Yes, yes, I know. You're wondering how I have such fantastic looking fun-fetti cupcakes. I'll tell my secrets, don't worry.
First you have to see the faux carrot cake again. Yum. This was eaten with delight, even if it did taste like squash.
There are apple chunks in it too. Because apples are delicious.
And have you ever discovered the delight of dying things with beets? I grated a beat, squeezed the shavings through a cheese cloth, and had a super-concentrated pink dye. Really, a few drops transformed mostly white cream cheese frosting into pink amazingness. Did you notice that the pink fades from dark pink to light pink at the top? Very fancy. It would have been fancier as roses, but that was not meant to be.
And the leftover shavings of beet made a boring old yellow cupcake more exciting. Along with the zucchini shavings.
Oh buttercream. I only really knew about so-called buttercreams, people even dare to call them real, but if you're not talking about silky emulsified butter deliciousness, then it's not the same thing. I still love the classic cream and powdered sugar concoction. It has a nice flake when it dries some and is excellent for decorating. But real buttercream? Wow. It makes me want to learn how to make really good cakes just so I can properly compliment it.
My downfall with so many of these delightful sugar-free recipes has been the use of boiled honey. Whether or no it actually turns honey into toxic substance, I don't know. I just hate the flavor and get a migraine from it, and that is enough for me to avoid it! So applejuice is my willing substitute for the liquid, and it works wonderfully. God has blessed us with new foods and new inspiration. I just sat back and thought, if I can emulsify magnesium "oil" and fats to make magnesium lotion then surely I can emulsify any liquid with a fat right? All I need is the technique.
Before you make any attempts to follow this deceivingly simple recipe, read ALL the instructions given by this other gracious blogger here. Read the comments too. Then read the whole recipe again. I thought this had flopped several times, then I re-read her comments and had success!
And here are my substitutions for said recipe:
- 1/2 c concentrated apple juice syrup (1 c juice simmered until reduced by half)
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup (8 ounces) butter (Use salted for a salty sweet buttercream, or unsalted for a purely sweet. We liked the salted a lot. )
- 1/16th tsp stevia powder (I'm still using nu-naturals brand, even though it is processed stuff, this is equivalent to around 1/2 c sugar)
- splash vanilla (opt.)
The apple juice gives a subtle delicious overtone of sour-sweet fall flavor, without most people putting their finger on what it is and simply asking for more.
To make, gently simmer apple juice until the volume is reduced by half. This took some time, but I did the day before while I was cooking other things. Then measure out a half cup and have it ready to bring to a boil.
I mixed the stevia powder and vanilla with the eggs, and beat until very very frothy. It seems like a very long time to beat for just two eggs, but keep going. Continue beating right up to the moment the apple juice is boiling and ready to add in. Pour it down the side of the bowl slowly while beating.
If you goof (as I did) and the whole concoction is too thin after adding the apple juice, put the (metal!) bowl over the pot with a little water in it, and continue beating as you heat every thing up. The eggs need to cook into marshmallowness before adding the butter.
Then add the butter (when everything is the same temp!) a little at a time and beat until you have a smooth delicate icing. Spread on ready cupcakes that cooled earlier, or just eat it off the spoon.
And when you're guests compliment you on such delectable icing, bow gently and tell them it is honey and sugar free.