Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cherry Lovie Cakes: What Not to do with Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Well, I had this really fun post started in my head....

I took pictures like this, so I could tell you about my pink kitchen, and pink kitchen supplies. Of course, I have the pink kitchen aid - you have probably seen it already:

I was going to tell you about my awesome black and white apron with pink apron strings and a ruffle on the bottom - a fabulous birthday gift from Betsy. I was kinda hoping you'd be jealous, are you?

I thought you might be.

I had been looking at THIS RECIPE for almost a month. In honor of Valentine's day. And I'd rename them something cute.

Cherry Lovie Cakes

I plotted, and planned. And schemed. Figuring out how and what I was going to do.  I decided I'd stray from the recipe a bit, and make all cherry cupcakes. Same ganache, and same frosting.

I went shopping and picked up the stuff I normally don't have on hand, such as Maraschino Cherries (note to self: keep on hand more often - YUM), Cherry Preserves, Heavy Cream, etc.

I gathered my gear - and set up all my cutie pie ingredients for a fabulous photoshoot (that Morton Girl is quite photogenic, isn't she?)

At this point, I realized I was going to be short on unsalted butter for the cake, frosting, AND chocolate ganache. I should have probably just quit when I was ahead. Before my kitchen became a disaster of Pinkalicious proportions.

Anyway, I decided to just make do with what I had. Salted or Un. 

So I mixed. And I whipped. And I whisked. I separated. And I chopped. I drained. And I diced. I measured. I poured.

I had a lot of bowls going. Everything looking bright and colorful. 

Things were going well.

I even had cupcake liners. I used my cookies scoop again, and things didn't get too messy.  

Cupcakes were in the oven. I was excited. And as I shut the oven door, and reached for the timer. It dawned on me, that I forgot two key ingredients.


and more importantly

I love almond extract. I wish I could pump it intravenously through my veins.  Cherry + Almond = Heaven. I was so sad. But, there was no time to be sad. Ganache had to be made. And Swiss Meringue Buttercream had to be created.  The adventure had just begun. I poured a little bit in the remaining batter (that made the last 8 cupcakes) and moved on.

Next up - CHOCOLATE:

By the time I was done with the ganache, cupcakes were cooling. And it was time to move on to the part I was looking forward to the most - Swiss Meringue Cherry Buttercream Frosting. 
And this is basically where the photography story ends. I whipped up my egg whites. Pasteurized them even! Waited for stiff peaks. Changed mixer attachments. I followed the instructions. But the buttercream was not holding up well. It was runny. And oozy. 

I didn't get discouraged - I guessed that maybe I had taken the eggs to "The Point of No Return" - you know? That point where you OVER beat them, and they go from fluffy stiff peaks to their liquid starting point? 

Take two. Whipped. Mixed. Pasteurized. White and shiny stiff peaks. Beautiful. I added the butter. Then the cherry preserves. Food coloring. And I was back at square one. Runny, oozy frosting. So, disappointing.

I decided that in an effort to salvage the Valentine's day treat, I would refrigerate the frosting and see if it would firm up, even enough to spread on the cupcakes without it running off the sides. 

Meanwhile, using the "cone method" I filled each cupcake with Chocolate Cherry Ganache. It actually worked really well! But I forgot to take pictures - boo!

Four hours of baking later, and a few more hours to chill, the frosting had firmed up just a bit, and so I frosted the cupcakes the best I could. 
They didn't turn out as glamorous as I had hoped - but not every cupcake can be glam.

Still, they were quite photogenic. <3

And, despite the Frosting Fail - I think they were a Tastebud Win:

Thanks to Jessica for being my cupcake model!

Definitely had to join the pity party this week with this recipe, especially since I had a real pity party when the frosting flopped twice!

Thirty Hand Made Days


  1. LOVED the cupcakes 23,467 times more than my picture.

  2. love the pinkalicious reference. SUCH a cute book!

  3. Jess - you are the best cupcake model. I can tell you have been sharing tips with Giselle. Her skills have increased drastically since you last hung out.

    Ash - I know right? :) I think it sums up my kitchen...and life. :)

  4. YUM!!! And, I LOVE your pink kitchen stuff! Love it so much & wish i could have pink kitchen stuff, but Kevin would not be a fan of that. It is hard enough for him being the only guy in a house of girls!

  5. Mel! Thanks for stopping by! My pink kitchen is my favorite part of my house. You can live vicariously through this blog post! Maybe you can slip in a pink spatula or mixing spoon one of these days. :) Pink just makes things more fun - which I'm sure you already know with two girls!