With the surge in popularity of all things cake and baking in recent times, it’s easy to get bamboozled by all the products and gadgets out there. Similarly decorating cakes has become a task requiring artistic flair and an eye for the fabulous and decadent. Fondant cakes that were once all the rage have steadily been surpassed by the new “naked” fashion, and buttercream has edged out ganache as the way to fill and cover your sugary creations. Personally I don’t mind this one bit as I have had many fondant-provoked moments of frustration like when the size you’ve rolled out is not quite enough to cover the cake, it splits on lifting it off the bench to put onto the cake or the edges crack and bubble, leaving you with a ganache stained mess that you can no longer use. Enter my new favourite friend, the buttercream.
When I first started using buttercream, my efforts consisted of the icing sugar laden butter mixtures, reminiscent of my childhood, that were never quite smooth enough and always way too sweet for my liking. Not satisfied with this situation and knowing there must be a better way out there in the baking universe, I began my research and quickly came across recipes that guaranteed I would have the smoothest, creamiest buttercreams ever imagined. I have to admit I was sceptical. Such claims had been made before with disappointment my only result but, determined to find my holy grail of frosting, I gave it a go and haven’t looked back. So what is this wonder of cake decorating you ask? It is Swiss Meringue Buttercream and it does truly live up to the claims. Sure, it takes a bit more time and effort to get the final product, but once you do it’s definitely worth it.
To begin this recipe there are a few things you’ll need aside from the ingredients. You really can’t do it without a stand mixer, preferably one with a balloon whisk and paddle attachment. You will also need a candy thermometer or laser thermometer to check the temperature of your sugar and egg white mixture before you begin beating. A set of scales is essential to get the measurements right so that the final mix is perfectly smooth and creamy. And the last vital tool you will need is patience, which can be the difference between success and frosting flop.
I have had many requests for the recipe by similarly “frosting disillusioned” home bakers and so have decided to share it with you, as well as some suggestions for pimping it up a bit. I’ve found it lends itself really well to being flavoured and coloured which is another reason I love it (you’ll find some tips for this at the end of the recipe). This recipe does use quite a few egg whites so stay tuned for ways to use the yolks in an upcoming post, to avoid wastage. Here’s hoping this recipe will change your baking world just like it has mine.
For the recipe, follow the link:
Swiss Meringue Buttercream