:

If you are in the mood of Chocolate Muffins, please add:

–       2 tablespoons cocoa powder 
(you know, the one that comes with brand like: Van Houten, Delfi, whatever…you choose.. but please, do not use chocolate milk powder..)

–       150 gr choc-chips (plus more for sprinkling later!)

Chocolate Chocolate-Chip Muffins

Want a super-cheesy-day? Make this Cheese Muffins by adding… :

–       150 gr grated Cheddar Cheese (plus more for sprinkling later)

Your kids are crazy about Oreo? Bake this Oreo Muffins and they love you more! Simply add:

–       150 gr Crushed Oreos (plus more for sprinkling later)

Oreo Muffins

Got the point? You can easily make ANY kind of muffins you like by simply adding 150 grams of your favorite flavor into your muffin batter. Life is simple, indeed… 😀

How to make:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200′ C, and fill a muffin tray with paper cases
  2. Measure out the dry ingredients into a large bowl. They are: flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and your choice of flavor (e.g.: if you are making Chocolate Muffins, add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips)
  3. Pour all the liquid ingredients into a measuring jug and mix. They are: milk, vegetable oil, egg, and vanilla extract
  4. Pour liquid into dry ingredients, then mix both together. Remember, do not over-mix the batter!
  5. Spoon the batter into the muffin cases. Sprinkle your choice of flavor on top (chocolate-chips, or grated cheese, or crushed oreos, and so on…)
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until the muffins are risen, and springy



-makes 10-