Almond Italian Meringue Buttercream
Make 5 batches (25 cups)
Adapted from Warren Brown’s CakeLove Book
* 5 large egg whites
* 1 ¼ cups extra-fine granulated sugar
* ¼ cup cold water
* 1 lb unsalted butter (at room temperature- about 35-45 mins out of the fridge)
* 1 tsp almond extract
* Candy thermometer
* 1 quart saucepan
Slice the butter into tablespoon-sized pieces and set aside.
Measure 1 cup sugar and the water into the saucepan and stir gently. Pour the remaining ¼ cup sugar into a small bowl and set aside. Place the candy thermometer in the saucepan and heat the sugar water over medium-high heat. Partially cover with a lid.
While the sugar syrup is cooking, separate the egg whites into a standing mixer (fitted with the wire whip attachment). With the mixer on high speed, begin whipping the egg whites to stiff peaks. When the peaks are stiff, you have a meringue.
Pour the ¼ cup of sugar into the meringue while the mixer is running, and keep whipping.
Bring the sugar syrup to 245°F (raise the heat if you need to). When the syrup is at 245°F, remove the thermometer and slowly pour the syrup into the meringue while the mixer is running. After a few minutes reduce the mixer speed to medium-high for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the meringue is cooled. Add the almond extract, then add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time. Increase the mixer speed to high for 1 to 2 minutes, or until the butter is fully incorporated.
* Makes 4-5 cups buttercream