The first time I had real buttercream was a couple of years ago, at a bakery near my office where a woman in a lovely, crisp apron had her own shop where she made everything from scratch. And I was amazed. I've never been a big fan of icing, and I especially dislike the kind that comes on grocery store cakes, labelled "Non-Dairy Icing." After I tried buttercream on one of those tiny and decadent cakes, I am even more against those nasty non-dairy icing cakes. They are an insult to the truth and beauty of real buttercream.
Buttercream tastes like butter. I know, obvious, right? But listen: did you ever think that it would be awesome to just eat a stick of butter? After all, butter is so good, everyone knows that, and if you've never actually tried to eat it plain and whole in stick form, it seems like a really good idea. But then you do take a bite and it's sorta gross in a way that you can't quite put your finger on. The texture is weird, it's greasy, and your body sort of rejects it immediately, saying, "Dude. Bad idea."
Well, eating buttercream is what eating straight butter should be like. I wish they sold it in stick form. It's probably good that they don't.
I don't have a recipe for buttercream, because I've never made it. But buttercream is not the only thing in the wide world of food that tastes like it came from the parallel universe where eating straight butter is not gross. My chocolate pie is like that. Sure, it tastes like chocolate: Chocolate butter. And my recipe for chicken pot pie works on a similar equation. This pot pie has lots of delicious poultry and fresh vegetables, like all the other chicken pot pies. It's baked in a homemade flaky crust, painstakingly rolled out, again like all the other chicken pot pies. What makes this pot pie special is the gravy. It tastes like butter. After I finish making the gravy, after I pour it into the pie and seal it up, while the pie is baking to buttery perfection, I lick the gravy spoon. I run my finger through the still-hot pan, even though it burns a little, to get every last dreg. Having just made it, I know how close it is to just shoving a stick of butter in my pot-pie-hole, but I won't stop until it is all gone. Then I wait impatiently until I can slice open the pie and eat chicken and vegetables that have taken a gravy bath.
Along with buttercream and chocolate pie, this chicken pot pie is as close as you would ever want to come to eating a stick of butter. Plus, it's got vegetables in it, so it's good for you. Sort of.
Chicken Pot Pie