I finally decided to experiment with something other than American buttercream! I wanted to try a meringue, or something with cooked sugar, but I didn’t have a candy thermometer and I honestly had never really worked with egg whites before. But I found this recipe for Vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream on Annie’s Eats – she adapted it very slightly from Martha Stewart’s recipe – and I decided to give it a try.
I picked up a candy thermometer at Walmart and it seemed to work pretty well. Then it came to putting the sugar/egg/salt mixture in the KA mixer until it formed “stiff peaks”. I had a general idea what this should look like, but never having done it before, I was flying a little blind. But I think I got it right. Next, I added an un-Godly amount of butter. I mean I like butter as much as the next girl, but when a recipe calls for it in pounds – yikes.
So, after finishing the icing and piping it onto some plain white cupcakes, the verdict is…YUM. It is very delicious and it definitely solves the over-sweet issue with American Buttercream. But it is SO RICH. I couldn’t even eat one cupcake! I’m actually not sure I’d want to ice an entire cake with it. Next time, I may try to adjust the butter/sugar ratio and see what happens.