Thursday 6 September 2007


adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum's recipe. delicious!

2 cups/1 lb/454 grams unsalted butter, softened but cool (65degreesF)
1 cup/7 oz/200 grams sugar
1/4 liquid cup/2 oz/60 grams water
5 large/5.25 oz/150 grams egg whites, room temp.
1/2 + 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. pure almond extract
6 oz melted and cooled white chocolate, pref. Tobler Narcisse

Makes 4.5 cups/1 lb 14 oz/858 grams (enough to fill and frost two 9-inch by 1 1/2-inch layer or three 9-inch by 1-inch layers)

  • In a mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy and set aside in a cool place
  • Have ready a heatproof glass measure near the range. In a small heavy saucepan heat 3/4 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low. (if using an electric range remove from the heat.)
  • In another mixing bowl beat egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until a thermometer registers 248degreesF to 250degreesF (firm-ball stage). Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking
  • If using a hand-held mixer beat the syrup into the whites in a steady stream. Don't allow the syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Lower speed to medium and continue beating up to 2 minutes or until cool. If not completely cool, continue beating on lowest speed.
  • Beat in the butter at medium speed 1 tablespoon at a time. At first the mixture will seem thinner but will thicken beautifully by the time all the butter is added. If at any time the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed slightly and beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.
  • Lower the speed slightly and drizzle in the almond extract. Beat in 6 ounces melted and cooled white chocolate. Place in an airtight bowl. Rebeat lightly from time to time to maintain silky texture. Buttercream becomes spongy on standing.


Shawna said...

You may want to turn off your automatic music player. I came here from Google (looking for reviews of this recipe), and I don't want to stay here because of the music. It began automatically, and the pause button is WAY down, making me scroll down to the bottom, past all those links, and it was very discouraging. Plus, it began all over again once I clicked on another one of your pages. Seriously rethink.

Cakebrain said...

thank you for your comment. I have seriously thought about it and have decided to keep it until I get more than one comment against the automatic music. I have many regular readers who comment that they enjoy it. From time to time, I change the layout and elements of my blog, but I do this on my whim and not from complaints from blog readers (of which yours is the first in my 7 years of blogging).

When and if I do get rid of the music player, it'll be because I want a change. I have deleted it for a while and added it back about half a dozen times already. Until then, happy googling...and hopefully you won't have to be pained by accidentaly encountering my blog in your future searches.

This blog is a reflection of my interests and was constructed as an archive of recipes for my is not designed to be everything for everyone. Thank goodness for freedom of speech.

Have you thought about using the "volume off" button on your computer?

Anonymous said...

hey...i just made these cupcakes and they smelt awesome baking, the batter was delicious, really i couldve ate it all by itself =) but something went horribly wrong. once in the oven they rose way to much and ozzed all over the pan and most of it actually dripped down into my oven =( i filled the cupcake liners about the same amount as i always do for any cupcake, about 3/4 full. i am going to get more supplies and try again and just barely put in any batter at all. but i was wondering if u had any thoughts on this.


Cakebrain said...

your comment was submitted on the white chocolate mousseline buttercream recipe post. Which cupcake are you talking about?
Is it the CI chocolate cupcake or the white chocolate cupcake?
For whatever recipe, I would look at the measurement you used for baking powder or baking soda. Sometimes people have commented to me that they have accidentally used the Tablespoon measure (indicated with a capital "T" in a recipe) instead of the teaspoon measure (indicated by a lowercase "t" in the recipe). That has happened before with a few people. For most recipes, I use large muffin tins and large (or even extra large muffin liners). So if your pans are medium-sized, that could be an issue though it doesn't sound like it from what you described.

Anonymous said...

You tell her, Cakebrain. Mute the sound if you don't like the music!!

Cakebrain said...

thanks for saying that! I was beginning to wonder if I was the only person who believed in freedom of expression & choice!

Roxanne said...

Hi, I'm looking to make some yummy cupcakes for my brothers 21st (minimizing mess from the party:-P).
I would love to try making this Buttercream icing but I'm a bit of a novice and your instructions just kind of stopped? Would you pipe or spread this on and with rebeating, is that for only if you keep any extra you don't use, or is it something that's needed as you should rest it before use? I don't know much and I've taken on a big job as my brother and many of his friends are chef's, however it's a surprise party so I can't get any help:-( So any help from you would be greatly appreciated:-).

Cakebrain said...

I have posted the recipe verbatim, and most recipes do not include how to pipe and how much. This is how many cookbooks present their recipes. They take for granted that you know how to use the buttercream.
I do want you to succeed, so after you make the buttercream, fill your piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip (star); then pipe the buttercream from the outside, in swirling in concentric circles.
If this is not clear I'm sure you will find a decent youtube video on the technique.
It is only if you have to refrigerate remaining buttercream that you need to rebeat it after it comes to temperature.
Good luck

Piccolo Pottery said...

Worked wonderfully. My thinking is a little of this on a cup cake goes a long way - light, fluffy and rich. How long will this store in the fridge? Can it be frozen?

Cakebrain said...

Piccolo Pottery,
I have successfully frozen the buttercream for a few months and allowed it to come to room temperature before beating it to bring it back to the right consistency. If I have leftovers I don't often refrigerate it but I imagine it would be good up to 5 days to a week or even longer. Anything with a lot of sugar and fat usually lasts quite a while.

Unknown said...

Hi Cakebrain,

I've been doodling between doing mousseline buttercream and swiss meringue. I did SMBC and while it was initially successful, it became runny due to the hot weather where I'm from. And the cupcakes are due tomorrow. :(

Would you know if this one holds up well in hot weather?



Cakebrain said...

Hi Barbie,
A word of caution from the words from Beranbaum, the author of the cookbook...
"very light, smooth and incredibly easy to work with...starts out looking thin and lumpy...turns into a luxurious cream. A word of caution: if ...butter is too soft or the room too hot, what could have been a satin-smooth cream breaks down into a grainy hopeless puddle. Once the buttercream is made however, it holds up better than any other."

She indicated that her "silk meringue buttercream" is better for warm temperatures. If all is lost, and you are pressed for time just make a simple buttercream with butter and confectioners' sugar at the last minute and beat the heck out of it...about 10 minutes in the stand mixer with a touch of milk and flavouring and that will save the day. It holds up well and is quite delicious.

Unknown said...

Thanks Cakebrain!

My SMBC worked well until 5-10 minutes after piping frosting on my cupcake.

For now, I'll try to "fix" what I have and probably turn to classic buttercream if all else fails.

I'll try this recipe some other time, especially when I'm not pressed for time!

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Making this buttercream for a third time. I am a huge fan of Rose's recipes and the white chocolate to this recipe is just wonderful. I know that this is old news but the poster back May 2010 complaining about the music needs to find the "mute" button. Geesh....I'm not a fan of music on blogs cause sometimes I search recipes in the middle of the night but, hey, there again is the mute button. Stop complaining thankful there are such blogs as Cake on the Brain and like my momma always told me..."if you can't' say something nice don't say anything at all". Thanks for a great blog with terrific recipes! Now, I'm going back to the kitchen :-)

Cakebrain said...

I <3 your attitude! Yah. Love that buttercream white chocolate combo.
Thanks for the kind words and support! I shudder to think of what people thought of me when I had snowflakes falling during Christmas time (hey not everyone celebrates Christmas ya know) and the unfortunate year where I lost my sense of style and experimented with a black backround. It was a dark time indeed. But anyway. I think I'm okay with what it is now. Not a lot of change going on around here because frankly I'm a bit too busy with life. Frankly, bloggers thrive on positive comments and I must admit I am no exception. Yes indeed, when I frequent other people's blogs, if I've got nothing nice to say...I move along to another blog and don't come back :) I would never say something about someone's choice of template, colour scheme, font, or fuzzy poor image quality nor general poor writing style or grammar. It just isn't nice! It's like visiting someone's home for the first time, walking around and telling them their curtains suck, their couches are ugly and they should change the station because they don't like the song. In general I find the foodie community to be amazing, friendly, thoughtful, funny, people... of which you are one, CrazyLadyBaker!

Unknown said...

Hi there! I was just wondering if you could give me an estimate of how many cupcakes 1 batch of this can be used to frost. I intend to do rosettes. I have to make 50 cupcakes so should I double the recipe or make it multiple times in separate batches? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! This looks like such a fantastic buttercream and I simply HAVE to make it haha.

Cakebrain said...

sorry, I can't give you an estimate. It is all dependent on how high you pipe your buttercream. It says it makes enough to frost a whole layer cake. So obviously that's not enough for 50 cupcakes. A layer cake is essentially equivalent to 12 large cupcakes. It also depends on the size of your cupcakes: small, medium, large or jumbo. Perhaps you could do the math.


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