I am on cloud nine! And the cloud is of Swiss Meringue Buttercream! Wanna have a look?
This satin smooth and not overly sweet buttercream is what I coveted for the longest time but dreaded trying. Google about it and you will know! But it kept coming back to me in pictures, thoughts and dreams. I finally decided to try it and read as many recipes and notes as I could and once I was confident, I tried it for the first time and failed miserably. But SMBC did not intimidate me. It cajoled me to do my home-work better next time. I read beyond what I already knew and decided to make a small batch this time. And this time it all came together as if it was the easiest thing in the whole world!
This buttercream is satin smooth and holds well at room temperature. I can understand why it is used in the gourmet bakeries all over the world. Unlike the American version, it is delicately sweet. Now I do not need to scrape buttercream off my cake slice. I would rather enjoy.
I would give you my two cents on making SMBC. WEIGH YOUR INGREDIENTS AND FOLLOW 1-2-3″ Do not go by “one large egg white” or “3/4th cup of sugar”. Weigh your ingredients. If egg white is X grams, sugar should be 2X and butter should be 3X. Thats all! I mean other than the technique and all the precautions needed to make SMBC. It would be good to go through the notes before jumping to the recipe. This buttercream is my dream come true. Follow the instructions and it would be yours too!
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Makes a practice batch to pipe a few roses)
Egg white: 30 grams
Castor sugar: 60 grams
Butter in cubes: 90 grams, at room temperature but not runny.
Vanilla extract: a few drops
1. Clean a large heat proof bowl and make sure it is grease free. Same for the beaters and spatula.
2. Add egg white and sugar to the bowl.
3. Set a bain marie with simmering water on a low-medium flame. Keep the bowl on bain marie such that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the simmering water.
4. Keep a candy thermometer ready.
5. Start whisking the egg white-sugar mix. Keep checking the temperature with the thermometer till it reads 160 F.
6. Remove the bowl carefully and start whisking with the hand beater beginning with the low speed first. Once foam forms, increase the speed to medium and then high.
7. Beat till stiff glossy peaks are formed and the bowl feels cold when touched from outside.
8. Start adding butter cube-by-cube. Do not add more butter till the previous addition is incorporated
9. The mixture will deflate and may even curdle (mine did not) but keep whipping and it will all come together into a fluffy frosting within a few minutes.
10. Add flavouring of your choice and beat once more.
11. The frosting will stay at room temperature for up to two days and for about a week under refrigeration. The frosting will not crust and needs to be whipped once before use if kept under refrigeration.
• Make sure that the egg white is devoid of even a drop of yolk. Yolk will hinder whipping the white to its full volume. It is best to separate egg when it is cold.
• Make sure that the egg whites are heated to 160 F before taking them off heat. Salmonella is killed at this temperature, making it safer for consumption. Italian buttercream involves adding boiling sugar syrup to the egg whites but the temperature doesn’t rise to 160 F.
• Make sure that the bowl has cooled down before adding the butter else the heat will melt the butter and it will not whip to a fluffy consistency.
• Make sure that the butter is at room temperature but is a bit firm when pressed with fingers.