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Buttercream Hard Sauce

Hard Sauce 01 Hard Sauce 02

YouTube: Making Buttercream Hard Sauce for Christmas Pudding

The quest to obtain a smooth, creamy buttercream cake glaze with no lumps was not an easy one. For the longest time, my buttercream would be a thick, lumpy mass. It was an embarassment to every cake I applied it to. Finally, with advice from friends on the Cast Iron Cooking group, I finally ended up with this recipe.

The trick to making a good, thick and tasty hard sauce is to understand it's not a ganache for your Christmas pudeding. In fact, it's a sweet gravy, and it's made in the same manner as a good gravy, by preparing a roux and adding liquid to thin it into gravy. From there it can be ladled onto your pudding, cake, or any confection you want to serve with it.

Tools needed: Saucepan for melting. Screen or sifter to sift the powdered sugar. A whisk.

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To start our sauce, it's necessary to prepare a basic roux with butter and flour. The golden rule is to use equal amounts of butter and flour, and all we need is 1/4 cup of each. I've tried making the roux using powdered sugar rather than flour, and it didn't have the right consistency. Sugar dissolves easily in liquid, while flour holds its own. The flour is needed as a binder to hold the roux together.

Melt butter in a cast iron skillet over low-to-medium heat, until the butter is melted and the liquid is smooth. Add flour and whisk briskly to make a roux. Keep whisking for about two to three minutes, to cook the roux and remove any floury taste. Add 1/2 cup powdered sugar and whisk everything together. Add cream and keep whisking.

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Keep adding powdered sugar, 1/4 cup at a time, and whisking vigorously to blend everything together. If the sauce becomes too thick, add a dash of milk (about 2 tablespoons) and whisk it together to thin the sauce. Keep adding milk and sugar, whisking after each addition, until the sauce has become a thick gravy.

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Add brandy and vanilla extract. Whisk everything together, and the sauce is ready for serving.

Pour over your pudding, cake, or any confection you want.

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This is the result of a previous attempt at making buttercream glaze.
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