Friday, April 11, 2014

Old fashioned butter icing

Back in 2011, when I was still trying to figure out how to make a caramel cake similar to Estrel's, I wasn't sure what kind of buttercream they were using.  The reason I chose Swiss Meringue buttercream was because I had leftover eggwhites from the caramel icing anyway so I might as well use them. I was convinced, however, that it wasn't IT.

Upon tasting the Estrel's famed caramel cake when I visited the Philippines last year, I observed two things about the butter icing - 1) it was salty; and 2) it had a "waxy" feel in the mouth.  It made me question if it was actually butter they were using.  Was it shortening perhaps?

Estrel's say they have not changed their recipe since they started in the 1940s.  In one article I read in their website, the owners mentioned what brand of milk and butter they have been using. To quote:

Quality ingredients more than make up half the success story. “We never changed the recipe, nor the way we did the butter roses and their shapes, sizes and colors of tinted peach, pink and green; nor the thickness and taste of the caramel icing. Before we used GI butter during Liberation. And at that time the best milk was imported Carnation full cream milk (has to be full cream, no dilutions). Now we use Alpine or Omela (from Thailand) full cream milk for the butter icing. And we have never substituted anything for Anchor butter ever since we started using it,” professed Mrs. Navarro.

Although they specifically said "full cream milk", the brands suggested they were actually evaporated and not whole milk.  From this little information, I think I now know how they make their butter icing.

Old fashioned cake = old fashioned recipe.  Why didn't I think of that before?  The recipe below is what my aunties iced and filled their sponge cakes and rolls with.  So simple and easy.

OLD FASHIONED BUTTER ICING

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, softened (I used salt-reduced.)
3/4 cup evaporated or whole milk **
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (original recipe didn't have this)

**I have tried both types of milk and like whole milk better.

Procedure:
1.  Dissolve the sugar completely in the milk.  Set aside.


2.  In a mixing bowl, cream the butter until it is very light in colour. Start from the lowest speed then gradually increase to high.


3.  Turn down the mixer speed to low then gradually add in the milk/sugar mixture in thin streams.  Do this patiently, like 1 tablespoon at a time only. 


4.  When all the milk has been added, beat in the vanilla extract then increase the mixer speed to high and beat mixture until it is fluffy.

As all butter-based frostings are, the final colour is off-white.


This frosting seems soft but it is stiff enough that it will not fall off the spatula unless you really shake it off.


It spreads really smoothly too.


The taste? It's 100% buttery goodness! It does not only taste buttery but it appears buttery as well.  It actually feels like butter in the mouth!  (I don't know if that's actually a good thing or not!) How do you describe that? Waxy? Slippery? It's exactly how I remember the butter icing from Estrel's (though less salty since I didn't use regular salted butter.)  Definitely heavier in the mouth than Swiss meringue buttercream.

Now, let's test this thing on a caramel cake!

Lacy, squiggly lines, check. (Used piping tip #1 for that.)


More squiggly lines, check.


Borders, check. (Ruffle tip 88 and shell tip 18 for those.)


Roses, check! (Petal tip 124 for the roses, leaf tip 352 for the leaves.)


 Do I really think this is the sort of butter icing that Estrel's uses?

Looks pretty good to me!  The empty space is for some writing I had to add later on.

I am willing to bet on it!  Will I use it?  Definitely yes, for borders and flowers on a caramel cake.  However, to frost a whole cake with buttercream, I still prefer to use my favourite.  Still the winner for me in terms of texture and taste.

Try this butter icing next time you make a caramel cake and let me know what you think.

Have a good weekend!

28 comments:

  1. It made me smile when I saw this, up to now you're still experimenting on Caramel Cake Icing (a la Estrel's) I couldn't forget when we started making it. Hopefully this is the one! Do you think it's stable enough to make those roses? What about when sitting at room temperature like Manila in weather, will it be okay? Are you going to use this recipe with your caramel cakes from now on? ~Mela~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Mela,

      As with any butter-based frosting, this will melt under very hot conditions but I think it should be fine indoors. I found it really good for piping roses.

      Yes, I am inclined to use this with my caramel cakes from now on!

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    2. It's also easier to make than SMBC. I think it will be good to use if only for roses and borders. How about the sweetness, is it sweet enough or if not, can we add sugar to it? By the way, I like the smoothness of your caramel icing, is that the latest revision? I think I'm going to make a Caramel Cake this coming Mother's Day, it's been a while since I made one.

      Delete
    3. For me, the butter icing has enough sweetness as it is.

      The caramel icing is still the same recipe. I have not changed it since the updated version.

      Delete
  2. Hi, Corinne! It does look like the buttercream frosting I've seen from Estrel cakes. I do think, however, that they use meringue-based buttercream too. I saw a clip from ABS-CBN's website in which Ms. Navarro used uncooked meringue and chilled butter to make buttercream. Kris Aquino fell in love with it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have you had the chance to read the article I linked to?

      I have watched that video clip before. I don't think Ms Navarro said it was the butter icing they used at Estrel's. I seriously doubt she will share the real thing on tv. She used uncooked eggwhites that even Kris found questionable.

      Delete
    2. Well, what I meant was aside from the recipe you featured here, I thought that they also used meringue-based buttercream.
      Yes, Kris asked if it were okay to use raw eggwhites for health reasons, but she loved it when she tried it.
      I'll read the article later. It's a tad too long.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete
  4. hi corinne. i just need to ask you what type of coloring do you use on butter cream icing and SMBC? i find my icing curdle up after coloring. it'll start up smooth and shiny but strarts to curdle up after about 15 minutes or longer. thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have used liquid food colouring, gel paste and powdered food colour successfully with buttercream.

      When you say 'curdle', do you mean the colour is separating? Read this: http://everydaylife.globalpost.com/keep-buttercream-icing-color-separating-38567.html. It might help.

      Delete
  5. Hi corrine,

    Did you use just one recipe for frosting the whole square cake?

    Thanks,
    Anne

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes. You only need it for borders and flowers so one recipe is enough.

      Delete
  6. Wow! Surprised to see that you have modified the buttercream frosting recipe. Glad to have checked! Will definitely give this a try.

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  7. hi Corinne,
    just wondering if there's a typo with the number of yolks here. coz from the original recipe there are 3 yolks and in the updated recipe there are 2 yolks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are talking about the caranel icing? Recipe is correct.

      Delete
  8. Hi, would just like to ask how long can i keep this frosting in the ref? can i beat again if i kept it in the ref? will it not curdle? thanks for your blog. been a follower for more than 3 years now.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can keep this in the fridge, up to a week probably. As with other types of buttercream, you have to bring it to room temperature before re-beating.

      Delete
  9. Hi Corinne, do you think "caster" sugar would be okay to use ("granulated" sugar) since it's the only one I have at the moment. Saw your yema cake too and been wanting to try that also. Which of the two (caramel cake vs. yema cake) would you say is yummier? Instead of cheese, will this old fashioned buttercream work for the yema cake?
    Thank so much! Thesa of Sydney

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Caster sugar is even better as it dissolves more easily.

      Personally, I like the caramel cake more. It is more complicated to do though.

      I wouldn't suggest butter icing for the yema cake. It is the yema icing that makes it a yema cake after all. If you don't like cheese, then just omit it. However, if you meant to use the butter icing for maybe borders or decorations only, that would probably be ok.

      Delete
  10. Spot on haha, more complicated nga but I've tried your recipe twice before (a long time ago) and truly memorable! Yup, thinking borders lang since needing to make an adult bday cake. Or maybe a two smaller versions (one with borders, one with cheese). Since the original request was an ensaymada "bday treat" waaaah (I can not make myself to make your special ensaymada anytime soon, being uber labour of love intensive)! I'll email you with photos if any of the above pushes thru. Thank you for being a blessing as always. More love and blessings to you and your fambam!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Make ensaymada :)! I've made it twice already this week, half recipe at a time. It's fantastic! And because of the hot weather, it rises rather quickly so the waiting time is not that long. I bake it at night and we have them for breakfast the next morning.

      Delete
  11. Hi Ms. Corrine! Random question. In doing the caramel cake ala estrels, do we need to coat the cake first with the buttercream frosting or is it just coated with the caramel icing?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just the caramel icing. The buttercream is only for borders and decorations.

      Delete
  12. Hi Ms. Corinne. Have you tried using all purpose cream instead of just milk for this recipe? Do you think it will work?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Have not tried that, sorry. I've seen similar recipes using whipping cream. What I'm not sure though is if the amount should be adjusted or not.

      Delete
  13. Hi Ms. Corrine, I've tried making the caramel cake last Saturday and it was a hit. I'd like to make another one soon. Thanks for sharing it. By the way what your website? I would be glad to check it for more of your recipes. Thanks you so much!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My other recipes are right here, in this blog! If you are referring to my eBook recipes, you can purchase it here - http://frostedheaven.yolasite.com/frosted-heaven-ebook.php

      Delete