You know how when you have lemon icing it is…underwhelming? It tastes kind of fakey and chalky. And then you’re sad. Same goes for key lime. Or any other tangy goodness, for that matter. The sharp wonderfulness of citrus seems to get muted by all the powdered sugar and butter and Other Stuff. A teaspoon of extract and some zest is just not enough to cut through the creamy sweetness.
Well, citrus lovers. Be sad no more. I am Here to Help, and I have devised a citrus frosting with every bit of zing that a citrus lover could want. Seriously. Remember back when I made the flour based frosting for a birthday cake? I Opined at the time that this method could work very well with citrus. Just substitute citrus juice for the milk and go from there.
Yesterday, I made that Happen, and I am here to tell you that I have found the Citrus Buttercream Promised Land. And now, I shall share it with you. Make this. You will Love It.
- 3/4 cup citrus juice (I used Nelly&Joe's key lime this time)
- 3/4 cup sugar (to taste, I added an extra 1 1/2 tablespoons this time)
- 1 whole egg (optional, but I added it for richness and to tame some of the Tang)
- 3 Tablespoons all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon salt (it needs it--but use it to taste. Just don't leave salt out. Ever).
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla (optional. I used it for a hint of Mellow)
- 1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter , soft but not melty
- Put the juice, sugar, egg, flour and salt into a heavy bottomed sauce pan.
- Heat over medium-high heat, whisking quickly and constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil.
- Let boil for about 1 minute, still madly whisking, and then pour through a fine-mesh strainer into a bowl.
- Press all of it through the strainer with a flexible rubber or silicone spatula, making sure to scrape any that is sneakily sticking to the underside of the strainer.
- Press plastic wrap onto the surface of your pudding (that's what it is, after all), and cool to room-ish temperature in the fridge.
- Scrape your pudding into the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
- With the mixer on medium, add the butter, a tablespoon at a time, incorporating each addition before adding the next. Scrape the bowl and beaters often.
- When all the butter is in, whip in the vanilla and beat on high speed for a minute or two to lighten the texture just a bit. Taste and add additional salt, if necessary.
I found that the flavor mellowed and matured in the fridge overnight. You can frost your cake immediately, but I'd recommend waiting until the following day to serve it. Also, you can just refrigerate the frosting immediately and then ice and serve your cake the next day. Make sure to re-whip the frosting once it comes to room temperature.
So, for all of you looking for a Remarkably Citrus-y Frosting, you need look no more.
You’re welcome, and have a lovely day.