"HI, my name is Elizabeth Sutton and I am one of the head decorators here at Amanda Oakleaf Cakes. I really enjoy working here and being a cake decorator, more specifically cupcake decorator. You can come visit us at our storefront, it's at 1 Pauline Street in Winthrop, Massachusetts. And you can also visit our website at oakleafcakes.com. And today I am going to be talking to you about cupcake decorating.
To start the frosting the first thing you are going to want to do is make a vanilla Italian meringue buttercream base. We are going to take a quarter cup of water and pour it into the boiler along with 1 1/4 cups of sugar. It seems like a lot of sugar, but believe me it's enough. So, to measure the temperature of the sugar water we are going to use a candy thermometer. And we want that to get up to about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. Just watch it, it takes a little while. When the sugar starts to bubble and get thick that is probably a good time to check it because it should be about 250 at that point.
Now while that is going on you want to pour 8 large egg whites and it comes out to about a cup into your stand mixer along with a teaspoon of cream of tartar. The cream of tartar helps to stabilize the egg whites. Helps them whip up really nice.
So you want to let that go until soft peaks form. Now that soft peaks have formed in the egg whites we are going to add 1/3 cup of sugar. I usually keep it separate, next to the bowl so that I don't forget because it's really easy to forget to add it. It sweetness the meringue so it makes it, ya know, taste a lot better. While that's going on you want to check your syrup. So now that our syrup has reached 250 degrees Fahrenheit we are going to turn our stand mixer down to very slow because you don't want this to splash up at you. And you are going to pour it in making careful not to hit the bowl or the whisk or else the sugar will harden instantly. And then you will get lumps of sugar syrup in your frosting.
You want to let everything mix then turn your mixer back up to medium-high level. Ok, so the bowl feels about room temperature (it's been about 7 minutes) and now it's time to add the butter. So you want to turn it back up to a low speed. For this, we are going to be using 6 sticks or a pound and a half of butter. You want to add the butter in slow increments about two tablespoons at a time. You want the butter to be soft but not melted. So once you've added all the butter you want to turn the meringue up to a pretty high speed. You want to let everything incorporate, about two minutes. All right, so once your mixture looks light and fluffy, you want to take the last step which is to take a tablespoon of vanilla extract. We use the real stuff, I wouldn't recommend using imitation vanilla extract unless it's a necessity. And then you are going to turn it back on to incorporate.
So now that we have our Italian meringue base we are going to be adding coffee to it. You are going to want to boil 3 tablespoons of water. I know, silly amount but that's all it needs. Once the water comes to a boil we are going to be adding a 1/4 cup of instant coffee. You can shut the boiler off and you just want to whisk it until it's incorporated. You are going to turn the Italian merengue on low on a stand mixer and slowly add the coffee mix. I am going to turn the stand mixer up to high until all the coffee is incorporated. And once the coffee is incorporated, a nice light brown coffee color. Once it holds up on the spatula without moving you know it's done. "