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Swiss Meringue Buttercream

I had never made Swiss buttercream before today. I had tried Italian and found it gorgeous but a bit of a faff. While this, in my opinion, is a happy medium. 

You just heat the egg whites and sugar together, then slowly add the softened butter and the result is awesome. Once all the butter is combined you can add flavoured syrups and gel colours to it.

150g caster sugar
3 egg whites
300g unsalted softened butter

To make the swiss buttercream 
Start by adding the caster sugar to egg whites in a heatproof bowl (I use my glass kitchen aid bowl) Put this bowl over simmering water in a large saucepan, ensuring the water doesn’t touch the bowl, and whisk until the sugar dissolves in the egg whites. 

Test by rubbing some of the mixture between your thumb and finger, you shouldn’t be able to feel any sugar granules and it should feel warm. Take the bowl off the pan and attach to your free standing mixer.

Fit the whisk attachment to the mixer and whisk for 3-4 minutes on high speed. The bowl should be cool to touch at the end of this.

Ensure that the bowl is cool enough for the butter to not melt when you start adding it to the meringue. Divide the butter into 16 small cubes. Reduce the speed in the mixer to medium and start adding the butter, one little cube at a time. 

Wait until the butter has been mixed thoroughly before adding another cube. After half have been added the mixture will look curdled but keep adding the butter and the buttercream will start coming together once the butter has been added. This will take around 4-5 minutes. Finally whisk in the vanilla (or flavouring) any food colour if using.
Makes enough to ice 12 cupcakes