Recipes: Orange Meringue Buttercream on Dark Chocolate

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I received The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum as a Christmas gift a few years back. I love how detailed Rose is when it comes to baking. She is very specific with every step and stresses the importance of certain ingredients, she also provides all of her measurements in weights. One of my favorite recipes from her book is the burnt orange silk meringue buttercream. It is a heavenly combination of caramel with orange overtones and is an excellent compliment to a dark chocolate cake!

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This took me hours to prepare in one evening, so I’d recommend splitting up the steps if you can.

Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream
Adapted from Rose Levy Beranbaum’s The Cake Bible

Ingredients:
Caramel Creme Anglaise
1/2 cup (3.5 oz) sugar
5 large egg yolks
1 cup (8.5 oz) milk
1 large vanilla bean, split lengthwise or 1 tsp vanilla
Italian Meringue
1/3 cup plus 2 tbsp (3.25 oz) sugar
2 tbsp (1 oz) water
2 large egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 cups (16 oz) unsalted butter, softened
Additions
1 tbsp orange concentrate (reduce 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice to 1 tbsp)
1 tbsp orange zest

Directions:
Prepare the caramel creme anglaise. Have ready a sieve suspended over a bowl, near the range. In a small saucepan bring the milk and vanilla to a boil, and keep warm. In a heavy pan combine 1/2 cup sugar with 2 tbsp water and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook without stirring until deep amber (360 degrees F). Remove immediately from the heat and slowly pour in the hot milk, reserving the vanilla bean. Return to low heat and cook, stirring, until the caramel is completely dissolved. Place the egg yolks in a medium-size heavy saucepan. Add 2 tablespoons of the caramel milk mixture to the yolks, stirring constantly. Gradually add the remaining milk mixture, stirring, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until just below the boiling point. The mixture will start to steam slightly, a thermometer should register 170 degrees F. Strain immediately into the sieve. Allow to cool to room temperature then store in the fridge.

Prepare the Italian Meringue. In a small heavy saucepan combine 1/3 cup sugar and the 2 tbsp of water. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low or remove from heat. In a mixing bowl beat the egg whites until foamy. Add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 tablespoons sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until a thermometer registers 248 to 250 degrees F. Beat the syrup into the egg whites in a steady stream. Be careful to not allow the syrup to fall on the beaters. Lower speed to medium and continue beating until completely cool (about 2 minutes).

Complete the Buttercream. Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed for 30 seconds or until creamy. Gradually beat in the creme anglaise until smooth. Add the Italian Meringue and beat until just incorporated. Beat in the orange concentrate and orange zest.

Dark Chocolate Cupcake
Adapted from Ina Garten’s chocolate cupcake

Ingredients:
12 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup brown sugar
2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk, at room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tbsp brewed coffee
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder (valrhona)
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line cupcake pans with paper liners.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugars on high speed until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium, add the eggs 1 at a time, then add the vanilla and mix well. In a separate bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, sour cream, and coffee. In another bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. On low speed, add the buttermilk mixture and the flour mixture alternately in thirds to the mixer bowl, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Mix only until blended. Fold the batter with a rubber spatula to be sure it’s completely blended.Divide the batter among the cupcake pans (1 rounded standard ice cream scoop). Bake in the middle of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, remove from the pans, and allow to cool completely before frosting.