Happy New Year my loves! How’s everyone doing? Not gonna lie, this year has already been an emotional shit show for me. I’m in maximum burnout mode, and the only thing that’s keeping me going right now are my meds….
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Pre ADHD diagnosis my burnouts would last a good few weeks. I’d have suicidal thoughts, sleep all day, make zero cakes, or when I did make them, I would cry during the whole process and just not enjoy any of it. My house would be a mess, and my husband would have to do EVERYTHING. Post diagnosis burnouts……My medication, they alleviate my symptoms…they don’t get rid of them, I still have intrusive and obsessive thoughts, I still have zero filter…I still lose my keys, my purse, my head…multiple times a day 😜 The meds keep the ADHD paralysis at bay. It keeps me focused and on task. And that my loves is such a godsend. I still have suicidal thoughts (I also know this will pass so if you feel the same…just feel the emotions and know that it won’t last. I promise!) but I keep those negative and intrusive thoughts at bay by using cleaning as therapy…and baking…but not work baking…I bake for me, for the therapy, for the feeling of being productive, clearing the clutter of my home and at the same time clearing the clutter in my head. I bake and create all the new recipes that I’ve been meaning to try but haven’t had the chance to. Enter Swiss Meringue Buttercream. My all time FAVOURITE buttercream. Since day one of my cake business it’s been Swiss Meringue…and then I went vegan…and I still made it, eggs and all and the guilt of not having a vegan business TORTURED me!! Cue obsessive, overthinking, guilt ridden thoughts. So when I did transition to a cruelty free business…I gave up my Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I spent so long perfecting the perfect vegan vanilla sponge cake, that I just didn’t have the time and mental capacity to focus on the buttercream too. In fairness, American buttercream is the go to in the U.K…but it’s never been a favourite of mine. Will I eat it? Absolutely. And I definitely tweaked it until I found a smooth and not to sweet buttercream, alas. I felt like I’d let myself down…
Then I had a customer order a cake and she mentioned how much she loved the buttercream from the last cake she had of mine…when I went to check the dates it was during my pre vegan days. Fuck my fucking life…and I just couldn’t. WOULDN’T, American buttercream this one. So I went straight to the drawing board and obsessed, because now we know that’s another thing I do really well 😅.. I’d made a vegan Italian Meringue buttercream before but it’s just sooo faffy. I hate working with hot sugar. It’s not fun for me. And I get anxious. And I have a son who quite often comes in to the kitchen when I’m working and he’s a wee bit all over the place like his mom…so I get the fear. I’ve had too many 2nd degree burns to count..so that’s off the list! So I decided to stick with the Aquafaba and use that instead of eggs just like in the Vegan Italian Meringue buttercream. And the Aquafaba is sooooooo much easier than egg whites. No mess…no curdling, no tortured hens…it’s a win all round and that just makes me happy 😃 there’s no flavour, like, at all, so it’s the perfect substitution!
Finding the Aquafaba can be a bit daunting. Ok so not daunting because it’s ridiculously easy to find. It’s literally just the water from your tin of chickpeas. But as I’ve mentioned in my post about vegan vanilla cakes, if you bake as much as I do…it’s just waaay too many chickpeas to ever know what to do with. You can now buy JUST Aquafaba in a carton, but it is expensive for what it is. So I buy it on sale…or I just use the water from tinned chickpeas (I use Tesco’s own or Asda’s own brand) and then make a batch of hummus, falafel, curry, or any other dinner favourite 😍 sooo enough Jibber Jabber! Let’s get started!!!
As for regular Swiss Meringue Buttercream, you want a stand mixer…by all means do it with a hand held..it will take longer though. Make sure ALLL your bowls, attachments, etc are grease free. You’ll need your whisk and paddle attachment for this. Definitely only use metal. Or if you do use the silicon blade…make sure it is absolutely grease free. You want that chickpea water to whip up pretty stiff!
Vegan Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 600 grams Granulated Sugar
- 2 tins Chickpeas (just the water)
- 1/2 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 1/4 tsp xanthan gum
- 625 grams Unsalted Vegan Butter (not margarine)
- 1 Tbsp Vanilla
- 1 tsp salt
- Drain the chickpeas and add the water to a saucepan with the sugar.
- Bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar then remove from heat. Let the mixture cool to room temp. If it’s too hot, the butter will melt too quickly and create a slop. Yes it’s fixable but just avoid the drama in the first place 🤷🏻♀️❤️
- Once cooled, prepare your mixer by adding a bit of lemon juice to some paper towel and wipe down the mixer to ensure there is no grease left in the bowl. This can affect how your aquafaba whips up. Mix the aquafaba and sugar mixture on high speed with the whisk attachment. Add the cream of tartar and xanthan gum (this is both for extra stability and to prevent weeping) Mix for 10 minutes.
- Once the mixture has thickened and whipped up nicely (crazy stiff peaks is not necessary, just as stiff as you can manage!) start to add the butter in chunks.
- Once the butter has been added, change to the paddle attachment and add your salt and vanilla. If you notice your mixture is curdled…do not panic! Mix on high speed until it all comes together, sometimes up to 7 minutes but not usually… and you’ll get a gloriously smooth, shiny, thick and creamy buttercream. TRUST THE PROCESS! ❤️
- Use straight away or store in the fridge where it will keep up to a week, if not more! Flavour just as you would any other buttercream. For chocolate I recommend using melted dark chocolate or even ganache!