Crème Au Beurre, Ménagère (Buttercream Frosting I – Powdered Sugar) & Food Photography

Awhile back I wrote about the road not taken. In that post, I said the road not taken starts at Robert Frost’s crossroads. At that point, you have to create the road yourself, clear a space, pull the weeds and start building a path. Now, almost two years later, I finally cleared some weeds and with one of Julia Child’s Buttercream Frosting recipes at that!

I’ve been struggling with this for awhile. All food photography starts to look the same to me after awhile, even the very good ones. There seemed to be only so much you could do. That was the problem. I had the wrong idea. All of these photographs had one goal – sell food by making it look delicious.

Of course if you only have that goal, every photo starts to look the same no matter how you arrange your subject matter or how much technical expertise you put into it. When you take that premise away, the sky’s the limit.

I don’t know where this is going but I’m excited about this beginning. I was exhausted from Zach’s graduation but determined to make this first idea a reality this past weekend.

This is probably one of the easiest frostings to make. Because Julia uses powdered sugar, it’s not too sweet either.
Special Equipment – hand mixer

1) 2 egg yolks (no whites)
2) 2/3 cup powdered sugar
3) 2 tablespoons kirsch, rum, orange liqueur or strong coffee

Coffee Buttercream frosting

OR 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

OR 2 ounces melted, semisweet baking chocolate

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

(for the record I accidentally added the coffee and the vanilla extract the 1st time and it was quite yummy)
4) 6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) softened, unsalted butter

For this recipe, I tried all of the non-alcoholic flavors – vanilla extract, chocolate and strong coffee.

1) Brew the coffee if you’re going to use coffee.
2) Place all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl.

Three Buttercream Frostings Prep

3) To melt the chocolate, place the chocolate in a small pan, inside a larger pan filled at least half way with water. Let the water boil in the larger pan. The chocolate should melt in a minute or so.
4) Combine them all together, using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer for about 5 minutes
5) Chill in the refrigerator for a few minutes then spread.

Chocolate Buttercream Frosting Detail

Three Buttercream Frostings #3

Crème Au Beurre, Ménagère (Buttercream Frosting I - Powdered Sugar)

Three Buttercream Frostings

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Crème Au Beurre, Ménagère (Buttercream Frosting I - Powdered Sugar)
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