Those of you who know me well enough….know I like simple. I was always that girl who had to do everything by the book, follow all the rules, the people pleaser. Even if it meant sacrificing my own happiness. Alllll my recipes were made from scratch, god forbid I ever used a cake mix from a box and every bit of lemon curd, caramel or even jam was made fresh.
Gone are those days. Because I’m a mom, because I’m older and dare I say wiser. And also. It doesn’t matter! What matters is that I create a cake that tastes spectacular and my clients keep coming back for more. Am I right? Now as a rule, I don’t generally use cake mixes, only because in my humble opinion….they taste a tad too chemical-ey to me. But if you’re a cake mix kinda baker…you’ve got to choose the RIGHT buttercream. It will make or break your cake! (Wooop, I just rhymed!) I only make Swiss Meringue Buttercream. Yes, it’s more time consuming, yes, you have to mix over a hot stove….I’m all out of cons…see?! Now the pro’s!
It’s an incredibly tasty buttercream. It’s smooth, it melts in your mouth in a way no other buttercream can, it’s very stable when it comes to stacking wedding cakes as well as carving cakes. It’s not as sweet as your typical buttercream, and it’s just so more-ish (I guess that could be seen as a con)….Anyway
This recipe came in to my life about 8 years ago. The only time I use any other frosting or filling is when a) a client requests it or b) a client is vegan or cannot have dairy.
It’s just so incredibly versatile and suits ANY cake. It’s so light that it’s perfect for red velvet, and carrot cake…MINUS the cream cheese. I use it for cupcakes, piping flowers, writing on cakes. I flavour it with jam, extracts, curds, chocolate, fresh fruit, freeze dried fruit. The options are endless. (More pro’s)
Do you remember the scene in Willy Wonka (the old version) where Mr. Wonka is discussing with Charlie about inventing an ice cream that would never melt?! Well I think this is as close to that unmeltable ice cream that we’ll get. It literally tastes like vanilla ice-cream.
I have never tried making Swiss Meringue Buttercream with a butter substitute. So if anyone has, I would love to hear your thoughts.
So here goes
10oz egg whites (8 large eggs)
21oz granulated or caster sugar (you can even substitute brown sugar for a more caramel flavour. This WILL affect the colour of your Buttercream)
625g unsalted butter (2 1/2 British blocks)
1tbsp vanilla extract or flavouring of your choice
pinch of salt
Boil some water in a saucepan in order to make a Bain Marie.
Combine your egg whites and Sugar in a heatproof bowl and give it a good mix. I use my trusty rubber spatula for this. Be sure to scrape down the sides of your bowl. You don’t want ANY Sugar clinging to the sides.
Set the bowl over your boiling water and continue to mix being sure to scrape down the sides regularly.
At this point you really want to watch the mixture as you don’t want your eggs to curdle. This will start at the sides of the bowl. If it does start to curdle continue mixing in and remove any clumps that you may have. This won’t affect the outcome of your buttercream but it can be a pain when piping and you get the cooked eggs clogging the piping tip 🙄
You can absolutely use a thermometer here….I don’t. I just dip 2 fingers in the mixture, rub them together and if the mixture is very smooth I take it off the heat. If I can still feel any granules of sugar keep mixing until all the sugar is dissolved.
Take the mixture off the heat and allow to sit for a few minutes. I do this so that when I add my butter later it’s not all going to melt at once which will just take longer to get to the whipped stage.
Using a stand mixer (whisk attachment) or even a hand held, whip the meringue until medium peaks form. This will take about 8-10 minutes.
Add your chunks of butter, vanilla and salt. Technically you’re supposed to add your butter slowly, incorporating each bit by bit. But y’all I DO NOT have time for such nonsense.
If you’re using your stand mixer, change to your paddle attachment. Whip your mixture until all the butter is incorporated. At this point it might look a bit soupy. The secret to Swiss Meringue Buttercream? Just keep mixing! (Dory’s ‘just keep swimming’ totally went through your mind didn’t it?)
Your mixture will start to look like it’s curdling. Yay!! That’s normal. Then all of a sudden, right before your eyes, it will all start coming together and start looking like whipped cream. PERFECT! And that, my loves, is how you make Easy Fool Proof Swiss Meringue Buttercream 👌❤️
This makes enough to fill and cover 2 8inch cakes. You can absolutely half the recipe or even better, freeze what you don’t need. All you do to reconstitute it is to throw it in the microwave until it starts to melt slightly or if you don’t have a microwave, simply heat it over a bain marie. Don’t melt ALL the buttercream, because then you’ll have to cool it down again in order to whisk it up.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below!