I have been trying to look for a delicious buttercream recipe for quite awhile but never one to my liking as they are often too sweet and doesn’t suit Asian. They got me high on sugar alone and it covers other elements of the cake I want to present, for instance like the zesty fruit taste but more often then not these are overpowered by the sweetness of the buttercream. Most of them used the easier method that is butter and icing/confectioners sugar.
A good buttercream if done properly shouldn’t be overly sweet yet is stable enough to be use as cake frosting or even as fillings for macarons and still be very delicious. And with a little bit of tweaking, you can change the basic swiss meringue buttercream to other flavor like coffee, strawberry, blueberry, matcha, milo, and the list goes on. So here it goes, try this. You may ditch the confectioners sugar after your try this buttercream.
Using your standing mixer bowl, add in egg whites and sugar, gently mix using hand whisker.
Place the bowl over a pot of simmering hot water with low heat. Continue to hand whisk till it gets foamy and thick like the next picture. Test the temperature of the meringue, it should be hot about 60Degrees C (according to many recipes I found), but I eyeballed on this. You can use a thermometer if you have.
Off the heat and transfer the bowl to the mixer machine. Using a ballon whisk, beat meringue until it reach stiff peak and meringue is glossy and thick. I beat at medium speed (4mins) and medium high speed (4mins).
Change the attachment to paddle. Add in the cubed butter (3-4 cubes) a time and continue mixing at medium speed till all butter is incorporated. Then mix at medium high speed till buttercream stiffens and thickens. Remember to scrap the bowl and mix well along the process. Add in vanilla extract and mix till combine.
And tada! This is your Basic Swiss Meringue Buttercream!
And like I said earlier, this can be change to other flavor with some additional touch. I added coffee paste (which is 2 packets of instant coffee powder + 1 teaspoon granulated coffee + abt 1 tablespoon or more water) into the buttercream and I got an espresso buttercream for my macarons. And boy this is delicious! I’m a coffee lover by the way.
You can change the paste to whatever you like, for instance add strawberry jam (unsweetened type) into the buttercream, or matcha paste (matcha powder with a little water) etc. The key is to remember not to add too much moisture into your buttercream and you can play along with the flavors you want. Have fun!