SweetologyToday was the day I decided to take the plunge into Swiss meringue buttercream. It is definitely more labor intensive than making royal icing, but I have been intrigued by it for quite some time - besides, I love to use a bain marie (really just a double boiling method, but bain marie is more fun to say). Lots of egg whites with sugar being whisked over the bain marie, beating the concoction for ten minutes with the whisk attachment of my mixer, dropping chunk by chunk an insane amount of butter, more beating, adding vanilla, and you guessed it, more beating. A lot of work and messy bowls, but this stuff is fantastic. It is light as a feather and yet rich. It holds its form and is very easy to work with. The only trouble I encountered was that it didn't take colors nearly as well as royal icing. I had to use tons of amerigel and didn't really get the vibrant colors I was after.
And now for my inspiration. I adore primroses in the spring. They are sturdy, sweet, and effusive in their brilliant show of color. Mine are peeking through the ground but haven't bloomed yet, so I had to take a quick trip to a local nursery to cheat a little and get one in bloom. I decided to use my Swiss meringue to pipe (I use the term pipe loosely - I am a newbie at any kind of cake decorating skills) primroses all over the tops of cupcakes. To further the springlike feel, I decided to add a little surprise to make the cuppies extra fun. You won't see it till you bite into it. I can't take even a little credit for the surprise - lots of FABULOUS bloggers use this trick. One of these uber baking stars is Amanda at I Am Baker. This woman is not only unbelievably talented and creative, but also has four little ones at home. She manages to awe me with every post. So this is my homage to primroses in spring, Martha Stewart Swiss meringue, and Amanda at I Am Baker.