- 1/2 c water
- 2.25 c Sugar (Granulated)
- 1 c egg whites (about 12 large)
- 1.5 lb butter (unsalted) (at room temp, cut into 1" pieces)
- 1 t vanilla extract
In a saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil. Use a clean brush and cold water to wash down any sugar crystals that form on the sides of the pan as the water heats. When the sugar comes to a boil, set a timer for 7 minutes, and let boil.
After 5 minutes, in the bowl of an electric mixer, begin to whip the egg whites at high speed. Whip until stiff. They should be done when the timer goes off.
With the mixer on high speed, slowly beat the sugar syrup into the egg whites, pouring the syrup to the side of the bowl to avoid the whip. Continue to beat until the bowl is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes. Slowly add the butter.
When the buttercream begins to jump out of the bowl, reduce the speed to low. Mix in the vanilla extract at low speed. Beat until light and fluffy. At some points the mixture might look curdled. Just keep beating; it will become smooth again.
Variations. The luxurious flavor of buttercream is even more sumptuous with the addition of chocolate or raspberry. Tart or slightly bitter flavors, like lemon curd or espresso powder, take the sweet edge off of plain vanilla buttercream for a very sophisticated flavor.
Stir in 2 to 3 ounces of melted, body-temperature (100F) semisweet chocolate per 1 cup of Kaye's Buttercream. Mix until smooth and completely blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl to prevent the chocolate from hardening and causing unmelted flecks in the buttercream.
Stir in 1/4 cup lemon curd per 2 cups of Kaye's Buttercream. Mix until smooth and completely blended.
Stir in 1/4 cup (or to taste and color) raspberry puree per 2 cups of Kaye's Buttercream. Mix until smooth and completely blended.
Chocolate Hazelnut Buttercream
Stir in 1/4 cup (or to taste and color) chocolate hazelnut spread per 1.5 cups of Kaye's Buttercream. Mix until smooth and completely blended.
In a bowl, dissolve 2 T instant espresso powder in 2 T of hot water. Whisk in 3 cups of Kaye's Buttercream. Mix until smooth and completely blended.
Notes from source: People who think they do not like buttercream have probably never had the real thing. I think my Italian meringue buttercream is just the best. It is stable enough to hold up for those summer wedding cakes; it keeps well; it has a silky-smooth texture; and it mixes beautifully with flavors like chocolate, espresso, raspberry, lemon, or hazelnut. We use 40-60 gallons a week at the Bakehouse. Any leftover buttercream should be stored in the refrigerator and will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks. To use the chilled buttercream, bring it to room temperature and beat it at medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. To speed up this process you can lightly reheat the buttercream over hot water before beating. Tinting the buttercream will not produce colors quite as bright or pure as the House Buttercream because the butter content imparts a subtle yellow cast.
SJ Note 21 March 2010: I made the chocolate buttercream. This is a bit of work, but well worth it. I'll likely halve the recipe in the future, as that's the limit of my mixing bowls & mixer. O, so good; I'm about to go have some more! Probably on some cake ;-)