Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Whether used for cakes or cookies, this Swiss Meringue Buttercream is light, not too sweet and pretty straight forward to make. Swiss Meringue differs from Italian Meringue by the fact the egg and sugar are heated up together (145ºF minimum) before whipping, where Italian Meringue cooks the beaten eggs whites by adding very hot (245ºF) sugar syrup. Both of these are used to make buttercream frosting. A third type, French Meringue, is simply egg whites beaten with sugar, what most cooks would put on their lemon pies then bake.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream basic recipe

Eggs, room temp 290g 10.2 oz 58g 100.0%
Sugar 290g 10.2 oz 58g 100.00%
Salt * 4g 0.1 oz 0.8g 1.38%
Butter * (room temp, 2″ Cubes) 910g 32.1 oz 182g 313.79%
Vanilla extract 4g 0.1 oz 0.8g 1.38%
TOTALS 1,498g 53 oz 300g 516.6%

* 4g is about 1/2 teaspoon. Only add salt if you use unsalted butter (recommended). If you use salted butter, leave the salt out.

You can use either fresh eggs or the pre-packaged carton stuff, both will work just fine.

Equipment: You will need a mixer (or whisk and strong arm) and a thermometer.

Continue reading “Swiss Meringue Buttercream”

Convert & Scale a Recipe

Recently, new member Beckamojo over on the Mellow Bakers enquired about getting a white sandwich bread recipe to use in her 13 in x 5 in x 5 in Pullman pan.  She was having a few issues with her trials at making a Pain de Mie from a US (cups-based) recipe including not knowing how much dough she needed for her large Pullman. Jacqueline, another Mellow Baker, asked if Becka had digital scales so she could be more precise than her original use of cups for measuring. We would also need to look at proofing times and make sure her process didn’t end up with over-proofed dough.

I did a little hunting and this is what I suggested:

Continue reading “Convert & Scale a Recipe”

CIVI Pro Baking Class, Week One

Finally! Yes, it’s finally Aug 29th and day one of baking class at the CIVI* begin for my 2011-2012 session. I’ve been looking forward to this day with great excitement for a while now and it’s really, actually here.


Can I get a “Woohoo!!”*

* What is CIVI? The official name for the baking end of VIU is actually “The Culinary Institute of Vancouver Island” Pretty fancy, eh?

Being that the first couple of days are mostly orientation, we spend the majority of days one and two just going through the basic inauguration into the University: After introductions from our teachers, Mr Martin Barnett and Chef Ken Harper, we meet a few of the important people in the bureaucratic background, taken for a quick tour of the corners we’ll haunt, such as the Food Lab, got our Student Cards, hit up the bookstore to spend more money, etc.. Wednesday we had off (but lots of reading homework) due to the Uni having a “pre-class” staff meeting. Since Pro Baking is starting almost 2 weeks early in order to be ready to pump out breakfast goodies when school officially opens, our teachers are taken away for that day.

At last, Thursday came along and we are now actually, really, ready to bake! Continue reading “CIVI Pro Baking Class, Week One”

Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread

Funky AND impressive looking while still relatively easy to put together, this is a tasty treat you can serve guests or family and pile up the accolades. And it makes the house smell great.

As there are several blogs out there with the step-by-step in photos, I’ll simply leave you to visit them to see the process; I’m adding lots of yummy photos and links at the end. The recipe below should still be a great guide to making this a go-to treat in your own home. I’ve included a gram and ounce conversion based on volume equivalent tables I’ve been able to find online.



Grams Oz Vol
446 g 15.7 oz 3 1/2 C All Purpose flour (2 3/4 C + more as needed)
53 g 2 oz 1/4 C granulated sugar
6 g 0.2 oz 2 1/4 tsp instant dry yeast (one pkg.)
2 g 0.07 oz 1/2 tsp salt
56 g 2 oz 1/4 C unsalted butter
75 g 2.6 oz 1/3 C milk
56 g 2 oz 1/4 C cool water
4 g 0.14 oz 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
100 g 3.5 oz 2 2 large eggs, room temp. (weight without shell)

TIP: To get cold eggs from the fridge to room temp quickly, place them in a bowl and cover them with ‘almost hot’ tap water before getting on with other prep. By the time you need them, they’ll have warmed up significantly.

Cinnamon Filling: Continue reading “Cinnamon Pull Apart Bread”

Grissini with a Twist

Here we are in mid-May and this is already the third and last of the May Challenge breads to do in the MellowBakers group bake. And this one is way easy! With just a mix and knead of the dough then a one hour proofing the biggest concern here is: what to put IN the bread.

Grissini, as noted in a previous post Mambo Italiano, is the Italian term for bread sticks. Yep, plain ol’ bread sticks. Except not like the stuff you get in a box from the grocery store. Oh no. These are wonderful little invitations for creativity. Sure, you could make them just plain or with a little salt and sesame seed. But you’ve got your whole spice cupboard – and more – to toss into the mix here so why not get creative?

Now unlike other blog entries here, I sort of did this one very much on the spur of the moment so we’re going to miss the first couple of steps but you’ll probably not miss them this time around. Because these are SO EASY TO MAKE!

Continue reading “Grissini with a Twist”