Italian Meringue Buttercream
- 5 egg whites (large)
- 1-1/4 cup extra-fine granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 pound unsalted butter (room temperature)
Step 1: Separate the egg whites and place them in the bowl of the standing mixer fitted with a wire whip attachment.
Step 2: Measure 1 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup water into a heavy bottom 1-2 quart sauce pan. Gently stir to combine.
Step 3: Measure 1/4 cup of sugar into a small bowl and set aside. cut the butter into tablespoon size pieces and set aside in a medium bowl.
Step 4: Begin heating the sugar syrup. Place the pot with sugar over medium-high heat. Partially cover with a lid to capture the evaporating water - this will help moisten the sides of the pot to prevent sugar crystals separating from the syrup.
Step 5: Begin whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks in a standing mixer fitted with the wire whip attachment on high speed. When the meringue is at stiff peaks, keep the mixer running and pour 1/4 cup sugar into the meringue.
Step 6: Test the temperature of the sugar with a candy thermometer. Raise the heat to bring the syrup to 248 degrees Fahrenheit if it is not there already. When the syrup is at 248 degrees F, remove the thermometer and slowly pour the syrup into the meringue.
Step 7: When pouring, keep your eye on the bowl. Aim for the space between the mixer bowl and the revolving whip. To maintain the same rate of pouring, poor slowly and raise the pot from your shoulder.
Step 8: After 1-2 minutes, reduce the speed to medium for about 3-4 minutes or until the meringue is cooled.
Step 9: Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time. Raise the speed to high to fully combine the butter with the meringue. This may take a little time so be patient and keep beating until your buttercream is light and fluffy.
Step 10: Add a flavoring of your choice and mix well - see examples below:
For Vaniila Buttercream - add 1 to 2 tsp pure vanilla extract or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
For Raspberry Buttercream - add 1/4 cup of raspberry puree
For Chocolate Buttercream - add 1/2 cup melted cooled chocolate
For Amaretto Buttercream - add 2-4 tablespoons of amaretto depending on your preference
For Strawberry Buttercream - add 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, pureed in a food processor
For Salted Caramel Buttercream - add 1/2 cup of salted caramel sauce
For Dulce de Leche Buttercream - add 1/2 cup of dulce de leche
For Coconut Buttercream - add 1/4 to 1/2 cup cream of coconut and 1 teaspoon of coconut extract
For Lemon Buttercream - add 1/2 cup lemon curd and 1 to 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice