Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Swiss Buttercream

Apologies for lack of posts....now Minh is getting older he demands more of my time and attention.  (It doesn't get any easier!!)  I can't always put him down and leave him to play as he will turn around, see I'm gone and cry.  Such a sad unhappy cry too.  It breaks my heart & I have to rush back to give him hugs!
I also found that I couldn't leave him on sofa anymore as he would lean over too far and roll off.  Too many times I've heard a Thud!  2 second silence.  Waaaah!  WAAAAAAAAAAH!!  He has rolled off bed too!  He is far too active! :0)

Anyway, since my last birthday cake (for my niece) I've received another cake order.  This time for my old school pal.  Her daughter will be 4 later this week and I've been asked to make a pink and girlie cake.  I've come up with a Princess Cake as I've wanted to make one.  Only thing is, there is a special bell shaped tin called a Tiffin' tin that is used for the dress shape.  I can't justify buying a tin for every shape and size so I thought I'd use a stainless steel mixing bowl.  Shape wasn't quite right.  I used a pound cake recipe (4 eggs) and it's not enough to fill the bowl.  Hence a flat slightly domed shape.  Like a bump rather than a dress.  Only way round it is to imagine the Princess is seated and the dress is fluffed out around her.  Well.  I can't disappoint an old school friend!  As I'm quite new to making cakes for orders I need to make sure each one is of a relatively high standard if I am to attract new customers and future orders.  So I was out today to buy a pudding basin.  

Cake is a better shape and is cooling right now.  I plan to sandwich with jam and buttercream, cover with buttercream and partially cover with rolled fondant icing.  My two-tiered cake used a French Buttercream which was buttery and rich.  As I used my own free-range eggs from my hens, the buttercream was lemon coloured.  I want a pale cream colour so decided to try Swiss Buttercream.  It is easier as there is less faff with boiling sugar syrup to certain temperatures and the result is light, fluffy and a pale colour.

Wendy (Table for 2)  has a great tutorial on Swiss Buttercream here.  I found her site a great source of information but I decided to use something a little more simple as I don't have to work with tropical heat and humidity here.  I used this recipe here

Buttercream is chilling in fridge and excuse me while I finish putting the cake together.  I PROMISE I will share with you the details of this Princess Cake (making it up as I go along really) and also the Mango & Strawberry Flower Cake I made as well as the Two-Tiered Birthday Cake!

Hope you all have a lovely Easter & don't eat too many chocolate eggs!


  1. Cant wait to see pics! Have you tried just shaping a stack of layers yet? Cheaper than buying fancy tins?!

  2. Ahh...you mean cake sculpting by carving fancy shapes? Yeah, seen it on TV - never tried it. You would have to bake a lot of cakes to stack. Besides, so much cake wastage! There'd be so many crumbs! Home-made truffles and cake pops? Sounds like too much mess! :0D

  3. I am in awe at what you get done with a young baby in the house. Goodness me, well done! I must admit I don't really like the taste of proper buttercream, and I worry about the keeping qualities (we do get really warm days), so I usually sandwich my cakes with ganache or simple buttercream (the icing sugar/butter) version.

    I remember when my eldest was little, I left her on the middle of my bed for one minute, next thing I hear was the thud and waaaaah! She'd managed to roll off (trying to follow me). Once they're mobile, it's all fun and games :) Little Minh is growing so quickly.

  4. Thanks Shaz! Minh is too active and although (we think) he has a healthy appetite (he eats his baby food jars or mummy-made mush & then shows interest in trying OUR food!!), he looks like a small and skinny baby compared to his western friends - who are bigger and heavier than him.

    The buttercream I made does turn soft at room temp here in UK and I'm not sure if suitable for going underneath fondant.
    My chocolate tier on the tiered cake was covered in white chocolate ganache. I think I may do the same in future or maybe the butter icing as you mention.