I know, you think I’ve gone mad. But, I haven’t. This is a very old recipe, one before the days of cream cheese icing. I thought I’d share it with you because my Swiss Buttercream Recipe gets so many lovely comments.
Ermine frosting has a similar texture to the Swiss Buttercream but, it’s easier to make.
Both Swiss Buttercream and this Ermine Buttercream are creamy and silky in texture. They’re also not as sweet as American Buttercream, and that’s a plus for me.
This is a recipe I learnt way back. I’d almost forgotten about it until recently when I was writing a post on making white sauces, and the reasons why learning the technique of making a roux was important. OK, so it’s not technically a roux because, for that, you start with fat and flour and cook that out. It is similar though, but you need to know how to avoid lumps.
Why would you make a cooked flour-based buttercream?
The texture and taste of this “roux-like” buttercream is not unlike my swiss buttercream recipe, and that’s a huge hit. However, this one doesn’t use eggs. That’s got to be a bonus these days for taking cakes to school. I know there are so many egg allergies out there these days. It’s also not super sweet, so you won’t find people scraping back the buttercream to get to the cake. In fact, I find I need to portion it out so every bit of cake gets a decent amount. ??? Anyway, let’s get on with it.
This is a very simple buttercream, but of course, there are rules. If you’ve had issues making swiss meringue, then try this one. I’m sure you love it.
Pain Points of a flour-based Buttercream.
- Make your thickened flour/milk mix and allow it to completely cool (even a little chilled is OK) before adding it to the whipped butter. (follow my recipe instructions)
- Make sure your butter cubes are chopped into 2cm or smaller pieces and are cold for the Thermomix method or around 15 min out of the fridge for the Conventional method (follow my recipe instructions)
- When adding the roux-type mixture to the whipped butter/sugar, lift and scrape the mix from the base and sides of the bowl halfway through mixing to make sure it’s all combined.
- If you’ve completed the recipe and your mix still looks a little lumpy or grainy, mix a bit more until it becomes smooth. You can over-whip it, though so watch for that. Overwhipping can cause the butter to soften too much; to avoid that chill it in the fridge.
- I’m going to say this again, because the people that have made my swiss meringue and have had problems, often missed this bit. Make sure the thickened flour/milk mix is cold before adding it to the butter. If you don’t, you will risk melting the butter, which will ruin our buttercream. (You can try to recover it by chilling and whipping it again, but it’s just not quite the same….)
What can I use this frosting on?
- Cakes toppings and fillings
- Cupcakes toppings
- Biscuit fillings
- Use it as the glue for cake balls instead of cream cheese
- Traybake toppings
- Sweet loaf Toppings
- Macaron fillings
- Swiss roll fillings
How to Store Ermine Frosting
If you’re making your frosting and planning on using it within a week. You’ll need to refrigerate it in a sealed container to prevent it from taking on other flavours. When you want to use it, just remove it from the fridge and whip it back to a pipeable or spreadable texture.
You can also freeze this sort of icing, make sure it’s in a sealed container and it will be OK for around 3 months. When ready to use it, just bring it to room temperature and whip it to a pipeable consistency. Be careful though, if you overwhip, your butter it may get too soft, and your buttercream will be too runny. As with most buttercreams, It’s the chilled butter that makes this icing stiffer.
Want to know more about Buttercream?
• Here’s my swiss buttercream recipe; it’s loved by many.
• We talk more about buttercreams in our Bake Club Online seasons. If you’re into baking, maybe this is something you’d enjoy.
Place it in the fridge and give it at least an hour. I like to spread it out in a bowl, so it chills quickly.
Yes, of course, you can use it as you would any buttercream. Have fun and play.
It’s the thickened (cooked out) flour and milk. It gives a lovely texture to the butter and sugar.
No, it shouldn’t. If you’re referring to sugar granules, it can be whipped a few seconds more to remove them but make sure it stays chilled. Did you use caster sugar (with its small grains)?
Before using it, it can be stored in the fridge or freezer in an airtight container. Up to a week in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.
Ermine Frosting (Flour Buttercream)
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- Thermomix or Standmixer
- 50 g flour
- 250 g full cream milk Swap to plant based milk for vegetarian
- ¼ tsp flaked salt or ⅛ tsp table salt
- 10 g vanilla extract 2 tsp
- 250 g unsalted butter small cold cubes
- 200 g caster sugar
Themomix Method: Read my post for tips
- Add the flour and milk to the TM bowl with the MC out set 10 minutes/100°C/speed 2.5 As soon as the TM stops remove the mix from the bowl and set aside to cool. Place a cartouche (layer of clingfilm or baking paper) on the top of the mix to prevent a crust from forming.
- When the thickened milk/flour mix has cooled completely, add the cold cubes of butter, sugar, salt and vanilla to the TM bowl and mix for 30 seconds/speed 6. No more than this, and make sure the butter has come straight from the fridge.
- Lift the butter from the base of the bowl and scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the cold thickened milk/flour mix to the TM bowl and mix again 10 seconds/speed 6
- Remove the lid, and using a spatula lift the mix from the base of the bowl and scrape down the sides. Add the butterfly and set the TM for 5 seconds/speed 3.5. Check to see if everything is well combined, if not lift and scrape down then repeat. 5 seconds/speed 3.5 Don't over mix
Conventional Method: Read my post for tips
- Add the flour and a touch of milk to a saucepan, mix to make a paste, then add a touch more and mix, keep adding the milk like this until it's all combined with no lumps.
- Set the saucepan on the stove and heat on a medium heat constantly stirring until the mix has thickened. This should take around 8 – 10 minutes. Then remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
- Once the flour/milk mix has completly cooled continue on. Add the butter, sugar, salt and vanilla to a stand mixer and beat until completely combined. Add the thickened milk/flour mix bit by bit while the mixer is running, scraping down and lifting from the base where necessary. Continue to mix until light and fluffy.
- If you have a hot kitchen, you can even go as far as chilling your thickened milk mix, which should be not warmer than room temp (21c). The slightest warmth will soften your butter too much.
- Your butter should be small, cold cubes straight from the fridge for the Thermomix and a few minutes out of the fridge for stand mixers, so it’s soft enough for the paddle attachment to whip.
- The more you beat it, the softer it will become, so don’t overbeat. If it starts to soften, quickly pop it back in the fridge to chill before going on.
- You can add colour and flavour to this buttercream just as you would any other.
- I’ve found the easiest way to make this is to make the thickened milk one day, chill it overnight and finish it off the next day.
- If you’ve joined bake club with us and want to return to the buttercream module, you can find it here.
Want to know more?
Join us for Bake Club Online?