Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Sean and I went to our friends baby shower on the weekend, it was great, just how I'd like a baby shower to be. A party. We both got to go, no boys here and girls here and no silly games! Ok, sometimes I like those, but I didn't know many people. My go to is usually cupcakes but I always worry there will be an abundance of cake. Lucky for me, I chose vanilla and the only cake there was mini and chocolate. The shower was for a little baby girl, Hailey, so I wanted pink icing. But I also wanted it to be good and not just dyed frosting from a can, which may have crossed my mind since I was running out of time. I happen to love swiss meringue buttercream so I looked quickly for a variation of that. Martha Stewart always has my back.If you've never made this type of buttercream I wouldn't try to do this last minute. Its pretty finnicky and can go wrong easily and quickly. There was a point in mine when I thought I was doomed. Luckily it shaped back up and piped nice. Did I mention I ate waaay too much of this icing? I'm not someone who usually licks the beaters or the bowl but this is by far the best icing I have ever made. I would say make sure you choose a good quality jam and one that you like the flavour of to be sure though! I made a half recipe which was enough for these little flower type tops on 22 cupcakes. If you want to pipe it up high, make the whole recipe. Here's the recipe!Strawberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream
(Adapted from Martha
Ingredients:4 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (12 ounces) strawberry jam, pureed in a food processor


In the heatproof bowl, either of an electric mixer or you can transfer it after, set over a saucepan of simmering water, combine egg whites and sugar. Cook, whisking constantly, until sugar has dissolved and mixture is warm to the touch (about 160 degrees). I have never been able to get mine to 160. I usually top out about 145º. I also wouldn't whisk this by hand if you don't have to. Your arm will be sore. I used my little hand beater and it still took about 10 minutes to get to 140º and fluffy. 
Transfer or Attach the bowl to the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat the egg-white mixture on high speed until it holds stiff (but not dry) peaks. Continue beating until the mixture is fluffy and cooled, about 6 minutes.This is where it starts to get a bit tricky, I was really lucky until the jam part. Switch to the paddle attachment. With mixer on medium-low speed, add butter several tablespoons at a time, beating well and on medium high after each addition. (If frosting appears to separate after all the butter has been added, beat on medium-high speed until smooth again, 3 to 5 minutes more.) Beat in vanilla. Beat on lowest speed to eliminate any air bubbles, about 2 minutes. Stir in strawberry jam with a rubber spatula until frosting is smooth, mine looked a little curdled after this part so I put the bowl back on the mixer and mixed with the whip attachment for about a minute on medium high and it came back together. If you have more problems, this link should help you out!Here's a picture of my decorated cupcakes, I just used French Vanilla boxed cupcakes if you were wondering. I was short on time and these were never meant to be the center of attention at the dessert table.  

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