We made the most delicious Blackberry Buttercream Frosting in baking class and I knew I wanted to incorporate this in my dad’s birthday cake. Unfortunately we made it with a frozen (and expensive) product, The Perfect Puree of Napa Valley, which cannot be bought in regular stores. However by buying frozen whole blackberries, which can easily be found in grocery stores, and cooking it down with a bit of sugar I was able to duplicate the puree perfectly. It came out exactly like the one we made in class. Not too sweet and packed with blackberry flavor. Oh happy day! INGREDIENTS: 10 oz. frozen blackberry 2 Tbsp. granulated sugar 3 oz. egg white 6 oz. confectioners sugar 9 oz. butter, unsalted, room temperature STEP 1: FRUIT PUREE In a small non-stick pot, heat frozen blackberries on medium heat until completely thawed. Use a wooden spoon or spatula to mash up the berries. Add granulated sugar and cook until melted. Remove from heat and strain with a mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Try to push some of the pulp through the mesh. Scrape the bottom of the strainer for any pulp that has passed through the strainer. Discard the seeds, then put the juice and strained pulp back in the pot. Heat on medium low and reduce until left with 1/3rd of the original volume. Set aside when finished. STEP 2: BUTTERCREAM In a metal mixer bowl, add the confectioners sugar and egg whites. With a hand whip, whisk ingredients together then place bowl over a double-boiler. While whisking continuously, heat the sugar and egg white mixture on the double boiler until it reaches 165F degree. This is to pasteurize (cook) the egg whites so that the buttercream is safe to eat. When it reaches the 165F temperature, place bowl on the mixer and whip on high speed until the mixture has stiff peaks. Reduce mixing speed to medium-low. Add butter in little pats (or pieces) to the mixer, waiting for each piece to be fully incorporated before adding the next piece. Increase mixing speed to high until mixture becomes smooth (it may appear like it’s separating if the butter isn’t room temperature, but whipping at high speed will make it come together). Reduce speed to medium and add the semi-cooled blackberry fruit puree. Reduce speed to low and continue until the buttercream is light and fluffy.