Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream

11 Sep

It’s as delicious as it sounds. 🙂 Now, last week I posted a very easy recipe. This week’s icing is a bit more involved. But it’s completely worth it. The main star of this show is the mocha flavored icing. And the swiss meringue buttercream has a perfect texture. It’s a smooth as silk. But of course, I needed something to put the icing on. I used my trusty chocolate cake recipe that my sister gave me. I happened to have a few extra mini chocolate chips laying around, so I sprinkled a few in each cupcake liner just before baking.

While these were baking and cooling, I made the icing. I’ve heard people say that this icing can be a bit tricky. However, I’ve made it four times and it was a huge success each time. I followed the recipe here, and also watched the video a couple of times before my first attempt. The video is only a minute and a half long, and if you plan on trying this icing I highly suggest watching it. Seeing how the icing looks at each difference stage of the process helped to reassure me that I was on the right track.

The first step is to heat sugar and egg whites over a double boiler. The key is to warm the eggs very slowly, so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs. 🙂 It needs to reach about 160 degrees. The very first time I made this icing, I didn’t use a thermometer at all. I just felt the mixture with a finger to see if it felt warm. It still worked ok for me. Since then, I’ve purchased a candy thermometer and I’ve used it just to double check how hot the icing gets. But if you don’t have a thermometer to use, just go for it. Live life dangerously. 😉

After being heated to 160 degrees and being whipped in the mixer until cool again, the texture and color are quite different.

The only other two ingredients are unsalted butter (lots of it! 😀 ) and vanilla.

After making the recipe from the link above, I also added 4 ounces of melted semi sweet chocolate and 1 Tbsp of instant coffee granules dissolved in 2 Tbsp hot water. This gives a really good balance between the coffee and chocolate flavors. 🙂 Make sure to let the melted chocolate cool to room temperature before adding it to the icing.

 

 

 

With just a disposable piping bag and some chocolate bark, you can also pipe some nice chocolate garnishes for the top of the cupcake. Just pipe onto wax paper, pop it in the freezer until firm, and then place on top of the icing. 🙂

One of the best parts about these cupcakes (besides the silky smooth, chocolate and coffee flavors of course. Did I mention that part already?) was the cupcake carrier I used to take them to school with me! This lovely invention was one of my birthday gifts from my husband. It is so great I’m tempted to leave it out on my dining room table for display. 😉

At first glance it looks like your average cake carrier.

But there’s more than meets the eye. 🙂 The top expands and there are 2 cupcake trays. So this one container is made to travel with a full batch of 24 cupcakes! Also, the trays have little indentations in them to keep the cupcakes in place. No more cupcakes sliding around during the trip, with smeared icing once I reach my destination. Isn’t it great!? It’s ok if you’re not excited enough about it to do a happy dance. I did one for the both of us.

Random Thought of the Day: I really am at a loss for words when it come to the anniversary of 9/11. Because I’m not a wonderful speaker or writer, I will leave it at this:
I am blessed enough to have not lost a loved one on that tragic day. Today I pause to pray for those who did. Their sacrifice is something that you live with on a daily basis, and you do it bravely. I hope today you can be proud of their worthy cause and will be able to cling to a memory of them in a very happy time in your lives.

Up Next: A treat right from the kitchen of my own mother.  I’d almost forgotten about this special cake she makes sometimes, and I was reminded of it when I visited her last weekend. I don’t think it has a title, so I’ll just call it “The Phyllis Special.” You don’t want to miss  it. 🙂

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2 Responses to “Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream”

  1. Mom September 11, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    I will have to try this icing on some cupcakes when we have some company since there are coffee drinkers that would like these.

  2. Jessica Llanes September 11, 2011 at 3:04 pm #

    I think Rafy would really like this icing! I might have to try it sometime. And I KNOW I will have to try those cupcake garnishes!!!

    YAY for the Phyllis special! It’s kind of like fun size candy bars-there’s no way you can have just one piece!

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