Friday, December 31, 2010

French buttercream for macarons and cupcakes

Oh wow, and it's now the last day of 2010. Thank gosh. I must say that it hasn't been a very good year for me...but oh well, as long as I'm well-fed (too well-fed in fact), healthy, alive, I really shouldn't be mumbling or grousing much...

2010 has been a tremendously busy year for my oven, and sadly, it finally gave up on me (or was it the other way round hmmmm...), so we replaced it with a new one! I must say that I'm falling more and more in love with the new one day by day. It takes only 10 minutes pre heating time (compared to 20-30 minutes for the ol' one!), the temperature is reasonably correct (the ol' wonky one was off by 10 degrees higher!), oh oh oh, new things always seem so much better, shinier and prettier, don't you think so? (:

Coconut mango passionfruit macarons

2010 has not only been a busy year from my oven, it has also been an eventful year for my...stomach. Haha. New tastes, new ingredients, new restaurants... It has been a year of "the first time I..." - such as here, here or here.

Anyway, as the year comes to an end, here's some macarons and cupcakes for the final post of the year. I made these a while ago, with the macarons as part of the favours I mentioned in my earlier post. As I mentioned earlier in my Christmas macarons post, I was experimenting with French buttercream. I read online that it uses egg yolks (super to use up the tons of yellow rounds that are always found in my fridge) and decided to gave it a try.

Coconut macaron shells

Since the macaron shells were coconut flavoured, I decided that I wanted fruity to complement the coconut tones. I wanted to finish up some mango puree I had in the freezer and decided to reduce the puree over the stove to thicken it. With the freezer open, I saw my tub of passionfruit puree inside, and on a whim, decided to add some to the mango puree cooking on the stove. When the puree mixture had thickened, I removed it from the stove and left it to cool before starting on the buttercream.

I used a basic French buttercream recipe (method is similar to making Italian/Swiss buttercream, just that it uses the yolks instead of whites) I found online. I added in the cooled puree at the end and beat it for a few seconds to combine the flavours. I sneaked a lick and oh my, yummilicous!

A trayful of tropical macarons 

I had some leftover buttercream after piping the macarons, and I hated to see the tasty thing go to waste. So I decided to bake up some cupcakes to pair the buttercream with. A couple of years ago, my Sister bought me my first baking book, when I first started to be interested in baking. The book, "Crazy About Cupcakes" by Krystina Castella, was aptly about well, cupcakes (I used to be in love with those small pretty cakes - who weren't?). I havn't been flipping through it for ages, and so I decided to pick a recipe from it. I was thinking a plain vanilla flavour would really go well with the buttercream, and eventually decided on her Golden cupcakes recipe.

The cupcakes were really easy to make, and they bake up so prettily too. Not to mention that the flavour was pretty good. Soft tender crumbs with a slight hint of vanilla. I can easily see myself making this my to-go vanilla cupcake recipe. It doesn't hurt that vanilla cupcakes are easy to jazz up, just bake up a big batch, and add a little citrus zest, or spices, or cocoa powder, or whatever you fancy to half of the batter and you'll have a different cupcake in each hand!

Vanilla cupcakes with leftover buttercream

Vanilla cupcakes (adapted from Krystina Castella's "Golden cupcakes" recipe in Crazy about cupcakes)
(makes 6 regular cupcakes)
56g unsalted butter, room temperature
115g granulated sugar
1 large egg, separated, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
85g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat the oven to 175°C.
Cream together butter and sugar using electric mixer on medium speed beat until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add the egg yolk and beat well. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.
Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl.
Alternate adding the dry ingredients and milk to creamed mixture, mix well until combined.
With clean beaters, beat the egg white on high speed till stiff peaks form. With a rubber spatula. gently fold the egg white into the batter.
Fill the cupcake liners one-half to three-quarters full. Bake for about 15–25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean. Cool cupcakes in the pan.


  1. lemonpi: it taste really fruity-ish! u shld try it :)

  2. Aren't these delightful! These little drops of heaven look divine, well done! Buttercream is always a welcomed part of a dessert.

  3. Whoa. Mango and passionfruit buttercream sounds amazing!

  4. Gorgeous photography, loving this post :)

    Happy 2011

    La Roquette

  5. Dear Michelle,
    Do you mind posting the coconut mango pssionfruit macarons recipe? Thank you so much!


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