Suzi's Blog

Champagne Buttercream

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Frostings by Courtney Dial Whitmore and Courtney Whitmore is a slim treasure of a book dedicated to decadence. Frostings in all forms and flavors appear here. I’m fond of buttercreams and prefer them very lightly flavored. I want my frosting subtle, with hinted flavor and with the ability to let me taste the richness of that underlying butter.

This recipe is just my style. This Champagne Buttercream offers the promise of bubbly now suitably encased in butter and sugar. Use the best quality butter you can. Champagne is fine, but Prosecco or Cava or other sparkling wines will give you alternative, but equally rich, experiences.

This Champagne Buttercream atop a classic white layer cake will dominate any summer brunch on your horizon.


Champagne Buttercream

Yield: 4+ cups

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 4 cups [1 pound] powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons champagne

Preparation:

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter for 2 minutes on medium speed. Adjust the speed to low and add the powdered sugar to the butter 1 cup at a time until well incorporated.

Add the vanilla extract and the Champagne. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes. Add ore powdered sugar to thicken the frosting or some milk to loosen.

Source: Frostings by Courtney Dial Whitmore and Courtney Whitmore

Photo Information: Canon T2i, EFS 60 mm Macro Lens, F/2.8 for 1/100th second at ISO‑1000

 

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Lemon Bellini

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“I need you to make cocktails on Thursday. Sparkling cocktails,” Suzen told me last week.

“How many people?”

“32.”

“Oh, time for punch.” I gave my natural reaction. I was not making cocktails for 32 people.

“No, individual cocktails. I suggest you do research.” Apparently I was.

And so I have. For that many people, I needed something different and exciting. And easy. I didn’t want to be squeezing lemons or limes or oranges for 30+ people. I didn’t want to have three or four alcoholic components. I needed volume, production, swiftness.

This is why God has given us sorbet. You get flavor, coldness, and — when slightly softened — scoopability. That’s a technical term that has nothing to do with cat litter.

For that many people, I scaled up, putting  softened sorbet in our Vitamix and processing to get a base for this cocktail. I had seen a recipe for this beverage that called for orange flavored vodka. For this lunchtime event, we wanted a less forceful drink, so I substituted a simple sugar syrup. I added just enough additional champagne to get a “flowing” mixture. You can then simply pour this mixture into each champagne flute, and top off with champagne. Gently stir to mix. Top with the raspberries and savor the bubbles.

Lemon sorbet works perfectly. You can go down another flavor profile: mango, peach, raspberry, … You can even offer up two or three pitchers, each with its own flavor and color.

Be prepared: people drink this readily and happily.

 

Lemon Sorbet Bellini

Yield: enough for at least 10 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 pint lemon sorbet, softened
  • ½ cup simple syrup
  • 1 cup champagne
  • Chilled bottles of champagne [one or more]
  • 1 pint of strawberries

Preparation:

Combine the sorbet with the simple syrup and 1 cup of champagne in a strong blender. Our Vitamix was a godsend here. Process until you have a smooth mixture that is thick but pourable. You may need to adjust the amount of champagne depending on how much you have softened the sorbet. So, I would add the champagne gradually.

Put 2+ tablespoons of this mixture in the bottom of a champagne flute. Fill the flute to the halfway point – or more. Garnish with a raspberry.

Indulge.

Source: Brian O’Rourke