As I write this, I’m sitting in my living room. It is sunny, there are three cats laying under/around the Christmas tree, and I’m drinking coffee like it’s my last day on earth. Actually, I can hear one of the cats slurping water from the tree stand, which explains the need to fill it three times daily.
It is almost the new year.
If I were a good/normal food blogger, I’d be writing a reflective post on the year that has just passed – and I’d recap all the awesomeness that was. But I’m not a good food blogger. Good food bloggers don’t pair recipes with stories about bodily functions, and they probably eat more kale. Honestly? I don’t feel the need to look back. (Or eat kale.) Last year, at this time, I had just been accepted into baking school (wait… I guess we are looking back), and now the first term of learning is behind me. I’m ready for new adventures and some epic happy in 2013 – I hope you’ve got big game planned too.
So instead of looking back, let’s look forward. Let’s raise a glass to family and friends, to dreams and dreamers, and to new stories about 2.0. (Let’s face it, the man is entertainment gold.) Thanks for being here with me and for believing that I won’t be defeated by a 60 quart mixer.
Happy New Year!
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This frosting is less sweet than its American cousin. It is perfect for those people in your life who doesn’t like icing that makes their teeth hurt (my sister). There’s pound of pasty cream in it, along with a pound of butter. I think that makes the case for this frosting, don’t you? It’s easy to spread – you can make it more rustic looking or smooth it out with a warm pallet knife as I did. Basically, it tastes like pastry cream and butter – light, not overly sweet and vanilla infused. You can pipe borders with it, but I would avoid attempting delicate piping work.
Yields about 2 pounds – enough to frost a two layer 9-inch round cake.
- 1 pound butter, soft
- 4 ounces confectioner’s (icing) sugar, sifted
- 1 pound pastry cream (recipe below)
In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed (about 5 minutes).
Gradually add the pastry cream, mixing until fully incorporated. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl with each addition of pastry cream.
Use immediately, or cover and store in the fridge until ready to use. Re-whipping the buttercream after it has been in the fridge will make it easier to work with.
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recipe: adapted slightly from Baking & Pastry: Mastering the Art and Craft (The Culinary Institute of America)
Yields about 1.5 pounds of pastry cream.
- 16 fluid ounces homogenized milk, divided into 12 oz. & 4 oz.
- 4 ounces granulated sugar, divided
- 1.5 ounces butter
- pinch of salt
- 1.5 ounces cornstarch
- 6 ounces eggs
- 1/2 tablespoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
Prepare an ice bath for cooling the pastry cream.
Combine 12 ounces of the milk, 2 ounces of the sugar, the butter and salt in a saucepan and bring just to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
Meanwhile, whisk together the cornstarch and the remaining 2 ounces of sugar. Whisk in the remaining 4 ounces of milk. Add the eggs and vanilla bean paste, stirring with the whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.
Temper the egg mixture by adding about 1/3 of the hot milk, stirring constantly with the whisk – the mixture should be fluid and well incorporated. Add this mixture to the remaining hot milk in the saucepan whisking as you do so. Continue cooking, stirring vigorously with the whisk, until the pastry cream thickens and comes just to a slow boil (a few fat bubbles rising up) and the whisk leaves a trail in the cream.
Strain the cream through a fine-mesh sieve, and then pour the pastry cream into a shallow, heatproof bowl or pan and set over the ice bath to cool. Cover with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface of the cream.
Store covered in the fridge for up to 3 days.