Jane's Baker & Chef
(CAN BE THINNED TO A MEDIUM OR THIN CONSISTENCY)
1 cup high ratio shortening
1 teaspoon flavoring (vanilla, almond, butter or a fruit compound)
2 tablespoons water, milk or heavy cream
1 pound 10x powdered sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
A pinch of salt (optional)
In a stand mixer using the paddle attachment at low to medium low speed blend the shortening, flavoring, water (milk or heavy cream). In a separate bowl sift powdered sugar, meringue powder and salt (if desired). On low speed add powdered sugar ½ cup at a time to the shortening mixture. Once the powdered sugar mixture is incorporated into the shortening mixture then every once in a while turn the mixer to high speed to spin the buttercream off of the paddle and then return to low speed. Do not over beat the buttercream otherwise you will beat too much air into the buttercream which will make it difficult to smooth out the buttercream once you start applying it to your cake.
NOTE: This makes a stiff buttercream which is good for making your dam. Take some out for your dam.
With the remaining buttercream add 1 to 2 more tablespoons of water (milk or heavy cream) to thin the buttercream to a medium consistency. Again, DO NOT OVER BEAT.
Outside of class you may substitute up to ½ of the shortening for slightly softened butter. Please remember that butter melts. Buttercream made with butter is difficult to work with when decorating because the heat of your hand or the warmth in your house will cause it to soften. Also, if the finished cake is going to be outside on a warm day, then you should not use butter.