Swiss meringue cream & swiss meringue buttercream are different. However, the difference is only the unsalted butter. The latter one has butter in it, whereas the former one is without butter. Therefore, we will be making the one without butter.
Both the creams with & without butter follows the same making process. However, before we start making, let’s discuss what swiss meringue cream is.
What is Swiss Meringue Cream?
Swiss meringue cream is a frosting, aka whip cream, to decorate cakes & cupcakes. In short, it’s a cream heavily used in the baking industry for decoration.
The making process involves a double boiler to pasteurise egg whites. Yes, only egg whites. Not the yellow egg yolks. The egg whites are pasteurised with sugar & then whipped using a beater or a stand mixer. I have used a hand beater & my cream came out nice.
That’s how traditional swiss meringue cream is made. A step further, if you add unsalted butter to the cream, it becomes swiss meringue buttercream frosting.
The story doesn’t end here. There are two more variations of meringues. Read below.
Swiss Meringue Cream v/s French & Italian Meringues
Swiss meringue cream is commonly confused with french meringue. Because both of them requires the same ingredients and making process.
French meringue requires whisking the egg whites and sugar together and no beating. They are also firmer (not hard) than swiss meringue. Then, you can bake them into cookies.
What makes them different is their texture and smoothness. Swiss meringue is denser, smoother, and silkier than the french one. As a result, the swiss version of cream frosting is widely popular. However, the swiss meringue is less firm than the Italian meringue.
It resembles the American meringue having a light and fluffy texture.
Now that we know what swiss meringue cream & how it is different is let’s make it.
Ingredients For Swiss Meringue Cream
A highly stable cake frosting requires a high amount of solid fat. Vegetable shortening, butter, or, say, white unsalted butter are few examples. Here we won’t be using fat. All we need are just three essential ingredients. Let’s see what they are.
- Egg Whites – The base of our whip cream is egg whites. The foamy and fluffy texture is all because of this ingredient. Be careful not to let the yolk get in it, or else it won’t whip.
- Sugar – As we stated, whip cream is a sweetened heavy cream. Henceforth, we will be using sugar powder. You can adjust the quantity as per taste. Remember, sugar is a mandatory ingredient here.
- Vanilla Essence – Whip creams are available in exotic flavours, with vanilla being the most basic one. Not to mention, you can flavour your cream the way you want. Flavouring possibilities are endless.
Making Swiss Meringue Cream at Home
Making swiss meringue cream can be pretty tricky, even if the process is easy. All the success lies in the technique of whipping (or how well you torture 😁) the egg whites. But here, we first need to whisk the egg whites and sugar together in a double boiler.
To get a double boiler, we need to boil water in a deep vessel and place a bowl over it. You will be heating and whisking both the ingredients in this bowl. Make sure the bowl is free of any grease. It can prevent them from whipping.
Add sugar gradually. Also, make sure you don’t spill water in the bowl. Whisk until sugar dissolves completely. Cool down the sugar & egg white mixture. Do not refrigerate it. I repeat, don’t put it into the fridge to cool down. The mixture must be at room temperature.
Beat the Egg White Mixture
Use a hand beater or a stand mixer to whip. A kitchen whisker won’t help you. However, it is essential to realise that whip creams require high speed to get a light & fluffy texture. In that case, you need an electric beater or stand mixer.
Now here comes the demanding part. Again, the beating speed is a critical part.
At What Speed You Shall Beat the Mixture?
Start beating at low to medium speed. Increase the speed when your egg white mixture tends to become thick. At the top speed of your beater, you will see a white fluffy texture. My point is to increase the speed from low to high gradually.
This is where your (vanilla) essence will incorporate into the cream. The question is, how long you should beat? The answer is to keep beating at high speed until you get soft peaks. Stop beating once you achieve soft peaks. Anything beyond this stage will curdle the cream.
Finally, your swiss meringue cream frosting is ready.