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Here, you’ll find a classic Swiss meringue turned into a classic Swiss buttercream frosting, and then salted and caramelized. It’s silky, it’s fluffy, it’s heaven on a finger … err … cake!
For the buttercream frosting base:
1. Over a pot of continually simmering water, create a double boiler with your stand-mixer bowl (or another bowl that fits on top of the pot). Add egg whites and sugar into that mixing bowl and continually whisk until sugar granules are no longer felt when rubbed between fingertips, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove the bowl and set it into your stand mixer. With the whisk attachment, whisk your egg/sugar mixture on medium-high until egg whites form stiff peaks and are completely cool. This should take 10-15 minutes. You’re essentially making Swiss meringue here. You’ll want to make sure your meringue is absolutely COMPLETELY cool before proceeding.
3. With the mixer on medium low, add butter one square at a time into the egg white/sugar mix. Continue to do this until all butter is incorporated. Add vanilla extract and mix to combine.
4. Set aside (keep it at room temperature and in the same bowl). Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to sit on counter for next steps.
*If your buttercream breaks after the addition of the butter, this means your meringue was too warm. No need to fret, just cool the entire thing and whisk until it comes together. This can take up to 10-15 minutes. It will come together, believe me. I usually place ice packs or bags of frozen veggies/fruit under the bowl while mixer is on and stand there until butter starts to harden thus bringing buttercream back together.
For the salted caramel sauce:
1. In a small bowl combine heavy cream and vanilla. Set aside.
2. Mix sugar and water in a small saucepan over medium high heat. After it starts to boil, make sure that you DO NOT STIR.
3. Cook (watching the whole time) until your sugar reaches a dark amber color. Turn heat down to low and slowly start to whisk cream mixture in, whisking whole time. Add salt. Bring back to a simmer.
Then pour it into a bowl and cool until room temperature.
To make the salted caramel frosting:
1. Re-whip your buttercream for a few seconds. While buttercream is beating (with a whisk attachment) slowly add cooled caramel sauce. Scrape down sides of the bowl and whip for another couple of seconds until everything is combined. If using it that day, keep it at room temp. Taste. If it’s not salty enough for you, add more sea salt a little at a time until your desired saltiness is achieved!
2. Pipe onto cupcakes or cake! Make sure to add another sprinkling of flaked sea salt on top of the dessert so your friends know what they’re eating!
*If you are using this later, place buttercream in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days (freeze up to a month). If refrigerated, when ready to use, just bring back to room temp and beat with a paddle attachment until nice and fluffy! If frozen, defrost overnight in fridge, then follow refrigerated instructions for bringing back to room temp!
Tastes great on chocolate OR vanilla cupcakes/cake or right on a spoon.
Recipe makes about 4 cups of frosting.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!