Monday, 18 February 2013

Colouring and Flavouring Buttercream - The un-natural way

Basic buttercream has a great flavour, but you might want to jazz it up a bit with colourings and flavourings.

There are two ways you can do this, both naturally and un-naturally.

We'll cover the un-natural way here. I'll go into fruit buttercream at a later date.

I don't mind using un-natural colourings and flavourings. It's fairly quick and easy to get the colour and flavour you want by buying readily available products. You can get a brightly coloured finish using paste / gel colourings, but this is more difficult to achieve using natural ingredients. The downside, though, there are added e-numbers that some may want to avoid.

To colour buttercream un-naturally, you'll need:

Ingredients for your required quantity of buttercream, minus the vanilla (see Basic Buttercream and Cupcake Piping.)
Paste / Gel colour of your choice
Cocktail Stick
Flavouring Essence / Extract of your choice.

Start mixing the buttercream as detailed in Basic Buttercream and Cupcake Piping

Once the butter has been beaten and half of the sugar has been mixed in, add a small amount of your chosen colour to the mix using a cocktail stick. Beat and add the rest of the sugar.

Add more colouring if needed.

The colour will "develop" and deepen a little once the buttercream has been stood, so don't worry if you're struggling to get a rich colour.
Add your chosen liquid flavouring and beat until well incorporated. If the mixture is too stiff, add a little milk or water (a teaspoon at a time so you don't go too far!) and beat to loosen it off.
Your buttercream is now ready to use.
More and more flavours are available in supermarkets now. You can get strawberry, orange, mint, almond, vanilla - the list goes on!
The cupcakes at the top of the page were piped using a double piping bag. The pink icing was strawberry flavoured and the white icing was vanilla buttercream.
These cupcakes were made using vanilla buttercream and Ateco Electric colourings. They were much brighter than the picture shows though!

Here is another picture of the pink one:

There are endless colour combinations you can experiment with - let your imagination be your guide!


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