Orange Cake – Frosting
As I mentioned, I started with Italian Buttercream.
1 ¼ cups sugar
⅔ cup water – room temperature
5 egg whites
pinch cream of tartar
2 cups unsalted butter – room temperature cut into Tbls
1 tsp vanilla extract
Bring sugar and water to a boil until 240 degrees.
While sugar is cooking, separate eggs. Beat whites until foamy; add cream of tartar; beat until stiff, but not dry.
With mixer running, add syrup slowly and steadily. Avoid the sides of the bowl or it will crystalize. Beat on high until steam stops – about 5 minutes.
Add butter 1 Tbl at a time, beat until smooth, 4-5 minutes. Beat in vanilla, scrape sides; beat for another minute.
[Note: The recipes are all copied, then italicized, from the family cookbook. “From” is who in the family contributed it. “Source” is from whence he got it. Last names have been removed for this blog.]
I found this recipe while trying to make Oreos. It was suggested as the filling. It’s a great frosting – and fun to make because boiling sugar! – but too soft for Oreo filling; it squeezes out when you bite into the cookie. Fondant works much better (we’ll get to that when I try to cover a cake in it).
As mentioned, six egg whites turns it into runny icing, which doesn’t “ice” as it cools. I tried adding confectioner’s sugar (is that too pretentious? aka “powdered sugar”) and even some cornstarch (it’s in fondant, it must be thickening with sugar, right?). This made it really, really sweet, but had no thickening effect. I wanted orange frosting, so I dumped a jar of orange marmalade into the half that I didn’t use to frost the not-cake second attempt. Needless (?) to say, that didn’t thicken it, either.
For the fourth attempt, I sort-of went with the frosting in the Williams-Sonoma version:
Orange Cream Cheese Frosting
[halving this is recommended]
1 lb cream cheese – room temperature
16 Tbl unsalted butter (½ pound/2 sticks) – room temperature
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 tsp orange blossom extract
[I substituted a ½ jar (9 oz) of orange marmalade; it worked fine and the bitter taste was welcome.]
Beat cream cheese until smooth. Add butter and beat until smooth. Continue beating, adding 1 cup of sugar at a time. Add orange extract. [I started with the marmalade.]
This worked just fine and the bits of orange peel are aesthetically pleasing, as you will soon see…