Saturday, 16 November 2013

Cappuccino Cupcakes and Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC)

Today I made some De-licious Cappuccino cupcakes for a cake sale to raise money for a Christian charity called Caring For Life.

Because I like to stick to my old favourite cupcake recipes most of the time I usually do vanilla, lemon or chocolate, but I decided to step out of my comfort zone and do something a little different. Cappuccino cupcakes!

I have a great Cappuccino cake recipe that has a white chocolate frosting, but its a loaf cake, and a bit heavier than the texture I like to have for cupcakes, and the topping is quite thick. I decided to lighten it up with some Swiss Meringue buttercream.

Now I've only made the swiss meringue buttercream once before, and I didn't really like it that much, but I've used the same method to make some meringue which doesn't need cooking for a number of other recipes. I found a great blog with a very comprehensive recipe, (she gives all the hints and tips I've ever heard about doing this all in one place). Go over to Happy Cakes Bakes for her top advice and recipe.

Unfortunately I didn't take the advice of using fresh eggs, so my first batch didn't whisk up at all. After sending out my husband to the shop for more eggs I successfully made a batch of coffee flavoured SMBC. It was AMAZING! Its so light and fluffy, my son described it as marshmallow icing, which it really does taste like. The thing I like most about it is that its not at all sickly sweet as it takes much less sugar than normal butter cream. I think looking back I probably used salted butter the first time I made it, which is possibly why I didn't like it.

Now I admit it is alot more effort than standard buttercream, but I really believe its worth it.I also worked out it has, surprisingly, slightly more calories per cupcake (about 25) and does cost a little more - again this surprised me as you only need granulated sugar, but the butter content is higher.

All in all you HAVE to try this buttercream. I'm looking forward to doing some nice piping work with this as its SO smooth, but I ran out of time after my egg mishap and just piped blobs on top and sprinkled with chocolate powder. Amusingly I made a fatal error with my first two cupcakes. I was in such a rush to get out the door I picked up a small pot of ground black pepper instead of the chocolate powder, and had liberally covered 2 with pepper before realising!!! Maybe I could have created some inspiring new flavour, but I didn't wait to try them and scrapped the icing straight off and set them aside for my husband!

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