Okay, so I’m making meringue-based buttercream. I’ve made the Swiss kind a few times before and it’s turned out beautifully. I did a little research and found two buttercream recipes made with natural sweeteners. One, which makes about a fifth of the amount my recipe makes (based on the number of egg whites required), called for 4.5 T of maple syrup and 1/4 c of coconut sugar. I multiplied by five and got 22.5 T, equivalent to 1 1/2 c, and 1 1/4 c of the coconut sugar. I added those together (since I have no coconut sugar) and got just shy of 3 c. Since the original recipe asks for 4 c of sugar, I decided to go for 3 c of natural sweetener. I used 2 c maple syrup and 1 c honey.
First of all, I should have measured my mixer bowl. It’s not big enough for this big recipe. (I’ve made half before, and 2/3 before, but never the whole amount.) The egg whites and sweeteners heated up beautifully over a pot of boiling water, and were starting to whip beautifully in the mixer, but while I was doing something else they rose up exuberantly and spilled over.
I divided the mixture in half and continued with one half. I started to add the cool but soft butter, a cube at a time. The stuff deflated, and even after about a stick or two of butter (the whole recipe calls for ten, so this was nearly half the allotted amount for half the recipe) it remained stubbornly soupy and unemulsified, even after chilling.
So… is there anything I can make with 2 c egg whites, 2 c maple syrup, 1 c honey, and 1/2 – 1 c butter?
Edited to add:
I thought the problem may have been either that I didn’t whip the whites and sweeteners long enough — didn’t quite get to stiff peaks — or else that the honey was too thick / heavy / viscose (a note on one of the recipes said not to use it for that reason — which I noticed after using it).
But in a terrifying leap of faith, I decided to a) try a trick I saw after googling “save a failed buttercream,” which was to heat up 1/4 of the mixture and stream it back in, and then b) keep adding the butter. It worked.
Meanwhile I’d already set out more frozen egg whites to try again with a different recipe, the one with maple and coconut sugar (I used turbinado), so I went ahead and made that, too.
Altogether, 3 quarts from the first recipe, with a yummy rich maple flavor, and maybe 2/3 quart of the second recipe, with a lighter flavor and color. So I’m set for icing for three more cakes after this weekend’s. Good thing it freezes!