I usually find a non-slip icing bag fitted with a 1M metal star shaped nozzle works best for piping this. To fill the icing bag I usually put it in a cup and stretch the edges over it so I don’t have to hold it open and fill it at the same time. Pack the icing down firmly with a teaspoon to avoid air bubbles. Don’t be tempted to add too much colouring, it will make the icing somewhat sweaty and mottled in colouring.
You will need:
- 450g butter
- 450g icing sugar
- 170ml boiling water
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract or other flavouring
- 170g caster sugar
- 3 tbsp powdered egg whites (can be found on the internet as ‘meriwhite’ or Dr Oetker has a version that can be found in most supermarkets in the baking aisle)
1. Add the boiling water, caster sugar and powdered egg whites to a very clean metal boil, whisk a little then add the flavouring and continue to whisk until stiff peaks form.
2. Cream together the butter and icing sugar in a separate bowl, then combine the two mixtures and beat until they come together to form a shiny, fluffy buttercream that will hold its form when piped or spread. The mixture may curdle at first – keep beating and it will come together. Set the buttercream aside until needed, but do not refrigerate it. The icing can be frozen.