Sunday, February 27, 2011

VLOG: simple & versatile buttercream icing

This blog post title basically says it all.  I'm going to show you how to make buttercream frosting in a matter of minutes - less than two minutes to be precise.  This recipe is adapted from The Culinary Institute of America's Baking at Home with the CIA.  I won this wonderful book from Lisa of KoreanAmericanMommy on one of her giveaways!  (Thanks again Lisa!)

Buttercream icings are really adaptable because you can add whatever flavors of your choice.  The key thing to remember is that the more fluid your flavoring, the more powdered sugar you must add to obtain that thick frosting like texture.  So it is best to stick to extracts or more viscous additions, unless you simply adore sweetness to the max.  Buttercreams consist of softened room temperature butter, powdered sugar, and flavoring.  Also, sometimes milk/cream is needed to reduce the thickness of the frosting into order to achieve the desired texture.  Other than that, that is basically it!  

Want to make a crazy good chocolate buttercream?  Replace one cup powdered sugar with one cup cocoa powder.  Want to make a vanilla buttercream?  Use vanilla extract.  Want to make a nutella buttercream?  Use nutella.  Want to make [enter flavor here]?  Use [enter flavor source here].  In all cases, use milk/cream/food coloring to thin it out if necessary.  How much of it you use is up to you!  

I'm going to demonstrate how to make a simple strawberry buttercream using strawberry jam.  The reason why I don't use pureed strawberries is because it is too "liquidy" but if you prefer it, I suggest that you cook it down on the stovetop (which will also get you a more intense strawberry flavor).  I feel that half the work is already done for me by using strawberry jam though.  

Saturday, February 5, 2011

VLOG: a sweet potato twist

Making pie is so easy.  I know I say that about a lot of my other baking endeavors, but this one is legit. With a few handy tips, you'll be thinking the same thing.  Trust me, come summer time I will be talking all about making fruit pies that don't run and easy, breezy, beautiful flaky crusts.  Until then, I've got a recipe on sweet potato pie to hold you over.  (Yeah, I'm a tad bit late on "ground provision" pies but better late than never!)  This pie recipe is adapted from the Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook.  It has been raved about on various baking blogs and I just had to try it out.  My review on it?  It's different.  It's light and delicate but still embodies the sweet potato flavor.  I strongly recommend you omit the lemon juice (as was written in the original recipe) because that tang is distracting.  You've got enough of the bite from the buttermilk.  It's important to remember the star of this show is the sweet potato.  With that being said, I present to you my shortest video yet with the featured musician being me.  It's a Catalonian Melody composed by my former classical guitar instructor.  This is one of the very first pieces I ever learned how to play.  It starts off simple and is followed by a variation, and I think it's absolutely beautiful.  Enjoy my dears!