Thursday, December 20, 2007

What's with THAT, Martha?

As I was preparing for my Activity Days Scarf Party last week, I found this recipe on the Martha Stewart website:

Swiss Meringue Buttercream Frosting

Makes about 9 cups, enough for about 28 cupcakes.


  • 2 1/2 cups sugar

  • 10 large egg whites

  • 4 cups (8 sticks or 2 pounds) unsalted butter, cut into pieces

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Place sugar and egg whites in the heat-proof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of gently simmering water, and whisk until sugar has dissolved and egg whites are hot to the touch, about 3 minutes. Test by rubbing the mixture between your fingers; it should feel completely smooth.

  2. Transfer bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture has cooled completely and formed stiff and glossy peaks, about 10 minutes.

  3. Add the butter, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated after each addition. Don't worry if the buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; it will become smooth again with continued beating. Add vanilla, and beat just until combined.

  4. Switch to the paddle attachment, and beat on the lowest speed to eliminate any air pockets, about 5 minutes.

  5. If using buttercream within several hours, cover bowl with plastic wrap, and set aside at room temperature in a cool environment. Or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator, up to 3 days. Before using, bring buttercream to room temperature, and beat on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment until smooth, about 5 minutes.

The recipe sounded so darn good that I had to try it--And the picture they posted had the fluffiest prettiest frosting I had ever seen. My only hang-up was the 8 flippin' sticks of butter. Anyway, I got the ingredients and I followed the directions my very best. How did my recipe turn out? My meringue was beautiful (and tasty!) but when I mixed in the butter the frosting turned into butter. It was yellow and thick and tasted like butter. I am not kidding you. Sick.

Why am I telling you this? Because I am offering a reward. Whoever can make this frosting look like Martha's and tell me what I did wrong will win my unending respect and admiration. Sorry, after all that Christmas shopping that's all I have left to give. Help!


vhari said...

Are you sure it was 8 sticks of butter? Maybe it was Martha's little holiday trick. Other than that I have no idea. I've never attempted such gourmet frosting. I'm sorry it was such a disappointment.

eRiCa said...

AllI can think of if it was in fact 8 sticks of butter would be that you over "incorporated" it or beat it too much and made the whole thing into butter....does that make sense? I would half the butter and see what it tastes like then.

Ginna said...

I can never keep up with good old martha. Seems she always makes things a little too complex for me to be able to finish it. I can hang on until she throws the little twist in there at the end and then I'm gone.
So in other words I cain't hep you much!

Hillary said...

Here is the problem, why the hell are you making this frosting anyway? What's wrong with good ole buttercream? you have to meringue it? Sounds like a disaster from the very beginning. I am going to try making this tomorrow just because any frosting that calls for8 sticks of butter is worth making at least once I guess. I will get back to you

Megan said...

Oh Hill, I'm glad you're back in my life. You always were the best cook. Miss that. Remember when we made an A shaped cake and a Chillingsworth collage for our Scarlet Letter project. It was amazing.

Hillary said...

ok it's really all in how you add the butter, you have to do it really slow and make sure you mix it well before you add more butter, I didn't use all 8 cups and it can't be to hard when you are adding it, try it again, I swear it will work


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