Like I always say although I really like sweet things I don’t like when they are too sweet. I like to enjoy the flavors in a dessert without my teeth hurting from the sugar overload.
I have always admired how beautifully versatile cupcakes are, but was often disappointed with the sugary almost crusty icing that would give me a sugar head ache half way through the cake.
To be honest I could probably count all the times I have eaten a shop bought cupcake – I have never finished the whole thing unless it was served with super black coffee.
I love to bake and I dream about making icing that would be delicate and full of flavor but not overly sweet,.
After few attempts on different types of butter cream I have decided that the swiss meringue buttercream is just the one for me. I reduced the amount of sugar and butter even more, added vanilla pod and it came out as the best creamy mousse ever that wasn’t too sweet at all! I was amazed and so happy!
Mainly as I did that experiment when making a birthday cake for my friend and didn’t have much time for many try outs, and wanted it to be perfect.
Since I’ve had a little box of blackberries in the fridge leftover I decided to use that opportunity to make a few cupcakes with that same icing and see if I would enjoy it as much.
I decided on chocolate cupcakes filled with blackberry mousse topped with my vanilla swiss icing and blackberry puree. YUM!
These cupcakes are really yummy I call them the Nesquick cupcakes. if any of you ever had the Nesquick cereal you will know what I mean:D
I’m not sure if it’s because of my cocoa powder but it just totally tastes like them:)
15g cocoa powder
3g baking soda
150 g sugar
50 g butter, at room temperature
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
50 ml ground nut oil
1. Preheat oven to 150 ‘C or 135 ‘C fan.
2. Cream sugar and butter with a mixer. When bright and fluffy add egg then slowly add oil while its mixing and beat for another 30 sec till well combined.
3. Mix all dry ingredients in a bowl.
4. Switch your stand mixer to low speed and add flour mix in 3 batches, alternating with 2 batches of buttermilk; mix until just combined and switch off.
Swiss Buttercream ( remember I reduced the sugar) :
160g egg whites (defrosted, frozen egg whites are better for meringues they whip to a larger volume).
160 g sugar
190g butter at room temp
1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract.
1/2 Tsp lemon juice
pinch of salt
For me this type of meringue is best just because it’s more accurate when it comes to control of amounts of egg white and sugar as we don’t loose any sugar the way we do in Italian meringue. And the temperature control is not as challenging.
1. Place the sugar and egg white in a heat proof bowl (best if it is the mixer bowl) place over double boiler and warm up while constantly mixing until all sugar is dissolved. You can check that by putting some egg whites betweeen your fingers to feel for sugar grains.
2. When Sugar has dissolved start whisking the egg whites first on low speed to get some big bubbles then after about a minute change to high and whisk until it multiplies in volume a few times, it may take up to 5-6 minutes. Don’t worry it wont get over whipped very quickly so you can keep it going for a bit.
3. When it’s shiny fluffy and white you can change to medium speed and start adding the butter in small pieces, make sure butter is at room temp – super soft but not liquid melted.
4. When all the butter is incorporated add your vanilla extract, pinch of salt and lemon juice and it’s ready!
Blackberry mousse (This is part of another recipe I have used it as I had frozen leftovers so if you do make this you will have leftovers too)
90g heavy cream
90g blackberry puree
4g gelatin leaves
30g italian meringue (recipe below)
18g eau-de-vie de framboise or other berry fruit or even cherry liqueur.
1. Soak the gelatin in cold water.
2. Whip the cream to soft peaks and leave on the side.
3. Heat the blackberry puree until it starts to boil, take off heat. Immidiately squeeze out all excess water from gelatin add it to puree and mix untill dissolved set aside to cool and mix from time to time so it doesn’t set, you can place it over ice bath to speed it up.
4. When puree is cooled add alcohol and mix.
5. Fold it with the meringue.
6. fold in with the cream.
If you are planning to pipe it put in a piping bag and refrigerate if you plan to cut it place in a tub cover with cling film then put in a freezer.
Italian meringue (you need a candy thermometer)
60g egg whites
1. Add water and sugar to a small metal pot and place the candy thermometer in it (don’t use a non stick pot as caramel will probably crystallize). Do not stir it or change the temperature just let it sit there the only thing you can do is swirl or shake the pot a little to mix the sugar, or else it might crystallize.
2. Place egg whites in a stand mixer bowl and switch it on on low speed for about 30 sec to break them up and switch off.
3. When your caramel reaches 115′C start beating your egg whites on high speed When caramel reaches 121′c take it of the heat and start pouring in slow steady stream into egg whites.
4. Keep them beating until the bowl is cool to the touch, and It’s ready.