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Silky French Buttercream

This is a magnificent, pure, silky, rich adornment for a most elegant cake. If you are a purist and long for more yolks, by all means, substitute 2 yolks for 1 egg and go with 2 yolks and 4 whole eggs. I have used Roland Mesnier's techniques.

What This Recipe Shows

Adding corn syrup to the syrup avoids crystallization.

Pouring the hot syrup into a Pyrex measuring cup with a spout makes it easier to avoid the beaters when drizzling the syrup into the meringue.

5 large eggs

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

2 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

1 tablespoon  pure vanilla extract or up to 1 1/2 tablespoons

Grand Marnier, Frangelico, Chambord, pear brandy

1/8 teaspoon salt

1. Place the eggs in a bowl and cover by several inches with very hot tap water. While you are gathering ingredients, pour off the water once (it will have cooled after a few minutes) and cover again with very hot tap water.

2. In a mixing bowl, with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs until very light and silky, like thick mayonnaise.

3. In a heavy unlined saucepan, bring the sugar, corn syrup, and water to a boil. Rinse down the sides of the pan with water on a pastry brush, attach a candy thermometer, and take the syrup to 248 F/120 C (hard-ball stage).

4. Rinse a 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup with the hottest tap water available and dry well. When the syrup reaches 248 F/120 C, carefully pour the hot syrup into the Pyrex measuring cup and, then, with the mixer running on high speed, drizzle the hot syrup into the eggs. Try to avoid the beater or the sides of the bowl. Beat until the mixture reaches warm room temperature, not cool.

5. In another bowl with a hand mixer, beat butter, flavoring, and salt until soft and light. Turn the mixer containing the egg foam on medium speed. Spoon the butter into the egg foam, a little at a time until all is added. If the mixture is not warm enough, it may look curdled, but just keep adding the butter, it will all come together.

6. You can use the buttercream immediately or store it tightly sealed for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to 1 month in the freezer. Defrost in the refrigerator and rewhip with the paddle attachment before using.

From BakeWise, 2008

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