Monday, 16 June 2014

Best Ever Summer Strawberry Frosting


I can't explain how much I love this time of year! I always enjoy late summer for the canning season and the coming of cooler days, but there's something about June that just feels like a new beginning! We often sit out on the porch at night and it's like we've never been outside before, we just can't get enough of it!

This past weekend we attended the Toronto Symphony Orchestra's (TSO's) late night performance. The evening has turned into a bit of a tradition for us, and I'd say this has been the best year yet! Not only were we looking hot :) (Chris wore one of his custom made suits from Vietnam), but the weather was perfect, the symphony- Shosticovick's Symphony No. 5- was dramatic and intense, and we capped off the night with a beer at Bellwood's Brewery!

Anyway, I'm getting a bit off topic, but my point is that I just really like the month of June, and June means local strawberries! Berry season is finally here! There are a few recipes that I have been waiting to share on the 11th apartment, and this is one of them. It is the absolute best-ever strawberry frosting; a decadent buttercream that tastes of super ripe, sun-drenched summer berries. It tastes of the summertime! Use it on cupcakes, on lemon cake, on chocolate fudge brownies, or whatever other dessert that you can dream up!

I came across this recipe a few years ago on a personal blog, Butterflies and Dragonflies, and I've been making it every summer since! I hope you'll try it and enjoy it as much as I have.

The Best-Ever Strawberry Frosting

Ingredients


1/2 cup fresh strawberries {washed and ready to use}
1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter, firm and slightly cold
pinch of coarse salt
3 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Directions

Puree strawberries (do not add water)
In a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and salt on medium speed until light and fluffy
Reduce mixer speed and slowly add icing sugar
Beat until mixture is well combined
Then turn mixer to high speed and mix for 2-3 minutes (until icing is very light and fluffy)
Add vanilla and 4 Tbsp strawberry puree
Mix on low speed until just combined

When blending the strawberries, don't add water. They will break down eventually, just give it a few minutes.
 When baking, I like to use Kosher salt. It has a milder taste and large grain salt. When used in baking, Kosher salt gives a good 'burst' of salty flavor which harmonizes with sweetness. 
 One of the best things about this recipe: you don't have to wait for the butter to come to room temperature! Cold butter works best. Cut 1 cup into a few pieces and blend with the salt.
 To avoid lumpy frosting, sift the icing sugar. Sifting is as simple as passing the sugar through a sieve. 
 In a buttercream frosting like this one, there are 3 key ingredients: butter, sugar and air!
The most important step is mixing the butter and sugar on high speed for a few minutes. Air is whipped into the butter and sugar mixture and the result is a light, fluffy and irresistible frosting.
You may experiment with how much strawberry puree to add. I usually use 3- 5 Tbsp.

That's it! The best-ever strawberry frosting recipe! I hope you'll try it out as we begin our Canadian strawberry season. In Toronto (and without a car) we don't have access to a pick your own berries farm, and that is something I will really miss this summer. Still, I'll be having fun shopping the farmer's market, getting my local berries and turning them into desserts.

Oh, and think of all the substitutions for this recipe! Mango puree, blueberry puree... anything that you can blend, you can turn into a yummy frosting flavour! 


Tomorrow on the blog: a photo step-by-step on how to ice your cake like a pro! 
No more crying into your crumb-filled frosting!

See you then.


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