Since my Swiss Meringue Buttercream has surely lived up to it’s name of “World Famous”! it seems about time to add to our repertoire yet another variation of buttercream.
The Italian Meringue Buttercream. For those who are looking for a silky smooth way less sugar recipe this one is for you!
Some people claim that Italian Meringue Buttercream is way more stable as compared to Swiss Buttercream due to the cooking of the sugar and the thick meringue that is created through this process.
I’m not sure I disagree, but I would note that if you are making a Swiss Meringue properly (thick meringue is the key note in that recipe as well) then they are both quite stable in my experience.
Italian Meringue requires an a candy thermometer to properly cook your sugar.
Italian Meringue Buttercream has the claim to fame of being less sweet than the other buttercreams and it is a bit more stable due to the way we cook the sugar syrup and prepare the meringue.
Check it out and decide for yourself which you love the best!
Now some of you may notice that in the video I had only 4 sticks (454g) of butter whereas here in the written blog post I have 5 sticks (565g)
Because I wanted to be sure my buttercream was super extra stable I decreased the butter by 1 stick (113g) and increased the shortening ratio by that same amount (1 cup or 113g).
So you see you can play around with ratios here; use all butter if you do not want shortening, or use a combination like I did, but be forewarned that much of the stability of any buttercream comes from the shortening.
So to be clear the total amount of FAT (butter, shortening or a combination of the two) is 765g or 3¼cups
Please read all the way to the bottom of this blog post as there are many Most Asked Questions and some troubleshooting that I address below! thanks!
You can add flavors to this buttercream the same as you would for the American Buttercream & Swiss Buttercream CLICK HERE FOR MORE
- Egg Whites 7 large (210g)
- Granulated Sugar 2 cups (400g)
- Water 1cup (237ml)
- Unsalted Butter 5 sticks (1lb 4oz) (566g)
- Solid Vegetable Shortening 1 cup (198g)
- Vanilla Extract 2 Tablespoons
- In a large heavy bottom sauce pot, combine the water and sugar and stir over high heat until the sugar is dissolved into the water.
- Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pot and continue boiling without stirring, until the sugar solution reaches 240° F
- Meanwhile in the clean bowl of your kitchen aid mixer with the whisk attachment place the egg whites.
- As soon as the sugar mixture reaches 240° F you can turn on the mixer to medium high speed to get the whites frothy and gaining volume.
- Once the egg whites are starting to get white in color and frothy and gain some strength SLOWLY, as fine as a thread of hair, begin pouring the hot syrup into the whipping whites.
- ALWAYS TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS WHILE WORKING WITH HOT SUGAR SYRUPS!!!!
- Try to avoid splashing the syrup onto the whisk attachment as it is whipping the whites, or you will be making spun sugar as it hits the sides of the metal bowl!
- Continue whipping the whites until the mixture has COOLED COMPLETELY before you add the butter/shortening or you will have Butter Soup!
- Once the Italian Meringue is COOL TO THE TOUCH you may add the butter/shortening that is at ROOM TEMPERATURE to the meringue while whipping on medium-high speed
- Add the vanilla extract
- Switch to the paddle attachment and mix on low- medium speed until smooth
If you decide to store it in the fridge/freeze, you will have to bring it back to room temperature before re using.
Take it out several hours before you need it, and let it get to room temp, then put it back on the mixer with the PADDLE attachment on low- medium and let it mix, it will look as if it is BROKEN, and curdled, don’t be alarmed this is NATURAL, it will come back together eventually, you can turn the speed up to med-high and it will mix out smooth
MOST ASKED Questions:
Q- “Can I use this recipe under Rolled Fondant Icing?”
A- “YES, you can use this icing under ANY Type of Icing, Rolled Fondant, Poured Fondant, Ganache, Whipped Cream…LIKE EVERYTHING!!”
Q- “What can I substitute for the Solid Vegetable Shortening, I don’t have that in my country?”
A- ” Please read SUBSTITUTIONS blog post”
Q- “Can I use all butter?”
Q-”Can I use all shortening?”
Q- “Can I use Margarine”
Q- “Can I use Meringue Powder?”
A- No, the point of making an Italian Meringue is to COOK the eggs to a completely safe temperature, Meringue Powder is not intended to use a 240 degrees F sugar syrup added to it.
Q- “Can I double this recipe?”
A- “YES, if your mixer bowl is large enough to accommodate that amount of ingredients DOUBLED. Be wary that the meringue alone with the single amount recipe comes just about half way to the top of the bowl-(IF you mixed it properly that is)”
Q- “How long can I store this icing?”
A- “4 days room temp, 2 weeks fridge, 2 months freezer”
Q- “Is it safe to eat raw egg whites?”
A- “Please read to the bottom of this post.”
Q- “Can I use a hand mixer if I do not have a Kitchen Aid?”
A- “Yes. However you must make sure that your meringue is STIFF STIFF STIFF! This is the most important step in this whole recipe and why so many have trouble. You must get that meringue as stiff and glossy as possible, and the hand mixer, well… it takes a very long time to achieve this.”
The debate on raw egg whites: The trouble is in the yolks, never the whites. At school we were taught that you can leave the egg whites at room temperature for a week, and nothing bad would happen because the trouble is in the yolks. But only if the yolk is contaminated with salmonella, NOT ALL EGG YOLKS ARE DANGEROUS. The problem is, you don’t know when it is or isn’t contaminated.
Now keep in mind I also went to school almost 20 years ago and the world has changed, and our food supply has also changed due to the industry pumping out mass amounts of it to keep up with the demand, hence why our food has gotten so dangerous.
To avoid this “danger” you can simply use pasteurized egg whites in a carton, like Egg Beaters JUST WHITES. I do not feel there is a risk in this recipe whatsoever. But this should be a personal choice for each and every one of you. Although it is possible for Salmonella to be in both the white and the yolk of the egg, the white does not readily support bacterial growth. Cold soufflés, mousses, and chiffon’s containing raw beaten whites require refrigeration to maintain their character, and an added safety factor. Such dishes might be considered low risk for healthy individuals.
To add colors to this buttercream, I recommend using Gel Paste Colors like Americolor or Chefmaster or an oil based color is great too, since this is a high fat recipe.
The gel paste color should be added at the end.
You may color the whole batch, or divide it up and color smaller portions at a time.
Gel paste colors are the best since a little goes a long way and they do not add extra liquid to the recipe like food colors do.