I use this recipe as a filling and for crumb-coating sponge cakes (as illustrated). The Swiss meringue gives a smooth texture and lightness. This is a straight-forward recipe that can be easily flavoured to suit your needs.
- 100g egg whites (approximately 3 medium egg whites)
- 150g caster sugar
- 300g unsalted butter, softened
- Drops of vanilla extract
- Large bowl
- Stand mixer with whisk attachment
- Place the egg whites and sugar into a large bowl and place over a pan of simmering water.
- Whisk until the sugar dissolves and reaches 60 degrees C – 65 degrees C in temperature. Remove from the heat and pour into the bowl of the mixer.
- Whisk on high speed until the meringue is luke warm and stiff peaks have formed.
- Gradually add the softened butter into the meringue. Continue whisking at medium to high speed until the butter has been fully incorporated.
- Add your chosen flavour and use straight away for filling or crumb-coating.
Vanilla: Open two vanilla pods lengthways and scrape out the sees with the tip of a knife. Mix the seeds into 500g of buttercream. Add 10ml (2 tablespoons) of natural vanilla essence to enhance the flavour.
Coffee: Dilute 60g of instant coffee granules in 15ml (1 tablespoon) of hot, boiled water and add 500g of buttercream. Alternatively, add 60ml of strong espresso coffee, instead of instant coffee granules. A dash of brandy complements the coffee flavour perfectly.
Lemon: Mix in 150g of lemon curd into 500g if buttercream. Add candied lemon peel to enhance the flavour.
Strawberry (or any homemade jam): Add 100g-150g of good quality strawberry jam to 500g to buttercream.
Brandy: Add 50ml of brandy to 500g of buttercream.
Caramel: Add 100g of dulce de leche (caramel toffee) to 500g of buttercream. A dash of brandy complements the caramel flavour perfectly.
Dark Chocolate: Bring 150g of melted dark chocolate to 27C in temperature, then add to 500g of buttercream.
Store the Swiss buttercream in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Take the buttercream out a few hours before you need to use it and whisk to achieve a creamy consistency.