Perfect buttercream starts with a perfect butter of course and you can use unsalted which has a really high-fat content so when you are looking for butter you need to get one with high-fat content. The next thing you need to do is to get your butter to the right softness so ideally, you do this by leaving your butter out overnight in a nice kind of cosy room. You might want to soften your butter in a microwave so you just want to do this 10 seconds best at a time moving it about in between each burst until it gets to the right softness now the right softness is a squeezable softness so your butter should be soft enough to squeeze but kind of hold it shapes as well now you might find if you live in a warm country or something similar it will be a little bit too soft.
Using too soft butter you will end up with a runny buttercream and which does not hold any structure nor does it hold any air. Add you’re softened butter to a bowl of a stand mixer and beat it for at least 5 minutes until it goes really nice and pale. After 5 minutes of beating it should have a smooth silky consistency and if you combine whipped butter and unwhipped butter is totally different. Then add in your powdered or confectioners’ sugar but first sieve it to get rid of the lumps.
When you are looking for icing sugar you need to get the one that uses maize starch as an anti-caking agent rather than tricalcium phosphate that will give you a much smoother finish and not a grainy texture buttered cream. Now after sifting your icing sugar add it into your batter in two addition to help the batter to incorporate nice and evenly and gives it a little extra time to whip up some air in. if you are using an electric mixer start on low speed to avoid spilling your sugar.
Once they are combined turn it to high speed what you are looking for at this point is that the icing has gone nice and smooth and it is pale and it is really lovely and whippy and now add in the next portion of sugar and beat it for another 5 minutes till you obtain a really nice smooth fluffy consistency but it is a little bit stiff so now it is the time to get the correct consistency by adding liquid. Since this is vanilla buttermilk so add the vanilla extract to whole milk and mix well and add the milk in a little bit and continue mixing them in and it is a good opportunity to add-in any flavour of your liking.
Increase the speed to make sure the milk and sugar mix in well and get a spatula to scrape the bowls to make sure everything is well mixed in. you can test the consistency and add in more milk if you like. The consistency is really pale almost white and lovely and smooth and silky and smooth enough to spread really well and hold its shape and it will not drip off your cake or run down the sides it holds a nice shape if you pipe it or spread it.
The white vanilla buttermilk has been made and there is a couple of ways to make any different colour tracing and there are a couple of ways to do that first of all would always recommend using colour pastes because they are very concentrated so you do not need very much of it but if you use a liquid colour it may change the consistency of the icing. Add your colour paste in with your milk and add it to your mixture and distribute evenly but if you want a different colour then what you would do is take out some of your icings and the one slight downside of using the colour pace is that sometimes depending on the brand you use the pace can be quite thick and quite difficult to incorporate.
With the rest of your icing so sometimes take a small amount and put it in a little bowl and then mix your colour paste into that to create a very concentrated paste and makes it much easier to evenly mix the colour into the icing. While using your buttercream is important to leave it covered or it will be crispy around the edges. You can store the buttercream up to 5 days in room temperature in airtight containers.
- 150g unsalted butter, soft
- 340g icing sugar sifted
- 3-4 tbsp whole milk/milk infusion/juice/other liquid