Italian Buttercream

4 May

This is fancy butter icing, it has a lovely smooth texture and tastes lovely 🙂 this is often used for special cakes such as wedding cakes as it doesn’t start to melt as easily as normal butter icing does.

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Ingredients:
250g Egg white
500g Soft butter
12g Glucose syrup
350g Caster sugar

Estimated time: 15-20 minutes

Directions:

Weigh your sugar and glucose into a large pan and add some cold water. I can’t give you an exact amount as it will change, but you want to get your sugar to the consistency of wet sand. Make sure you mix the sugar and water so that all of it is mixed together as this will give you an idea of the amount of water needed. Once wet sand has been achieved carefully go round the edge of the pan with a dry or wet tissue to wipe off any sugar that has gone up the sides as this will crystallise and then cause the rest of the sugar to do the same…sugar is a very very touchy ingredient when you start to heat!!!!

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Put this pan onto heat with a sugar thermometer or a temperature probe, allow this to start heating gently.

Whilst the sugar is slowly heating weigh your egg white into a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment, or a hand held whisk is fine. Leave that to one side while you cut your butter into small chunks, make sure these are nice and soft but not melted as it will make it so much easier to combine later on!

By now your sugar should have started to boil, don’t worry about stirring it you don’t need to, if you get worried you can just shake the pan as this will prevent anything from burning. Once the sugar has started to boil start the eggs whisking on a high speed, keep the eggs going until they have ‘fluffed’ up and look like meringue. Once this has been reached turn them down to a low setting.

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Whilst your eggs are whisking keep checking the temperature of your sugar, you want it to get to 121c which is soft ball stage. As soon as it reaches 120c take it off the heat and bring it over to the eggs (by the time you’ve brought it round it will be at 121c). Do not take it above 121c as it will start to caramelise which will leave you with a whole new set of problems!!

Carefully and slowly pour the sugar into the egg whites, make sure all of the sugar is added and mixed in. Now turn the mixer up to a medium speed and whisk until the steam stops.

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Turn the mixer back down to a low ish speed and start to add the soft butter. Don’t worry about adding them one at a time the icing will still be quite hot so they will be incorporated easily. Keep adding the butter a couple at a time until all of it has been added, now finally whisk on a high speed to make sure you have no lumps. It should leave you with a really glossy icing.

If your sugar did start to caramelise and your icing ended lumpy (this is because you are adding caramel to a cold substance which will shock it and cause it to solidify, (I told you sugar was fussy when heated!) scrape it through a small sieve and you will be fine, it won’t be as smooth as normal but will taste and work just as amazingly!!

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And there you go, this icing is brilliant for filling and decorating cakes as it tastes wonderful. It also works as a very good glue to stick icing to cakes and together, for the more exciting cakes 🙂 hope you all like it!!!

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