How to Make Italian Buttercream
For the Syrup:
- Combine the sugar and water in a small, nonstick saucepan.
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar dissolves.
- Cook without stirring; until the syrup reaches at least 240°F.
Note: You can raise the temperature as high as 250°F.
For the Meringue:
- Combine the meringue powder, water, and salt in the bowl of your mixer while the syrup is cooking.
- Beat at high speed with the whisk attachment until the mixture first turns foamy, then turns white, and you finallystart to see tracks in the bowl.
- Slowly sprinkle in the sugar with the mixer running.
- Increase the speed to high and beat until the mixture becomes stiff.
- Remove the syrup from the heat when the temperature ranges between 110°C- 121°C.
- Pour the mixture down the side of the mixing bowl while the mixer is running at low speed.
- Leave the mixer running until the mixture cools to 26° C.
Note: wrapping an ice pack around the mixing bowl can speed up this process.
- Add the butter a few pieces at a time with the mixer running at medium to medium-high speed.
- The meringue will deflate a bit, and may begin to appear curdled.
- Keep the mixer running and adding the butter.
- Add vanilla or your choice of flavorings.
- If you're using the frosting for decorations, add the vegetable shortening in chunks at this point.
- Use the buttercream within 4 hours, or refrigerate until needed.
Buttercream can be meringue based or cream based.