Swiss Meringue Buttercream and Variations

Ingredients

  • 10 large fresh egg whites (300 g)
  • 2-1/2 cups 500 g sugar
  • 3 cups 680 g unsalted butter, cut into cubes and cool, but not cold
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon 20 ml pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Wipe the bowl of an electric mixer with paper towel and lemon juice, to remove any trace of grease. Add egg whites and sugar, and simmer over a pot of water (not boiling), whisking constantly but gently, until temperature reaches 140°F, or if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the egg whites are hot.
  2. With whisk attachment of mixer, begin to whip until the meringue is thick, glossy, and the bottom of the bowl feels neutral to the touch (this can take up to 10 minutes or so). *Don’t begin adding butter until the bottom of the bowl feels neutral, and not warm.
  3. Switch over to paddle attachment and, with mixer on low speed, add butter cubes, one at a time, until incorporated, and mix until it has reached a silky smooth texture (if curdles, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth). *If mixture is too runny, refrigerate for about 15 minutes and continue mixing with paddle attachment until it comes together. Add vanilla and salt, continuing to beat on low speed until well combined.
  4. Add additional flavours, purees, as desired.

Sweetapolita’s Notes

*Keep in airtight container in refrigerator for up to one week, leaving out at room temperature when needed, rewhipping in mixer for 5 minutes.

**Can freeze for up to 6-8 weeks. To thaw, place on counter overnight, and rewhip for 5 minutes with paddle attachment in an electric mixer.

***If buttercream still doesn’t have its satiny finish after rewhipping, microwave 1/3 of the buttercream for approximately 10 seconds and add to remaining buttercream in mixer bowl, beating for a few moments to incorporate.

Sweetapolita’s Notes on a few Variations:

  • Chocolate Buttercream:  Add 300 g (1 1/2 cups before melting) melted bittersweet high quality chocolate (the best you can get–I use Callebaut) for every 5 cups of vanilla Swiss Meringue Buttercream and beat until incorporated.
  • Strawberry Buttercream (or any other berry version):  Add fruit puree to taste (approximately 1/2 cup for 5 cups of SMB).
  • Vanilla Bean Buttercream: Add 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste OR 1 vanilla bean, scraped for every 5 cups of SMB, and beat until incorporated.
  • Lemon Buttercream: Eliminate vanilla extract and add 1 teaspoon of pure lemon extract  for every 5 cups of SMB, or to taste, and beat until incorporated.
  • You can also add liqueurs and other flavourings, as well as any food gel colours to achieve any desired colour.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Cake

Prep: 30 min Total Time: 20 hrs 30 min

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE RED VELVET LAYERS

Butter, for cake pans

All-purpose flour, for cake pans

1 box red velvet cake mix, plus ingredients called for on the box

FOR THE CHEESECAKE LAYER

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened

2/3 c. granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1/3 c. sour cream

1 tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp. kosher salt

FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

2 8-oz. packages cream cheese, softened

1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, softened

2 1/4 c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350º and butter and flour two 9″ cake pans. Prepare red velvet cake batter according to box instructions.
  2. Divide batter among prepared cake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Let cool slightly in cake pans, then invert onto a wire rack to cool completely. Using a serrated knife, level out tops of the cake so they’re flat (save scraps for decorating!).
  3. Make cheesecake layer: Line a 9″ springform pan with parchment and spray with cooking spray. In a large bowl using a hand mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and sugar until fluffy and combined, 3 minutes. Add eggs, one a time, until combined. Add sour cream, flour, vanilla, and salt and beat until combined.
  4. Pour filling into prepared springform pan and bake until only slightly jiggly in the center, about 1 hour. Let cool slightly, then transfer to the freezer to cool completely and firm up before assembling.
  5. Make cream cheese frosting: In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy, then add powdered sugar and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. Assemble cake: On a cake platter, place one red velvet cake. Top with cheesecake layer, pressing down firmly, then top with second red velvet cake.
  7. Using an offset spatula, frost cake with cream cheese frosting.
  8. Garnish with red velvet cake crumbs before serving.

Chocolate Harvest Cake

Prep: 30 min Bake: 35 min Servings: 14 Looks like a Boston Cream Pie

INGREDIENTS

CAKE:

  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

PUMPKIN CREAM FILLING:

  • One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup granulated white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

GLAZE:

  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

GARNISH:

  • seedless red grapes, whole blackberries or raspberries, toasted hazelnuts, shredded orange peel (as desired)

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans; set aside.

PREPARE THE CAKE:

  1. In a large bowl combine the buttermilk, water, oil, sugar, eggs, baking soda, and salt. Whisk until well combined. Add the flour and cocoa powder; whisk vigorously until smooth. Divide the batter between the prepared pans.
  2. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top springs back when lightly touched in the center. Cool in pans on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely.

PREPARE THE FILLING:

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, pumpkin, sugar, and cinnamon until thickened. Place one cake layer on plate. Spread the filling over the top. Top with the second cake layer.

MAKE THE GLAZE:

  1. In a saucepan bring the whipping cream just to boiling over medium-high heat. Remove from heat. Add the chocolate (do not stir). Let stand 5 minutes. Then stir until smooth. Cool 15 minutes or until slightly thickened. Pour over the top of the cake, allowing the glaze to drip down the sides. Chill until set, about 30 minutes. Top with desired toppers.