Ermine buttercream or cooked flour buttercream is probably my favourite type of buttercream. It is not like it’s counterpart the American Buttercream (AMBC) which is loaded with butter and sugar. This buttercream doesn’t sugar coat your mouth. at the same time it is creamy, rich and decadent. 😀
If made right, it pipes beautifully. I piped some shell borders for my Neapolitan cake and the shells maintained their shape without collapsing or softening. The key to it is to make sure the butter is just soft and not melting. Now to check that, I use the finger method. It’s very simple.. Take your butter and press it lightly with a finger. It shouldn’t feel too soft and when you press the butter more it should hold an indentation formed. If the butter is too soft, your finger will go through with the slightest press. When you are living in a place where the temperature is high the butter will be too soft for use. So don’t take room temperature butter as the test. Use the indentation method.
Ingredients: (Makes about 950 grams. Enough to frost 3, 22cm cakes or 16-18 cupcakes generously)
- Plain flour- 5 tablespoons or 40 grams
- Salt- a pinch
- Granulated sugar- 1 1/4 cup or 250 grams
- Milk- 1 3/4 cup or 420 ml
- Soft- unsalted butter- 280 grams
- Vanilla extract- 1/2 teaspoon
Combine flour, sugar and salt in a medium-sized saucepan. Whisk together. To it, add the milk and whisk until combined and lump free. Place saucepan over low heat while constantly whisking it. Let it start becoming warm. Keep whisking constantly and and the mixture will start to thicken. This will take about 2 minutes. One thing to be noted is that it can catch at the bottom of the saucepan. So to avoid that keep whisking and whisk it in such a way that the whisk touches the bottom of the pan. Also use a saucepan which has a thick bottom. Once it thickens and flows though the whisk in a thick stream remove from heat.
Beat it for 2 minutes to release the steam. Using a rubber spatula, scrape the sides of the pan and pour this pudding into another bowl and immediately cover it with cling film such that the cling film touches the top of the pudding. This keeps a skin from forming. Allow the pudding to cool to room temperature. Once it comes to room temperature, keep in the fridge for 10 minutes. Once the pudding has cooled completely, remove it from the fridge. Remove the cling film from the top. The pudding should be cold to the touch. The pudding will be like glue at this point and that is how it should be.
Take the soft butter in another bowl. Beat the butter using an electric beater until it becomes pale and fluffy. This should take about 3-4 minutes. Add the cooled pudding one tablespoon at a time while constantly beating. Once all the pudding has been added, continue beating till the buttercream starts to thicken and holds soft- stiff peaks. Add the vanilla and mix briefly to combine. The buttercream may initially seem to be very loose but when you keep beating, it will start to become thick, smooth and stiff. If it is still not holding stiff peaks, keep in the fridge for 5-10 minutes and again beat it. This should form nice stiff peaks.
Chill the buttercream until use. You can also flavour it with different essence, thick melted chocolate, reduced slightly thick fruit purees!
NOTE- Make sure your pudding is completely cool because if the pudding is not cool it can lead to a loose buttercream. Also make sure your butter isn’t too soft or melting. Usually people keep beating the pudding and add the butter a tablespoon at a time but I feel that adding the pudding to the creamed butter yields a creamier, smooth and stiff buttercream.
Your end product should be thick, creamy and glossy. You can store the buttercream in airtight containers in the fridge for up to a week. 🙂