2.01.2014

Swiss Meringue Buttercream




While planning my daughters wedding, we searched high and low for a cake baker that would make a wedding cake iced with either a Swiss meringue buttercream or an Italian meringue buttercream.  The cake had to be made from scratch.  Fondant was not allowed.  Icing made with shortening or confectioners sugar was completely out of the question.  I was told over and over again by bakers that a meringue buttercream was too difficult to work with for a wedding cake especially in August.  We were more concerned about how the cake tasted rather that how perfect the cake looked.  Both looks and taste be ideal.  

We found a young, fabulous baker excited to make the cake of Tiffany's dreams. Her bakery is called Noisette in Salt Lake City, Utah.   Megan was a heavenly to work and the cakes were beautiful and tasted AMAZING!  




I'm going to show you how simple it is to make a Swiss buttercream.  Nothing smooths over a cake or pipes onto cupcakes as beautifully as this buttercream will.  I love how it melts in my mouth.  It is like satin without the gritty taste or feel of confectioners sugar.  It's a rich and luscious dream.




For this Swiss Meringue buttercream you will need:

2/3 cup (150 g) egg whites
1 1/4 cup (250 g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (340 g) or 3 cubes unsalted butter
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla



Slice each cube of butter into 8 equal slices or 1 tablespoon slices or cubes.




I like to arrange them on a plate to soften.  Important note:  You do NOT want your butter to be a room temperature.  You want to softened, but still cool.




Pour 2/3 cup egg whites into the bowl of an electric mixer.  Make sure the bowl is very clean and free from fat or grease.




Add 1 1/4 cups sugar.




Whisk together.




Place the bowl on top of a pan of simmering water.  Do not let the bowl touch the water.




Stir constantly until the temperature reaches 160 degrees F and the sugar should be dissolved.




Remove from heat.




Rub a small amount of the mixture between your fingers to make sure the sugar has dissolved.




Using a whisk attachment, whip the mixture.




Beat until a stiff meringue forms and the bottom of of the bowl is cool to the touch.  I'll repeat that, the bottom of the bowl should be cool to the touch.  If the bowl is still warm, continue beating until it is cool.






Remove the whisk and attach the paddle attachment.




Take the softened butter and add it to the meringue mixture.




Turn the mixer on and add butter one tablespoon at a time until incorporated.




Repeat.




You will notice that the meringue will slightly deflate.  DO NOT PANIC.

Wait for it...




Continue to add the butter while mixing.




Wait for it...




As the last tablespoon of butter is added the buttercream will finally come together.  It is complete!




Add the salt and a pinch of salt.




Ta da!  Perfectly smooth and satiny buttercream.  What cakes are meant to be iced with.




Flavoring your buttercream is a "piece of cake".  He he.

I am making chocolate cupcakes for Valentines day and I want to make strawberry buttercream.  Notice that I am using all natural flavors and colors in my buttercream.  The buttercream will have the flavor of fresh strawberries. Not an artificial flavor from a bottle.

You can flavor your buttercream with any pureed fruit,  melted dark chocolate that has been cooled, Hazelnut paste, pistachio paste, etc.




To make the strawberry puree I have going to puree washed and sliced strawberries.






I don't want seeds in my satiny icing, so I'm straining out the seeds.  A food mill would do the trick as well.







Add the puree with the mixer running.  Continue to beat until the buttercream is smooth and creamy again.




The perfect pink.






Fill a pastry bag that has been fitted with desire tip.






Pipe onto cooled cupcakes.




Perfect.


Swiss Meringue Buttercream

2/3 cup (150 g) egg whites
1 1/4 cups (250 g) sugar
1 1/2 cups (340 g) or 3 cubes unsalted butter, cut into 1 tbl. cubes or slices
pinch of salt
2 teaspoons vanilla

optional:
1/2 cup seedless strawberry puree

In a very clean bowl of an electric mixer, add egg whites and sugar.  Place over a simmering pot of water, stirring constantly until temperature reaches 160 degrees F.  Rub a small amount of the mixture between two fingers to make sure the sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Using the whisk attachment, beat until the mixture is a thick meringue and the bottom of the bowl is cool to the touch.  The bowl must be cool before adding the butter.

Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment.  With the mixture on medium-low speed add butter once slice at a time until all of the butter has been incorporated.  The mixture should be silky smooth and thick.  The mixture may begin to look curdled, keep mixing until it is smooth.  This can take 10 minutes or so.  Mix in salt and vanilla.  Add strawberry puree, if using.  Once puree is added keep mixing until mixture is silky again.

-Mixture may be refrigerated but will have to be re-whipped using the paddle attachment before using to      make it silky smooth again.
-Mixture may, also, be frozen for up to a month.  Thaw on at room temperature overnight and re-whip with    the paddle attachment until smooth before using.

Print this recipe

25 comments:

  1. it is so WONDERFULL !

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  2. I encountered a similar problem when our daughter was planning her wedding. I eventually marched myself to the local library, checked out every book on wedding cake baking and set to accomplish the task myself. The learning curve was pretty steep. I did have wonderful help from friends on assembly day. The buttercream came together beautifully and the cake was delicious. How could it not be with 20 pounds of butter in the cake and icing? Can you ever do too much for your children? :-)

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    1. Bless your heart. A wedding cake would have pushed this mother over the edge. 20 lbs of butter?? that is amazing, but I can see why you would need that much to cover a wedding cake. I bet it was beautiful. You get the mother of the year award in my book. You are right, we just keep on doing for our children as much and as long at it takes. That's for sharing this fun comment.

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  3. This looks quite simply delicious, Janet! Beautiful pictures, as usual! x Mel

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  4. Thanks, Mel. I always look forward to your uplifting comments.

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  5. I absolutely love these two recipes! Thank you so much for sharing. I love the frosting recipe -- different than anything I already have so thank you very much!

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  6. Hello! I read your blog for quite some time now, and i'm blown away with the details and wonderfull food you make! I really want to make this buttercream for those wonderull choco cupcakes, but i have a question. I do not have a paddle thingy on my mixer, i just have the wire ones and those spiraly thingies for dough, so can i use the wisk attachment on low speed when i'm adding the butter? everywhere i looked there was a paddle attachment for administratng the butter, so now i have no courage to try and make this... Thank you in advance :)

    Lots of love from Serbia!
    Karolina

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  7. Hello Karolina in far away Serbia. I'm pretty sure I have made this and forgot to change the attachments from whisk to paddle. I would try it because I think it will work. I will fee really bad if it doesn't. I'm pretty sure it will. I would do exactly what you have said, on low speed. Please report back to me and let me know about your success.

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    1. Well i'll make it for Valentine's and if it works i will have the same thing on my wedding cake this june :) will report on my succes or failure :)

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    2. Wedding in June? How exciting! Congratulations!!!

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    3. So i tried it and i think it will change my life completly :D it turned out wondefully and i have no words for the taste :) thank you for the recipe and the tips! and thank you for the congrats :) we are very excited :)

      Lots of love
      Karolina

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    4. This is great news and makes me so happy. Thanks for sharing your success. Best of luck planning your wedding.

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  8. Thanks for sharing this, I really hate fondant,it's costly and not practical as the fondant meant to be thrown away..what a massive waste. Swiss buttercream is my choice now^^

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you completely. Thanks so much for sharing your comment. Go Swiss buttercream!

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  9. Hi... I would like to make this, but don't have a stand mixer. Do you think it would turn out as well with a hand mixer? Thanks so much!

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    1. Sure, I don't see why not. It should work just fine just beat like crazy. Best of luck. Let me know the results.

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  10. Thanks for your quick response. Do you recommend using the wire whisk or the beaters to whip the egg whites? And since there is no paddle attachment, can I just use the beaters to incorporate the butter?

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    Replies
    1. I think you can use the beaters throughout the entire process and still have success.

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  11. I have been searching through a lot of blogs for an instruction on how to make SMB because I will be making it for the first time- and I found your tutorial so perfect for me because it is easy to follow and so simple to understand ; that's why I made my first SMB right away yesterday and it turned out fantastic! I used only a handmixer from Kenwood and it only took me 20 minutes in total to make. Thank you so much for this!

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    1. Thank you so much for sending me this comment. It will help the above reader with her question. I'm thrilled the buttercream was a success. Isn't it just divine. Who needs a cake, when a spoon works!

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  12. Hello,

    I been wanting to try to make this for a little while now and finally today i tried it out.
    I did it with a hand mixer and took a while for the meringue to get stiff and wasnt sure if it was stiff enough after beating for 15 min. after putting in the butter and salt and vanille it came out smooth and thick and Soooo yummoe, the taste is perfect, not too much butter wich i had with another recipie i tried a while back..this recipie I LOVE!! thanks for sharing.

    I just wasnt sure why i didnt got really stiff peaks of meringue, but it came out good.

    Greetings from Holland.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing your success. Beating the meringue is such a process and can take forever. I bet your arm and hand got tired. I'm sure it was worth the effort. This stuff is amazing. Have and great day in Holland. I'm so happy you found my blog.

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  13. Hi I was wondering how many eggs whites is approx. 2/3 cup?

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  14. Hi I was wondering how many egg whites are approx. 2/3 cup? And how much icing does this make? Enough to ice 24 cupcakes?

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