Fluffy Meringue Frosting
If you have been looking for a fat-free vanilla frosting, this is it! It is bright white, very sweet and must be used right away. It is has a marshmallow quality to it in terms of texture and taste. You might notice that the recipe is the same as the Italian Meringue Buttercream – but without the butter! Make sure that no grease (from your hands or buttery utensils) comes in contact with the frosting or the meringue will deflate and the frosting will be ruined.
1/2 cup plus scant 2 tablespoons sugar, divided
3 tablespoons water
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
heaping 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
heaping 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place 1/2 cup of sugar and water in a small pot. Stir to wet sugar. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, swirling pan occasionally. Dip pastry brush in cold water and wash down sugar crystals from the sides of the pot once or twice. Turn down heat to simmer gently.
- Meanwhile, place the whites in your clean, grease-free mixing bowl and whip until frothy on low speed using balloon whip attachment to standing mixer. Add cream of tartar and turn speed up to medium-high. When soft peaks form, add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar gradually. Continue whipping until stiff, glossy peaks form.
- Bring the sugar/water mixture to a rapid boil and cook until it reaches 248 to 250 degrees F. As syrup cooks look for visual clues to assess temperature. It starts out thin with many small bubbles over the entire surface. The water will begin to evaporate and the mixture will become thicker. The bubbles get larger and sticky and pop open more slowly. At this point the syrup definitely looks thickened, but it has not begun to color; this is the firm ball stage. If you drop a bit of the syrup into a glass of cold water it will form into a ball. When you squeeze the ball between your fingertips it will feel firm.
- When syrup is ready pour a thin, steady stream over meringue, without pouring any on the rotating whip or the sides of the bowl. Whip meringue until cool to the touch. Beat in vanilla. Frosting is now ready to use.
Yield: about 4 1/2 cups
Lifespan: Must be used immediately