And so my tub of shortening got shelved and forgotten until recently when I remembered to check it and realized that it was already nearing its "best before date". The tub was still about 3/4 full so rather than having it all go to waste, I had to think of something to do with it.
Below is a recipe for Swiss meringue buttercream that uses some shortening. While I have yet to test it in warm conditions, the shortening is supposed to make it more hot weather-friendly than one with pure butter. I have always been hesitant to make frosting with shortening but I must admit that this has converted me. It does taste wonderful plus it spreads really easily and smoothly. Using hi-ratio shortening results in no greasy mouth feel that is typical of regular vegetable shortening. The icing sugar adds some stability to the buttercream too and because it's just a small amount, it doesn't make the buttercream too sweet nor does it make it have that powdery, sugary texture. While this version is a little bit heavier than normal swiss meringue buttercream, its stiffness makes it more ideal for piping. I found that my roses came out a lot better!
The procedure is basically the same as normal SMBC. If you haven't made that, just refer to this post as it has step by step photos.
SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM with SHORTENING
3 eggwhites, room temperature
¾ cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup sifted pure icing sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
6 tablespoons hi-ratio or all vegetable shortening (~85g)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the eggwhites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.
Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggwhite mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks. Add in the icing sugar then beat until well incorporated.
With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter and the shortening, about a tablespoon at a time. Beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add salt and vanilla extract and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Before using, beat using the paddle attachment to knock off any excess air.
Here are two cakes I've made using this buttercream:
A mocha caramel cake -
I loved how these cakes turned out so until my hi-ratio shortening runs out and most likely in the summer months too, I will be using this buttercream recipe. Try it!