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Taste Differences in Italian and Swiss Meringue Buttercreams?

l
Laura D. Aug 16, 2009 09:18 PM

Can someone give me some insight into the differences in taste between Italian Meringue Buttercream and Swiss Meringue Buttercream? I'm specifically interested in knowing which of the two is fluffier and sweeter, as I've found the meringue-based buttercreams to be too buttery in the past and think that a tad more sweetness might even out the potentially "lardy" (not my adjective) profile of the buttercream. Basically, I don't want one that tastes like I'm eating a stick of butter and I've definitely had and made ones like this before. Thanks!

  1. c
    cphalan Sep 22, 2011 03:04 PM

    You surely found an answer to your question by now, Laura, but for everyone else who's wondering...
    The primary difference between Italian and Swiss Meringue Buttercreams is stability or how well they hold up in all situations. Swiss tends to deflate slightly faster and doesn't hold up as well in warm environments. But because Swiss meringue isn't made with a sugar syrup as Italian Meringue Buttercream is, you don't have to worry about little crystallized bits of sugar that you can get with an Italian Meringue, but Italian is more dependable and heartier. Either can be frozen for long-term storage. Both types of Buttercream often take quite a bit of whipping in order to reach the right consistency of light and fluffy. I wouldn't say that one is less "lardy", though. Here's an idea: make the Italian buttercream base, then add just half the butter called for. Give it a taste test - add more if needed, but maybe that's enough butter for you. As long as the icing is firm enough to hold up on the cake, why not? You'd just have less icing to work with.

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