I’ve said before that I am in veterinary school. I started this blog on a study break a few months ago, and unfortunately, school really started snowballing shortly after and I haven’t been able to sit down and write on here. Enter winter break 🙂
Back in late October, I was feeling especially fall-y and wanted to bake something that incorporated fall flavors (pumpkin, apple, etc.) but that also included some kind of liquor. None of my regular blogs had any recipes that stood out to me, so I scoured the innernetz for something I could work with.
I came upon this pumpkin-maple-rum recipe, which is basically the embodiment of the fall season, but, in true Feisty Baker fashion, I only liked the cake part. I envisioned an apple-flavored frosting, but strangely enough apple buttercream recipes are few and far between. Not to mention, apple by itself is a difficult flavor to highlight in frosting. Or a cake for that matter. I decided that an “apple butter” would give the apple-flavor the backbone it needed to stand out.
Firstly, not all buttercreams are created equal. If you’re not familiar with different types, there is basic buttercream with a butter + powered sugar base, French buttercream which is yolk-based, Italian meringue buttercream made with hot syrup, and Swiss meringue made with egg whites. Meringue buttercreams are a bit tricky due to the time required to prepare and whip the sugared egg whites prior to adding them to the butter mixture, and the panic that comes during the midpoint of mixing when the contents start to separate out. To save time, I will direct you to a site, complete with pictures, giving step by step directions and descriptions of the meringue buttercream making process. Familiarize yourself with it all before attempting this frosting. Anyways, on to the recipe (adapted from Sweet Revelations):
Apple Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 2 cups unsalted butter cubed, at room temperature
- 5 large egg whites
- 1 cup + 2 tbsp of sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean
- pinch of salt
- 1 cup (or more if you want) of apple butter
1. Using a double boiler, or just a sauce pan filled with two inches of water, bring the water to a boil, then reduce heat to med-low so water continues to simmer. If you don’t have a double boiler, make sure the pan is large enough to fit either the mixing bowl from the stand mixer or a several-quart heat-proof bowl.
2. In your mixer bowl, hand whisk the egg whites and the sugar just until combined. Place over simmering pot and whisk for approx 4 mins until the egg whites are hot (about 150 degrees). The sugar should be dissolved by this time as well. Place bowl on stand mixer and attach the whisk attachment. Whisk egg whites on medium speed for about 2-3 minutes, then increase speed to high. Whisk until mixture forms stiff peaks, such as this:
The peaks should stay after you’ve taken the beater out of the mixture.
It will take at least 10 minutes to get the mixture to this state!
***This whole process can also be accomplished with a regular hand mixer, rather than a stand mixer***
3. Remove whisk attachment and replace with paddle attachment. Beat on low-speed until mixture is completely cooled. Increase speed to medium and add butter pieces ONE AT A TIME. If you add too fast, mixture will separate out prematurely. Scrape the bowl and continue to beat until buttercream is glossy, smooth and thick. It may separate at first, but continue beating and it will emulsify. Add vanilla flavouring, a pinch of salt. On a low speed, add in apple butter and beat until combined.
With their powers combined, the two recipes become…..