Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC)
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is made with egg white and granulated sugar instead of powder sugar. So it’s usually less sweet; more creamy and has a velvet like silky smooth feel on the tongue.
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What’s your favorite Buttercream?
My absolute favorite buttercream is Classic French Buttercream made with Egg Yolks! If you like Vanilla Pastry Cream then it’s almost like a Pastry Cream flavored Buttercream. Doesn’t that sound yummmmmm!!!
My next favorite is Meringue Buttercream, Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC) or Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC).
I’d make less American Buttercream (ABC) but the weather is too hot in Israel. I find it too sweet. But have you tried my recipe for American Buttercream yet? It’s simply divine!
I recently posted my Italian Meringue Buttercream (IMBC) recipe which requires the use of a thermometer. Since then I’ve had many of you mention that you do not own a candy thermometer.
I personally would prefer that you do not make IMBC without a candy thermometer instead I’d rather you make Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC).
The biggest difference between IMBC and SMBC is that SMBC is much easier to make!
It is still a Meringue Buttercream – just without a Candy Thermometer.
- Some say IMBC hold up better in humidity due to the boiling sugar syrup but I personally do not know much about that.
- They look the same and have a similar velvet sheen,
- Excellent in spreading and piping.
- Both as you can see hold well on their own. (Firm peaks).
- I personally love them on cupcakes.
- Sugar starts to dissolve at 140 to 160 C and the temperature at which the Salmonella bacteria is killed is also 160 C.
- So the general conclusion is if the sugar has melted in the eggs the mixture has reached 160 C and so the bacteria if any has been killed.
- I have a candy thermometer so I did check my mixture a couple of times and it does reach about 160 C.
- If you over heat the mixture the eggs will scramble, the sugar will keep the protein form scrambling.
- Besides, remember the salmonella concern is really in the fat (egg yolk) not the egg whites. This heating is a precaution, so don’t over do it.
6 egg whites
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
480 grams/ 1 pound – Butter (unsalted)
2 tsp Vanilla
Have all your ingredients ready at room temperature.
Separate the eggs making sure no egg yolks get into the whites.
Cut butter into cubes or smaller chunks.
Use a double boiler or place a pot with some water and let come to almost boil.
Pour your eggs whites and sugar in a mixer bowl (or any stainless steel bowl)
Place it over the double boiler
Use a whisk and start to whisk lightly. The sugar in the egg whites will start to melt.
When sugar has melted remove from heat
Add cream of Tartar.
Place the mixer bowl on the mixer and start at medium to high with a whisk attachment
Whisk to firm peaks, shiny but not too sticky.
Touch the mixer bowl. If it’s still warm wait, run the mixer on low until it cools.
If it’s cool to touch, start adding your butter one cube at a time..
Run the mixer on high for two minutes.
Add, Vanilla or other flavoring.
Here are some progress pictures for you to better understand the process.
Recipe Card – Swiss Meringue Buttercream SMBC
Makes about 4 to 5 cups.
- 6 egg whites
- 1½ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp cream of tartar
- 480 grams/ 1 pound - Butter (unsalted)
- 2 tsp Vanilla
- Have all your ingredients ready at room temperature.
- Separate the eggs making sure no egg yolks get into the whites.
- Cut butter into cubes or smaller chunks.
- Use a double boiler or place a pot with some water and let come to almost boil.
- Pour your eggs whites and sugar in a mixer bowl (or any stainless steel bowl)
- Place it over the double boiler
- Use a whisk and start to whisk lightly. The sugar in the egg whites will start to melt.
- When sugar has melted remove from heat
- Add cream of Tartar.
- Place the mixer bowl on the mixer and start at medium to high with a whisk attachment
- Whisk to firm peaks, shiny but not too sticky.
- Touch the mixer bowl. If it's still warm wait, run the mixer on low until it cools.
- If it's cool to touch, start adding your butter one cube at a time..
- Run the mixer on high for two minutes.
- Add, Vanilla or other flavoring.
Add 200 grams of melted and cooled chocolate to 4 cups of SMBC
- Meringue Buttercream will keep at room temperature for a few hours.
- It should be treated just as butter; If left out in high temperature or humidity it will melt just like butter.
- It can be kept refrigerated for up to one week or in the freezer for up to three months.
- When frozen it is best thawed in the fridge over night. Whip with paddle attachment for about five minutes to restore consistency.
My Tips / Veena’s Tips
- If using a homemade double boiler. Make sure the water at the bottom pan does not touch the top pan. you want the steam to touch the pan not the water.
- Be patient and give the eggs and sugar time to dissolve if you crank up the heat you will have a sweet scrambled eggs
- When whipping the warm eggs, start on medium and move to high speed.
- Very important – Make sure the meringue is COOL before you add the butter. Check twice or even four times; but if you are not sure don’t add the butter – give it a minute or two more.
- If butter is added too early the warm meringue will melt the butter turning the mixture into a meringue soup. DON’T PANIC. Just place the whole mixer bowl in the fridge for 15 to 30 minutes. Then whip the hell out of that cooled mixture – I promise you SMBC is back.
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