Check out this buttercream I made using a whisk, by hand:
See how it is all grainy and sorta chunky? Well I'm guessing that the power I am putting in with my arms must be around 40 Watts (tops), and I can only do it at full power for a few seconds at a time (go ahead laugh, but try it yourself).
Now compare it to my new 220 Watt electric mixer:
It is *perfectly smooth*. It makes for a much more pleasant experience in your mouth, texture and flavor wise since all the ingredients are blended much better and are less likely to separate should the temperature rise a bit.
These are strawberry champagne cupcakes by the way. I made a couple dozen today to bring to a BBQ tomorrow celebrating Australia Day.
The recipe is from a blog called Love & Olive Oil, which I use often because the cupcake recipes there seem to be pretty reliable, none have failed so far. A down side is that some of the recipes are lactose free or vegan (no butter, no milk, no eggs, etc.) due to personal choices of the author. I don't mind at all, but I suppose some people would.
I used slightly over half of the sugar that the recipe called for in the icing. I often cut back on the sugar because most icing recipes will make my teeth hurt :-) You can cut the sugar and will still obtain a pretty nice texture. I always put the icing in the fridge for 10 minutes before I start piping to ensure the buttercream will be stiff enough to hold its shape.
A few notes on the final result:
- These were the most expensive cupcakes I have made to date because I had to use a whole bottle of sparkling wine (I made double the recipe). Bad idea but too late by the time I realized. The taste of champagne is sort of there but not really identifiable, so next time I will use a more normal/cheaper flavoring.
- There is a hint of strawberry in the cake itself, but not as strong as I would have liked so I will need to experiment more.
- The cake is lovely, spongy, springy and melts in your mouth. I would not mess with the sugar content here, it's perfect.
Lastly, a shout out to my homey Parisa, who made a sweet looking hot pink raspberry cake!