9 large egg whites, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 pounds unsweetened butter (6 sticks), softened but still cool
Optional flavoring: extracts, melted chocolate, liqueurs, fruit and fruit purees, broken cookies, chopped candy, nut pastes, instant coffee
Make sure the bottom of the mixer bowl does not touch simmering water. Your egg whites may become a sweet scrambled breakfast dish! Finished buttercream may be kept covered and refrigerated for a week. Professional chefs prefer to use pasteurized egg whites,€“ no need to separate fresh eggs, no wasted yolks, and safer all-around. Buttercream also freezes well for up to six months. Chilled buttercream must be brought to room-temperature before beating, otherwise it will curdle. If such a disaster strikes, do not panic! Keep beating over simmering water and eventually the mixture will come together again.