February 2, 2010

At the Truth-or-Kid Hotel...


... do you want to tell the truth this time... or kid?


Freeman Hunt said...

Definitely kid. Like I could go N-I---

I kid, I kid!

Now for the truth: My son's birthday is coming up. I would like the cake to have the most delicious buttercream frosting imaginable. But I'm not a baker. If you have the know-how, school me.

Lem said...

Chip is your man Freeman.

LonewackoDotCom said...

I tweeted AlGore, pretending he'd sent me a drawing and informing him it was "just" a shadow person and not The Hat Man. No, really! Can you imagine him reading it? "I never sent him a drawing."

I am not making that up!

In other news, it'd be nice if someone besides me was trying to wipe the grin off this ahole's face; see my coverage of him asking BHO questions here.

And, for an example of non-kidding fun, here's an example of why FreeRepublic has little influence. That's an activism request I posted there that only required someone to fill out a comment form. All I got in return were three comments that had the impact of discouraging others from doing anything.

In even more news, here's the dumbest HotAir post evah. The goal of brining in guest posters is apparently to make AP and EM look like geniouses by comparison.

veni vidi vici said...

That's one sexy flower. Redhead "upstairs and down" to boot.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I guess kid, since the blog hostess wants to censor her blog by deleting the "N" word.

Butter cream (cheese) frosting:

1/2 to 3/4 cube room temperature butter and 4 oz cream cheese room temp. If you just want butter cream double the butter and forget the cream cheese.

Cream the butter and cream cheese with the mixer

Gradually add powdered sugar in small bits about 1/4 cup at a time. Also 1 tsp vanilla at this point and even some orange extract, rum extract or other flavoring.

Who knows how much sugar? Hard to say. Several cups or more until it is as stiff as you like. I usually use about 3 cups or heck...the entire package of powdered sugar. Add some cream if it seems too stiff. Just add the sugar gradually so it can incorporate and whip up.

Feel your way. Your son will love it no matter how the frosting turns out.

How bad can it be.....butter, cream cheese, sugar, cream and flavorings. You can't miss.

Dust Bunny Queen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Keep adding sugar until it is a stiff as you want. This should make enough to frost a three layer cake or a huge sheet cake.

Nom nom nom

mc said...

I like that "nom nom nom" thing.

It's cute.

So there!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Oh, Professor! I see you are deleting some of the more retarded posts in that other thread.

But I am with you, Professor. I would delete posts with that particular word in it if they appeared on my porn blog. And I guess that you, with the #3 of all lawprof blogs, have to maintain an even higher respectability than that.

But tread carefully, Professor! Censorship can be a rough business. You don't want to be considered an arbitrary Sheriff of words now, do you?

reader_iam said...

What do you mean by "buttercream" frosting ? If you mean by that "powdered-sugar-with-butter" frosting, go with what DBQ said.

peter hoh said...

Bittman's recipe is pretty simple:

1 stick of unsalted butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons cream (though milk can be used instead)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
pinch of salt

Cream the butter, work in the sugar, alternating with cream, beating well after each addition.

If too thick, add more cream.

Stir in vanilla and salt.

peter hoh said...

The key, as DBQ mentioned, is to have the butter at room temperature, unless you live in Minnesota and it's winter.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Kidding is best! You know who is good at kidding and jokes...??? J. B. Smoove! Especially when in that second-to-last episode of this past season of Curb Your Enthusiasm. Remember that? That's where he tries to untruthfully pass himself off to Michael Richards as a Jew named Danny Duberstein.

Lem said...

I just finished watching 'What just Happened' (2008).

I enjoyed it. It felt like The Player.

MamaM said...

The Wilton Buttercream Icing recipe is similar to DBQ's and Peter Hoh's recipes, except it calls for 1/2 cup vegetable shortening with a 1/2 cup of butter. The use of shortening makes the frosting fluffier and easier to push through a pastry bag for decorating, but IMO it leaves a greasy taste/film in the mouth. I prefer the all butter or butter/cream cheese version.

reader_iam said...

OK, frosting tastes differ. Doesn't matter at all, at all. Vive la difference! It's one of those of those "who cares AND celebrate" things.

Anyway, I just picked up on the "deletion" reference and went over to look again. (I did start following that thread initially, and even for a while, and then gave it up, on account of it being, well, not to my taste.)

Interesting, how that played out, and what was deleted (assuming that the later deleted comments, which I didn't see, were similar to the earlier deleted comments, which I did).

To go off-topic in terms of this post, for a moment, here's what I think--however simplistically, so feel free to laugh (it won't change a thing)--in terms of the discussion on that other post:

In general, when people drop the f-word in any form (noun, verb, adjective, adverb) whether I do or do not like it in the specific context, I DON'T automatically attach a bigger judgment to that. It depends.

OTOH, when someone drops the word "retard" into everyday, what-the-hell language of disparagement, I absolutely do think less of him or her, as I do when someone uses other words in a similar way.

My response to anyone who does but pretends innocence is, "Oh, bullshit. Who the fuck do you think you are, implying that you were born only yesterday *and* that I haven't lived on this earth for going on 50 years?"

It's the same one I plan to use on my son, come the day (and that I have used, in milder form, since so far he hasn't come out with that strong-smelling of bullshit w/r/t language so far.)

Chip Ahoy said...

Buttercream. James Peterson Baking

Professional styles made with bombe (hot sugar syrup beaten in to egg yolks) or Italian meringue (hot sugar beaten into egg whites) are satiny smooth. They both require soft ball stage sugar, a step many do not care to fuss with. Homemade style buttercream is made by beating butter with confectioners' sugar. It leaves a very subtle roughness in the mouth that is not noticeable to most people, but to eliminate most of that texture, beat the buttercream thoroughly, at least five minutes in a stand mixer until it has the consistency of sour cream. It gets firmer once it is on the cake and chills somewhat. An orange flavor is great for buttercream used to frost white and yellow butter cakes and sponge cakes.

Makes 5 ½ cups, enough for 3 or 4 layer 9-inch cake or 2 sheet cakes

1½ pounds butter, sliced, at room temperature
2½ cups confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons grated orange zest or 2 teaspoons or more orange oil

Using stand mixer with paddle attachment or handheld mixer on high, beat butter for 5 to 10 minutes, until smooth and easy to work. Add the sugar and zest and beat until smooth, starting on low so the sugar doesn't fly out then turning mixer to high. Switch to whisk attachment or hand whisk and beat for about 5 minutes, or until the butter has the consistency of sour cream.

Alternate flavors

Chocolate: 2 oz melted bittersweet chocolate per 1 cup buttercream. Chocolate makes it firmer.

Vanilla: 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract per 1 cup buttercream

Hazelnut, Pistachio, Almond: 1/4 cup nut paste per 1 cup buttercream. If oil is floating on top of the oil paste mix it in the can until it's smooth. If it's stiff then mix it in a bowl until smooth and lightens

Chestnut: 3 tablespoons chestnut puree to 1 cup buttercream

Coffee: 2 to 4 teaspoons of strong brew like espresso , or 1 to 2 teaspoons instant coffee with 2 to 4 teaspoons water.

Spices: 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon or 1/4 teaspoon ground clove per cup buttercream

Spirits: 1 teaspoon spirits, per cup buttercream, or more to taste. All spirits: fruit brandies; rum; bourbon or Irish whisk; gar or macro; Cognac or armagnac; must be flavored or you'll need to use too much. Use dry clear unsweetened fruit brandies like kirsch (cherry), framboise (raspberry), mirabelle (plum), or poire William (pear). Swiss or French -- NOT American -- kirsch or framboise or other eaux de vie; dark rum from Martinique, Jamaica, or Haiti; and authenticc Cognac, not just brandy. Don't hesitate to buy the least expensive Cognac because the word"Cognac" guarantees a full flavor.

What? No ginger? No Grand Marnier? Heresy!

Do you care to have the instructions for professional style buttercream or will this do?

It's based on egg yolks and whisks hot sugar syrup cooked to softball stage, beaten until cool then the butter is added. The yolks need to be beaten until they quadruple in volume and stabilized before adding syrup. The eggs yolks or whites are warmed to temper for the syrup.

MamaM said...

There are 47 variations and bits of advice on the buttercream frosting theme at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/364734
I'll see if I can get Chip's hyperlink format to work

47 variations

Reader Iam: Frosting tastes do differ. I understood you to be questioning the validity of referring to the recipe presented as version of Buttercream Frosting.

reader_iam said...

Chip: I note that your recipe's proportion of butter to sugar is way closer to my idea of buttercream frosting (especially w/r/t the quick verson) ...
... .


For the one of the "most delicious" buttercream frostings "imaginable," however, the whole egg-yolks and hot-sugar thang comes into play ...

... as Chip himself made reference to (and MamaM implied).

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

I remember back when I was a kid-- I only wanted chocolate cake with rich chocolate frosting for my birthday. I don't understand why y'all are focusing on this vanilla and buttercream stuff. It's almost like any mention of the truly ultimate tasty birthday treat is just not welcome on this here blog...

Chip Ahoy said...

I suppose this is a joke. I sent the angry monkey pop-up card to my GP. Tracked the priority enveope online by USPS certified service. It only took 1 day. The idea of him getting an apparently important package containing nonsense makes me laugh.

But now that glee is changing to thinkie thoughts about the next pop-up card.

It's based on an animated GIF file I made a long time ago called Transgenic Meerkats. (hit refresh if it resists starting) The anim is awful. I was just beginning to learn Photoshop.

I think I can make an eagle lift up highest of all from the background and cram all the other meerkats onto a single page. I think I can see how to make them pop up from behind hills and from out of holes with some just standing there in a line with their arms hanging down like they do. Wearing army helmets and using modern war-related equipment.

Then inflict it on somebody completely unrelated to anything. For fun.

reader_iam said...

Julius: *Cooked* frosting (or frostings with cooked components) are marvelous things. It's not about the vanilla. Or the chocolate. It's the butter. And the cooking. *And* the vanilla, or chocolate, or whatever, of course--but they're the add-ons/outcomes not the core. It's the "cooked" thing--vanilla, chocolate, caramel, etc., whatever, aside. Rich chocolate fits right into all of that, Julius--I'd suggest you trust me on this one.

reader_iam said...

Chip: It may be a joke to everyone else, but not for me (and I ['d like to] think Freeman's query re: frosting wasn't either).

I'm not a dessert person, to begin with, and from childhood preferred, and have preferred plain (and not very sweet at all) cake, without *icing* in almost instances...

...except for those very rare ones, when a decent cooked frosting was on offer.**

Seriously. Truth and no kidding at all.

**Which explains why, later in life, I took an interest in learning how to make, for example, a real buttercream frosting.

Chip Ahoy said...

Those flowers are wax!

Freeman says,"Now for the truth.." and I take that as straightforward.

Professional buttercream. You did say smoothest imaginable. Brace yourself. From James Peterson Baking

The type based on egg yolks: whisk hot sugar syrup cooked to softball stage into beaten yolks. Continue beating this mixture (called “bombe”) until cool then beat in the cold butter.

Stand mixer is best because the yolks require a lot of beating to get them to quadruple and stabilize before adding the syrup. Handheld mixer also works but the time must be doubled.

The eggs are tempered to accept the soft-ball stage sugar syrup so that the eggs don’t cool it and cause it to harden into little pellets.

2 cups sugar
2/3 cup water plus more as needed
8 egg yolks, slightly warmed (bowl of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes before you crack and separate them)
1½ cups (1¼LB) cold butter, cut into cubes

Flavoring (see ↑ up there, it occurs to me Peterson doesn’t mention Kahlua)

While the syrup is cooking, fit a stand mixer with whisk attachment and beat the yolks on high speed for about 8 minutes or until they have quadrupled in volume and are very pale

While the yolks are beating, check the syrup with a thermometer (or a spoon*). If the syrup is ready before the egg yolks, add 1 tablespoon of water to the syrup andkeep simmering.

When syrup and yolks are ready, turn mixer to high and pour the syrup into the yoks between the whisk and the side of the bowl. Important to keep the syrup from touching the whisk or the bowl because it will harden into little globules which will break off into the buttercream. (Don’t worry, a few are unavoidable.) Continue beating the yoik-sugar mixture until it is just slightly warmer than room temperature (hold your hand on bottom of mixer bowl; ideally, it should feel neither hot nor cold)

[In my opinion, that would make it closer to body temperature than to room temperature. But who am I to dispute an expert?]

Turn down mixer speed to medium and add the butter cubes in small amounts at a time. Wait for each batch to absorb before adding more. Beat for about 10 minutes or until smooth and fluffy. Beat in flavoring until fully incorporated. Spread on cake.

Ta daaaaa

*When boiled in water, sugar becomes concentrated. For 1 cup soft-stage syrup, combine 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons corn syrup, and 1/2 cup water in heavy-bottom saucepan. Stir to dissolve. Bring to simmer and brush down the sides with brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystals from forming. Bubbles get larger. To test for soft-ball stage, use a spoon to put a small amount of hot syrup into a small bowl of ice water then pinch the syrup with thumb and forefinger. Notice the syrup go through stages. First the sugar dissolves in the water so continue boiling. Next it forms a thread between your two fingers, so wait and test again. Eventually it becomes thick enough to roll into a soft ball with consistency of chewed gum. If the sugar hardness completely when you stick it in the water, you’ve gone too far and it reached the hard crack stage. In that case, add a few tablespoons of water to the hot syrup and start testing again. Or, heat to 238℉

br549 said...

Do you know how many cakes and cupcakes I am now going to have to bake in order to test out all the frosting recipies?

kentuckyliz said...

I love to bake but don't very often because everyone is diabetic and/or dieting. Occasionally I will on a Saturday afternoon to take to church in the morning. Plenty of kids to hoover up the evil sugar. Then they go home with their parents and bounce off the walls and I don't have to deal with it. LOL

The flower pic makes me think of Georgia O'Keefe.

I don't feel well this morning, had cocoa with brandy last night and feel cruddy this morning. Rats.

edutcher said...

I presume that's a hothouse bloom (much as yourself).

Either that, or those videos of you schussing across the frozen wastes of Wisconsin are done with a stuntlawprof while you and Meade are wintering in Palm Beach.

Pogo said...

There are few things that can boast of hope for the human condition as sweetly as baking a birthday cake.

Freeman Hunt said...

Wow! Many many thanks! The only proper thing to do is to test all the recipes and eat them. Anyone know the health implications of living on frosting for two weeks? <--That last part was kidding.

Truth again: Really, thanks so much, DBQ, Peter, MamaM, and Chip. Lots of great buttercream frosting information. Will be put to good use. Chip, I'm going to attempt that pro recipe sometime just to taste the difference.

Now I just have to practice my decorating skills to make the cake somewhat resemble Mars or Jupiter. Or maybe I'll just let the cake look like a cake.

lohwoman said...

Louise Spencer recipe is delicious:
1 cup milk
¼ cup flour
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar (granulated)
2 tsp. vanilla

I. Blend the milk and flour and bring to a boil.

II. Cool the milk-flour blend to room temperature.

III. Cream butter and sugar until very fluffy.

IV. Add the vanilla and cooled flour mixture. Beat until very fluffy.

(I whisk the milk and flour in a 2-cup measure and nuke it. Like making a roux.)

Dust Bunny Queen said...

I love to bake but don't very often because everyone is diabetic and/or dieting.

Ditto. So I make cakes that are sweetened with fruit substances (apples, pineapple etc) and dust with powdered sugar. Except when I don't and we just pretend that we are not dieting or that the sugar is invisible.

For making decorations on the cake...you probably have to go with the vegetable shortening recipe as it will hold up well as roses etc. It does have a greasy taste though. I still have my entire Wilton decorating tip set that I used to use when my daughter was small. It is now collecting dust in the cupboard.

Orange butter cream frosting and filling for layered cake

1/2 cup butter
1 lb powdered sugar, sifted
1/4 cup orange juice
4 tsp orange rind, grated
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese
dash salt
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese

Cream butter. Gradually beat in sugar alternating with juice until creamy and smooth. Add the 3 tsp of grated rind, salt and vanilla. Reserve 1/2 cup of frosting.

To make cake filling combine the reserved frosting with the remaining 1 tsp rind and softened cream cheese.

Now I will have to bake a cake tomorrow.

bagoh20 said...

When it comes to cakes and icing:

The important thing is context. If you are just throwing the cake out there like an everyday event then it's offensive and just should not be done. But, if you are discussing cake and icing it's silly, childish and offensive to call it C#ke and ic*ng.

peter hoh said...

If it doesn't turn out, Freeman, there's always Cake Wrecks.

kentuckyliz said...

The teapot on cake wrecks is hysterical.