Curtesy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking, this is a duel recipe for a creamy filling and a traditional French buttercream, both very simple and delicious. They go perfectly with the Orange and Almond Sponge Cake from the same cookbook. The original recipe recommends whipping the mixture by hand, but I'm just going to assume Julia Child had guns of steel and knew her way with a whisk better than I ever will, so I just use my stand mixer.
Ingredients for Orange-butter Filling:
-1 stick of unsalted butter
- rind of 1 orange
-1/4 cup strained orange juice
-1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs + 2 extra yolks
-1 Tb orange liqueur (optional)
1. Place all of the ingredients in a sauce pan over a low-medium heat. Beat with a whisk constantly, so that the eggs don't scramble.
2. Beat the mixture until it begins to thicken, almost like honey, and steam just begins to rise from the surface. It should feel hot to the touch.
3. Pour the hot mixture immediately into a cold bowl sitting in ice water, and whisk vigorously until the mixture cools.* I placed mine in a mixer bowl I had just taken out of the freezer, but when that didn't last, I used a random bag of ice we had in the freezer. My roommates wonderfully refrained from laughing at me as I rubbed the sides of bowl with ice like a crazy person.
4. When the mixture has completely cooled, it will be thick but runny, almost like Hollandaise sauce. Spread it between the layers of a cake, or use as filling in cupcakes, or drizzle it over scones. Use only half and save the rest for the Orange Buttercream (or just use all of it, your choice).
*It runs, so putting it on top of a cake doesn't work quite so well, unless you want it too look like this:
|Attempt #1, October 2013|
Instructions for Orange Buttercream:
1) Take the cool Orange-butter filling from above and add an extra stick of softened butter. Beat with paddle attachment or a hand mixer until it's pale, thick, and fluffy.
It looks like this on a cake...
Voila! Two great fillings and/or toppings to add moisture and sweetness to any cake.