Caramel Cashew Swiss Meringue Buttercream {THM:S}

This Swiss Buttercream Frosting is the perfect combo of sweet, salty, caramely-ness!

By this point you all are probably wondering if I even cook, and probably imagine I spend all day every day baking and eating said baked goods. No, I promise I do love to cook just as much (or even more) as I love baking, but baking is definitely my first love. After all, I got started in the kitchen when I was about 4, baking biscuits!

I do intend to post savory recipes at some point, but I have more baking/sweets recipes than savory ready to go, so you’ll have to suffer through sweets recipes for a bit yet.

Savory recipes are much harder for me to write down, since I’m a add-a-pinch of-this, add-a-dash-of that, add-a-doonk-of-this, add-a-splash-of-the-other-thing type of cook, so it takes me a bit longer to get a savory recipe written out.

I’m very much looking forward to sharing those savory meals with you…but for now….here’s another frosting recipe, which is my personal favorite! I do have a few more flavor variations on the way, so stay tuned!

I first created this recipe a little over a year ago for one of my sisters birthday, whose taste buds run along same lines as mine, so it was a TREAT to create this one. (Pardon the picture size…when I made this a year ago, I didn’t have my camera with, so these are phone pictures. I hope to update them soon, but I haven’t had a chance to yet!)

It also the cake I chose for my first Trimmiversary, December 2018.

I created a layer cake with it by doing this:

I made the batter for the Magic Salted Caramel Cupcakes (Trim Healthy Table, page 379), but instead of turning it into cupcakes, I poured it into 3 greased, parchment lined, and floured (I used Oat Fiber) 6 inch cake pans. I then baked them for about 25 minutes. Let cool slightly and then run thin knife around edge of pan to make sure cake is completely separated from pan, and turn out onto a parchment covered cooling rack. Let cool completely. (I made this late in the evening so I didn’t have time to finish it, so once it cooled to room temperature, I stuck the layers in zip-lock bags and put them in the freezer until I was ready for them.

The drizzle and topping is the caramel sauce for the cupcakes.

Caramel Cashew Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Ingredients

  • cup swerve brown sugar (or other on plan brown sugar like this one from Gwen’s-Nest.) See notes for measuring Swerve brown sugar.
  • 3 large egg whites
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter, softened and cut into 1-tablespoon pieces
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¾ t. caramel extract (Feel free to swap out for another flavoring!)
  • 1 cup cashew butter (You may use any nut butter in this. Peanut butter is DELICIOUS!)

Instructions

  • Combine sweetener, egg whites, and salt in bowl of stand mixer; place bowl over pan of simmering water. Whisking gently but constantly, heat mixture until slightly thickened, foamy, and registers 150 degrees on instant-read thermometer, 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Place bowl in stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment. Beat mixture on medium speed until consistency of shaving cream and slightly cooled, 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Add butter, 1 piece at a time, until smooth and creamy. (Frosting may look curdled after half of butter has been added; it will smooth with additional butter.) Once all butter is added, add vanilla and cashew butter; mix until combined. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light, fluffy, and thoroughly combined, about 30 seconds, scraping beater and sides of bowl with rubber spatula as necessary.
  • If final frosting seems too thick, warm mixer bowl briefly over pan of simmering water. Place bowl back on mixer and beat on medium-high speed until creamy.

Notes

If you don’t have Swerve brown sugar, just use the equivalent of sweetener of your choice, and add a small amount (1/4-1/2 t. of blackstrap molasses).
When measuring the brown sugar, crumble it into your measuring cup and then lightly level it off. If you pack it in it will be VERY sweet!
This frosting can be made up to 24 hours in advance and refrigerated in an airtight container. When ready to frost, place frosting in a microwave-safe container and warm briefly on high power until just slightly softened, 5 to 10 seconds. Once warmed, stir until creamy.

Making THM my own, part 2 {THM:FP w/S options}

What better way to stay warm & cozy while the snow keeps falling than with a cup of this Fuel Pull Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate!

No recipe this time, just another edition of my tweaks to approved THM recipes! (Check out my first edition here!)

These are both Fuel Pulls, which star as way to either round off your meal or to have as a light snack.

#1 Instant Cookie Dough Protein Bars (FP), Trim Healthy Table, page 428 (follow recipe directions).

I multiply the recipe by 8. I figure if I already have the ingredients out, I may as well make it worth my while!

Here’s what I do to tweak it:

1. Replace the pressed peanut flour with an equal amount of powdered almond butter. (Find it here or at your local grocery/health food store.)

2. Replace the gentle sweet with an equal amount of Swerve confectioners style sweetener. This will make the bars smooth, with no graininess from the gentle sweet.

3. Use the amount of water called for in the recipe, replacing 2 teaspoons of it with 3/4 teaspoon caramel flavoring, 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract, and 1/2 teaspoon butter flavoring.

4. Replace 1/2 of the chocolate chips with an equal amount of finely chopped nuts of your choice.

5. If making the 8x recipe, increase the salt to 1/4 teaspoon TOTAL.

For dividing these up, I have used a silicone bar pan like this or else I press it evenly into a 8 or 9 inch square pan lined with parchment paper baking or plastic wrap. Pop it into the fridge to chill, then remove from pan and cut it into 8 pieces.

If you want to turn these into a S, simply increase the butter by 1/2, or double the chocolate chips or nuts!

#2 THM Chocolate Whey Protein (find it here, check at your local health food store, or use another on plan chocolate whey protein!)

I debated even sharing this, as it is SO extremely simple, it’s not even a recipe!

I’m not even sure if people need this, but considering this is one my favorite ways to get a little extra protein and my favorite bedtime snack, here goes!

Salted Caramel Protein Hot Chocolate -16 oz.

Fill your 16 oz. mug with 1/2 water and 1/2 cashew milk (or other nondairy milk of your choice).

Pour all but about 1/3 cup of it into small pan and heat to just below boiling. (It’s important it’s not boiling. Read why below!)

Add 1 scoop (1/4 cup) chocolate whey protein powder, 1/2 teaspoon caramel flavoring, & a pinch of salt to milk in mug and blend well until smooth, using a battery operated whisk (or pour cold milk into blender and add whey protein.. blend on low until smooth).

It’s very important to dissolve the whey protein powder in COLD liquid. If you add straight hot liquid to the whey, it’ll curdle & who wants to eat curds and whey unless you’re Little Miss Muffet?!?

Add hot milk to cold milk mixture and blend just until completely mixed and all protein powder is dissolved.

Enjoy!

If you’re wanting to turn the hot chocolate into an S instead of a FP, there are a few options:

1. Add a few Tablespoons of 1/2 & 1/2 to your milk/water mixture.

2. Top finished hot chocolate generously with homemade whipped cream.

3. Add a Tablespoon of butter, coconut oil, or ghee when blending in the last step. If you do this option, it’ll fit in the Deep S category which concentrates only on the most pure and healthiest fats.

Feel free to switch out the caramel flavor for other flavors/extracts. I haven’t tried many, but I’d imagine any berry flavorings would be delicious, as would be mint! Leave out the salt if you’re switching out for other flavors.

Making THM my own.

I believe one of the best things about THM is the ability to MAKE IT YOUR OWN! Don’t like sweet peppers in your soup? Just swap it out for another FP veggie. Don’t like quinoa in your soup? Just substitute another approved E grain! Versatility, mamas!

I’m going to share a few things I’ve made my own, and I’d love to see yours! These are all recipe that I’ve tweaked to become my all time favorite flavor (and MAJOR weakness!), Salted Caramel.

Seriously, if I ever come across something that’s Salted Caramel I HAVE to try it. There’s just something about that perfectly sweet/salty/creamy combo!

#1 Sweet Dreams Cookie Bowl Oatmeal (FP), THM cookbook, page 249. I don’t have any pictures for this one.

Now, I LOVE the combo of PB and Chocolate, but sometimes…I just need a change of pace.

I follow the recipe directions but do these tweaks to make it my own:

1. Omit the cocoa powder & pressed peanut flour, replacing with an equal amount of powdered almond butter. (I use this one.)

2. Double the salt.

3. Add butter & caramel flavoring & vanilla extract to taste. (I haven’t measured, but I’m guessing 1/8 tsp. each, with a little more caramel than butter & vanilla.)

4. Use the lesser amount of sweetener, I do sometimes use even less, since without the cocoa powder you don’t have that extra bitterness.

I do enjoy my oatmeal better warm, so I make it ahead of time in glass storage containers, and just pop it into the oven to heat it up. By the time I’m ready for the day it’s at a perfect eating temperature.

#2 Mouthwatering Meringues (Ultra FP). THM cookbook, page 317 (follow mixing and baking instructions in recipe.)

1. Replace the banana flavoring with 1 1/2 teaspoon caramel flavor & 1/2 teaspoon butter flavor.

2. Add 1/4 t. salt along with the sweetener.

3. Increased the sweetener slightly since I have a sweet(er) tooth!

One recipe yielded 1 1/2 gallon jar. I used a large open star piping tip & a pastry bag top pipe these onto the parchment paper.

I love these because they’re an Ultra-FP, so they can be paired with ANYTHING!

#3 Ultimate E Bars, Trim Healthy Table, page 432 (follow recipe directions.)

1. Omit cocoa powder, replacing with an equal amount of powdered almond butter.

2. Replace pecan extract with an equal amount of butter flavoring

3. Decrease vanilla to 1/2 teaspoon.

4. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons caramel extract in place of the remaining vanilla.

5. Increase salt to 3/4 teaspoon, or to taste.

That concludes my first post of tweaks for making Trim Healthy Mama my own! I hope to do a few more posts like this in the coming months.

For the caramel & butter flavorings, the best I’ve come across are THM’s Natural Burst brand.

I buy the powdered almond butter & vanilla at my local health food store, but they can be found online.