February 19, 2010

Chef Meyer’s Awesome Never Fail French Buttercream Recipe

While in culinary school, we had a chef that really liked to share his recipes. So now we are going to share it here! He has this French Buttercream recipe that he says will NEVER FAIL. He is right! This recipe is wonderful!
We tried many different buttercream recipes in our classes and of all the recipes we tried, this is the one that we keep going back to. It has an excellent mouth feel and it melts in your mouth when you taste it. It has an extremely sweet flavor, yet it is still light and creamy.

We both had been using this recipe after we finished school, but we were finding that Heather’s buttercream would come out just a little bit creamier than mine. We have similar mixers and followed the same procedures, but we couldn’t figure out why there would be a difference in texture. One day we were grocery shopping together for our baking projects. I talked Heather into buying the store brand butter because it was on sale at a significant savings. This is when we discovered where our texture difference was coming into play. The buttercream she made using the store brand had the same texture problem that I had been having. I have now vowed to never purchase butter based on price again! Excellent lesson in quality!

Buttercream recipe

1.5 eggs
3 egg yolks
24 oz sugar (about 3 cups)
6 oz water (about ¾ cup)
24 oz unsalted butter, cubed (6 sticks)
6 oz vegetable shortening (about ¾ cup)


1. Cook sugar to soft ball stage, which is 240 degrees F, in a heavy bottomed pan. (Every time I think this in my head I hear Fat Bottomed Girls by Queen) It’s important that you do not swirl the sugar and water around, even though you will be very tempted to do so. It is also important that you take a pastry brush and clean any sugar crystals with water that may have decided to hang out on the side of the pan walls. The less crystals that have a chance to form in the syrup, the smoother the icing will turn out.

2. Once the sugar has been started add the eggs and yolks to your stand mixer and whip with the paddle attachment.

3. Add the sugar mixture to the whipped up eggs down the side of the mixing bowl very slowly. Be very careful when adding, as your mixer has the potential to whip the 240 degree sugar at you.

4. Continue to whip until cool.

5. Once cool add butter and shortening slowly. Only add the next cube of butter once the previous cube has been absorbed fully.

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