Whew! A hundred and twenty times, whew!! This event was my first ever mass-bake, and boy, I’ll tell you, cupcakes are not the sweet little tidbits that they pretend to be. My cousin and I came together to make these cupcakes for my 1-year-old niece’s birthday party. We decided on an assortment of regular and mini vanilla cupcakes decorated in pastel shades of Swiss Meringue buttercream. I think it’s safe to say that we made the right call.
This honestly was my first ever cupcake experience where nothing went wrong, so now naturally, I’m dreading the next bake. I can feel the bad luck/ inexperience/ lol-worthy mistakes building up. For this party, we made the basic 1-2-3-4 vanilla cake recipe, which is both fool proof and beginner proof. Not a bad start if you’re new to baking. Tread carefully around Swiss Meringue though; it’s the most melodramatic frosting I’ve ever come across! Essentially, there are three basic kinds of meringue butter-cream: Swiss, Italian and French. Personally, I’ve always liked the process in the Swiss, where a generous amount of butter is whipped into a sweet meringue base. The process begins with heating the egg whites and sugar over a double broiler until the sugar dissolves. The mixture should then be transferred to a bowl, and whipped at high speed for about 10 minutes, or until the meringue is thick and glossy, like so:
Drop in the butter one tablespoon at a time and behold the theatrics! After a few minutes of beating, it starts to take on a sappy look, and all at one it threatens to collapse into a big pile of demoralizing glop (as you can see).
Do. Not. Panic. And even though all my favorite bloggers gave me the same advice, I panicked, at the first attempt, and the second, and the third, and at every attempt since then!
Thankfully though, one comfort that I hold on to whenever I watch this performance is that while the show can be a soppy mess, the ending is always spectacular. Behind the melodramatic facade, is a forgiving, but infuriating, delicious satiny frosting.