Photo from rosy outlook
Those of you who love the divine combination of salty and sweet can rejoice: this frosting, which is rich yet light and sweet yet not cloyingly so, is what you’ve been looking for. It’s Swiss Meringue Buttercream, delicious all on its own, but made amazing with some salted caramel.
The latter adds a new dimension to the frosting, and for that reason I suggest pairing the buttercream with a cake of a simple flavor. Our favorite Vanilla Cupcake recipe, for example- or, if you’re feeling particularly decadent, a dark and dense Chocolate Cake. It works well on cupcakes, but is just as lovely to fill and frost a regular 2-layer cake (which is about how much this recipe makes).
Salty-Sweet Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Think the name is a mouthful? Wait until you try this buttercream.
First, you want to make the salted caramel, which might be daunting if you’ve never made caramel sauce before. But don’t fear. Check out my past post on making perfect caramel, and apply the same technique.
1/2 cup white granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup heavy cream
generous pinch of sea salt
Combine water and sugar in a small saucepan. Over low heat, swirl the pan gently (don’t mix, don’t touch with a spoon or implement of any kind). You just want the sugar dissolved. Once its dissolved, bring the heat up to about medium, and continue swirling every once in a while until it reaches a dark amber. Remove from heat, and slowly pour in the cream, stirring with a whisk. The mixture will spatter, but just be careful and all will come together beautifully. Add sea salt. Set aside until cooled and gorgeous… while you make the
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
3 large egg whites
1/4 cup white granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
2 sticks salted butter
In the bowl of your electric mixer (stand or hand, but stand is infinitely easier), combine sugar, egg whites and cream of tartar. Set over a large saucepan of simmering water, and constantly whisk (unless you want scrambled eggs. Sweet scrambled eggs.) until sugar is dissolved, and mixture is nice and frothy and white. I use a candy thermometer, because I’m O.C., and bring it to about 160F.
Remove from heat, give the bottom of the bowl a good wipe, attach your stand/hand mixer, and beat on high speed for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the mixture is glossy and holds stiff but NOT dry peaks.
Add butter in tablespoons. Note how your mixture looks curdled (if the butter was cold), and sally forth. It will come together, and give you the most glorious, billowy buttercream.
If the room is warm, it’s a hot day, or your butter wasn’t cold, the mixture may look melted and gloopy even after a few minutes of mixing. If so, take your bowl and stick it in the fridge for about ten minutes. Then re-whip.