I admit it. I land on something good, make it forever, then finally get tired of it and have to go back to the drawing board. I’m not sure it’s a good thing or not, maybe I should just learn to be content with something that works. But I can’t ignore the never-ending search for something that’s even better!
Typically this applies to my cupcake and icing recipes. I did so much research to FINALLY find a recipe for chocolate and vanilla cupcakes that is easy and has amazing results. The same thing happened for a buttercream recipe – which is hard, because so many people have different ideas of what makes a good buttercream. Some like it sweet, others salty. Some like it grainy, others smooth. Some like it white…you see where I’m going? You can’t please everyone! And I’m the hardest to please – really, I’m just really picky and critical of what I make :D Which is what leads me on the never-ending-ness of cupcake and icing experimentation.
Lately I’ve been playing around with swiss meringue buttercream. Why I’ve not just made this type all along I am not sure?! Except that maybe my obsessive quest for the perfect buttercream side-tracked me from it all together. It IS a little more work than just mixing butter and icing sugar, but the results are AMAZING!
(For more photos and tips on the process, check out this post from Sweetapolita)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 8 large egg whites (separate the eggs or buy egg whites in a carton)
- 2 1/4 cups sugar (regular, not powdered!)
- 3 cups unsalted butter (sliced, at room temp)
- 1/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt
Combine egg whites and sugar in a heat safe glass bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water. Heat to 160 degrees F (use a candy thermometer), whisking constantly.
Transfer mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat with the whisk attachment on medium high speed until doubled in size and stiff peaks formed. This should take about 10-12 minutes (the side of the bowl should also feel cool).
Gradually add in butter, continuing to beat. Don’t worry if it looks lumpy or curdles, keep beating and it will come back together!
Add salt and flavouring and mix well.
Flavour Options (there’s many more than this, these are just what I’ve tried so far)
Mocha Swiss Meringue Buttercream – Melt 1/2 – 1 cup chocolate chips. Add to frosting, along with a few teaspoons at a time of (cooled) strong coffee. Keep adding until you get the flavour you like!
Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream – Add 1/4 cup strained, mashed strawberries. For a stronger flavour, add a tiny bit of strawberry flavouring.
Lemon Swiss Meringue Buttercream – Add lemon zest and freshly squeezed lemon juice until desired flavour is achieved.
Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream – Add a few tablespoons at a time of dulce du leche or caramel to the frosting. Mix to taste. (Perfect on these Salted Caramel cupcakes!)