I really enjoy baking (or, for that matter, preparing any kind of food which you don’t actually need – cooking sensible dinners because I’m hungry makes me grumpy). So I have decided to introduce Yummy Mondays aka Yumdays. In my Yumday posts, I will show you cakes or muffins or biscuits or truffles or other sweet treats I made.
The other day, I decided to make cupcakes with buttercream icing/frosting for a friend’s birthday. I had lovely creamy swirls in mind. So I started my quest to find the perfect recipe. Browsed all of my baking books. Naught. Zilch. Abolutely nothing I liked. Next came the internet, but every recipe I found basically just mixed butter and icing sugar. Who wants to eat that? That is pure sweetened butter! So there was only one thing to do: Call granny! My grandmother makes the most amazing buttercream cakes and sure enough she had the answer. I gave her recipe my own little twist and voilà: here is the perfect chocolate-toffee buttercream.
To make the buttercream, you need:
- 450ml milk
- 1 packet of vanilla custard powder or, if you are not in Germany and this is hard to come by, 40g of starch
- 1 packet (ca. 150g) of chocolate-caramel sweets/chocolate toffees. Choose any kind you like, they can be chewy or ‘hard candy’ (I used Milka).
- 220g butter (at room temperature)
- some margerine
- Put 350ml of milk in a pan, add the caramel/toffees and bring to the boil. You have to stir frequently to make sure the sweets dissolve and don’t burn.
- Meanwhile mix the remaining 100ml of milk and the custard powder/starch making sure that no lumps remain.
- When the milk-toffee mix is boiling take it off the stove to stir in the custard powder/starch mixture. Then put it back on the stove, bring it to the boil once again and let bubble for a few seconds.
- Pour the toffee custard into a bowl and put clingfilm over the top making sure that the clingfilm sticks neatly to the surface of the custard (this avoids your custard getting a ‘skin’).
- Let the custard cool. If you want to speed this up, you can put the bowl into cold water and pour cold water over the clingfilm making sure that no water seeps down to the custard.
- Beat the butter with an electric whisk until it is creamy, then add the custard a spoon at a time, whisking the mixture constantly.
Now, you can either spread the cream onto a cake or pipe it. I spooned mine into a freezer bag and cut one of the bottom corners of the bag off to pipe it. But beware: My grandmother says the cream often starts to curdle, probably from touching it with warm hands, so better work with small portions and store the rest in the fridge (it gets quite solid). If your mixture curdles despite these precautions, add a small amount of margerine and stir again. Granny says that will solve the problem.