Tag Archives: cake finishes

All Manner of Buttercreams

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

Key ingredients for European butter creams

Italian, Swiss and French buttercreams have long been the finish that defined upscale cakes and wedding cakes. The Italian and Swiss buttercreams get their name from the type of meringue on which they are mounted.  They have also been one of the most feared techniques in pastry making.  But I don’t know why!  They mainly consist of eggs of some kind, sugar and butter.  Although they do require more steps than the traditional American powdered sugar based frosting, the result is a smooth emulsion that literally melts on your tongue.  In the next few blogs, we are going to look at, not only the Italian, Swiss and French buttercreams, but also one based on creme anglaise and the American frosting, while sometimes a buttercream and sometimes not. I reserve the word buttercream for finishes using actual butter, not margarine or a plastic shortening like crisco.  Those are frostings to me. Continue reading