Italian meringue buttercream might have reminded you of Swiss meringue buttercream. Though both are similar, the cooking duration of sugar is different for both recipes.
For Italian meringue, you have to cook the sugar up to 240°F. There are other forms as well.
Wait! So you can’t differentiate between Italian, German, French, and Swiss buttercream. Forget the others; let me give you a go-to interpretation of this classic Italian meringue buttercream.
This thick and smooth icing contains egg whites, sugar syrup, and softened butter. It is the least sweet, most stable, and my favorite of all the other types.
I live in the warm environment of Florida, so this Italian meringue goes well with me.
Before we dive into the recipe, here are some quick tips for you. This part of the write-up is icing on the cake. Icing tips for icing recipe, Wink-Wink!
- Always maintain the temperature of the ingredients to room temperature before starting with the recipe. A little warm temperature is even better. Your batter will break in either case.
- Always weigh your ingredients. Scale measurements are preferred, as measuring with the cup isn’t that accurate. Precise measurement ensures the success of your recipe.
- Keep all the ingredients arranged. Prior to starting the recipe, place measured ingredients at their proper place. It also reduces the probability of missing out on any component.
Here are some special tips for the ingredients that you will be using in this recipe. How your recipe turns out depends on the quality of the components.
Be careful and keep the following points in mind while buying/selecting the constituents.
- Never use pasteurized egg whites. I repeat never! If you opt for boxed eggs whites, your meringue will never become stiff. It is pertinent to mention here that stiffness is what leads to a stable frosting.
- Heat the sugar to the desired temperature (240°F).
- Before using the sugar syrup, make sure the water of the mixture has evaporated. If it’s not, the syrup won’t be stable enough to be used for frosting.
- Don’t use melted butter. You might confuse melted butter with softened butter, and this confusion will ruin your recipe. Make sure you are using softened butter. The quality of butter immensely affects the quality of your buttercream.
- It isn’t necessary to use vanilla for flavoring. Yes, you might have thought of it as a must-have ingredient, but it isn’t. You can also choose to flavor it with emulsions or freeze-dried fruits.
Here is a pro-tip. I always use salted butter. It helps me adjust the amount of salt in my recipe. For Italian meringue, just a little salt can work wonders.
So I guess salted butter is an appropriate option. Though not necessary, you can try this.
Hands-On the Recipe of Italian Meringue Buttercream
The cooking process is much fun if you do it the right way. Here is a breakdown of the peculiarities, ingredients, and instructions of the recipe.
Peculiarities of the recipe,
- Preparation Time: 15 minutes
- Cooking Time: 10 minutes
- Cooling Duration: 15 minutes
- Total Time: 40 minutes
- Serving: 8 cups
- Total Calories: 849 calories
Ingredients required for the recipe
- Granulated sugar (16 oz/454 grams)
- Water (8 oz/227 grams)
- Salt (1/4 teaspoon)
- Egg Whites (8 large/264 grams)
- Softened Unsalted Butter (24 oz/680 grams)
- Vanilla Extract (2 teaspoons)
Equipment required for the recipe
- Stand mixer with attached whisk
- Candy thermometer
Instructions for the recipe
Stick to the following instructions for the recipe,
- Mix water with sugar. Cover it and place it on the stovetop. Heat on medium-high flame and bring it to boil.
- Keep it covered with a lid and continue boiling for three to four minutes. Make sure all the solid granules dissolve. Leftover granules can crystallize sugar and eventually spoil the recipe.
- Once the sugar dissolves, remove the lid. Keep heating the syrup on a medium-high flame until the temperature reaches 240°F. You can check the temperature by inserting a thermometer.
- Whip the egg whites. Start lashing the egg whites before the sugar reaches the desired temperature. Also, add salt to the egg whites. As an estimate, you can start whipping eggs when the temperature of the sugar reaches 235°F, so you are done with the eggs the moment sugar is ready.
- Make sure you have mixed the egg whites well. Keep the speed of the mixer at full while whipping egg whites.
- When the sugar syrup is ready, change the speed of the mixer to low. Slowly pour the hot syrup into the mixture of egg whites and salt. Pour carefully, as it would splatter in either case.
- After pouring the whole sugar syrup, increase the speed of the mixer to high. Whip the stiff peaks.
- Now cool the meringue up to room temperature. Here you can opt for two methods. You can use ice cubes while mixing it, or you can refrigerate it for almost 15 minutes once it’s stiff.
- Wait till it completely cools down. Add butter, salt, and vanilla. Whip it until it becomes fluffy. The indicator of its readiness is that it becomes light and no more tastes like butter.
- You can add any food color to make it suitable for your cake.
Woah! You just made a classic Italian meringue buttercream.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some misconceptions that you might have encountered. Don’t worry! I have brought some satisfactory answers to your queries.
Can you color Italian meringue buttercream?
Definitely, yes! You can color it simply by adding a few drops of your desired food color. You have to add food color in the final steps of mixing.
If you want frostings of different colors, you can divide the mixture and add different food colors.
How long does Italian buttercream last?
You can keep Italian buttercream at room temperature for two to three days. But if you don’t have to use it for the next 24 hours, it is better to refrigerate it.
You can freeze it for up to six months. To use frozen buttercream, defrost it. As it cools down to room temperature, whip it again until it restores its consistency.
Can Italian meringue buttercream be left out?
Yes, it can be left at room temperature but for a maximum of two to three days.
Can you overbeat Italian meringue buttercream?
Usually, it is not appropriate. It may result in the collapse of the egg whites. You can avoid this situation by adjusting the speed of the mixer.
Italian meringue buttercream is a classic recipe. You must try this; it is the perfect frosting for your cakes. Also, you can mold it according to your taste by adding your desired flavor to it.
I hope you liked the recipe. Happy Cooking!