Friday, September 17, 2010

Wilton Review, Gorgeous Buttercream, and a Winner!!!

ruffled cups

Along with the cupcake kit giveaway, Wilton generously let me pick a few things to review! I was smitten with these cupcake liners, I looooove cupcake liners! Pretty ones like these sort of take the pressure off of you to do something tremendous with the decorating, you know? You wouldn’t want to detract from the pretty liner, now would you? I loved these ruffled cups! So girlie and sweet! They are nice and thick too, and they come off of the cupcake beautifully!

I also picked these liners. I really loved them, with all the ingredients printed on the sides! They really dressed up the muffins I made in them. Unfortunately, I used them all on a test run of a new recipe. Dumb idea. The muffins didn’t turn out at all well (they were chewy! Muffins should NOT be chewy!!! Ew.) and bubbled up and out of the pretty muffin cups. I was so disappointed, I didn’t even take a picture of them. So, recipe fail. Sorry.

So, here is the recipe for the buttercream I used on the cupcakes. The cupcakes themselves are from this chocolate cake recipe. I usually use American buttercream when frosting cakes and cupcakes, but decided to tackle a fancy one again. I had a run of bad luck with Italian buttercreams a while back (the kind made with a sugar syrup) and had shied away from them and their Swiss cousins. But this recipe really was easy and the softness and delicateness (is that a word?) of this buttercream has made me a believer again! I might even get brave and tackle another evil sugar-syrup Italian version again. Or the French variety made with whole eggs! Who knows? I might also climb Mt. Everest or swim across the Atlantic! Just kidding ;) Anyhow, they’re a nice, grown-up alternative to sugary sweet American buttercreams.

Beautiful Swiss Buttercream

Adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

1 cup sugar

4 large egg whites

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

pinch of salt

flavoring of your choice: a squeeze of lemon, 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla, or 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Optional: food coloring


Set a pan of water to boil on the stove. Turn it down to a simmer.

In your mixer’s bowl, combine the sugar and egg whites.

Set this over the simmering water and, using a hand mixer, whisk constantly, until the mixture becomes hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. (The sugar will be dissolved and the mixture will be nice and shiny.)

Remove the bowl from heat and attach it to your mixer. Using the whisk attachment, beat the meringue at medium speed for about 5 minutes, until it has cooled.

Switch to the paddle attachment, mix in a pinch of salt, and add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, beating until smooth.

Once all the butter has been added, beat the buttercream on medium-high unitl it is thick and very smooth, about 6-10 minutes.

Turn the speed to low and add the flavoring and coloring if you’re using it.

Scoop into a pastry bag and pipe onto your cupcakes!

Make enough for a dozen cupcakes, more if you’re more frugal with your buttercream than I am ;)

P.S. Don’t panic if your buttercream falls apart and/or looks curdled when you add the butter. Turn the mixer up to high and keep whipping it, it will come back together! Don’t be scared!


And now for transportation of your beautiful treats . . . . . . . 

cupcake box

Wilton also let me try out their adorable cupcake boxes! I really like to keep a stash of cake boxes around, then I can take goodies to someone on the spur of the moment without the worry of how to transport them safely! I keep a few square cake boxes and a few of the long, rectangular ones, along with cake boards for each. The rectangular ones are great because you can carry a sheet cake or a few dozen cupcakes in them. Just don’t forget the cake board to go on the bottom or you’ll end up with cupcakes dancing all over inside the box! When I can’t get a hold of the cupcake holding inserts, I just dab a little dot of royal icing to the board, then set the cupcake on top of it. It works like glue to hold the cupcake in place and when you want to take them out of the box, the ‘glue’ comes right off again. Easy!

Anyway, I am definitely going to be keeping a stash of these around! They come with the little inserts to keep the cupcakes in place! And they’re perfect when you just want to take a few cupcakes to a friend. They have solid white ones, fun prints and seasonal boxes too. It would be nice to have a selection on hand!

Thank you, Wilton, for sponsoring this review and giveaway! I really enjoyed playing with some new products and loved hosting your giveaway!!!

Speaking of giveaway. . . . . we picked a winner! Amelia and her herd of ponies helped me out! Click the video to see who won the cupcake kit!


Megan said...

Very clever way to draw the name. That was fun! Congrats to Katrina!

Katrina said...

That is the coolest way I have ever seen in which a winner was picked!!! Super adorable! Thanks so much for picking me!!!!!!!! Perfect timing because next month I will be making my daughter's 2nd birthday cupcakes. I am super excited to try it out!

Jennie said...

Thanks! We had fun making the video! We've been very into stop-action videos in the house lately ;)

Congrats, Katrina :)

Jessica said...

Simply gorgeous darling! :) Can we just eat the frosting??

Jennie said...

Well, I certainly wouldn't tattle!