When you’re vegan, but you’re also extra af
Unpopular opinion: Swiss meringue buttercream (SMB) is the only buttercream worthy of your time.
English buttercream is a stiff, hyperglycemic nightmare. Whereas Italian meringue buttercream is ridic fussy; an absolute faff and a half tbh.
SMB is silky, light, and not too sweet! It’s perfect for piping, for icing, and even just schmearing on a banana (okay that was one specific occasion when I had leftover SMB and an unexpected dinner party haha).
And the best thing of all: it can be made 100% vegan with almost exactly the same process and end result! I’ve veganised the regular SMB recipe I’ve used in the past and honestly, it was no extra effort at all. RIGHT LET’S BE HUVIN YE!
ingredients (generous, enough for a 4-layer cake)
Aquafaba from 2x400g cans of chickpeas (I appreciate chickpea can-size may differ between countries! So I weighed it and I had 312g of aquafaba haha)
300g caster sugar
400g margarine (NOT softened, it’s already quite soft)
1tsp cream of tartar
1tsp vanilla extract (1/2tsp vanilla paste)
optional: 1tsp rosewater, a few drops of red food gel
1. put the aquafaba in a saucepan, bring it to boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Simmer until it’s as thick as raw egg whites – obvs this depends on a lot of factors but mine took about 10 minutes of gentle simmering. Then take it off the heat.
2. add the caster sugar into the hot aquafaba and stir until dissolved, then pop it in the fridge to cool slightly for 10 mins. It doesn’t need to become cold, just not so hot that if it splatters then you won’t get burned haha.
3. with an electric mixer (I use a hand mixer because I’m not bougie enough – YET – to own a Kitchenaid. But don’t even try doing it by hand or you will sustain a repetitive strain injury haha), mix the aquafaba and sugar and the cream of tartar for 15 minutes on a low speed. It doesn’t have to be super stiff but it should have some structural integrity.
4. add the margarine bit by bit (it’s a good idea to cut it up into wee cubes before – I didn’t, learn from my mistakes haha) while mixing. It WILL split, you’ve been warned. But don’t worry, because all you have to do is crank up the mixer to high and just go at it for 5 minutes and it’ll come back even stronger than before!
5. right at the end is the best time to add flavourings and colour! You can do what you like but I’d suggest including vanilla regardless of what flavour you’re going for, just to make sure you can’t taste even a smidgen of chickpea haha. Just give it one last wee mix and you’re good to go! See how easy that was? Piece of pish haha
NOTE: everyone warned me that aquafaba SMB will collapse easily after you’ve made it… Not trying to be cocky but mine lasted for 2 whole days in the fridge, and the bit that was out of the fridge on a cake lasted at least a day but got eaten before I could see how long it would actually last haha!
Let me know if you try my recipe, or if there’s problems and I can try to troubleshoot for you! Best of luck! XX