I usually use a water icing for cupcakes (icing sugar and water) but having recently bought a piping set I'd like to try and pimp them up a bit by piping the icing on. Do I use a buttercream icing? Can anyone give me a list of ingredients and measurements please? Gracias.
3 Tbsp plain flour 4 fl. oz /120mls milk (semi-skimmed gives the best result, skimmed is fine too!) 4 oz butter (I use unsalted) 4 oz caster sugar 1 tsp vanilla extract
Whisk together the flour and milk and cook in a small saucepan over medium heat until thick. This will only take a few minutes. Sir continuously to prevent the mixture from clumping and do not bring all the way to a boil. When thickened (consistency will be that of thick custard), strain into a small bowl in case any lumps remain, cover with clingfilm and leave to cool completely to room temperature. When the milk mixture is cool, using the beater attachment (k-beater on a Kenwood, or equivalent), cream the butter and sugar together as you would for a cake. Add in the milk/flour mixture and the flavouring and beat at high speed with an electric mixer for 7 minutes (use the beater attachment, not the whisk), until light and fluffy (don't worry if it curdles initially when you add the milk, it will re-combine!).
This is very creamy and not too sweet, so will take all sorts of flavours really well.
for enough to generously decorate 12 to 15 cupcakes with vanilla buttercream you will need 250g butter, 500g icing sugar, 2 tbsp milk, 1tsp vanilla extract. Leave the butter out of the fridge for at least an hour before you start to allow it to soften a little. Use an electric whisk. Whisk the butter in a bowl until it's really smooth and soft and the colour starts to lighten, then add the milk and vanilla extract and whisk again until fully combined and the mixture is smooth again, then gradually add the icing sugar using a spoon first to avoid an icing sugar cloud covering your kitchen, then whisk for a few minutes till light and creamy.