Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Amazingly Good Strawberry Icing {Recipe}

THIS AMAZING STRAWBERRY ICING IS SO GOOD! (Yes, I'm yelling at you. It is that amazing!)
I had to stop myself from eating it all when I made it for my Banana Split Cupcakes. I'd expect to see me using more of this icing in the future, because it is amazing!


What You Need:
4 Egg whites
1 cup sugar
3 sticks (1 1/2 cups) Unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 cup Frozen Strawberries (at room temperature)
Special equipment, etc.:
Candy thermometer
Immersion blender or regular blender
Saucepan with about 1/2 inch water
Lemon juice or vinegar & paper towels



*Note: The next few steps will look very familiar to the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe, but I wanted to include each step because it is a little "fussy."

 
Before you begin, you want to wet a paper towel with some lemon juice or vinegar, and wipe out your mixer bowl, wipe off your mixer blades, and wipe off your spatula(s). This takes the grease off, and helps the meringue whip up better and higher.

Separate four egg whites, and place into a heatproof bowl, or the bowl of your stand mixer.
(If you don't separate a lot of eggs, I recommend separating each individually in a small bowl, rather than all into the large bowl as seen here. If you get any yolk into the whites, the recipe won't work as well.)

Add 1 cup granulated sugar to the egg whites. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water (about 1/2 inch of water set to medium heat). Whisk the sugar into the egg whites, and place the candy thermometer into the mixture.

Whisk constantly for about 7-15 minutes until the candy thermometer reads 160-degrees Fahrenheit. If you do not constantly stir, the egg whites will set, and you will have to start over!
How long it takes to reach temperature will depend on a lot of things: how warm were your eggs to begin with? How hot is your stove? etc. So watch the temperature, not the clock.
*Note: 160-degrees is the recommended temperature for killing any possible bacteria. I've read some recipes that call for you to heat it just until the sugar dissolves, but I don't want to take any chances with salmonella. I've seen how nasty that can be! So, I always heat mine to 160-degrees.

Move your mixer bowl to the mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form.

This is what you want the mixture to look like when it's done whipping. It took me about 4 minutes-- with a "professional" series Kitchen Aid on high power.

Add 1 tsp. vanilla and whip to combine.

Turn the 1 cup of frozen strawberries into 1/2 cup of strawberry puree. I poured off about 1/4 cup or so of the extra juice, just to be sure it didn't get too wet. Then, I chopped the strawberries with clean kitchen shears.

To get it pureed, I used my stick (or immersion) blender. (You could also just stick fresh strawberries in a blender, or the defrosted frozen ones in a blender, too. I like the stick blender because it's easier to clean.)

Switch to the paddle attachment.
Have your 3 sticks of butter cut into about 4 pieces each - (about 2 Tbsp. chunks). Add those a few at  a time with the mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment.

Add the strawberry puree immediately after the butter, with the mixer still running. Your beautiful, stiff meringue will turn into a soupy, chunky mess. I actually didn't even get a picture of the strawberry soup because I was so sure that it wouldn't work out. It was SOUP.
Don't be me. Be patient. Wait about 4 minutes-- with the mixer on medium-high.

After about 4 minutes, it turns into this gorgeous yumminess. It tastes like strawberry ice cream... only not so cold. I can't wait to try this on the outside of a chocolate cake!  

Click the Links Below to See:
Other Icing/Frosting Recipes & Tips
Banana Split Cupcakes
Banana Split Cake Pops
Chocolate-Covered Strawberry Cake (Well, it's really Strawberry-covered chocolate cake, using this icing, but...)

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