Baking

Italian Buttercream

posted: 01/13/14
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If you want really smooth buttercream, the spreader's just the first step.
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YIELD: Makes about 7 cups

Buddy adapted this recipe from one used at The Culinary Institute of America, shown to him by a group of students for whom he did a demonstration.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 extra-large egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 4 cups (8 sticks) usalted butter, at room temperature, cut into small cubes
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

PREPARATION:

  1. Put the whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whip attachment.
  2. Put 1-1/2 cups of the sugar and the water in a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-hight heat, stirring with a wooden spoon to dissolve the sugar. Continue to cook, without stirring, and bring to the soft ball stage (240 degrees Fahrenheit).
  3. Meanwhile, whip the whites at high speed until soft peaks form, approximately 5 minutes. With the motor running, add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar gradually, continuing to whip until medium peaks form.
  4. When the sugar reaches 240 degrees Fahrenheit, with the motor running, pour it into the egg whites, very slowly, in a thin stream, to avoid cooking the eggs. Raise the speed to high, and continue to whip until the mixture has cooled to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Stopping the motor between additions, add the butter in five increments, scraping the bowl with a rubber spatula before adding each addition of butter. With the motor running, add the vanilla, and whip just until it is blended in. (The buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to one week. Let it come to room temperature and paddle briefly before using.)
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