Thursday, June 02, 2005

Mousseline Buttercream and Lemon Curd for Another Wedding Cake

Mousseline (top) and Neoclassic (bottom) buttercreams

As some of you already know, another wedding cake is in the works for this Sunday. Our friend Juwairiyah's daughter Quasia is getting married, and although they had previously planned to buy the wedding cake, she said that this was only because they did not know we could make it. To make a long story short, Aisha will bake the cakes and I will make the buttercreams. It will be a joint project.

Aisha will make the infamous yellow butter cake from the Cake Bible with lemon zest mixed in the batter. Let's hope that she will have more luck with it than I did. The cakes will be frosted with Lemon Curd Mousseline buttercream in between the layers, and plain Mouselline on the outside. Today I made two batches of Mousseline and some lemon curd. I had egg yolks leftover from the Mousseline, and instead of freezing them, I made a batch of Neoclassic buttercream -- just so that we don't run out of buttercream at the last moment. (I used more than 3 kilograms of butter to make the buttercreams.) There are no pictures because Mehmet took one camera to his class trip and Yurdaer took the other to work, and forgot to bring it back home. I may add some tomorrow, but buttercream pictures are not very interesting anyway.

Mousseline Buttercream

(I am going to give you directions for a smaller batch. This yields approximately 4 1/2 cups of buttercream.)

2 c unsalted butter, softened but cool (65F)
1 c sugar
1/4 c water
5 large egg whites
1/2+1/8 tsp cream of tartar
3 oz fruit syrup (or nothing)

In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until smooth and creamy and put to a cool place. Have ready a heatproof glass measure near the range. In a small nonstick saucepan, heat 3/4 c sugar and 1/4 c water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low.

In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Graduslly beat in the remaining 1/4 c sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until a thermometer registers 248 to 250F. Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

Beat the syrup into the whites in a steady stream. At the end, use a scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Lower speed to medium and continue beating until the mixture is cool. (This took me several minutes.)

Beat in the butter at medium speed 1 tablespoon at a time. If at any time, the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed slightly and beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.

Lower the speed slightly and drizzle fruit syrup. Store in airtight bowl. Rebeat from time to time to reestore texture.

You can add up to 3/4 c lemon curd (recipe below) to flavor it. This buttercream will keep for 2 days at room temperature, 10 days refrigerated and 8 months frozen. Allow to come to room temperature before rebeating or it will break down irretrievably.

Lemon Curd

I had previously given a recipe for lemon curd. But this one is richer in lemon taste, so here it is (again from the Cake Bible):

4 large egg yolks
1/2 c +2 tbs sugar
3 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice
4 tbs unsalted, softened butter
pinch of salt
2 tsp finely shredded lemon zest

In a noncorrodible saucepan, beat the yolks and sugar until well blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients except the zest. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until thickened enough to thickly coat a spoon but is still liquid enough to pour. It will change from translucent to opaque and will start to take on a yellow color on the back of a wooden spoon. It must not be allowed to boil or it will curdle. Whenever steam appears, remove briefly from heat, to keep from boiling. When thickened, pour at once to a strainer. Remove and discard the coarse residue. Stir in the zest and cool.