I spotted a recipe for Roasted strawberry-balsamic Swiss buttercream (that’s a mouthful!) and I knew the time had come. It was time to conquer buttercream. I had tried to make it once before… it was unfortunate. See my Mother’s Day post for the horror. I did succeed after, when I made my World Cup Cupcakes, but I made Italian Meringue buttercream that time, and honestly… I do prefer to try the Swiss technique so I don’t have to deal with temperatures and sugar crystallization. To be honest with you, the whole sugar crystallization thing is still a gamble with me, sometimes I get the syrup right and sometimes the thing crystallizes on me and sends me on a cursing and stomping rage. Then, I try again.
I called Kitty up, I needed backup. (She can make buttercream) We got together for a Foodies’ day of baking. Glad to say, I think I have the Swiss buttercream technique down. The trick is the butter temperature. It has to be at room temperature, but still firm enough that you can slice it and still get neatly shaped squares, do you know what I mean? I am so pleased with the results, I will try to make it again, tweaking a few things here and there. I would like to get more “merenguiness” (I don’t think that word exists, but you get me ) and less butter flavor. I already have my eye on a few recipes that I will try soon.
Now, about this specific recipe with the roasted strawberries.Oh… my…God. You have to try it. Balsamic vinegar and strawberries love each other, and you can really taste the natural strawberry flavor in this. For the batter, we used Hershey’s chocolate cake recipe. You can’t go wrong there.
I’ll walk you through the cake recipe first, and then below you will find the buttercream recipe.
You can also see more pictures of the procedure over at our Flickr stream! http://bit.ly/GTOVom
Chocolate Cake with Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Swiss Buttercream
Makes 2 6″ round cakes and 6 regular sized cupcakes or 1 9″ cake
2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
½ cup vegetable oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
- Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
Roasted Strawberry-Balsamic Swiss Buttercream
Adaptated from Sticky Gooey Creamy Chewy
5 large egg whites
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
Pinch of salt
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup fresh strawberries (you can use frozen ones)
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon suger
1 tablespoon olive oil, for drizzling
- First we need to roast the strawberries. To do so preheat your oven to 375º F. Toss strawberries with balsamic vinegar, sugar and oil and arrange on cookie sheet in one layer. Roast for 20-25 min. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes. Puree it using a food processor or blender.
- To make the buttercream: Combine egg whites, sugar, and salt in the heatproof bowl of a standing mixer set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly by hand until mixture is warm to the touch and sugar has dissolved (the mixture should feel completely smooth when rubbed between your fingertips, this is important!). The temperature on an instant-read thermometer should be 150-160º F.
- Attach the bowl to a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Starting on low speed, and gradually increasing to medium-high speed, until the mixture is fluffy and glossy, and completely cool (test by touching the bottom of the bowl). This should take about 10 minutes.
- With mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter a few tablespoons at a time, mixing well after each addition. Once all butter has been added, whisk in vanilla and strawberry puree. Switch to the paddle attachment, and continue beating on low speed until all air bubbles are eliminated, about 2 more minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a flexible spatula, and continue beating until the frosting is completely smooth. Keep buttercream at room temperature if using the same day.
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