I can take or leave frosting. It’s not that I mind it. I just don’t crave it and really don’t dream about it. Homemade marshmallow frosting? Now we are approaching some very dangerous and dreamy frosting territory.
You may have noticed on my blog posts the last couple of years that I’m not a big frosting person. You really won’t find too much frosting here. I do like a buttercream frosting; I really prefer a marshmallow frosting/Italian meringue. This frosting has been around since I was kid. You may know it as boiled icing or as a seven minute frosting (or an Italian meringue-meringa all’Italiana). The Italian meringue version is slightly different and you could see an example here
. It’s a good old-fashioned recipe glorious in all its white simplicity. It’s a frosting that is as light as air and reminds me of being a kid again.
This was the recipe my mom used for the countless cakes she used to bake for our birthdays. It’s perfect on a chocolate cake or yellow cake. My mom did bake plenty of Italian/Sicilian desserts for us, but when she made this frosting it was called Marshmallow Frosting;). It’s pretty much perfect on any cake, as long as I get a big slice.
My mom was so cool! She let us stand on the tables and chairs at birthday parties. That’s me on the right and my excited brother on the table. My mom’s cake with her marshmallow frosting.
Fluffy White Icing-Marshmallow Frosting
yield: frosting for 2 nice-inch round cakes
1 cup of granulated white sugar (not powdered sugar)
4 egg whites, room temperature
1/3 cup of water
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon vanilla
In a medium saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup of water, sugar, cream of tartar to a boil. Do not stir the sugar mixture as it will cause it to crystallize. Boil until you have thick clear bubbles ( should only take about 5 minutes and reads a temperature of 245 F). Be careful not to boil even 1 second longer. *(If a mistake happens and you do boil the sugar too long and end up with an amber colored sugar mixture, don’t throw it away. Add some heavy cream and you have an amazing caramel sauce. soon as it comes to a rapid bubble, because it will turn amber, and than you would have to quickly make a different recipe, and add heavy cream, which would be “caramel sauce”).
In a metal bowl, add all the egg whites, and beat the egg whites until starts to get a little thick and forms soft peaks. Set your timer for 7 minutes. Now slowly (take care and do not let this boiling hot sugar syrup burn you) add the sugar syrup only a little at a time and beat on high speed for 7 minutes.
On the last minute, beat in the vanilla extract. The frosting will be fluffy and light. My mom recommends adding a drop of food coloring if you want to be daring.
Enjoy this fun, old-fashioned frosting on whatever sort of cake you love. It is guaranteed to be requested over and over again.;)