Just like crepes it may seem initimateding to make, but it’s actually doable once you’ve tried it! I highly suggest using a candy thermometer so you don’t have to guess if the egg whites are cooked and all the sugar has dissolved. You would know it’s ready when your thermometer hits 160 F / 70 C.
Tips and Troubleshooting Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- The egg whites should be free of any bits of yolk. I always crack the egg and extract the egg whites in a separate bowl, then once I have a clean (not a bit of yolk) egg whites I pour it into another bowl together with the other egg whites. This is to ensure that if ever there is an egg yolk in it (and this has happened a lot to me!), I would not contaminate the other egg whites and don’t have to start all over again.
- The metal and mixing bowls should be completely dry and clean before use. Ensure that there are no traces of grease.
- The water in the double boiler should be in a simmer. The boiling water should not start the bottom of your metal bowl.
- Swiss Meringue Buttercream can be stored in an air-tight contaier in the fridge for up to 7 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw frozen buttercream in the fridge. Bring the buttercream to room temperature then remix it again until it is smooth and silky. Let the mixer run on low speed for a few minutes to remove any air bubbles.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is smooth, silky, and not tooth-achingly sweet. It can be used on a variety of cakes and cupcakes as it can easily be flavored. For this recipe, I am using vanilla, but chocolate, espresso powder, fruit purees, caramel, and lemon zest are excellent alternatives too!
- 150 milliliters egg whites (approximately from 5 large eggs)
- 250 grams granulated white sugar
- 450 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature (cut into small cubes)
- 2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
In a metal bowl, put the egg whites and sugar. Whisk by hand. Put the bowl over a saucepan (to create a double boiler) with simmering water. Whisk until it registers 160 F or 70 C on a candy thermometer.
Transfer the mixture in a stand mixer bowl and beat with whisk attachment on high speed for about 8-10 minutes or until medium stiff peaks. Switch to paddle attachment and on low speed, add butter few at a time. Once incorporated, turn up the speed to medium-high until smooth and silky, about 3-5 minutes.
(Note 1) This recipe is enough to frost a three layered 8-inch cake.