Not overly sweet and smoother than my chat up lines – you won’t go back to the basic buttercream after getting your nashers round this.
There are 3 main types of buttercream – American, Italian meringue and Swiss meringue. There are some other irrelevant ones but these are the 3 top dawgs.
AMERICAN – the one we’ve all made a million times, whipping together icing sugar and butter. It’s by far the easiest buttercream out of the 3, but it’s rougher than a bear’s bum, doesn’t cope well in hot weather and is a nightmare to get smooth on a cake.
SWISS MERINGUE – Meringue buttercreams incorporate whipped egg whites (like making a meringue.) Swiss is made by heating egg whites and sugar together, then beating in butter. Because the sugar is heated, it doesn’t leave a gritty feel like the American buttercream, and is much lighter from the whipped egg whites. Much like a Brit, it can’t cope in hot weather though 😦
ITALIAN MERINGUE – the one you’ve all been waiting for. My personal fave buttercream, made by first heating sugar and then slowly dribbling it into whipped egg whites. This one is more technical because the sugar has to be heated to a specific temp, but it results in a glossy buttercream which is stable in all kinds of environments, a dream to pipe and is incredibly easy to flavour with whatever takes your fancy.
I pimped my Italian meringue buttercream with vanilla and coffee powder in these Vanilla latte cupcakes.
For Italian meringue, it’s really useful to have a candy thermometer (avail on amazon or the black market) because the sugar has to be heated to 114C. This is called ‘soft ball’ stage, so if you don’t have a candy thermometer do not fear!!! Simply drop a spoonful of your sugar mix into a bowl of very cold water. You should be able to squidge it into a ball in the water, but it goes soft when you take it out of the water. So it is literally a soft ball.
This Italian meringue buttercream recipe is a simple base for adding whatever flavours you like (mayo???), so is a really versatile recipe to have on hand.
- 160g granulated sugar
- 70ml water
- 2 egg whites
- 195g butter
- any flavouring you want
- candy thermometer (preferred)
Method – makes enough to ice 12 cupcakes
- pop your sugar and water in a pan and begin to heat with the thermometer in the mix
- when the thermometer reads 100C (about 2-3 mins) begin whipping up your egg whites
- If you don’t have a thermometer just keep doing the soft ball test described above every 30 secs until it’s ready
- when it reaches 114C (soft ball stage), begin to dribble it down the side of the bowl into the egg whites. You need to do this slowly – we’re talking your grandad’s dribble when he falls asleep – that sort of speed
- once all that shug is in, keep whipping it on high speed until the bowl feels room temp (this could take 5-10 mins of whipping, make sure it has properly cooled before you add in the butter otherwise it will turn to soup 😦
- At this point you should be able to do the tippy head thing
- then plop in nubs of your butter a bit at a time
- if it looks shockingly bad at this point, just keep whipping through it and it’ll probs be fine.
- if not then bin it and get Betty Crocker out
- then you can spice up your life however you please by adding whichever flavours tickle your pickle
- or if you’re truly dull then you can leave it plain
I know none of you acc read the recipe so here’s the goss x x x
Ok so anyone who knows me knows lettuce is a staple ingredient in my fridge. It’s got to the point where my housemates say all I eat is lettuce and baked beans (two excellent foods if you ask me).
But the other night I had my first experience of a lettuce dream and it was NOT what I had in mind. So I was chip chopping up a nice crispy lettuce and inside it was all rotten. I was like ew that’s gross, but then I looked closer and the rot was A GIANT DEAD SPIDER.
I tired to look up the meaning and it went from money problems to a ‘decrease in sexual appetite’ so if anyone else wants to give me an interpretation that would be mint thanks x