I told you I had something amazing up my sleeve to share with yall. Few things are better than the perfect buttercream. Actually scratch that, I am just not sure anything is better than THE PERFECT BUTTERCREAM. Star worthy. Would win hands down on Cupcake Wars. Lick the bowl, not too sweet that you get a ridiculous sugar high and perfectly balanced with a hint of salt coming through every bite.
Now I’ve made a caramel buttercream before, but this surpasses that one on all taste levels. However, this was my first time making an Italian Meringue Buttercream and I am really not sure I can go back to the traditional American style buttercream. Tots worth every egg white. Not to mention making ice-cream pairs amazingly with making Italian Meringue Buttercreams, the first demands the egg yolks and the latter the egg whites – perfect match.
you will need some of this Homemade Salted Caramel on hand
and then you will have to gather the rest of these ingredients to whip up the buttercream
this was the original buttercream recipe which I ended up halving and still had plenty of frosting to frost my 2 9in round cakes (I even sliced my rounds in half so it ended up being 4 tier – see:
That beautiful Fenton milk glass cake platter was the inspiration for this cake – got that baby at an estate sale for a solid $11. What a STEAL!!!!! Their bid start on ebay is $65 – no thank you.
Halved recipe and adapted slightly regarding salted butter:
1/4 cup water
1 1/8 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon light corn syrup (to keep the sugar from crystallizing)
3 egg whites (pasteurized if you wish)
1/2 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
1 – 1 1/2 cups salted caramel
Make The Buttercream: Add the sugar and corn syrup to a small pot, then slowly pour water over top, making sure no sugar is above water level, stirring if necessary. Attach a candy thermometer to side of pot. Turn heat to medium-high. Bring sugar water to 240 degrees F.
While the sugar is heating, beat the eggs in the bowl of a mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. Slow the mixer down if they reach this point before the sugar reaches 240 F.
When the syrup is ready, remove from heat. With the mixer on high, slowly — VERY SLOWLY — pour the sugar into the bowl, close to the edge and away from the beater, to prevent it from splattering against the sides of the bowl, where it will immediately harden. When all of the syrup has been poured in, continue beating the mixture on high until the bowl is cool to touch. This takes approximately 10 minutes, give or take a few.
With the mixer on low-medium speed, add the butter in tablespoon-size pieces until it is fully incorporated. The buttercream may break apart before starting to thicken up. Just keep mixing. When all of the butter has been incorporated and the frosting is smooth and fluffy, slowly add a cup of caramel, pouring in a thin stream. Beat on medium for another minute. Taste. If you want a stronger caramel flavor, slowly pour in the rest of the caramel. Beat for another minute.
Some swirlin’ in the caramel in real time
You can decorate your cake or cupcakes immediately with the buttercream or store it in the fridge or freezer for future use, in which case it will need to be brought to room temperature and possibly whipped again lightly before using. I usually make my buttercream the day I’m serving the cake. (I always make my layers a day or two before and freeze them until I’m ready to assemble the cake.) The buttercream can sit out at room temperature for a few hours covered in saran wrap as long as your kitchen isn’t too warm (in which case you may want to pop it in the fridge for a few minutes once an hour until you’re ready to use).