Sometimes substituting ingredients can lead to rapturous results. Other times, not so much. Like tonight, when I decided to make devil’s chocolate cupcakes, without buttermilk. But looks can be deceiving, will these devil’s wannabes live up to my expectations?
I haven’t baked in … yikes! I hemmed and hawed this afternoon over what I could make, and cupcakes kept coming up. I rummaged through the fridge and found 2% milk and heavy cream. No buttermilk. Think think think. Cupcakes with…heavy cream? This could be a prelude to a heart attack.
I dusted off Nemo and got to work, creaming the butter and sugar together.
Mixed the dry ingredients together.
Added dry and cream to mixing bowl in alternating pours.
Stared at batter in bemused silence. It seems… foamy?
Houston, we don’t have doming. This can’t be good.
Flat tops with two leavening agents? Ugh. Decided to mix up frosting and hope for the best. (Best thing about having two bowls for your mixer is not having to clean the bowl in between stuff. Go Nemo go!)
Sampled frosting and…. woah. That is some sweet, sweet icing. Also much too light in colour. Not quite what I had in mind.
No wonder the devil rejected them, back to the drawing board on this one. It turns out that the only acceptable substitute for buttermilk is milk and vinegar, but even then it’s not nearly as good.
Well, I tried. It didn’t really work out but they were still palatable, just not my best. They were slightly overdone, oddly dense, and with overly sweet frosting. Boyfriend enjoyed them despite those flaws, bless him!
The search for the perfect chocolate buttercream continues. Stay tuned!
Playlist: various Final Fantasy tracks
It is good to have a boyfriend that always happily eats your baking. Nothing is more encouraging then that 🙂
Buttermilk bacteria becomes part of the leavening process, but you can replace it with many things. You can sour your milk with vinegar, also vanilla or lemon juice. You can also use half milk, half yogurt. If you want to change the recipe to a sweet milk or cream, then change your baking soda to baking powder. Baking soda will only work if there is an added acid to create gas during baking. Baking powder will need to be about double the baking soda amount to work effectively.
I’ve got a swath of fabulous buttercream recipes if you like. I could just post them, but I’m thinking maybe a cupcake/frosting experimentation day may be a pleasant waste of an afternoon.
Ah hah. Thank you. That is good to know about the baking soda.
I’ve done the milk and vinegar thing, but after using actual buttermilk a few times I found it gave a better flavour and consistency than faking it. Maybe it’s all in my head, but I remember thinking it tasted better.
That would be a fun way to spend an afternoon, next time we get together I’m up for that. 🙂