What is Korean buttercream flowers? according to this Chinese website, Korean buttercream flowers are derived from the basic Wilton buttercream flower and re-created by Korean housewives. As most of them have no time to take the time consuming Wilton buttercream courses, hence they just used the basic buttercream flowers technique and improved the colour variations and made changes on the nozzles, and created their own version of buttercream flowers.
This cake topper was DIY by my daughter
For the buttercream used, Korean bakers are using Italian meringue buttercream (IMBC). But i still prefer to use Swiss Meringue buttercream (SMBC) which is stable (even IMBC is stable too) in our hot weather here (example Barbie doll cake that i made last time) and it is easy to make if compare to Italian meringue method. Also the egg white is cooked using Swiss meringue method, so it is safe to consume. Anyway, some said using IMBC is more stable compare to SMBC, next round i should give a try using IMBC.
And i have came out with a SMBC recipe that work well every time i made, step by step recipe is in my old post here. The rule of thumb is you have to beat the buttercream till curdled (many people tried to avoid this buttercream turned curdled but Not me) and beat over icy water (ice cubes and water).
As for the butter, I find the butter that i used was quite yellowish, next time will try to use lighter colour of butter example French butter. As I know, the Korean bakers are using white butter which we can't find this type of butter here , not sure the butter they used is similar to shortening or not.
Since i used the real butter to make the buttercream, so it was quite hard to achieve nicer colour tone since the base colour is yellowish. I refuse to use shortening (tasted like plastic !!) which look white , and it is easy to get nicer colour and very stable in our hot weather here.
See the cross section of this cake, photo taken using phone
If you are interested to make one, please read my recipe below as i shared few tips in this recipe. As of how to pipe the flowers, please check in youtube as there are many videos to show you how to pipe the flowers. Also hop over my Instagram account (sonianll) to view quick video.
Korean Buttercream Flowers Cake 韩式奶油裱花蛋糕*makes a 8” round cakeFor Devil’s Food Chocolate Cake50g unsweetened cocoa powder60g semi-sweet chocolate, chopped1/2cup (120g) hot boiling water1/2cup (120g) buttermilk150g cake flour3/4tsp baking soda¼ +1/8 tsp fine salt120g brown sugar80g caster sugar100g vegetable oil ( I use sunflower seed oil)2 large or A size eggs1tsp vanilla extractMethod1. In a mixing bowl, combine cocoa powder, chopped semi-sweet chocolate, pour boiling water over it and whisk till smooth.2. Add in buttermilk and mix well. Set aside.3. Sift cake flour, fine salt and baking soda together. Set aside.4. In a mixing bowl, add brown sugar, sugar, vegetable oil, vanilla extra and eggs, beat the mixture until light and creamy by using hand electric mixer.5. Using a hand balloon whisk, mix in flour mixture, alternating with chocolate mixture in additions.6. Fill the batter in a prepared cake pan (line bottom and sides) and bake in preheated oven at 175C for 55 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.7. Let cake cool on a wire rack before frosting it.For Coconut Buttermilk Cake150g butter, room temp120g caster sugar3 eggs (A size or large)1/2tsp vanilla extract100g buttermilk150g cake flour1/4tsp baking soda1/2tsp double action baking powder30g Hawaii coconut flakesMethod1. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light and creamy.2. Add one egg at a time, beating well after each addition. After well combine, slightly increase speed and beat for 1min till fluffy.3. Add the cake flour, baking soda and baking powder (sifted together) and beat well to combine, fold buttermilk alternately and combine well.4. Add in coconut flakes, mix well.5. Pour batter in the prepared cake tin lined with paper. Tap the tin to remove any air bubbles.6. Bake at preheated oven at 1705 for 50mins or until a skewer insert and come out clean.7. Cool on wire rack before slice for frosting.For Mascarpone Frosting250g Mascarpone cheese, room temp200ml UHT Whipping cream1tbsp caster sugarMethod
- Beat whipping cream and sugar over a large bowl that filled with ice cubes and water, till stiff peaks formed.
- In another bowl, use the same mixer, whisk the mascarpone till loosen, not over beat.
- Gently fold whipped cream into mascarpone mixture until completely incorporated. Keep in the fridge at all time before use.Swiss Meringue Buttercream (Basic of 1 quantity)100g egg white (3 large eggs)135g coarse sugar227g unsalted butterMethod1. Remove butter from fridge and cut into small cubes, set aside. Lightly whisk egg whites in a mixing bowl, place over a pot of simmering water (double boiler).2. Add in sugar, whisk sugar and egg whites till sugar is fully dissolved (rub some with your fingers, if it feels grainy, it hasn't dissolved yet), take about 2-3mins.3. Remove from heat and whisk for about 5mins till peaks are stiff, thick and glossy (Hand mixer speed at 3).4. At this point, the mixing bowl should be cool to the touch but still slight warm at the bottom.5. Place the bowl of meringue on top of a large bowl with fill with ice cubes and water.6. With the mixer at low, add in the butter cube one by one, ensuring that each addition is well incorporated before adding the next one.7. Beat till mixture become curdles, stop the mixer, take a spatula, continue to fold and stir till the mixture become creamy and satiny. (Even the mixture not totally smooth also ok, because when you add colouring, you need to stir and this time it will turn smooth).8. Best to use gel paste and oil base of food colouring. Always tint colours from lighter to darker.9. To make buttercream flowers. I used total 3 quantity of above basic buttercream recipe to make the flowers (it can be used less if you have master your piping skill). Fill buttercream into piping bag that fitted with piping tip. Place a dab of buttercream on a piping nail and place a square of parchment paper on top. Then you can start to pipe the buttercream flowers. If you find the buttercream started to melt especially at the area where you hold the piping bag (it melt because the heat from the palm of your hand) , pour back the melted cream into balance buttercream and keep them in the fridge to harden a bit. Bring them out and stir till smooth then you can start to use it again. Or you place the buttercream over a big bowl filled with ice cubes and water. Once it harden a bit, stir to smooth then you can start to use it again.Keep buttercream flowers in the fridge overnight (or can be done few days in advance) to harden before decorate on the cake.Here are the piping tips that I used:-For rose- tip no 104 or tip 122For Chrysanthemum – tip no 79For small five petals flower- tip no 104For leaf – tip no 352For small dot – tip no 410.To assemble and frost the cake. Divide each chocolate cake and coconut buttermilk cake into 2 pieces. Place one piece chocolate cake at a cake board, frost with Mascarpone cream, then top with one piece of coconut buttermilk cake, repeat the rest. Then apply “crumb coat” using plain Swiss meringue buttercream- a thin layer of frosting on the whole cake, chill in the fridge for one hour to harden the cream. Remove cake from fridge, then frost the whole cake. Keep in the fridge to harden before start to put buttercream flower on top.11.To assemble buttercream flowers on the frosted cake. Fill Swiss meringue buttercream in a piping bag, sniff off about ½” hole from the tip, then pipe the buttercream to form a circle surround the edge of the cake, then pipe another circle inside and one more circle on top of these two circles. Remove chilled buttercream flowers from the fridge, start from bigger flowers, tear off the parchment paper, and start to arrange and place on the circle buttercream. You have to work very fast, as the butter will turn soft very fast in our hot weather here. Once complete the big flowers, then arrange small flowers on top, and pipe some leaf shape of buttercream to fill the empty gap in between the buttercream flowers. Once you finish decorated with buttercream flowers, store the cake in the fridge before consumed.Buttercream used for step 10 and 11, I used 1 ½ of above basic buttercream.Recipe by Sonia a.k.a Nasi Lemak LoverSome link for your reference :-