8 Steps to Making Perfect Buttercream: A Chow Bella Primer, Part Two
Step 5: Start adding butter in slivers. I like slivers of butter versus chunks of butter because they incorporate faster and lessen the chance of globs of eggy butter flying out at me.
Step 6: Allow the mixture to come together to be smooth and fluffy, then add flavoring.
Step 7: Eat by the spoonful. You deserve a treat.
Step 8: Store in the fridge for seven to 10 days, though it rarely lasts that long.
To bring your buttercream back to its light, fluffy state after being refrigerated, I pull it from the fridge to take the chill off (usually about 20 minutes). I then paddle it to bring it back together. Using the whip usually incorporates more air into the mixture, when what I want is to bring it back together. If needed you can always throw the whip back on, after paddling, if it needs more air incorporated.
As in any job, there are things you start to find tedious, be it a report you always have to run, a customer you always have to deal with, or scooping 1,500 small cookies. One task I never tire of doing is making buttercream. It is edible chemistry. As the chunks of butter drop into the fluff of the warm eggs and sugar, you see a soupy chunky mixture take shape. Don't worry, no mistakes have been made, this is the transformation. Slowly, with each rotation of the whip, it comes back together, corralling the butter into a mass of light, feathery pillows of beautiful buttercream. Happy buttercream making!
Rachel Miller is a pastry chef and food writer in Phoenix, where she bakes, eats, and single-handedly keeps her local cheese shop in business. You can get more information about her pastry at www.pistolwhippedpastry.com, or on her blog at www.croissantinthecity.com.