20 - 30 minutes
200 g (7 oz) egg whites
250 g (9 oz) caster sugar
425 g (15 oz) butter, at room temperature
te Pa 2017 Sauvignon Blanc Noble
Place the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl—I do this in my metal stand-mixer bowl, ’cause I’m a ‘make minimal washing up’ kinda gal. (If you have a double boiler use that, but seriously, I’ve never even seen one of those elusive contraptions.)
Grab a pot that is smaller than your bowl. Fill the pot half full of water and bring it to the boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Rest your bowl on top of the pot, and put a large spoon in the pot so that the steam can escape between the bowl and pot. Keeping the water just simmering, stir the stuff in the bowl until the sugar has dissolved into the egg white. To test this, dunk your thumb and pointer finger in and rub them together— this is gross, as it feels like snot, but it’s the best way to test. You don’t want to be feeling any gritty bits of sugar.
Once your sugar has dissolved, transfer the gloop to your mixer bowl if you haven’t already. Fit the whisk attachment and mix on high until you get stiff peaks. You can also use a hand-held electric beater, but I wouldn’t recommend beating this by hand as you’ll end up with a very tired arm and a sloppy meringue.
While your meringue is beating, prepare your room-temp butter by cutting it into cubes of about 2.5 cm (1 in).
When you have your stiff peaks, start adding the butter one cube at a time to the meringue while continuing to mix on high. Now, LISTEN UP AS THIS IS IMPORTANT! You’ll notice that after the first few cubes of butter have been added, your meringue will flop and become sloppy. DO NOT PANIC! Just keep adding the butter, one cube at a time (trust me, I’m a professional). When all the butter has been added, keep mixing on high, and before your very eyes your sloppy, curdled cottage- cheese-looking mess will transform into a beautiful, silky-smooth Swiss meringue buttercream.
Now that you’re all like ‘Bets, you’re amazing, I’m glad I listened’, it’s time to flavour. Add your desired flavour as per the inspo on page 107, and mix to combine. TA DA!