Friday, November 20, 2015

Frosting Friday: Rustic Vanilla


Hello friends!  My blog is not really a cooking blog.  It is really has no theme at all, actually!  But since I enjoy writing about things I love, I thought I should post about my favorite food: Frosting!

Now before I begin, I am going to talk a little about my ingredients and why I use what I do, and one ingredient you will never find in my recipes.

FIRST  Butter.  Never the fake stuff.  I use Kerrygold because it is the healthiest you can get while also being the most readily available, yet cheaper than organic.  More on butter here.  And also, because, you know - Ireland.

SECOND  Homemade vanilla extract.  Yes, the store bought stuff is stronger so you don't have to use as much, but the store vanilla also has a strong alcohol taste and smell that can alter the final product if it is not cooked.  I use the store stuff too, from time to time, but prefer my own.

THIRD  I am going to insist on C&H powdered sugar.  Powdered sugar has an aftertaste I do not care for, but when used properly, this brand's aftertaste is almost undetectable.

FOURTH  Heavy whipping cream instead of milk.  The heavy whipping cream has a creamy taste which helps tone down any other aftertastes you may get from my frostings.  My husband finds it rather amusing that I whip the frosting so much the butter loses its buttery texture yet beat it so much that the whipping cream turns to butter.  Yeah - I see his point but when you feel the texture (if done right) you will understand.  It is a well coordinated dance.

FIFTH  Pink Himalayan salt instead of regular salt.  Pink Himalayan salt does not dissolve the same way as regular salt, and with so much sugar and the fact that you will be eating these frostings straight out of the bowl, it is kind of nice to get a subtle 'zap' of salt every once and awhile.  Besides, apparently this salt is super healthy for you.  I am told is so healthy, in fact, that it practically negates anything unhealthy that may find its way into my recipes.  Really.

SIXTH  Corn syrup.  Just no.  Never.  Ever.  And while some swear by the 'wonderful' things it does to frosting, there will never be enough pink Himalayan salt you have to add to your frosting to counteract the harmful effects of that nasty goop.

1/2 C softened butter
2 C powdered sugar
1 vanilla bean
1tsp vanilla plus more if needed
4 T heavy whipping cream
3/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt

The jar on the left is my homemade vanilla extract.  Remember - mine has a little weaker vanilla taste so I have to use more.  My recipes assume you do not have homemade extract.

 Cut the vanilla bean into quarters, then slice the quarters lengthwise.
 Use a knife to scrape out the vanilla pulp

 and measure out 1 tsp vanilla extract.
 Combine softened butter, 1 C powdered sugar and vanillas and 1 T heavy whipping cream.  Beat until fairly combined, then add the second cup of sugar and 2 T heavy whipping cream.  Beat for 3 minutes.  Add last T whipping cream

 and the pink salt.

Beat on medium for at least 10 minutes.  I am not kidding.  AT LEAST!  Minimum.  No less.  You will be amazed at the final product - trust me. 
The final look you are shooting for is a pearlized sheen which is hard to photograph but as you get used to my frostings and have achieved it, you will know what to look for.  Add more vanilla extract if it is not strong enough. And beat again.
Please be patient with my frostings.  They usually require a lot of beating but the final texture should be no texture at all.  This frosting, when put on the tongue, will feel cool and taste sweet.  It will melt quickly but feel so silky smooth it is almost like eating nothing at all.  A sweet, vanilla-y, high caloric spoonful of nothing!  (As always, first day freshness is the yummiest - store in the refrigerator, rewhip and add a touch of fresh vanilla extract if you have to use it a day after you make it)
Now I have heard people say they like frosting on cupcakes as pictured above, and while I am always ready to try something new, I prefer to eat my frosting with a spoon!

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