Isn't it grand! Thanks to the availability of Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs I can now say yes when people ask if it's safe to make a buttercream.This week I presented my favorite yellow butter cake frosted with Neoclassic Buttercream at a press event for Safest Choice Pasteurized Eggs. Classic buttercream is a silken smooth and buttery mixture made by beating a hot sugar syrup into egg yolks. Once the mixture is completely cool, softened butter is beaten in and then flavoring such as vanilla, liqueur, fruit purées, or chocolate. The syrup needs to be 238˚F/114˚C in order to create the correct thickness of the egg yolks. This necessitates an accurate instant read thermometer. But many years ago, I discovered that there is a very easy way to produce a sugar syrup of the proper temperature and consistency without needing a thermometer! The technique is simply to use the correct proportion of granulated sugar to corn syrup. When brought to a full rolling boil the temperature is exactly 238˚F/114˚C! There are only two problems I have encountered from readers and bloggers over the years: 1. If the syrup is not brought to a full rolling boil, which means the entire surface of the syrup is bubbling, it will not be hot enough to set the yolks. 2. If the egg yolk and syrup mixture has not cooled completely to the touch the butter, when added, will melt instead of emulsify into a smooth cream. Once this happens it is impossible to restore. Here is the recipe and also the link to the video from my PBS show "Baking Magic with Rose."
Neoclassic Buttercream Makes 4 cups/35 ounces/996 grams
Have ready a 2 cup or larger heatproof glass measure lightly coated with nonstick cooking spray near the range. In a medium bowl, beat the yolks with an electric mixer until light in color. In a small saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining) stir together the sugar and corn syrup with a silicone spatula until all the sugar is moistened. Heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the syrup begins to boil around the edges. Stop stirring and continue cooking for a few minutes until the syrup comes to a full rolling boil. (The entire surface will be covered with large bubbles.) Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking. Beat the syrup into the yolks in a steady stream. Don't allow syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl. (If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the yolks with the mixer turned off. Immediately beat on high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat on high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure.) Continue beating for 5 minutes. Then allow it to cool completely. To speed cooling, place it in an ice-water water bath or the refrigerator, stirring occasionally. When cool beat in the butter, by the tablespoon, on medium-high speed. The buttercream will not thicken until almost all of the butter has been added. Add the optional liqueur, and beat on low speed until it is incorporated.