Fool proof Swiss Meringue Buttercream (the half assed way)

Easy Foolproof Swiss Meringue Buttercream

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.

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

So here goes

Ingredients:

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

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

Method:

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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?)

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

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 👌❤️

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!

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Banana bread was always a staple in my house growing up. Whenever there was a ripe banana in sight my mom would make her gorgeous banana bread. Over the years she’s changed her recipe, but it still tastes the same. Beautifully moist, dense and extremely moreish. We’d eat it with lashings of butter and it always, always tasted better when it was a few days old wrapped in tin foil to let the flavours develop.

My husband also loves banana bread and when we first met I used to make it at every opportunity. He complains now that I never make it any more, but there is a reason for this. Our 4 year old has a huge love of bananas and along with his dad…they must go through at least 15 bananas a week! If and when I remember to hide them, there will be a noticeable shortage of banana bread in the house.

Every so often, we do get a few bananas going a little ripe. When this happens I quickly freeze them, so as to have then on hand when the need arises. Here’s a take on my mom’s delicious banana bread. Check out her other recipes on her Facebook page. You’ll find more home comforts and traditional South African recipes. 🇿🇦 ❤️

Easy banana bread recipe

Ingredients:

3 very ripe bananas, mashed (the ripe the better!!!)

100mls vegetable oil

200g brown sugar (the recipe calls for white, but brown sugar gives the banana bread a denser more flavourful loaf….sorry mama)

2 eggs

175g all purpose flour

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Method:

Using a mixer, wooden spoon or simply a fork, mix together the brown sugar and oil.

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Throw in the flour, bicarb. Give it  a mix until there are no lumps, then add the mashed banana.

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

Pour into a lined loaf pan (I use a silicon mould, no greasing required) and bake at 180 degrees C for an hour.

Let cool, unmold and serve with butter….my husband enjoys it slathered with peanut butter too x

Easy Banana Bread Recipe

 

BAKED Peanut Butter Cheesecake RECIPE

It was my husbands 34th birthday a few days ago and every year I make him something peanut butter related. It’s a running joke in the family about his peanut butter obsession and the fact that he eats so much of it, that he might develop a severe allergic reaction. He doesn’t seem to think it’s so funny…and to be honest I think it worries him slightly 😜 He even has a monthly subscription on Amazon   for his addiction, and even then we still have to supplement his need for the stuff on our weekly Tesco shops. Last year was a peanut butter layer cake with a rich chocolate ganache and decorated with loads of Reese’s candy. The year before that was a Peanut Butter Pie, and this year it’s Peanut Butter Cheesecake.

Cheesecake is a bit of a specialty of mine. I LOVE a good cheesecake, and I’m not gonna lie, if you call it a cheesecake and it’s not been baked…we’re gonna have words. Baked cheesecakes are the way to go. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a dessert that’s quick and easy and just needs a few ingredients, only to have to pop it in the fridge for a few hours to set. Then, my loves, we call it a pie, or a tart,  or as we call them in South Africa, a fridge tart. I digress, 

I ALWAYS include sour cream in my cheesecake recipes. The sour cream adds that extra bit of fat, and it makes a gloriously smooth mouth feel that is present in every good cheesecake. Another rule…ALWAYS use full fat cream cheese. It adds to the richness and the flavour. The texture and consistency is much smoother as well. I’ve tried with different brands and trust me when I say as I always like to find a good bargain, but I’m still a firm believer that Philadelphia Cream Cheese, full fat is the way to go. 

Generally I make West Coast Cheesecakes which include sour cream in the mixture as well as a sour cream topping which is added after the cheesecake is baked. You then add it to the baked cheesecake and then give it a few more minutes in the oven to set the top. I didn’t bother with that step in this particular Peanut Butter cheesecake recipe, only because the cheesecake was going to be covered in a rich ganache topping anyway. Anyway…here’s the recipe. Give it a go and let me know your thoughts!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe Peanut Butter Oreos

Ingredients:

For the Crust:

  • 2 packs Peanut Butter Oreos
  • 100 grms Butter, melted

Blitz the Oreos in a food processor and add the melted butter. Mix together and spoon into a 9inch springform tin. You can absolutely use regular oreos or even digestives with a bit if cocoa powder…but I was kinda working with a theme here 😉 

Peanut butter cheesecake crust recipeReece's Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe

 

 

Preheat the oven to 160 C. 

A slow bake is crucial for a lovely creamy cheesecake. You may want to even wrap your tin in a couple layers of tin foil and place in a water bath to get that extra moist bake. I just made sure to keep checking on my cheesecake. You really don’t want to ovebake or the cheesecake will develop a graininess and result in a dry crumb.

Reece's Baked Peanut butter cheesecake 

The beauty of this recipe is that you throw all the ingredients in to one bowl and give it a mix. Do not over mix. You really want to avoid incorporating too much air into the batter.

Baked Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe

Ingredients for the cheesecake

  • x2 280g tubs of Full fat Cream Cheese
  • 250mls Sour Cream
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 3 eggs
  • 250mls smooth peanut butter
  • 175g soft brown sugar

Add all ingredients to one bowl and whisk until everything is incorporated. Save those 3 egg whites and make yourself a healthy omelette. You’ll feel less guilty eating a slice of this cheesecake after that…or is that just me? 😬🙈

Side note; you really want to avoid using the 100% all natural peanut butter. It messes with the recipe. I used Sunpat Crunchy….smooth is recommended for most peanut butter recipes but Kyle always insists on crunchy, so its usually what we have on hand. I do enjoy crunchy peanut butter for the added texture, and its somewhat more of a meal..but smooth just glides over your toast so much better…AMMA right?! 💕

Baked Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe Reese's

Pour the batter into your Crust and chuck it in the oven for a good 45 minutes. To be honest guys, I never really time my cakes. I check back a lot. After 45 minutes I did turn the cake to make sure that it was all baking evenly. I took the cake out when it was still slightly wobbly in the middle as it will still continue to cook after it’s been taken out of the oven. Don’t be scared to take it out too soon. That gentle wobble is crucial for getting a perfectly baked cake! Trust me! I ended up with a lusciously smooth, creamy and pretty damn irresistible cake if I do say so myself!

Baked Peanut Butter Cheesecake Recipe Reese's

I let this baby cool at room temp for about an hour then in the microwave I melted 50g of dark chocolate with 100mls of double cream. 

 

I gave this a good mix, then poured it over the cake and spread the chocolate over the sides. I chopped up some salted peanuts, Reese’s pieces, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and minis and decorated the outer edge of the cheesecake. 

Reese's peanut butter cheesecake recipe

Reese's Peanut butter cheesecake recipe

Kyle was extremely happy with his birthday treat and had an extra large slice. It went down really well with the rest of the crew as well. Give it a bash guys! Let me know how you get on and please feel free to get in touch with any questions, comments or suggestions you might have. I enjoyed my slice with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, and it seemed to pair just beautifully 😏 although I do suggest a cup of tea 💓

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How I made my Noah’s Ark Cake

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Tatty Teddy Cake Tutorial

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