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Perfect Cupcake Icing: How To Pipe Italian Meringue Buttercream (Part 2)

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Woman's Weekly Cookery Editor Sue McMahon shows you how to pipe Italian meringue buttercream for the perfect cupcake icing. Part 2 shows you how to pipe the buttercream and make butterfly sugarpaste decorations.
Ingredients
For the meringue
  Egg white 5 Large
  Caster sugar 300 Gram, divided
  Water 100 Milliliter
  Unsalted butter 500 Gram, softened
  Vanilla extract 2 Drop
  Food coloring paste 1 Pinch (pink, violet, yellow and orange)
For butterflies
  White flower paste 200 Gram
  Corn flour 2 Teaspoon (for dusting)
  Powder dusting colours 1 Pinch (for dusting)
  Rose water 2 Teaspoon (alcohol based)
Other ingredients
  Cupcakes 80
Directions

MAKING
FOR THE MERINGUE
1. In a saucepan, pour 100 ml water and add 200 grams of caster sugar. Place the pan on the hob and stir until the sugar dissolves. Bring the mixture to the boil.
2. Use a damp pastry brush to wash down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan. Boil the mixture rapidly, without stirring it, until it reaches 121°C.
3. When the syrup reaches over 100°C, whisk the egg whites in until stiff, using a table-top mixer. Gradually whisk in the remaining caster sugar to the egg.
4. As soon as the syrup reaches 121°C, remove the pan from the heat and plunge the base of the pan into the bowl of cold water, to prevent the syrup from getting any hotter. Only leave the pan in the water for a few seconds.
5. With the food mixer on full speed, gradually pour in the syrup in a thin stream, taking care to pour it between the edge of the bowl and the whisk.
6. Continue whisking the mixture for about 8-10 minutes until the bowl feels just lukewarm. If the syrup starts to become too thick to pour, return the pan to the hob very briefly, for the heat to thin it slightly.
7. Add in the vanilla extract and gradually whisk in the butter. The meringue will collapse a little. Keep whisking it until it forms a smooth fluffy butter cream.
8. Add colour paste to the butter cream mixture and beat until smooth.
FOR THE BUTTERFLIES
9. Fold a lengthy aluminium foil in ‘M’ shape.
10. Knead the flower paste to soften it. Dust a little corn flour on a plastic board and roll out the flower paste.
11. Press the cutter into the paste and press down firmly on the plunger to emboss the paste. Lift the cutter up, with the butterfly in the cutter and peel away the butterfly from the cutter.
12. Roll the outer edge of the petals using the tip of a cocktail stick to ruffle them and place it in the foil to dry.
13. Mix food colour with the rose water and paint onto the embossed side of the butterflies.
14. Leave the colours to dry. Hold each butterfly carefully in the steam of a kettle, until the surface just looks shiny.

FINALIZING
15. Cut off the end of the piping bag and insert the piping tube. Stir the butter cream and spoon it into the bag. Squeeze at the top of the bag and twist to seat it ready for piping.
16. Keep the thick side of the piping tube towards the centre of the cupcake. Start in the centre of the cake and press gently to squeeze a petal which goes out just over the edge of the paper case.
17. Pipe another two rows of petals, slightly shorter than the previous layer, to give a very small flower shape.
18. Place the butterflies on the piped cupcakes.

SERVING
19. Serve the Cupcakes as it is.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: 
Medium
Cuisine: 
Italian
Course: 
Dessert
Taste: 
Sweet
Method: 
Beating
Ingredient: 
Butter
Interest: 
Party
Preparation Time: 
60 Minutes
Cook Time: 
15 Minutes
Ready In: 
75 Minutes
Servings: 
80
Italian meringue buttercream is an amazing topping that can be used for cakes, cupcakes and so much more! In this video, Sue McMohan shows how you can use the buttercream to decorate desserts and add to their asthetic appeal as well as taste.

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