Since posting this cake, I’ve had several people asking about the icing.
Here is the recipe that I use.
ITALIAN MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM ICING
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
5 egg whites
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 sticks of butter (unsalted, softened but not too soft, cut into tablespoons)
Place 1 cup sugar and water in a small saucepan. Boil over medium heat until it reaches 245 degrees (using a candy thermometer). After it has started cooking (about 175 degrees for me), start the meringue so it’s ready when the syrup is done.
Whip the egg whites in a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on high until they reach soft peaks (about 1-2 minutes). Stop mixer and sprinkle with 1/4 cup sugar. (This keeps you from overbeating the egg whites). Beat on high.
Once the sugar syrup is ready, slowly pour a steady stream of the syrup into the mixer while still beating on high. Continue doing this until all of the sugar syrup is added. Continue beating on high for 7-10 minutes, until the outside of the mixer bowl is room temperature.
With the mixer still running on high, beat in the butter a tablespoon at a time. Wait 5-10 seconds between each addition. Once all of the butter is added, continue whipping to the right texture.
A FEW NOTES:
- When you add the butter, it WILL deflate your icing. Don’t panic! That’s what it’s supposed to do. Just keep whipping.
- If your icing looks more like soup than icing after adding the butter, again don’t panic! It’s just too warm. Just place the mixing bowl in the fridge for 10-15 minutes to firm it back up. Then whip it again on high and it will fluff back up beautifully.
- If you icing looks like cottage cheese, don’t panic! Just keep whipping.
- The original recipe calls for 4 sticks of butter, but I don’t miss that extra stick so I just use 3. You can try it with 4 and see if you notice a difference.
Then, you will have this. Pure. Magic.
This is the base for your icing (although the icing in the picture is chocolate). At this point, you can add your flavoring. Here are some suggestions:
CHOCOLATE – Add 1/4 cup (4oz) melted and cooled chocolate and 1 tsp vanilla
COFFEE – 1 tsp espresso powder or 3-5 TBSP strong coffee
RASPBERRY – 1/4 cup raspberry puree
LEMON – 1/4 cup lemon curd
COCONUT – 1 tsp coconut extract and 1 tsp vanilla
The sky is the limit!
So, go make yourself a cake and cover it with Italian Meringue Buttercream! You’ll be glad you did.
Hope your weekend is sweet!