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Coconut Buttercream

4 room temperature egg whites (or powdered reconstituted egg whites)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups softened butter, cut into tablespoon pieces
1 1/2 teaspoons coconut extract

Combine egg whites and salt. Stir together sugar and water in small
saucepan and bring to boil over medium high heat. Stir till sugar
is dissolved. When syrup reaches a boil, start beating egg whites
on medium high speed. Once whites are frothy, add lemon juice and
beat on medium speed till they hold soft peaks. Meanwhile, put
thermometer into sugar syrup and continue boiling without stirring
till mixture reaches soft-ball stage (238 degrees F-242 degrees F)
Immediately remove from heat and slowly pour in thin stream down
side of bowl into egg whites, beating constantly at high speed.
Beat meringue, scraping down sides of bowl occasionally till mixture
is cool to the touch, about 6 minutes. It is important that meringue
mixture is fully cooled before proceeding. On medium speed add
butter 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition.
If meringue is too warm and mixture looks soupy after some butter
is added, chill bottom of bowl in bowl filled with ice and water
for a few seconds before continuing to beat in remaining butter.
Continue beating till mixture is smooth. Mixture may look curdled
before all butter is added, but will come back together before
beating is finished. Add extract and beat 1 minute more.

Makes: 4 1/2 cups

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