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Swiss meringue butter cream

This is the buttercream I use the most as it’s so versatile, has a beautiful smooth texture and carries flavours brilliantly. It also the reason our celebration cakes are op smooth and shiny.


It is a lot less sweet than traditional American style butter cream (icing sugar and butter)and hold it texture even with the addition of liquids the butter cream last a week in the fridge or a month in the freezer but will need to be brought up the room temperature and whipped again until light and fluffy.


Ingredients


150g eggs whites

250g caster sugar

340g unsalted butter, room temperature but still firm

Pinch of salt

2 tsp vanilla bean paste


Equipment


Standing mixer with whisk attachment

Sugar thermometer


Start by bring a pan of water to the boil, the bowl will need to fit snuggly on top with out touching the water.


In a very clean bowl gently whisk together the egg whites and sugar until just mixed, place the bowl over the hot water and continuously stir with the whisk until the temperature reaches 72'


Don’t beat the meringue so much that it becomes peaky as it will take a very long time to reach temperature, trust me I have made that mistake, the mixture should still be pretty liquid. Place onto the mixer immediately and whisk on medium to high until the bowl is room temperature.


Meanwhile cut the butter into large chunks. Once the mixture is completely cool add in the chunks of butter one at a time until all of the butter has been incorporated, then turn whisk on high until thick and fluffy, add a couple of pinches of salt to suit your taste and the vanilla.


If the mixture looks like it has curdled just keep going, it will come back together. Once the butter cream is thick and smooth switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low for 5 minutes. The butter cream is ready to store or use straight away. If using straight away use a wooden spoon to beat the last of the bigger air bubbles out, this will mean your cakes are perfectly smooth.


Trouble-shooters


Thin and sloppy- this is probably because the mix is too warm, pop the bowl in the fridge for 20 minutes and then whisk again.


Curdling- This just needs time, keep whisking on high until it comes together, it may also be to warm.


Hard to smooth- if you are using the butter cream once it has been refrigerated it is important to get it to room temperature. Once the butter cream is being whipped use a blow torch to warm the side of the bowl until you reach the desired consistency.

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