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Buttercream Frosting, Silk Meringue

1 cup sugar 7 oz
5 large egg yolks
1/2 cup milk 4.25 oz
1 vanilla bean, split
1/2 cup sugar 3.25 oz
2 tablespoons water 1 oz
2 egg whites 2 oz
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1 lb butter, unsalted, room temperature

Makes four cups of frosting; I often make six cups to fill, frost,
and decorate a layer cake. This recipe has three parts: making
the creme anglaise, making italian meringue, and blending both with
the butter.

Have ready a sieve suspended over a bowl, near the range. In a
medium size heavy noncorrodible saucepan combine the sugar and
yolks. In a small saucepan bring the milk and vanilla bean to a
boil. Add 2 T of the milk to the yolk mixture, stirring constantly.
Gradually add the remaining milk, stirring, and cook over medium
low heat, stirring constantly, until just below the boiling point.
The mixture will start to steam slightly and an accurate thermometer
will register 170 F(between 160 & 180 F). The creme anglaise must
also thicken, but not curdle or coagulate. Strain immediately,
scraping up any clinging to the bottom of the pan. Scrape the
seeds from the vanilla bean into the custard and cool to room
temperature. To speed cooling, put the bowl in another bowl or
sink partially filled with ice water.

Have ready a heatproof glass measure near the range. In a small
heavy saucepan (preferably with a nonstick lining) combine 1/3 cup
sugar and the 2 T of water. Heat, stirring constantly, until the
sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Stop stirring and
reduce the heat to low. If using an electric range remove from
the heat. In a mixing bowl beat the egg whites until foamy. Add
the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form when the beater
is raised. Graduallly beat in the remaining 2 T tablespoons sugar
until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly. Increase
the heat and boil the styrup until a thermometer register 248 F to
250 F ( firm ball stage). Immediately transfer the sytrup to the
glass measure to stop the cooking. If using an electric hand held
mixer, beat the syrup into the egg whites in a steady stream.
Don't allow syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto
sides of bowl. If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of
syrup over the egg whites with the mixer off. Immediately beat a
high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount
of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the
remaining syrup. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to
remove the syrupt clinging to the glass measure. Lower speed to
medium and continue beating until completely cool, about 2 minutes.

Place the butter in a large mixing bowl and beat on medium speed
for 30 seconds or until creamy. Gradually beat in the creme anglaise
until smooth. Add the Italian Merigue and beat on medium speed
for 30 seconds or until creamy. Gradually beat in the creme anglaise
until smooth. Add the Italiam Meringue and beat until just
incorporated. If the mixture looks curdled instead of smooth it
is too cold. Allow it to sit at room temperature to warm to 65 F
before continuing to beat. Or place the bowl in a hot water bath
very briefly until the buttercream touching the bowl just starts
to melt. Remove at once and beat until smooth. Beat in optional
additions. Place in an airtight bowl. The buttercream becomes
slightly spongy on standing. Rebeat before using. Do not rebeat
chilled buttercream until it has reached room temperature or it
may curdle. When working with the frosting, keep it at 65 to 70


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