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