French Vanilla Cream Frosting is a very smooth and light variation of buttercream frosting. It is a really neat, custard-like frosting that uses egg yolks as the primary fat instead of butter or shortening. The egg yolks give the frosting a pale, creamy yellow color.
Since this is a cooked frosting, it takes a little more work than an uncooked buttercream frosting but it is worth it.
It is easiest to make with a stand-type mixer.
6 large egg yolks
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/2 cup butter softened
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 cups powdered sugar
1. Place the egg yolks in the bowl of your stand-type mixer. With the whip attachment, start the egg yolks beating. Continue to whip the egg yolks until they are thick and lemon colored.
2. While the egg yolks are whipping, mix the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil while gently stirring occasionally. Continue cooking until it boils and then reaches 240 degrees with your candy thermometer.
3. With the whip turning through the egg yolks, slowly pour the hot syrup into the yolks without letting the syrup drip onto the whip. Do not let the syrup cool before adding it to the syrup. Continue beating until the mixture is completely cool. (If the frosting is too warm, the butter will melt when added.)
4. After the frosting has nearly cooled, whip in the soft butter a third at a time. Add the vanilla. Set the frosting aside and let it continue to cool for about an hour.
5. At this stage, you can use the frosting as a vanilla filling for pastries or cakes. It is likely too soft for frosting purposes. For frosting, whip in enough powdered sugar to reach the desired buttercream consistency.
Baker’s note: This is a smooth, delicate frosting. It matches best with delicately flavored cakes and is perfect for a white cake.