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Meringue buttercream and amount of butter (!)

j
jayaymeye Feb 27, 2010 03:13 AM

Hey Chowhounds,

So, (in theory) I love the texture and consistency of meringue buttercreams (I usually make Italian meringue), but I can't stand the amount of butter that goes into it--taste, concept, etc! I'm wondering if it's okay to use only part of the amount of butter (maybe to the point where it gets smooth/not "curdled" looking?). I notice that it always *seems* like it would be/taste okay with less butter, but afraid of how it might (not) hold up.

Too, I like the idea of seven minute frosting (using the meringue method), but I don't think it's stable/can't ever get it to be long-term reliable.

Any suggestions/hints/opinions?

Thanks in advance!!

  1. j
    jayaymeye Mar 2, 2010 05:53 PM

    Okay, so for anyone who is interested, I experimented, and it seems the Italian meringue buttercream recipe (normally calling for 4 sticks/1 lb of butter per 5 egg whites) can withstand the butter to be cut back to 2/3 of the original recipe without texture or composition being affected/degraded.

    Still rich, but not as much like eating sticks of butter on cake.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jayaymeye
      t
      TerriL Mar 2, 2010 08:01 PM

      Thanks for posting. I have the same aversion to meringue buttercreams, but never got around to trying it with less butter.

      By the way, I have been using the Italian meringue recipe in the Tartine cookbook a lot lately, with great results on tarts as well as the rather elaborate lemon meringue cake from the cookbook. I think it's mislabeled in the book and is actually technically a Swiss meringue, since you don't make a sugar syrup. No butter, so not as stable as a meringue buttercream, but very good torched or not. It also bakes up well.

      1. re: jayaymeye
        bushwickgirl Mar 2, 2010 08:29 PM

        This is good to know, thanks.

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