Make sure the butter is at room temperature; cold butter will cause the buttercream to have a curdled appearance. Use with the Gingerbread Town-Square Cake.
- Yield: Makes 14 1/2 cups
Photography: Sang An
Source: The Martha Stewart Show, December Winter 2007
- 13 large egg whites
- 3 1/3 cups packed light-brown sugar
- 10 sticks plus 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1 3/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Whisk together egg whites and sugar in a large heatproof bowl. Clip a candy thermometer to side of bowl. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water, and whisk until mixture reaches 160 degrees and sugar has dissolved, about 5 minutes.
With a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat egg white mixture on high speed until cooled and thick, about 12 minutes. Reduce speed to medium, and add butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating until incorporated after each addition. Beat in vanilla and spices. Buttercream can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month; bring to room temperature before using, and beat on low speed until smooth.