Can anyone tell me how to make Italian or Meringue Butter Cream? And I want to know the difference between the two. And how well do they hold up to hot weather. Also are they easy to smooth and pipe? A friend want a wedding Cake cream color I thought one of these would work.
Well... Italian isn't really a type of buttercream... Italian meringue butter cream would be the name. There's also Swiss meringue butter cream. They make basically the same thing with different techniques. The ingredients are the same in each type... egg whites, granulated sugar, butter, and vanilla only you woudl add a little water to make the Italian version.
Italian meringue BC is made by whipping up your egg whites with the sugar and adding a sugar syrup (made with the sugar and a little water) that is heated to around 250 degrees and then adding your butter and vanilla.
Swiss meringue starts with the egg whites and sugar being warmed over a double boiler and then whipping them up and adding the butter and vanilla.
The general concensus is that IMBC is slightly more stable than SMBC, but I think the difference is very minimal. I prefer the Swiss method since I don't want to fiddle with hot sugar.
As far as smoothing and piping goes... I find them easy to smooth, but they do not crust in any way, so if you rely on methods such as using papertowels or foam rollers to smooth your BC you might have a slight learning curve.
I think it pipes beautifully, but if you have hot hands it can get rather soft. I like to have a couple bags ready to go so if one gets warm and soft I can grab another one and use that.