It was almost a disaster.
I had planned on making a simple powdered sugar cream cheese frosting, but as I've said before, the powdered sugar here is just terrible. I should have known better. The frosting was way too sweet to use on a whole cake and gritty and blah. I used a little of it for the middle filling, but then moved on to something else.
I found a recipe online for cream cheese buttercream, but got impatient and didn't let the cooked mixture cool enough. Attempt #2, fail.
After reading some comments online and finding another recipe, I attempted this THIRD frosting. Talk about wasted butter. Ugh. Well, after working my way through the recipe, I thought this one was going to be pretty ho-hum. The texture was weird, but it tasted fine and seemed firm enough to hold up on a cake. I actually spread it on the cake and resigned myself to an end product that wasn't pretty, but would taste okay. It would just have to do. While I was frosting the cake I left the leftover buttercream running in the stand mixture. I was curious to see if it would get any better, texture-wise. And, LO AND BEHOLD, it finally came together!! Hallelujah. I was so relieved that I actually removed the buttercream from the cake, re-whipped it until it smoothed out and frosted the cake over again. In the end, it turned out lovely and delicious.
And, it is really good and less time-intensive than most buttercreams I've tried. The cream cheese flavor is subtle and the texture gloriously smooth.
So, the moral of the story is this: when making buttercream, do not give up. Keep beating it. It will come around. Eventually.
CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon vanilla
- 22 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into small pieces
- 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature, cut into small pieces
In a double boiler, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm (about 140 F), whisking frequently (about 3-5 minutes).
Transfer the egg white/sugar mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
Add the salt and beat on high speed until the mixture is thick and glossy (about 5-7 minutes).
Beat in the extract.
Then gradually add the butter and cream cheese piece by piece while beating; stop beating when the buttercream is thick and smooth.
This is the part where you might need to persevere. Follow these tips and you should be successful:
- Scrape the bowl down frequently.
- Let each piece of butter or cream cheese incorporate fully before adding more.
- Let the buttercream beat for a long time. If it looks grainy or too wet, keep going.
- If it is still not coming together, put the bowl in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and then continue beating it.
Source: An Edible Mosaic