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Pistachio Buttercream 05.07.2009

Posted by Dan Sheehan in Recipes.
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3 comments

Remember to wash before sticking a finger in!This is a Swiss meringue buttercream frosting.  It accompanied our variation on our Grandmother’s pistachio cake.  We like it for four reasons.  First, the egg whites add lightness.  Second, it stays soft at room temp, Third, it refrigerates easily, for a week plus.  Forth, it is forgiving and cannot be overmixed.  It’s not too tough to make either.  If you think heating egg whites is expert stuff, don’t worry.

  • 5 sticks butter

Let the butter sit out overnight.

  • 1 cup egg whites (about 8 large eggs)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 0.5 t vanilla

wmaking-buttercreamSeparate egg whites.  Throw ‘em into the metal mixing bowl with sugar and salt.  Place the mixing bowl onto a pot with a small amount of boiling water.  Whisk till sugar is melted and it hurts you to stick your finger in (masochist, I know.  Ok, till it is 160 degrees F).  Remove from heat and place into mixer.  Mix for a good 10 minutes on medium high speed (6 on a kitchenaid).  Add vanilla.

  • 4 oz pistachio paste

While still mixing, add the soft butter, a quarter stick at a time, allowing it to incorporate.  Volume will reduce, that’s alright.  After the butter is in, Bam!  Buttercream.  To make it pistachio, simply add the pistachio paste.  Double Bam!  Eat a little bit.

Frosting is an art form.  If you aim too high, you might make it look like crap.  Our feeling is, stay in your skill level.  Don’t go for roses if you’ve never frosted.  Just aim to get a nice looking top.  We were going for smooth sides and a little piping work.  No plant life in this skill set, yet.  At Bread and Buttress, we love caramel so we also threw some pistachio brittle (equal volume pistachios added to sugar that has been caramelized) on top.  Note the order of assembly.  Throwing the brittle on first allows for piping to mask defects.  Smart!

Careful, now.

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