Video:Italian Meringue Buttercreamwith Elizabeth LaBau
Italian meringue buttercream is a light, creamy, smooth frosting that's perfect for decorating cakes and cupcakes. Learn how easy it is to make Italian meringue buttercream.See Transcript
Transcript:Italian Meringue ButtercreamTo make this buttercream, you will need: 2 cups of granulated sugar ½ cup of water The whites of 5 large eggs 1/8 tsp cream of tartar And12 ounces of cool but soft UNSALTED butter. It is very important that the butter is unsalted. You will also need a candy thermometer And a mixer with a whisk attachment. Begin by combining the sugar and the water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then insert a candy thermometer. Bring the sugar syrup to a boil. When the sugar syrup reaches about 220 degrees Fahrenheit, get your egg whites started. Pour the egg whites into the clean, dry bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and turn the mixer to medium speed. When the whites are nice and frothy, add the cream of tartar and continue to beat the egg whites until they form firm peaks. Ideally, they will reach the firm peak stage just as the syrup reaches soft-ball stage, or 245 degrees. If they reach this stage before the syrup's done, turn the mixer off so they don't become overbeaten. Cook the sugar syrup until it reaches 245 degrees,and transfer it to a large measuring cup with a spout. Pour a small amount of the syrup into the egg whites, and immediately beat them on high for five seconds. Turn the mixer off, pour more syrup in, and beat on high again for five seconds. Continue this process until all the syrup is in the whites. You could just stream it in with the mixer running, but I think this method is better and less messy. Once all of the syrup is in the whites, turn the mixer to medium and beat until the mixer bowl is no longer warm to the touch. Depending on the temperature of the room, this could take anywhere between 10-25 minutes. At this point, you could stop right there and have a lovely marshmallow frosting. But we're not going to stop there! We're going to make buttercream, so we need lots of butter. With the mixer on medium-low, begin adding the butter in small chunks. It is important that the butter be supple but cool to the touch. If it's too warm, it'll melt into the egg whites and become soupy. As the butter's being added, the frosting might appear to break or curdle, and once it's all added, it will still be a thin mess. But don't lose faith! Keep beating the frosting on medium-low, and after a few minutes, it will come together in a gorgeous, light, fluffy buttercream. At this point it's not flavored, so you can add your favorite flavorings. Try 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract, or a few teaspoons of other extracts, or about 6 ounces of melted and cooled chocolate, or up to ½ cup of your favorite fruit puree. To store this buttercream, keep it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for several months. Let it sit at room temperature to warm up, then beat it until it is smooth again. This frosting is light, smooth, and not overwhelmingly sweet. It's perfect for decorating cakes and cupcakes.
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