French Buttercream – this vegan version of the classic frosting recipe is rich and fluffy, and perfect for all of your cake decorating needs, or on a spoon…
I am willing to bet most of spabettie readers have heard of Miyoko Schinner. At this point, even if you are not vegan, you may have heard of her. I am not or exaggerating or being dramatic – everything Miyoko makes is excellent.
I first had the pleasure of meeting Miyoko at a dinner with a large group of friends, several years ago in Portland. Shortly after that, I sampled my first cheese from Miyoko, and immediately exclaimed, “this needs to be everywhere! you know that thing, where people say ‘I’d be vegan except for cheese’? THIS will change that!”
I remember that vividly. It was Miyoko’s brie that did it.
Fast forward a few years later, and luckily for everyone, Miyoko’s cheese is now available – in stores and in her shop online.
Miyoko’s latest project has just hit stores as well – her newest cookbook, The Homemade Vegan Pantry – The Art of Making Your Own Staples just came out yesterday.
Growing up with a mom who started cooking dinner from scratch around 3 o clock each afternoon, I have been looking forward to this book. My childhood kitchen rarely had packaged food – my mom was doing things like rolling pasta dough on the counter and cutting noodles with a knife, and all of our cookies were from scratch.
I have had an advanced copy for a bit now, and once I sat with it and read it cover to cover, I started cooking! First up was the Classic Pancake and Biscuit Mix – which we have used for pancakes three times already – perfect pancakes.
From my recent summertime cherry tree harvest, I have made Jam: The Easy, Cheat Method and also Any-Fruit Chutney, using a lovely combination of those fresh cherries and mango. I love both of these versatile recipes, and will use them often.
This book boasts several milk recipes, a Nice, Thick Nondairy Yogurt and an Amazing Cultured Creamless Sour Cream. There are several classic dressings, a pesto, cheeses, and a meringue.
Breads and crackers and doughs, oh my! Baking mixes and recipes to use with them. Pastas and sauces and Unsteak and Unribs. This book is a powerhouse of kitchen staples, from the basic to the brilliant!
One of my favorites? Butter. Glorious Butterless Butter, to be exact. I had to make that to make the recipe I chose to share, Miyoko’s French Buttercream frosting.
Normally a coconut oil or avocado girl, I have been using this butter ever since first making it. I am on my second batch, having doubled the first. Rich, melty, salty butter.
This stuff on toast? Sublime.
Miyoko’s French Buttercream, on carrot cake cupcakes I made for Mom’s birthday?
Even more sublime. Just the right amount of sweet – natural sweet, you know? Perfectly sweet.
These recipes are easy to follow and have good results.
A note about cocoa butter – to find it in stores, you may have look outside the food aisles. I find mine in the health / pharmacy section, look for ‘food grade’ or simply 100% cocoa butter on the label.
Also, for the oil in this French Buttercream recipe, I used refined coconut.
YIELD: 5-6 cups, enough to fill and frost an 8- or 9- inch 2 layer cake
dairy, egg, and gluten free, vegan
1 cup water
1/2 cup cashews
1/2 cup organic sugar
1 cup oil
4 ounces cocoa butter, melted
8 ounces unsalted Glorious Butterless Butter (recipe below)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier, Kirschwasser, Frangelico, rum, or other liqueur
In a blender, combine water, cashews, and sugar, blend until creamy and smooth. Add the oil and cocoa butter, blend again to emulsify to a creamy consistency. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 to 3 hours; it will firm up a bit.
Using an electric mixer, whip in the butter a tablespoon or two at a time, until light, fluffy, and increased in volume by 30 to 50 percent. Finally, add the vanilla and liqueur and mix to blend. If it does not whip up and become fluffy, it is not cold enough; return to refrigerator for 2 to 3 hours, then rewhip until you have mounds of fluffy buttercream.
Use right away to decorate your layers or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using. You can also freeze this buttercream for 3 to 4 months.
Glorious Butterless Butter
YIELD: 1 pound (about 2 cups)
dairy, egg, and gluten free, vegan
1 1/2 cups melted refined coconut oil (not extra virgin coconut oil)
1/2 cup nondairy milk*
1/4 cup canola, grapeseed, or light olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons liquid lecithin (see note)
*or Creamy Soy Milk (page 51), Cashew Milk (page 53), Almond Milk (page 54), or Cashew Cream (page 56)
lecithin note: Lecithin is an emulsifying agent generally derived from soybeans. It will help mix oil and water and prevent separation. If you can find only lecithin granules, you’ll need to use two to four times the amount of the liquid lecithin called for.
Place all of the ingredients in a blender and process at medium speed for about 1 minute. Pour into a container of your choice – something made of silicone is great, as it will pop out easily, but any storage container will do (line with wax paper first for easy removal).
Set it in the refrigerator for a few hours until hard or in the freezer to expedite hardening. This glorious butter substitute will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 weeks or many months in the freezer.
Cultured Butter: Replace the nondairy milk with 1/2 cup plain nondairy yogurt, or add 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to the nondairy milk.
Really Hard Butter: This is helpful for making puff pastry, croissants, and the like. Increase the coconut oil to 2 1/2 cups or substitute deodorized cocoa butter for 1/2 cup of the coconut oil.
Whipped Butter: Increase the canola oil by 1 tablespoon and process at high speed in the blender for about 2 minutes to incorporate as much air as possible.
Unsalted Butter: This is often called for in buttercreams and some desserts. Simply omit the salt!
Reprinted from THE HOMEMADE VEGAN PANTRY Copyright © 2015 by Miyoko Schinner. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
recipe using Miyoko’s cheese: Double Cream Garlic Herb Mushroom Pie