I used this buttercream for the first (and only) wedding I ever catered -- for the brother of a good friend. The bride and groom-to-be wanted cupcakes instead of a majestic four-tiered affair, which took some of the heat off. But although I had a couple of excellent cake recipes under my belt, at the time I didn't have a go-to buttercream. So I paged through several of my cookbooks and finally stumbled across one of Julia Child's recipes that looked promising. I have never looked back.This buttercream is as easy as pie to make, not too sweet, and it can be flavored in all sorts of ways. The egg yolks add a silkiness that's unbeatable, but if you're at all concerned about salmonella, you can opt to leave them out.
What you will need
6 ounces (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 egg yolks (from good quality eggs that have been refrigerated)
2/3 cup sifted confectioner's sugar
2 tablespoons kirsch, rum, orange liqueur, strong coffee OR 1 tablespoon vanilla extract OR 2 ounces melted semisweet chocolate