Not a big fan of the American Buttercream, well this Italian Buttercream is a great alternative. It gives a silky smooth feeling, with way less sugar then the American version.
This Italian Buttercream is definitely a lot more stable versus the French or Swiss Buttercream, for you have to boil the sugar and water together to make a thick meringue. This recipe does require that you use a candy thermometer, for you have to cook the sugar to 245 degrees, no more, no less.You can play around with the recipe. You can either do butter and shortening, all butter, or all shortening. However, I do recommend a mix of both the butter and shortening, for for it gives that true buttercream taste, as well as stability.
- 250 grams granulated sugar
- 60 ml (grams) water
- 125 grams egg whites * must be at room temperature
- 375 grams unsalted butter * must be at room temperature
- 60 ml (grams) emulsified shortening
- 4 ml (grams) pure vanilla extarct
Make the meringue (Italian Meringue procedure. See notes for details) Whip until completely cool.
Little by little, add the soft butter and continue to whip (a). Add each piece after the previous one has been incorporated. In the same way, whip in the shortening, if using, or the additional butter.
When all the fat has been incorporated, whip in the vanilla.
The mixture will appear curdled at first, but it will become smooth with continued whipping.
Extracts / Emulsions - (orange, lemon, etc...) Flavor add according to taste. Start by adding drops for too much can be too strong.
Spirits and liqueurs - (rum, brandy, baileys, etc...) Add according to taste.
Almond - Use 6 ounces (180 g) almond paste. Soften almond paste with a few drops of water. Blend in a little of the buttercream until soft and smooth, then blend this mixture into the remaining buttercream.
Chocolate - Use 3 ounces of semi-sweet dark chocolate. Melt chocolate and cool slightly. Do not let it cool too much for then it will solidify when you add the Italian buttercream. Blend with about one-quarter of the buttercream, then blend this mixture into the rest.
Coffee - Use 1 1/2 tablespoon (5 g) instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 ounce (15 mL) water.
Notes: Go to the Italian Meringue recipe to see the procedure.