Robicelli’s French Buttercream

I have just finished reading Robicelli’s: A Love Story, with Cupcakes, cover to cover. The book is laugh out loud funny and the cupcakes are insanely good. This is one of the only cookbooks I have read lately that I absolutely could not put down. Most of the time you look through a cookbook and mark some recipes you would like to make. I plan on making all of the 50 cupcakes in this book (I have chicken marinating in buttermilk in the fridge right now for the Chicken n’ Waffles cupcake, yes I know, sounds crazy!) The Robicelli’s will change your mind about what a cupcake should be. Go buy this book!

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To provide a complete review of the book, I have only one criticism. All the recipes were converted from weights to volume measurements to make things easier for home cooks. I really wish the weights were listed as well. It is actually easier and more accurate to measure ingredients by weight and makes halving or doubling recipes way easier. But as far as complexity of the recipes and ingredients, everything in the book is reasonable. You will not be missing many of these ingredients if you already have a pantry stocked for Bubbly Kitchen recipes. I did not use the xantham gum for my buttercream, but when the eastern NC summer heat hits, I will probably start adding the xantham for stability.

Every frosting recipe in the book is based on the oh so exquisite French Buttercream. This recipe is life changing. I will admit the recipe does require a lot more work than most frostings. It will seem very time consuming to add in 1 1/2 pounds of butter piece by piece. But this buttercream is well worth it. The book suggests that this recipe would frost 24 cupcakes but it actually produced enough frosting for 36 cupcakes for me. I ended up freezing the leftover buttercream. I thawed this at room temperature, whipped it up in the mixer, and it was just as fabulous. This really freezes so well. If you have one of the larger kitchenaid mixers, do not hesitate to double this recipe.

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French Buttercream
Makes enough for 24-36 cupcakes

1 cup water
2 cups sugar
2 tbsp corn syrup
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
5 egg yolks
1 whole egg
1/8 tsp xantham gum
1 1/2 lbs cold unsalted butter

In a heavy saucepan, combine the water, sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar. Cook this over high heat with a candy thermometer in place. You will cook your sugar to 235 degrees.
While this is cooking (it takes some time) place the egg yolks and egg in the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix the eggs on high, leave them alone while you keep a close eye on your sugar. You cannot over-mix the eggs.

When the sugar is 235 degrees, slow the mixer down and add the xantham gum to the eggs. Turn the mixer back to medium speed, pour the sugar in a thin stream down the side of the mixer bowl into the eggs. (I was scared the first time and actually used a metal measuring cup as a scoop to combine half the sugar with the eggs so they didn’t scramble.)

After all the sugar has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed. Beat the mixture until it is cool to the touch. Change to the paddle attachment (This is important!). Add the cold butter by slicing off thin pieces, adding each piece one at a time.

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