RECIPE TITLE "Basic Buttercream 2"
Author: Recipes from
, copyright © 1998 by Team Torres.
William Morrow and Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
... more great recipes by Jacques Torres on our GREAT CHEFS page!
makes 6 cups (40 ounces; 1,138 grams); enough to fill and frost two 8-inch round cakes ---easy
I borrowed this recipe from my friend Chef Dieter Schorner who was one of Le Cirque's first pastry chefs. His recipe is especially handy as a frosting for wedding cakes because it is very white. It is smooth, creamy, light, and easy to handle. When color is not a concern, this buttercream may be flavored in a variety of ways--with coffee extract, jam, nut paste, ganache, zest, etc.
One of the techniques used in this recipe is that of making an Italian meringue. I like to make an Italian meringue because the heat of the sugar kills any bacteria in the eggs.
Scant 1/2 cup (3.7 ounces / 106 grams) Water
2 1/4 cups + 3 tablespoons (17 ounces / 485 grams) granulated sugar
5 large egg whites
2 1/4 cups + 1 tablespoon (18.5 ounces / 520 grams cold) unsalted butter, cubed
The first step is to start cooking the sugar. Pour the water and sugar into a 1-quart heavy-bottomed saucepan and place over medium-high heat. When bubbles start to form around the edge of the pan, insert a candy thermometer in the mixture. When the sugar reaches 245°F (118°C), begin to whip the egg whites.
Place the egg whites in a large mixing bowl and whip with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until foamy and slightly soft peaks.
The sugar is ready when it reaches 250°F (121°C), what is known as the soft ball stage. Make an Italian meringue by pouring the cooked sugar down the side of the bowl while you continue to whip the egg whites. Do not pour the hot sugar onto the beaters, or it will splatter. Continue whipping the meringue on medium-high speeduntil the outside of the bowl is warm but not hot, about 5 minutes. Add the butter all at once and beat on medium speed until incorporated. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and whip until the buttercream is thick, smooth, and shiny, about 10 minutes. At this stage, you can add flavoring, if desired. If you are not going to use all of the buttercream for your recipe, flavor only the amount you will use.
The buttercream can be used immediately or can be stored in the refrigerator for three to four days or in the freezer for several weeks if held in an airtight container. If it has been chilled or frozen, allow the buttercream to come to room temperature before using, then whip it with an electric mixer on medium speed until it returns to its initial volume and is once again thick, smooth, and shiny.
Copyright © by Jacques Torres. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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