Happy Thanksgiving eve, friends!
Here's the last element to pull together my Honeycrisp Apple Cake: Salted Caramel Buttercream. For almost all of my wedding cakes, I use a Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I prefer it in texture and flavor to fondant and other frostings, and unlike other buttercreams, it isn't cloyingly sweet. Instead, it offers a beautiful foundation for infusing flavor or natural color, and once you've made it a few times, you'll see that it's super easy to prep.
Beside that addictive salty-sweet flavor, Salted Caramel gives this frosting a warm, earthy hue. Perfect for autumn holiday cakes, am I right?
SALTED CARAMEL BUTTERCREAM
10 large organic egg whites
2 #'s organic, unsalted butter, softened
2 cups organic sugar
3-4 tablespoons salted caramel
- In a medium, heat-safe metal bowl, combine egg whites and sugar over a pot of simmering water.
- Heat sugar and egg white mixture until sugar is completely dissolved and mixture reaches 160 degrees F on a candy thermometer, and then remove bowl from heat.
- To remove any bits of cooked egg white, pour mixture through a fine mesh sieve into the bowl of an electric mixer.
- Once cooled, using the whisk attachment of your electric mixer or electric beaters, beat the meringue mixture until you have stiff, shiny peaks.
- Next, add butter, a few tablespoons at a time until completely incorporated and smooth.
- Add salted caramel, a few tablespoons at a time, until desired color and flavor are achieved.
- Finally, switch to a paddle attachment and beat buttercream for a minute on medium speed to work out air bubbles for the smoothest consistency.
Now that you've got all of the ingredients prepped (and hopefully have a new appreciation for the time and energy involved in a baker's process:), here is how to achieve the look with a full list of tools and resources at the very bottom.
- Using a cake leveler, remove top crumb layer of each cake to get three nice, even cakes
- Fill one piping bag (using your favorite 1/2" piping tip) with 12 ounces of Candy Capy cream cheese frosting
- Fill a second piping bag with salted caramel buttercream
- Reheat caramel sauce in microwave for 30 seconds and then pour into a squeeze bottle for easy drizzling
- Using a cake turn-table, place cake board on top with a dollop of buttercream (which acts as glue for cake).
- Place first layer of cake, centered on cake board, and pipe buttercream around top edge of cake to create a well to trap fillings inside.
- Next, fill inside of well first with salted caramel, then with cream cheese frosting.
- Pop cake in fridge for a few minutes to chill buttercream and then repeat step 3 with next cake layer.
- Then add top layer of cake and pipe buttercream around circumference and over top, smoothing with an offset spatula to completely cover cake.
- To achieve semi-naked cake look, use an Icing Comb and slowly rotate cake on turn-table to remove excess buttercream and reveal cake layers inside.
- Chill in fridge for 10 minutes and finish with a drizzle of salted caramel, fresh apples and Tonewood Maple sugar.