vanilla swiss meringue buttercream

The first time I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I did a ton of research and finally went to the kitchen with a recipe that I felt was pretty good.

It was not a disaster, but I was so worried about the entire process because the way the steps were described sounded so complicated that I did not enjoy making the buttercream at all.

What I did like, though, was how the buttercream tasted. It was not overly sweet, and it was so so smooth! In addition to that, it was a dream to pipe. But I have to say, the best part of it all was that the buttercream is stable and holds its shape well in the weather in Singapore, so that means it can sit outside the fridge for quite a while and not melt into a mess. Having said that, I do not recommend that you leave it in direct sunlight or in the heat for too long!

I like to make a big batch of buttercream because it freezes really well. I mean, if you are going to go through the effort of making the buttercream, you might as well make more so you do not have to make it too often!

I made some quick and easy (but very tasty) chocolate cupcakes recently and piped swiss meringue buttercream on them. I didn’t post the recipe for the buttercream with it because (1) I didn’t think many people would be interested; and (2) the post would have been very, very long.

But people did ask, and since there is interest, I am more than happy to share how to make this super yummy buttercream!

I am going to teach you how to make this buttercream. It is actually very simple, but it definitely involves more steps than making an American buttercream.

To start, cut the butter into cubes and set them aside. The butter has to be soft and cool, but not cold.

Place the egg whites and sugar in a metal bowl. I prefer metal because it conducts heat well, but any heatproof bowl would also work.

The bowl was placed over a pot that contained a little water that was simmering – the water must NEVER touch the base of the bowl!!

Using an electrical hand whisk, start whisking the mixture. I do not recommend that you do this by hand. I think your arm would probably fall off. But then again, you may have super strong arms and want to whip this by hand. If so, by all means please do! πŸ™‚

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And kept on whisking. The volume of the egg whites will increase, and the colour will lighten.

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Once all the sugar has completely dissolved, and the mixture has reached about 60Β°C (140Β°F) the mixture is ready for the next step. You can rub some of the mixture between your thumb and finger to check if there is any unmelted sugar.

Very carefully, transfer the egg whites into a mixing bowl.

Then using the WHISK attachment, whisk the egg whites on HIGH speed.

IMG_0820Keep whisking until the meringue is thick and glossy and the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm. This is very important and you must not start adding the butter until this happens.

Then using the PADDLE attachment of the mixer, start mixing and adding the butter 4 cubes at a time, also on HIGH speed

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Just keep mixing and adding the butter. 

Until all the butter has been used up.

Potential problem #1: Sometimes the mixture would look like it had curdled. Worry not!! Just keep mixing and it will come together and become smooth.

Potential problem #2: If the mixture is too runny, place the mixture in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes, then continue mixing.

Finally, add the vanilla extract and salt, and beat on slow until they are well-incorporated.

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And you will have buttercream which you can use immediately, or freeze until it is needed!

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Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Yields 3
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Ingredients
  1. 5 large egg whites
  2. 1 1/2 cup (300g) sugar
  3. 454g unsalted butter, sliced and softened
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine egg whites and sugar in a stand mixer bowl and place it over (not on) simmering water. Heat mixture to 60Β°C (140Β°F) while whisking constantly.
  2. Transfer mixer bowl to stand mixer, fitted with a whisk attachment and beat on medium high speed until mixture cools, doubles in volume and forms stiff peaks; about 10-12 minutes.
  3. Add butter in one piece at a time, mixing to incorporate after each addition. The mixture may appear clumpy and almost curdled looking at firstβ€”this is normal. Keep mixing and it will become even and smooth again.
  4. Add salt and flavoring, mix to combine.
Notes
  1. The buttercream can be stored in air-tight containers and left at room temperature overnight, in the fridge for 3 weeks and in the freezer for up to 3 months. If chilled or frozen, thaw in the fridge and bring to room temperature before whisking the cream to buttercream consistency before using.
  2. Swiss Meringue buttercream can be used to frost cakes/cupcakes in advance and the cakes/cupcakes can be left in an air-conditioned room. The buttercream will hold.
  3. Swiss Meringue buttercreams must be eaten at room temperature.
  4. You can add any food coloring to the buttercream then whisk to incorporate.
  5. If the buttercream looks like it had curdled, just keep mixing and it will come together and become smooth.
  6. If the buttercream is too runny, place it in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes, then continue mixing.
Adapted from bakersroyale
Adapted from bakersroyale
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