Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 6 egg whites (8 ounces)
- 1 pound unsalted butter, room temperature cut into pieces
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 vanilla bean or 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
1. Whisk egg whites and sugar in a glass or stainless steel bowl over a pot of boiling water, making sure the bottom of the bowl is not touching the water.
2. Whisk until the egg whites feel warm to touch (110F) and no grain of sugar can be felt.
3. Pour egg mixture to a clean stand mixer bowl.
4. Using a whisk, beat on high until about room temperature.
5. When meringue is nice and fluffy, throw in pieces of butter a little at a time.
6. Whisk until nice and silky*.
(*If the icing looks soupy, it means that the butter was added too soon. To resolve, fill a ziploc bag with ice and tape it to the side of the bowl with the whisk still running. The buttercream should come together. If the icing looks like cottage cheese, it means the butter was added when the mixture was too cool, or the butter was still cold. If you have a torch, you can gently torch the sides of the bowl until the buttercream comes together for a few seconds at a time, or you can just let it whip until it comes together on its own.)