Sundays with Chef Peter… English Buttercream!!

By (Peter James Webber)


How the devil are you? Do hope this Sunday finds you well and deliriously happy!

I have had quite a week as we near the completion of the very new Les Diables, waterfront patisserie, restaurant and bar! I wanted to give you a sneak preview of how it is looking but I am going to save that for my next installment when I will do a full unveiling! In the meantime there are so many things still to do and one runs around like a chicken with no head! Menu covers, kitchen tables, the fat fryer hasn’t arrived, do we have enough sparkling, what glass to use to serve that cocktail, uniforms, signage and most of all staff, staff and staff as staff are what makes your restaurant and makes it good. As much as one would like to do it all one’s self, it is simply not possible, believe me I have tried!! Also a good partner by your side and great friends to help make the process all that more enjoyable – so thank you guys… and thank you to all my staff that are wonderful! Anyway as I said more on that next time…

Yesterday I had a cake on that was taking some time and we were getting dangerously close to the time for the client to pick it up when we suddenly ran out of buttercream. Now I normally make a cooked sugar butter cream which is really delicious and smooth but there was simply no time and it was needed mainly for decoration so I decided to whip up some English buttercream which I have not used for a long time and when I made it I really thought it tasted rather good and must start using it more!

There are a few ways to make buttercreams and it all depends on what you need to use them for. Italian meringue buttercream is basically Italian meringue with butter added, French is cooked sugar with eggs and butter, German is equal quantities of vanilla cream and one of the above buttercreams. The English version is very simple and quick to make. All you need are equal quantities of butter at room temperature, icing sugar and some carnation milk or cream. To do it well it is best to have a Kitchen Aid or mixer of some type but if you want to work up your arm muscles mixing by hand is an excellent way to do so…
Place the butter and icing sugar in a bowl and start mixing at a slow speed (not high unless you want a sugared kitchen) and let the ingredients join together. Switch off and give the bowl a scrape down and then turn your mixer up full speed and beat well for a good five minutes until light and fluffy. Do continue to give the bowl a scrape down occasionally to make sure there is no butter on the sides. Then turn your mixer on low again and add the carnation milk in a trickle. After it’s mixed in you can turn it on high again and give it a good beating for another couple of minutes. At this point you can flavour as desired and use, how simple is that!
The great thing about English buttercream like the Brits in general (J) is that it’s sturdy and stands up better. It doesn’t need to be refrigerated all the time so great for children’s birthday cakes or cup cakes.

For a reasonable quantity use the following recipe which would be good to fill and ice an 8” (20cm) cake.250g of good quality unsalted butter at room temperature250g icing sugar50ml carnation milk or whipping cream

And here my dears are some of the latest creations from Les Diables!

Happy Sunday and Happy Baking!

Chef Peter

Food Blog by: THe Yum List

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