SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM
As the foundation for all my cake decorating, buttercream has become ingrained into my life!
Once I started working with buttercream, I discovered that it had so many positive properties that it was hard to move back to anything else.
- As a cake decorating element it
- Has the ability to act as a barrier to keep cakes moist
- Assists with holding the cake structure
- Allows me to layer to build height and structure to my cakes
My preferred buttercream recipe that I use in all my cake designs is based on Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC). Swiss Meringue Buttercream is made up of egg whites, caster (granulated) sugar and butter. This buttercream is super easy to make, fluffy and light!
Over the years, I have adapted the traditional Swiss meringue buttercream recipe into three ingredients and three easy steps for efficiency!
This recipe card only covers the making of the buttercream.
1kg unsalted butter(in a microwave safe container or bowl)
500g of caster (granulated) white sugar
500g of pasteurised egg whites** taken from the fridge
Place sugar and egg whites into mixer bowl and place into position on the mixer with the whisk attachment connected. Turn mixer on to high speed until a meringue is formed and that the bowl is at room temperature**. (We are not looking for a glossy, thick texture - your meringue can just be fluffy and opaque.)
While you meringue is mixing, melt your butter 30 seconds at a time until ⅓ of it is completely melted. You want your butter to be quite soft but not completely in its liquid form.
Spoon in the softened butter, all at once, and stir into the meringue before switching the mixer on to medium speed. Once the butter is incorporated into the mix, switch the mixer onto a high speed until the buttercream is glossy and fluffy. This is when you know it has fully formed.
* Pasteurised eggs are egg whites that have been pasteurised in order to reduce the risk of foodborne illness in dishes that are not cooked or are only lightly cooked. They are not available everywhere but some supermarkets may have them in the egg section/aisle. They come in cartons that look like small milk cartons. If you can’t find them at the supermarket, try a speciality baking store. Alternatively, use fresh egg whites as per traditional SMBC recipes found online.
I strongly recommend you use this recipe as a guide and take the time to follow the steps over several occasions and adjust the recipe accordingly to suit you and your tastes.
** It is important to have your meringue mixture at room temperature before adding the butter because if it is too cold (for example, from the egg whites you took straight from the fridge), and you add softened butter, the meringue will stiffen the butter and the mixture will become chunky.
Resource Link: Buttercream Troubleshooting