Tag Archives: American buttercream

Espresso Fudge Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Espresso Fudge CakeThis Espresso Fudge Cake consists of four layers of moist chocolate cake filled with a coffee buttercream highlighted with brandy. I am not one to drink coffee and when I do it has lots of cream and sweetener.   But I could easily eat this buttercream all day long – so if you hesitate because of the coffee, I encourage you to try this anyway,  The combination of a chocolate fudge cake and a coffee buttercream makes this Espresso Fudge Cake a stand out.

Both the cake and the buttercream are very easy to make.  This cake uses an American Buttercream which essentially is a matter of adding all the ingredients to a mixer bowl and beating until light and fluffy. Continue reading

Strawberry Buttercream

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Strawberry Buttercream This truly is a party in your mouth.  A full pound of strawberries are added to a simple buttercream and the result is just short of amazing.

The recipe calls for freeze dried strawberries which can most easily be found in camping departments or stores such as REI.  One 1.5 ounce package equals a full pound of strawberries without the juice making them ideal to introduce into a frosting.  They need to be powdered in a blender or food processor with about half the powdered sugar.

This buttercream can be used to fill a cake or for cupcakes as I have.

Strawberry Buttercream
1.5 ounce package freeze dried strawberries
1 3/4 cup powdered sugar (200 grams or 7 ounces)
1 stick butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
3 to 4 tablespoons milk
Red Food Coloring

Place half the strawberries and about half the powdered sugar in a blender or food processor.  Blend or process until all the strawberries are powdered.  You will have to stop the machine and stir the mixture several times.  Repeat with the second half.

Place the strawberries, powdered sugar, butter and almond extract in a mixing bowl.  Add 3 tablespoons of the milk.  Mix on low until blended; turn the mixer on medium high and beat several minutes, scraping often, to increase the volume and lighten the buttercream.

Add the additional milk, a bit at a time if needed to facilitate the mixing.  Add the red food coloring as needed to get a pleasing color.

I used a # 6 open tip in a pastry bag to finish 10 cupcakes with a generous amount of buttercream since in my opinion people eat cupcakes for the frosting not the cake or maybe it’s just me.

It is important to frost the cake or cupcakes several hours before serving as the strawberry buttercream needs time to develop its flavor.  But when it does it is beyond wonderful!

Traditional Carrot Cake – An American Classic

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished wholeCarrot Cake is truly an American Classic cake. With both fruit and nuts, it can have a bevy of add ins including coconut and pineapple. This is the carrot cake that we made at the bakery.

When I opened my bakery I was making more European cakes than American ones. I preferred Italian buttercream to finish my cakes and most of the American cakes used powdered sugar as the base.   It didn’t take me too long to figure out my clients were going to my competition to get the carrot cake as well as a good old American chocolate cake.

So I went into the carrot cake testing phase.  Some were too sweet, some too dry, some didn’t hold up five days in the refrigerator – a must for selling wholesale.  As much as you want to believe all of your desserts are flying out of the restaurant, they’ll usually be around for a few days.  So it is really important they have a shelf life so they won’t dry out. Continue reading

German Buttercream and American Buttercream

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
Flower Cupcakes

Flower Cupcakes finished with American Buttercream

The German buttercream is based on pastry cream into which butter is beaten after it is cold. Truthfully, I have never made this so it was interesting for me to learn something new.  For this recipe, we are going to use my pastry cream but change the amounts of several of the ingredients slightly.  Maybe it was because I used my pastry cream, which is firm so it can accept whipped cream folded in and still hold up, but I found this to be really, really heavy.  Also, maybe because I am used to very light butter creams that are full of flavor, I found this to be a strange combination where I could still taste the pasty cream but with a lot of butter in it.  Personally, I will stay with the Italian, Swiss or French buttercreams.  I will say that when I started, I couldn’t imagine it working, but it did. While interesting, It just isn’t my favorite.

The American buttercream is the simplest of all.  For me to call this a buttercream it has to contain all butter.  It is basically butter, powdered sugar and flavoring – sometimes a bit of milk and cream to smooth it out.  You just put everything in bowl and beat it until it is light and fluffy.  We never used this for wedding cakes but we did use it for cupcakes, mainly because they had to sit at room temperature for a long time. I also used it for the cakes we sent in to restaurants.   One of our most popular cakes, the Espresso Fudge Cake uses a great Mocha buttercream and the Spirited Marble Cake which I posted recently is a great example of American Buttercream. Continue reading

Spirited Marble Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished PhotoThis Spirited Marble Cake is one of my favorite cakes that dates back to my boys childhood, some forty years ago.  I’ve updated the cake to eliminate the need to beat the egg whites separately and fold them in.  Marble cakes for some reason have gone by the wayside in recent years, but I love the way they look and the bite of chocolate and white cake together.

This is considered to be two step cake and I love the ease of putting it together.  I remember the creme de cocoa being a rather racy ingredient at the time. Continue reading