I’ve been craving a really great frosting for a couple months now. My old go-to (pre-paleo) was the usual: powdered sugar, butter, cream. You know, classic buttercream. I had mastered it. Enter paleo, and not a single one of those ingredients is on the “ok” list. So I was back to square one.
In my research for a powdered-sugar-less frosting, I came across meringue-based frostings. Since then, I’ve made both French Buttercream and Swiss Meringue Buttercream. What’s the difference, you ask? A lot, actually.
French Buttercream is made by whipping raw egg yolks until fluffy, then beating in hot sugar syrup (or in my case, maple syrup), then adding shortening/butter. This makes a super thick, dense, creamy frosting and it tastes incredible. BUT, it was just too heavy for me. And I really love frosting. Also, the egg yolks were uncooked, which can be a problem for some people. I wanted a frosting everyone could safely eat.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream is somewhat the opposite. It uses egg whites that are cooked with a sweetener, whipped into a meringue, and then shortening/butter is added to it to make the buttercream frosting. This results in a much lighter, less sweet frosting that is also safe for everyone to eat, even kids.
The only problem with Swiss Meringue Buttercream is that it’s a little finicky. I won’t say it’s easy to fail at (it’s not), but it does require a little extra work to get it just right. I thought I failed at it a couple times, but it turns out I was just being impatient. Temperature and time are key ingredients to the perfect frosting. But the good thing is that if you fail at those (as I initially did), it’s an easy fix and you don’t have to throw away all your hard work.
So now that you’re mentally prepared to take on the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, what will you put it on? Might I suggest the Grain-Free Chocolate Mud Cake? It makes fabulous cupcakes too.