9 Jul 2009

Caffeine isn't a drug, it's a vitamin

Anyone who knows me knows that I absolutely despise coffee. I just can't abide the taste, the smell however is out of this world. So, whenever I'm asked to bake with the stuff I'm elated that I get to inhale the beautiful scent while participating in my favorite pastime, baking.


As it was the birthday of my father in law to be, I was asked to whip up a batch of coffee cupcakes to celebrate his 53rd year. Pretty basic and as I've been making a lot of cupcakes recently (it seems I'm baking for pretty much everyones birthday at the moment) I thought I'd try something different. I've always fancied the sound of Swiss Meringue Butter Cream but never got round to trying it, so today was to be the day. A little bit fussier than normal butter cream the SMBC requires constant whisking over a double boiler to thicken up the egg whites, but boy is it worth the extra effort. So silky, so creamy, the most sophisticated frosting I have ever experienced.


Recipe for Coffee Swiss Meringue Butter Cream (from how to eat a cupcake)

170g caster sugar
3 egg whites
1/8 tsp salt

170g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 tbsp hot water
1 1/2 tsp instant coffee


Put sugar, egg whites and salt into the top of a double boiler over a pan of simmering water. Whisking constantly, cook until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm (about 160 degrees). Pour heated egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat egg white mixture on high speed until it forms stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until fluffy and cooled, about 7 minutes total. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low, add butter two tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Increase speed to medium-high; continue beating until frosting appears thick, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, stir 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee into 1 tbsp hot water until dissolved, then put it in the fridge or freezer until it comes down to room temperature. Reduce mixer speed to low and add coffee mixture. Continue beating 1 minute to reduce air bubbles.

9 comments:

Maria♥ said...

Wow, that is one gorgeous looking cupcake!! I've never tried Swiss Meringue Butter Cream, think that's about to change.

Maria
x

Ingrid said...

I've made American and Italian buttercream but have yet to try my hand at the Swiss version. You're the second blog I've read recently to rave about it.
~ingrid

Natashya said...

That looks awesome!
But.. eep! Your father in law is younger than my husband! Now I feel really old....

pinkstripes said...

I can't live with out coffee!

Your cupcake looks and sounds delicious!

♥Rosie♥ said...

Those cupcakes are just so gorgeous and I love piping with Swiss Meringue Butter Cream!! Your piped swirls look perfect!!

The Bahens said...

I feel the same exact way about coffee! I'll stand in the store with my nose pressed to the coffee bean grinder for 5 minutes just inhaling!

Flourchild said...

I so can rlate to the disliking of coffee. I had a cold coffee one summer about 10 years ago and I hurled. It made me sick. Ever since then I can NOT drink it cold. I drink tea now. I will drink it hot sometimes but it usually ends up killing my stomach. I guess I'll sick to hot cocoa and chai tea!
Your cupcakes look really good!

C said...

I'm totally in agreement with you on the coffee front - smells divine, tastes yuk!

Your cupcakes look stunning - the SMBC looks really lush - I must get round to trying that soon!

Hayley said...

Sooo glad I'm not the only coffee freak, I can't stand the stuff but it smells gorgeous! Beautiful cupcakes xxx