Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My New Favotite Frosting (Italian Meringue Butter Cream)

Unfortunately I have no pictures because I still have no cord for my camera and no matter how hard I look I can't seem to find a new one! It's awful but I haven't posted in so long that I figured it was due.

So recently I decided to man up and try a frosting that has been terrifying and fascinating me for a while... Italian meringue butter cream! I was so nervous about the process because it involves egg whites and every recipe I looked up said that the egg whites had to be at a specific temperature, but I say f*** that, in fact I've made some (I think) improvements to the recipe!

The first time I tried this my adorable baking partner and I decided to try coffee flavored and... it didn't go so well. We used brewed coffee (as the recipe directed) but I now know espresso powder is the key! This first failure scared me but I have overcome my fear and have conquered this recipe! so without further ado, I give you, Italian Meringue Butter Cream!

Ingredients (This frosting makes enough for 12 cupcakes)

3 egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar (the original recipe calls for 3/4 cup but trust me on this one)
1 cup (2 sticks) butter at room temperature
A few table spoons of powdered sugar


separate egg whites into a metal mixing bowl or double boiler type situation. Add the granulated sugar to the egg whites and place bowl over but not touching simmering water. Vigorously stir mixture until all sugar is dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. You'l find that the mixture is not warm, then not warm, then not warm, then VERY WARM really quickly so make sure you're paying attention, this should be around 2 minutes but it can hapen really quickly or take quite a bit longer, just be patient and be aware.

Once the mixture hits the very warm moment remove it from heat and immediately begin to beat the mixture with an electric mixer. Continue to beat mixture until it becomes an opaque white and holds a soft peak. Again, this could happen in 3 minutes and it could also take 10 minutes, it's frustrating but I promise the reward is worth it. Once the meringue is ready it's time for butter, butter and more butter!

Cut the butter into table spoon sized pieces and add to the meringue a few pieces at a time, beating all the while until it is all mixed in. I will tell you right now I prefer not to use all the butter or else the frosting just tastes like sweet butter but it is your call. If the frosting doesn't seem to be setting up and seems separated, continue beating and add powdered sugar as you'd like (the powdered sugar also help combat the butterness of the frosting). If you can't get the texture you want try adding a few ounces of melted white chocolate, it's a very subtle flavor and makes the frosting silky smooth.

And Abracadabra you have incredible frosting! It pipes perfectly and has a really light consistency, sort of the consistency of yogurt that obeys and stays put, but refrigerated (which I prefer) it becomes the consistency of... well... butter, go figure, and is absolutely decadent! It doesn't get crusty like normal butter cream and it doesn't have to be super sweet, it's perfect.

Give it a shot, I don't think you'll be disappointed!
Let me know how it goes.
Hopefully I'll have my camera back soon but I'll try to keep posting without pictures.