HOW TO MAKE SWISS MERINGUE BUTTER CREAM (SMBC)
A little while ago we went in search of a very light and extremely creamy butter cream recipe to develop a new Eton Mess cupcake flavour, requested by a customer as part of their wedding cupcake order.
Eton Mess is typically made with fresh cream, crushed meringue and strawberries but as the cupcakes would be kept out of refrigeration for over 2 hours, using a fresh dairy product was not an option.
With 150 wedding guests to cater for it was very important that the buttercream recipe was 100% food safe for all guests, including any pregnant women, the elderly and the young that may be in attendance and that is when we came across the Swiss meringue buttercream recipe.
Made with sugar, butter and egg whites, SMBC was the very light, extremely creamy and most importantly safe butter cream recipe we were looking for.
SMBC is very similar to, but slightly denser than Italian Meringue Butter Cream (IMBC). The advantage of SMBC is it’s slightly easier to make and the egg whites are heated to 160.c during the process, which is the temperature that salmonella bacteria are killed at, making it 100% food safe and ideal for our purpose.
Here's some photos of the cupcakes set up at the wedding venue, followed by the recipe we used below.
- 4 Egg Whites
- 225g Caster Sugar
- 1/4 tsp Cream of Tartar
- 450g Unsalted Butter (softened)
Place the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar in a bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Bring the ingredients together, whisking intermittently whilst the mixture warms.
After around 5 – 7 minutes your mixture should reach 160 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the all important temperature that Salmonella bacteria are killed.
Once the mixture has reached the desired temperature, carefully pour the syrup into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and place on a high setting. After a few minutes the mixture will begin to transform into a white foam consistency and after 6 – 8 minutes the meringue mixture will form stiff white peaks.
Turn the mixer down to a medium/high speed and add a small amount of the softened butter at a time until it is all fully combined. If your butter cream starts to look a little bit curdled, turn up the speed of the mixer to bring together.
You should now have a light and creamy, versatile butter cream perfect for mixing in your required flavour. For a vanilla butter cream I add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract and for a light and creamy lemon butter cream I add 2 heaped tablespoons of luxurious lemon curd.