In a heavy bottom saucepan, combine egg yolks, sugar, salt, and cornstarch with a whisk. Scrape the vanilla bean and add it in (or add vanilla bean paste).Pro tip - the mixture will appear dry at first but it will cream as you continue to combine.
Gently pour the whipping cream over whisking constantly to prevent lumps, followed by the milk. Pro tip - Make sure to scrape the sides of the pan to get any dry cornstarch pockets.
Place the saucepan over medium heat and cook stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and comes to a boil. The custard is done when it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Once the custard is ready, remove from heat.Pro tip - It is important not to rush this process as we want the cornstarch to be cooked otherwise the mixture will thicken but taste starchy.
Strain the custard into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap making sure the plastic touches the top surface to prevent skin. Chill on the counter until room temperature. Pro tip - Straining will remove any curdled egg giving a smooth velvety finish to the cream.
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, whip the pastry cream until its light and fluffy with not lumps. Remove it from the bowl and set aside. Pro tip - making sure the pastry cream has not lumps now will ensure a smooth buttercream later. If you find the pastry cream is too stiff add a tablespoon of milk and continue to whip
Using the same bowl of the stand mixer and the paddle attachment, cream the butter until light and fluffy. (there is no need to clean the mixer bowl) Pro tip - make sure the butter is well creamed and becomes light and fluffy. This will ensure we have no lumps and that we have a light and airy buttercream.
Next, gradually add the cooled pastry cream and combine well. Followed by the vanilla extract or any other flavorings
Finally, whip for 3 minutes until you have a soft, creamy, buttery yet light and fluffy buttercream.Pro tip - it is important that you whip the buttercream so it becomes light and fluffy otherwise it will be too soft to pipe or frost on cakes.
Pastry cream or custard base must be cooked until it's thick and coats the back of a spoon. If in doubt cook a minute longer
If the pastry cream is overcooked the eggs will curdle so cook on low heat
A thin consistency of pastry cream will result in a soft buttercream that will not be smooth, spreadable, or pipable.
Pastry cream that is too thick will result in lumps. The best way to take the lumps out is to use a whisk or better yet, place it in a stand mixer and give it a good whip with the whisk attachment.
If you find the pastry cream is too stiff add a tablespoon of milk and continue to whip
Cover the top of the pastry cream well with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming. If a skin forms, it will result in lumpy pastry cream and eventually lumpy buttercream.
Cream buttercream until light and airy. To do this correctly, it is important that the butter is at room temperature but not too soft. Soft butter will cream but not be able to fluffy.
Whip the buttercream until it's light and airy. However, if you live in a warm place do not overdo this whipping as the butter will melt and result in a greasy frosting.
You can adjust sweetness by simply adding a few tablespoons of powdered sugar to make it sweeter.
Do not beat buttercream while it is very chilled. The cold fat in the butter separates from the liquid and the emulsion you just created breaks. Ideally, you can just let the buttercream rest outside the fridge for a while until it's not hard. Or you can use a hairdryer to gently warm the outside of the bowl until you see the edges of the buttercream soften a bit. Then whip it with a paddle attachment.
Always use gel or powdered food colors for any buttercream. The food colors available at the grocery store are liquid-based and not suitable for cake decorating purposes. Hence, they will alter the consistency of your buttercream giving you a runny icing or sometimes even break the buttercream when you add too much
German buttercream is highly perishable and needs to be refrigerated because it contains eggs and milk.
You can keep a cake frosted with GBC for a few hours (3 or 4 hrs) in good weather.
It should be treated just like butter. If left out in high temperature or humidity it will melt like butter.
It can be kept refrigerated for up to 3 to 4 days or frozen for up to 15 days
When frozen it is best thawed in the fridge overnight.
Whip with a paddle attachment for about five minutes to restore consistency.
How to flavor German buttercream
Dark, milk, or white chocolate - Add 200 grams melted and cooled chocolate to 4 cups of GBC, and combine well.
Caramel or salted caramel -Add 1 cup caramel sauce to 4 (to 6) cups of GBC. And for salted add a tablespoon of rock salt, and combine well.
Butterscotch - Add 1 cup of butterscotch sauce to 4 (to 6) cups of GBC.
Lemon - Add ¼ teaspoon lemon juice to 4 (or 6) cups buttercream. You can also add up to ½ if you want a very lemony buttercream. And, 1 teaspoon of zest can also be added if you don't mind the zest in the buttercream. Also, ¼ teaspoon lemon extract will enhance the flavor even more.
Orange - Add ½ cup orange juice, and ¼ teaspoon orange extract to 4 (or 6) cups buttercream. Also, 1 teaspoon orange zest can be added too.
Fruit flavors - blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, strawberry - Add 1 cup fruit puree to 4 (or 6) cups buttercream. I love adding a fruit filling instead, which makes it slightly sweeter, and yet, more vibrant in color.
Dulce de leche - Add 1 cup dulce de leche to 4 (6 cups) buttercream.
Coffee or espresso - Dissolve 1 tablespoon coffee in ¼ cup hot water, or use ¼ cup espresso. Cool completely then add to 4 (or 6) cups of buttercream.
Mocha - Add 200 grams of melted and cooled chocolate to 4 (or 6) cups of coffee GBC.
Peanut butter - Add up to 2 cups of peanut butter to 4 (or 6) cups of buttercream.
The nutrition information and metric conversion are calculated automatically. I cannot guarantee its accuracy. If this data is important to you please verify with your trusted nutrition calculator. Thank you