Crème au Beurre or buttercream is a light, smooth icing that we use often in pastry kitchens. I learned how to make buttercream at my culinary school – International Culinary Center.
Buttercreams taste heavenly. Did I mention that?
There are many variations of the basic formula of the buttercream. The well known are, French (made with egg yolks), Swiss and Italian (made with meringue) and Crème Mousseline.
The Italian Buttercream is made by whipping meringue and butter, then drizzling in sugar syrup into it. This buttercream is lighter than the yolk-based buttercream and white in color. The finished buttercream should be shiny and easy to spread, smooth with no lumps from the butter or sugar crystals. And should have no visible air pockets.
It goes perfectly with the Decadent Chocolate cupcakes. Though I have been known to lick it right off the whisk.
A light, smooth icing that is velvety rich and a favorite in pastry kitchens.
- 300 grams Granulated Sugar approx 1.5 Cups
- 65 grams Granulated Sugar approx 1/3 Cup
- 150 ml Water approx 2/3 Cup
- 150 grams Egg Whites approx whites from 5 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
- 455 grams Butter unsalted butter, cubed and softened at room temperature approx 2 Cups
Combine 225g sugar and 150ml water in a medium-sized saucepan. Stir with a wooden spoon, until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.
Use a wet pastry brush, clean all the sugar crystals from the sides of the pan to prevent the sugar from crystallizing.
Heat over medium heat, undisturbed until the syrup reaches soft ball stage, around 240°F (when you drop some syrup into a cup of room temperature water, you should be able to roll it into a ball)
Meanwhile, place egg whites in a stand mixer fitted with a whip attachment, beat to aerate. Add 65g of sugar and beat till soft peaks form.
As soon the syrup reaches the sift ball stage, slowly drizzle the hot syrup down the side of the bowl with the motor running. Take care not to pour the syrup onto the whip, or the syrup may splatter.
Once all the syrup has been added, keep mixing until the bottom of the bowl feels cool to the touch and the meringue has cooled down to body temperature.
Remove the Whip attachment and replace with the Paddle attachment. IMPORTANT!
Add butter one cube at a time, beating well after each addition until all the butter has been incorporated and is very smooth.
Use immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two weeks or in the freezer for up to one month. To use buttercream that has either been refrigerated or frozen, first allow to come to room temperature then beat until smooth and spreadable again.
- Use a kitchen scale to measure ingredients to get the accurate result'
- If you are not using a kitchen scale, use a liquid measuring cup to measure liquids. This might seem silly to say but you will be amazed at how many people don't know this.
- Similarly, use measuring cups and spoons to measure dry ingredients