Orange Buttercream for Hexagonal Wedding Cake
Don't worry if your buttercream appears curdled after all the butter has been added; simply continue beating with the whisk attachment until it is smooth again. If you don't want alcohol in your buttercream, substitute finely grated zest of one large orange -- or more or less to taste -- for the liqueur.
- Yield: Makes 9 cups
- 2 1/2 cups sugar
- 10 large egg whites
- 2 pounds (8 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup orange-flavored liqueur, such as Grand Marnier
In the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer, combine sugar and egg whites. Set bowl over a pot of gently simmering water, and whisk constantly until mixture is very warm to the touch and sugar is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes (test by rubbing between your fingers to detect any graininess). Attach bowl to mixer stand. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high speed until mixture is cooled and stiff peaks form, 10 to 15 minutes.
With mixer on medium-low speed, gradually add butter, a half stick at a time, beating until completely combined after each addition. Beat in vanilla and liqueur.
Switch to the paddle attachment, and mix on lowest speed to remove all air bubbles, about 5 minutes. Use immediately, or transfer to an airtight container, and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat until smooth with the paddle attachment.