It's been eons since I baked anything. My mug cakes obviously don't count. At least to me they don't.
And since baking has become such a luxury (because that means I get to spend some me-time rekindling my relationship with my old time love), I've always wanted to save it for a special occasion.
Since I woke up really early that Saturday morning when we convened at Da's house, I got right to work in the kitchen.
I got all my ingredients out of the fridge to bring them to room temperature and while waiting, I managed to get loads of ironing done.
By the time I was done, my ingredients were more or less ready. So, I got to beating my butter... all 300 grams of butter... by hand with a whisk!
And that's when I realised how crazy I was to think that I could beat the butter without a mixer.
Yes, not even a hand mixer!
After a while, realising that it was an impossible feat, I "improvised" by melting the butter (all the time with fingers crossed!) hoping that everything would turn out well eventually.
Managed to mix everything well, and then I put my cake batter in the oven to bake.
Since I was in the midst of rekindling my relationship with my long lost love, I figured that this was obviously the right time to try out a new buttercream recipe... which if you're used to baking, you'd know how crazy of an idea it is if you're without a mixer.
I knew the idea was crazy but hey, what's 2 sticks of butter compared to the 300 grams I initially attempted? I could surely beat 2 sticks without fail right? And right I was!
I googled for some tips for the perfect buttercream and got to work.
Basically, I woke up every single muscle in my hand and got them to work (hard!).
And you know what? The end result made it all worth it.
So glad that my buttercream was finally not too soft to hold itself and that by the time we got to our destination, it didn't look like this -
A long way to go to become a bakerella, but once my boy's a bit bigger, I'll start baking loads again.
Oh, you lovely cake smell, how I've missed you.
Now, for the recipe I used:
2 sticks of butter (about 100 gm)
4 cups confectioners (icing) sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp milk
Leave butter to room temperature. Never put in microvawe to soften. And at room temperature, never leave it until it is too soft. Room temperature means that the consistency is that of ice cream. Not too hard that you can't beat it. But not too soft 'til it can't hold itself.
(This, I think is the most important part which I failed to learn in my previous attempts)
Beat the butter and vanilla until light and fluffy.
Beat in icing sugar bit by bit and beat well with each addition.
Add milk and keep beating til light and fluffy.
Then, frost your cake!