In this recipe for Swiss Meringue Buttercream, egg whites are cooked with caster sugar over a bain marie and then whisked before adding softened butter. This creates a glossy, firm buttercream which is easy to pipe.
It’s important to cook the egg whites to 72C to kill any bacteria in the eggs. Using a thermometer will make sure the correct temperature is reached. And it’s best to use a stand mixer, as you’ll be mixing for about ten minutes!
The method is similar to Italian meringue buttercream, but the eggs and sugar are cooked together, rather than with a sugar syrup.
TOP TIP: The Superfast Thermapen Thermometer gives precise temperature measurements, to one decimal place. Perfect for consistently good Swiss meringue buttercream.
Here’s a simple recipe for Swiss meringue buttercream:
- Place the egg whites and caster sugar in a bowl (ideally a squeaky clean stainless steel bowl or your mixer bowl for ease) over a bain marie. Make sure not to let the bottom of the bowl touch the water.
- Heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved. You can test by using your Thermapen to check the mixture has reached 72C, this will make sure the eggs are safe to eat.
- When ready, transfer the bowl to a mixer and whip with a whisk attachment to stiff peaks and until the mixture has cooled. This can take 10-15 minutes.
- Switch to a paddle attachment and add the softened butter in tablespoon-size pieces until all incorporated. It’s important that each piece of butter is mixed in well before adding the next piece
- Finally, add the vanilla paste and salt, and mix in. You’re ready to use your Swiss meringue buttercream.