As you may have gathered, I'm all about that buttercream life. It's bae. It's amazing. It's yummy. It's everything I need in my cakes and so much more. So says I. QED. Selah. etc etc and so forth.
If you're like me and like to have a trusty recipe for special occasions (yes, "just because it's Tuesday" counts as a special occasion) you can always fall back on then I have some good news for you.
Here's my White Chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream Recipe. It's simple enough and it works a treat with the pasteurised egg whites that come in cartons in your local supermarket. Say goodbye to cracking eggs and wondering what to do with the 50th egg yolk. A gal can only make so much custard and eat so many egg yolk scrambled eggs before it really is time to call it quits! (by"your local supermarket" I am speaking about the UK and the US. If you're not in those two countries I don't know if they're available where you are but I hope they are because they are so time saving and game changing)
White Chocolate Italian Meringue Buttercream
270g egg whites (9 large eggs)
357g granulated sugar
1.5 tbsp light corn syrup
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt (table salt is fine too)
504g unsalted butter, softened
In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the whip attachment, beat the egg whites and 1 tablespoon of sugar on low speed.
Create a sugar syrup by combining the remaining sugar (339g), water, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan. Place the saucepan over medium heat and heat the mixture until it reaches 238 F (114 C).
Remove the sugar syrup from the heat once it reaches 238 F/114 C, increase the speed of the mixer to medium-high, and very slowly pour the hot sugar syrup over the egg whites, taking care not to pour mixture onto the moving whip (leaving your sugar syrup to heat up for much longer will lead to sugar crystals in your buttercream. Nobody likes that and your dentist would disapprove).
Increase the speed of the stand mixer to high and whip until thick, glossy, and cooled to room temperature. You should have a soft peak meringue at the end i.e. the meringue is somewhat firm and can hold its ridges bur the peak will still flop over when inverted. (If the weather is hot where you are, wrap some ice with a tea towel and place the tea towel under the bowl of your stand mixer to help cool down your mixture).
Whilst your eggs and sugar syrup are mixing, chop the white chocolate into medium sized pieces and place in a microwavable bowl. Loosely cover the bowl with cling film and melt it in the microwave for 2 mins on high. Bring your melted chocolate out of the microwave and leave it to cool (If your chocolate takes longer than 2 minutes to melt, continue to warm it in short bursts of 25 seconds at high speed, taking care to stir the chocolate thoroughly after each burst).
Chop the softened butter into medium cubes
When your meringue is ready, reduce the speed of the mixer to low and slowly add the softened butter, one cube at a time. Once you've added them all in, scrape down the sides of the bowl, increase the speed of the mixer to high, and whip until thickened and completely smooth. It takes about 10 minutes.
Add cooled chocolate to your buttercream, whip for about 2 more minutes and voila!
If you don't want a plain Italian Meringue Buttercream, skip steps 5 and 8
Your buttercream may appear curdled at some point after you add your butter to the meringue. I call this the scrambled eggs stage. Do not panic, let it keep mixing, it'll be fine. Go make some tea, you'll have smooth buttercream on your return
If your buttercream is soupy, this is probably because you added your butter to the meringue when it was still warm. Either put it in the fridge for about 20 minutes to set a bit then beat it with a paddle mixer or leave it to continue mixing for a while (circa 10 extra minutes depending on the temperature in your kitchen). When the mixture cools, it will emulsify and become smooth buttercream.
You can flavour your buttercream. Do so at the end though end though.
You can store your unused buttercream in the freezer for 2 weeks.