Following up on our first tutorial for our vanilla cake, here is our second post covering the steps and tips so you can make this smooth and velvety buttercream at home, which is perfect for filling and covering cakes. We kept this a basic vanilla flavor, because we wanted to test out the original recipe first.
Next time, we will try flavoring it. According to the recipe’s source, you can flavor it with coffee, maple syrup, or anything you want…even fruit puree. We did try coloring it, with very good results. But we’ll cover that in our third post to finish this tutorial.
Tips. Read on, there’s some important information!
We read a lot of comments from people who tried this recipe, and ended up with soupy buttercream. It happened to us too, at first, but here are some tips with which we guarantee good results:
- Make sure your butter is at room temperature. Not a little cold… we mean room temperature. You should be able to make a dent in it with your finger without effort. But it should not be melty, it should still hold its shape well.
- Your syrup must reach the indicated temperature of 240ºF, so use a candy thermometer.
- When adding the syrup to your stiff egg whites, do it in a slow stream. You have to beat it until the meringue is at room temperature. If it is still too warm, it will melt the butter and that is what makes it soupy. We grabbed two kitchen towels and put ice cubes in them. We rubbed the outside of the bowl with it to help the mixture cool down faster, before adding the butter.
- It’s all about temperature. If it is soupy, you need to cool it down and keep beating. If it is curdled you need to warm it up and keep beating. I’ve used a hair dryer to warm up the outside of the bowl.
- If you add the butter, and it does get soupy, or it curdles, just keep going. Keep on beating it, you will get buttercream, I promise. In the case of soupy buttercream, rubbing the outside of the bowl with some ice inside kitchen towels worked for us.
- We’ve made this recipe about 5 or 6 times already, one of the times, we made it in advance and kept it in the refrigerator.When we took it out the next day to use it, it was curdled, and broken. After freaking out internally, I did some research, and tried this: I put it back into the beating machine, and whipped it while using a hair dryer to heat the outside of the bowl. Within moments, I had smooth velvety buttercream again.
Italian Meringue Buttercream
Recipe by Yolanda Gampp, How to Cake it
Yields: about 6 cups of buttercream, enough to frost one 8″ layer cake
400 g. granulated sugar, about 1¾ cups
½ cup of water
8 large egg whites
16-oz. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and ½ cup water to a boil.
- While your sugar mixture is heating, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When your sugar reaches about 230ºF on the candy thermometer, begin to whip eggs whites at medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not over beat!
- Once your sugar reaches 240ºF, immediately remove it from heat, and with the mixer running, add it to your egg whites in a stream and beat on high-speed. Be careful, it’s very hot!
- Continue to whip your meringue until you can’t feel heat in the bowl. You can place your hands along the sides of the bowl to check – it should feel like it’s at room temperature.
- With the mixer still running, add your butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 3 to 5 minutes; then, beat in vanilla. If your buttercream appears curdled, keep beating until smooth. Makes about 6 cups.
Have you made this recipe?
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