How to Make Sunshine on a Cloudy Day (Cooked Seven Minute Frosting)

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Here’s the DLC to the entry for white cake cupcakes. This is also where I flipped my Kool-aid (or at least spiked a cupcake into a bowlful of icing in a fit of frustration).

But don’t let that scare you! Seven minute frosting  is actually not that hard. Just avoid the bone-headed mistake I made.

The thing about meringues (and this frosting is basically a variety of meringue) is that they are mortal enemies with fat. Like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns. And like the Browns’ defensive line, meringue will just disintegrate in the face of fat.

For this reason, you will need a quarantine bowl. As you separate each egg white, deposit it into the quarantine dish to inspect for egg yolks. This will save you from a big batch of spoiled egg whites if a yolk breaks.

This is where things went sideways for me the first time. If you look back at the white cake recipe you will see a jar of lemon curd. When my plan was to make a proper cake I was going to use it between the layers of cake. When I switched to cupcakes (the easier to foist off the leftovers) I had the brilliant idea of using the curd as a filling for the cupcake.

If you make lemon curd, you can see the incoming disaster.

See, lemon curd is made with butter. Butter is fat. And this frosting is in no way stable enough to deal with any fat. Within a minute of dipping the contaminated spreader back into the bowl of frosting it began deflating and disintegrating like Duck Dodgers with a faulty ACME ray gun. (And brother, when it disintegrates, it disintegrates.) But this isn’t when the cupcake got spiked.

Hey, the failures are more entertaining than the successes right?

So I cleaned everything super well (make sure you rinse because soap will also kill the fluffy egg whites) and made another batch. The first six turned out beautifully and since I wanted to make a cloud-like appearance I used some of Wilton’s Color Mist spray. On the one hand, the product works just like it says on the tin. On the other hand something in it (my suspicion is the glycerine) makes the frosting collapse. And once again my bowl of frosting began to deflate and curdle as particulate from the spray drifted into the main batch of the frosting. Trying to remove the suspected contamination did nothing to save the frosting.

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Here you can see how the spray affected the frosting in the bowl. Like spray paint on Styrofoam – it’s lost it’s glossiness and significant structural integrity

This is when the cupcake somehow got spiked into the frosting. Don’t worry, Colin rescued it and made sure it had a good home. Then he sprayed the frosting spray directly into his mouth. Based on his expression I do not recommend you do this at home.

The cupcakes are finished with a slice of kumquat to give a bright acidity to cut some of the sweet-on-sweet – as well as providing the sunshiney element.

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The vanilla was off with the cake ingredients

Cooked Seven Minute Frosting

Procs: Enough for a two-layer 8 inch cake

Time: . . . . Seven minutes? (okay, closer to 10)

Challenge Rating: 1/2

Equipment:

  • Hand Mixer
  • Medium-sized saucepan
  • Metal mixing bowl

Mats:

  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 Cup of Water
  • 1 Cup + 2 Tbsp of Sugar
  • 1/4 Tsp of Cream of Tartar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tsp of Clear Vanilla Flavoring (you can use regular vanilla extract but clear flavoring will make the frosting bright white)

Walkthrough:

  1. Set the medium-sized saucepan on the stove and bring to a brisk simmer. You only need about two inches of water. Make sure that it doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl when the bowl is set on top.
  2. Put a folded kitchen towel on the counter as a landing spot for the bowl.
  3. Combine egg whites, water, sugar, salt, and cream of tartar in the bowl. Whisk until combined.
  4. Put the bowl over the simmering water and whisk for 5 minutes, increasing the speed gradually until the miser is at high speed. The mixture will grow in volume and become fluffy and glossy.
  5. Move the bowl to the towel and mix for another 2 minutes.
  6. Add the vanilla extract and mix until it is incorporated

This can be made three hours ahead of time and kept covered in the fridge until the cakes are ready. But I figure as long as you have to wait for the cakes to cool you might as well do it then.

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