So, ma wanted cupcakes to go with the diaper cake. I have been wanting to try this Italian Buttercream Icing for almost 2 months. Doesn’t Italian Buttercream just sound dreamy? I thought so, and couldn’t wait to make this icing. First you must make sure that you have a mixer than can stand being on for over ½ an hour, sometimes running on high. Don’t have one? Go get one. This icing deserves to be made. It must be made. All peoples need to know what they are missing.
To make Italian Buttercream Icing, you first must make a simple syrup.
Take ½ cup of water and pour it in your heavy sauce pan.
To that water, add 2 ¼ cups sugar. Swirl it to make all the sugar wet.
Have your dozen of eggs, and 1 ½ pounds of unsalted butter already room temperature. Yes, that is 1 whole dozen eggs, and 6 sticks of butter.
Separate your egg whites.
Unwrap your obscene amount of butter. It is important to have your mixer~~or the mixer that you borrowed from your boy because you were to lazy to move your own lovely mixer to a different counter~~ right beside your stove. I’ll explain why later.
Start your sugar to boiling, and when it gets about to this stage,
start your whites to whipping. The key here is to have your syrup to temperature at the same time your whites are at stiff peak.
When your egg whites look like this, add a teaspoon of cream of tartar to stabilize the whites. Don’t forget to check your syrup.
Oh, look, sugar water is boiling.
Back to the egg whites…are they stiff yet? Nope…….not even close!
Back to the syrup. This is why you want your mixer next to the stove. You are back and forth and back and forth. Are the whites done yet?
Once the syrup reaches about 150º, your whites should be at stiff peak. If you timed it right.
If your whites come to a stiff peak before the syrup reaches temperature, leave your mixer on the lowest speed to keep your whites moving.
Pour the syrup into the egg whites and beat.
Can you see the steam? You need to beat this about 10 minutes. The sweetened whites need to come to room temperature so that it won’t melt the butter when you add it, so sometimes it might be necessary to cool it down.
My hand froze stiff. I’m not sure how much it helped the icing.
After the bowl is cool to the touch, you begin to add your butter a few hunks at a time. This takes about forever and a half!
After I had added about 1 stick of butter, it began to get soupy. I also got to wondering how quickly the butter was incorporating in the whites, so I stuck the blue food coloring on a piece of butter to see just how fast it was. Totally cool!
After about 3 sticks, it begins to look all curdled, separated and gross. Don’t despair like I did. Don’t cry, weep and moan, don’t stomp your foot and declare that you will never make this again. It will come together. I promise!
Here all the butter is in, and it is just loosing that gross curdled look. Add 1 tsp. vanilla, and whip it for another 2 minutes or so and it will become so smooth and creamy.
See how creamy dreamy it is?
Nothing says baby shower like naked plastic baby’s and baby bottles.
Now for the recipe.
Italian Buttercream Icing.
- ½ c. water
- 2 ¼ c. sugar
- 12 egg whites
- 1 tsp. cream of tartar
- 1 ½ pounds unsalted butter
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- Separate egg whites from yolks. Whip egg whites until stiff.
- Bring sugar and water to a boil. Occasionally use a pastry brush and cold water to brush down any crystals that form on the side of the pan. Boil till it reaches about 150º.
- Pour sugar mixture slowly into egg whites. Beat until bowl is cool to the touch – ten minutes or so. (You might want to place this bowl in another bowl with a little cold water in it to speed the cooling process a bit.).
- Cut butter into 1″ pieces, and add them slowly to the sugar/egg white mixture. The mixture gets more “soupy” as you add the butter, but this is OK.
- Add vanilla when butter is mixed in well.
- Beat until light and fluffy. It may look a little curdled, but keep beating, and it will become smooth.
- This icing can be refrigerated for weeks, or even frozen for months. To get it back to be nice and creamy after being in the fridge or freezer, just mix it again, and it will return to its’ creamy texture.
This icing isn’t near as sweet as a normal buttercream, but it is great! This icing also smooths like glass on a wedding cake. Now, the next time you need to make some icing, make this one. You will not be disappointed. You will be ecstatic, elated and you will put on 3.5 pounds from licking the bowl and beaters and well…..you know.
Speaking of icing and all things sweet…my parents stopped by briefly last night so that I could see my Aunt Sandy and cousin. It was wonderful. What is even more better is that they gave my son and I a Schulers cream filled donut. In all my 38 years, I have never, EVER had donuts as good as Schulers. They are only found in Springfield, Ohio. I was so blessed to be the recipient of one of those beloved donuts. I almost licked the box. Had the chips not been in the room, I would have!
Do you have a favorite donut?