We are thrilled to be expanding our baking ingredient collection! If you haven't experienced vanilla bean paste yet, you are in for a treat. This concentrated, molasses-like paste is made from pure Madagascar Vanilla beans and is the best way to get beautiful vanilla flakes in your frosting without having to use a whole bean. 

Makes enough for a 6" layer cake

Ingredients:

  • 7 oz pasteurized egg whites
  • 250 grams granulated sugar
  • 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • food coloring, as desired

Directions:

  1. Make a double boiler. If using a stand mixer, add egg whites + sugar to your base bowl. If using a hand mixer, any metal bowl will do.
  2. Whisk egg mixture in your metal bowl over simmering water for about 4 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Check for readiness by pinching some of the mixture between two fingers and feeling for any remaining sugar, be cautious as it will be hot.
  3. Remove from heat, and begin whipping until cool to the touch with stiff peaks. If you have a stand mixer, this will take 10-15 minutes of the machine running. If you're using a hand mixer, you can allow the mixture to cool at room temp for a bit before starting to give yourself a head start.
  4. Divide your butter into tablespoons, it should be softened- not melted. Add your butter to the meringue mixture in small batches, ensuring each piece is fully combined before adding the next. 
  5. After butter is added, add your vanilla and salt and scrape your bowl thoroughly. Mix on medium-high speed for 2-5 minutes or until light and smooth. It will be airy + fluffy, if you'd like it without the air pockets, switch to the paddle attachment on low speed and mix for another 2 minutes.
  6. Enjoy on your next sweet treat! 

Some tips:

If your buttercream looks soupy and broken, either your butter was too warm, or your meringue was still too hot when you began adding the butter. Simply chill your mixture for 15-20 minutes before whipping again.

If your buttercream looks lumpy, your butter may have been too cold when you began adding it. Simply remove roughly 1 cup of your buttercream, melt it down and add it back in. Whip until smooth + incorporated.

If you need to make your buttercream in advance, cover and refrigerate until needed. When ready to use, allow it to come to room temperature for 2 hours and re-whip once more.

I reserved 1 cup of finished frosting, portioned it into three, and tinted each with food color. I frosted the entire cake with white frosting, then dotted the colors randomly atop that, layering as I went. Drag a tall flat spatula or bench scraper across the sides of the cake in one smooth motion. This will blend the colors and pull off any extra frosting. You can keep swiping to play with color, but be cautious not to expose any cake. 

March 30, 2022 — Shannon Mahoney

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