1. Place sugar and water into a small pot and place on a stove over high heat, with the candy
thermometer in the pot.
2. Place egg whites in the bowl of your stand mixer with the whisk attachment.
3. The sugar mix will begin to bubble quite quickly. When the temperature on the candy thermometer reaches 110 degrees, turn your stand mixer on at low speed and begin to slowly whip your egg whites.
4. When the candy thermometer reaches 117ºC (this is called ‘soft ball stage’), turn your stand mixer up to high, and remove your sugar syrup from the stove top.
5. With the mixer running slowly, steadily pour the hot sugar syrup into your beating eggs. It’s easiest and safest to pour it down the side of the bowl so that it does not splash up.
6. Keep the mixer whisking on high speed. A thick glossy meringue will start to form as the mix begins to cool. Continue to whisk until the bowl of your mixer is no longer hot to touch and the now glossy meringue has slightly reduced in volume. It’s important to wait until the meringue has completely cooled so that it does not melt your butter when this is added.
7. Cut butter into small cubes and slowly, piece by piece, add to the mix while the motor is still running. At first the mix will look a bit strange, but as you continue to add the butter it will come together and begin to thicken. Keep in mind that this buttercream recipe is super versatile. For example, if you have added the butter too soon, and the mix has not come together, and looks like a bit of a melted mess, just place it in the fridge for fifteen minutes until it becomes firm, and then give it another whisk. On the other hand, if the mix looks to thick, or begins to split, simply slightly warm it up by sitting the bowl of the mixer in a sink full of hot water before re-whipping it.
8. Once you have your thick glossy buttercream, you can add anything to it to adjust the flavour. We made two variations by splitting the mix in half and whipping raspberry into one lot and chocolate ganache to the remainder. We then sandwiched the raspberry buttercream between each layer, and used the chocolate buttercream to spread over the outside of the cake, and pipe decorations on top.
Pop back NEXT Tuesday, when Cherry will teach us how to build a multi-layered cake!