Watch as Zilly Rosen of Zillycakes prepares the delicious Italian meringue buttercream that is used on all of her wedding cakes and featured daily in different flavors at her retail cupcake bar. Zillycakes is a custom cake studio that offers decorating classes, private parties, custom designed tiered and sculpted cakes. The cupcake bar is open to the public, in for one or a dozen to taste just how good this Italian meringue buttercream is. Consider bringing the travelling cupcake bar to your next big party!'
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Zillycakes’ Italian Meringue Buttercream
2 ¼ cup granulated sugar
½ cup water
1 cup egg whites at room temperature (about 8 extra large eggs)
1 ½ pounds unsalted butter at room temperature (6 sticks)
2 tsp. real vanilla
4 or 5 quart stand mixer or strong hand mixer and 5 qt. deep metal bowl
1. Mix sugar and water in saucepan until all sugar crystals are wet. Brush sides of pan with wet pastry brush to wash down sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Turn burner to high and bring sugar to a boil; do not stir the pan or interrupt the boiling process or your sugar syrup may crystallize!
2. While the sugar is heating, crack and separate your eggs. Make sure there is no yolk in your egg whites, or your meringue will not whip to stiff peaks.
3. When the sugar is at a rolling boil, set your timer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, begin to whip your egg whites at high speed with the whisk attachment. Set timer for 2 minutes.
4. After 2 minutes your egg whites should be at the stiff peak stage. Turn the burner off, put your oven mitts on, and immediately pour the sugar syrup into the stiff egg whites with the mixer on high. NOTE: You must pour the sugar syrup in a thin drizzle to avoid cooking the eggs! You must also try to pour the syrup as close the edge of the bowl and as far away from the beater as possible, so that the sugar doesn’t spin out onto the sides of the bowl. Use a wooden spoon to coax the remaining syrup in the pan into the mixing bowl (hot syrup will melt a rubber spatula).
5. Continue to whip the sweetened meringue mixture on high for 10 minutes. Caution: the bowl will be extremely hot to the touch at first. After 10 minutes the mixture will have cooled enough so that the butter will not melt when added. NOTE: this can take more than 10 minutes on a hot summer day.
6. Add softened butter ½ stick at a time with mixer on low until butter is incorporated. Add vanilla and salt. Beat on medium speed until light and fluffy. If mixture appears curdled at first, continue to beat and it will become silky and smooth as it cools.
7. Store in covered container for 1 day at room temperature, 1 week refrigerated, or 3 months frozen. If refrigerated or frozen, be sure to bring buttercream back to room temperature before re-beating to restore silky texture.
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