How to Make Vanilla Buttercream Frosting With Unsalted Butter

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Certain vanilla buttercream frosting recipes use unsalted butter as a primary ingredient. Make vanilla buttercream frosting with unsalted butter with help from a Chef Instructor at L'Ecole Culinaire, a culinary school in St. Louis, in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Frosting Recipes
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Video Transcript

Good afternoon. I'm Chef Tony Hedger from L'Ecole Culinaire in St. Louis, Missouri. Today, we're going to start making a vanilla butter cream using unsalted butter but if you are going to make an icing anyway, use an unsalted butter, that way if you need to add salt, you can always add it in. The first thing that we're going to do is we're going to cut the butter. One thing that the butter will always do is get a little bit meltier at room temperature if you cut it up a little bit and give it room to breathe, give that room temperature enough time to start breaking the fats down a little bit. You'll see it's already about there. Okay, so what I'm going to do is I'm going to go ahead and introduce that into my mixer. Make sure all that fat gets in there and one thing that we're going to do is we're going to make sure that we get this thing started and what we're going to do is we're going to start the creaming method. The creaming method is basically going to get our fats mixed together and then we're going to mix sugar with that and the sugar is going to be suspended by the fat molecules okay. So we're going to get that started and to that go ahead and stop that for a second, to that I'm going to go ahead and add high ratio shortening. High ratio shortening is a high ratio of fat to liquid okay. So basically if you are at home and you are going to use Crisco for to make a simple butter cream, that's totally acceptable okay. So we're going to go ahead and we're going to kind of shut that down. We'll get that mixing a little bit faster, make sure I'm on the right speed okay. I want to get that to where they are introduced quite well, mix it, and then I'm going to break it down and we'll start letting them just go their own ways. Today, I'm going to go ahead and anytime you add sugar to any type of frosting, make sure that you sift it first. If you don't sift it first, what you're going to have is a little bit of pieces of sugar in your frosting and people are going to bite into it and it's going to be kind of unpleasant when they get that cornstarch and powdered sugar mixture going on. So we're going to go ahead and put about half of our powdered sugar in. Now if you are like me you are kind of messy so if you've ever used one of these things you know what I'm talking about. These things can be quite daunting. Always go away from you because if you don't go away from you what happens is is you end up wearing it or at least I do. So we're going to go ahead and go kind of like the Jack in the Box, just go nice and slow and see I'm popping a little bit out there. Now you can also hit it to kind of shake it down a little bit. See I'm popping a little bit out. That's why we're going away from us. Okay and it's okay if you pop a little bit out, no big deal. Try to keep it as much in the bottom as possible. That sugar is going to get up on that rail anyway and it's going to pop out on you so don't feel like if you are going all over your counter that you are doing it the wrong way, definitely not the case. So we're going to go ahead and get this done. This is going to take a little bit. Okay, so don't worry that it takes you a little bit. This needs a little bit of time to get together, okay. If you want to, you can also facilitate the process by putting your hand in and kind of just swimming around a little bit, pressing the powdered sugar towards the bottom of the tami. You see it's coming out quite handily, okay. The only thing is is you get that. Okay so we're going to go back to that, try to keep as much in the bowl as possible. That's always been my problem. The one thing that we do that when we get a vanilla butter cream is always make a cloud or I make a mess in the kitchen. Don't be afraid. No big deal. So what we're going to go ahead and do is we're going to scrape that down. Here in a second I'm going to add my powdered sugar into here and I want to make sure that all my fat is down off the sides of the bowl and off the bottom and of course off that paddle. If you don't do that what's going to happen is, you're going to have a big glob of fat or butter or shortening that didn't get mixed in properly. It's always good to take time, scrape it down and make sure all that fat is introduced to each other. Look at that. Now I'm not so silly that I'm going to try to add all that powdered sugar at one time because I'm a firm believer that if anybody can do it I can do it and that's make a big cloud of powdered sugar. In fact I'll probably do it anyway. So we're going to go ahead and get that in here, that annoying buzzing sound, alright. Now, also what I'll want to do is add about half of my water. What that water is going to do is help keep that cloud of powdered sugar down a little bit okay? Wish me luck. See, I knew it was going to happen. I knew it was going to happen, it always does, there we go. And if it happens, don't worry about it, that's what we've got towels for okay. So while that's going in, we're going to go ahead and get our other half of our powdered sugar. So I'm just going to run my hand through there, tap it down and most of the time when we see these tamis, these wheel tamis is they are a little bit smaller, okay. So we put flour in there to make biscuits with those types of things and they are a great tool but if you have a choice of what to get, I would get a drum tami. A drum tami is a flat piece that can fit over a bowl and you can kind of just use your hand. It doesn't have the wheel inside of it of course but go ahead and you run our hand through it and get all of the clumps out and plus any impurities that would be in that powdered sugar as well are also taken out and we're done with that. How about that? How are we looking? Pretty good. Alright, so here's what we're going to do. We're going to add the rest of our water. We're also going to add egg whites. That's five ounces of egg whites. Egg whites are going to add a little bit of body to your butter cream okay. So we're going to go ahead and get all that powdered sugar in, don't be afraid to use your hands. That's the best tool God gave you. Alright, wish me luck, here we go again. Oh much better. Alright, so once I get this to a good mix state what I'll do is I'll ramp up the speed on it a little bit, why because I want to add a little volume to my icing. Adding a little volume is basically just whipping those egg whites and they'll add a little volume and kind of thicken up your icing a little bit. See right now we're a little bit runny okay. So I'm going to shut that down, bring it down a little bit and of course scrape down one more time. Always scrape down. One of the big mistakes a lot of people make is not scraping down. I used to do it before I ever became a chef, be baking something and then ate that piece of cake and there was a big piece of flour inside the cake. Wonder why that always happened? Well, i never scraped down to make sure everything that was in the bowl was incorporated. So we're going to ramp up the speed a little bit. I'm going to add just a touch of vanilla extract, about an ounce. Once that vanilla extract is in and I can look and see that it's in, I'm going to really ramp up that speed because I want to put as much volume on those egg whites as possible. What you'll want to do too is that water that we're adding you want to make sure it's hot because you have a high ratio shortening in there, you'll want to make sure that that water is even to the point of boiling so that it mixes in with that high ratio shortening well. Ah, that's looking good. Ah, that looks perfect. Now we're done. How easy was that? I guess that's why they call it simple butter cream right? So what we're going to do is we're going to take that out, this is our paddle, always use during the creaming process and we're going to scrape down, make sure I've got no fat that didn't get mixed in. We're looking good, going into a piping bag. I always put the piping bag in. I never cut the bottom off of it. Why? Because if your icing is a little bit too runny, it will run right out the bottom right up on your shoes. Nobody wants icing on their shoes. So my tip is already in, now I'm going to come back, make an educated guess, don't be too aggressive in cutting off that tip because you want to make sure that that tip fits right in the bottom. Also the thing we want to do is make sure we take the back of our knife and scrape that icing down and we're ready to pipe. So let's see how we did. Ah, that looks good right? Too bad I'm on a diet or I would have ate one of those. And you'll want to make sure that you do them all pretty much basically the same. When you are doing something like a cupcake and you are doing them for clients, you want to make sure they all pretty much look the same. That's been vanilla butter cream using unsalted butter. I'm Chef Tony Hedger form St. Louis, Missouri. Thank you.

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