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Pierre Hermé’s French Buttercream

2016-09-14
  • This Post
  • Chef : François
  • Category: Recipe
  • Posted on: Wednesday September 14, 2016
  • Comments : 18 Comments
  • Languages :  English  |   Français
  • Share This Recipe

   La version Française se trouve ICI
A delightful and creamy buttercream, white in color and really delicious, a recipe of French pastry master Pierre Hermé 



Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

About this recipe

I tried a lot of buttercream recipes, and I have to say this one from Pierre Hermé is my favorite one, by far.

I use it for my wedding cakes (when the white color is not an option) as well as other recipes (Paris Brest, or Ispahan for instance).

I like the color (stays white, ideal for wedding cakes), its taste and its texture
Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream
In fact, I am giving here Pierre Hermé’s original recipe, along with a couple tricks I learned
Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Source of the recipe

This is a recipe I got in Pierre Hermé’s book “Best Of Pierre Hermé” (publisher: Ducasse)

The dog and myself, we just love reading Pierre’s books
Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream
This book is short and … sweet…. All recipes are really fabulous. Among them : the famous Ispahan, macarons Mogador and the Vanilla tart
Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream
To buy the book online, visit this website for instance

Ingredients

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

With 4 eggs

 
4 Eggs. ½ Cup or 200 grams

 Cream base

3 Tablespoons Sugar (45 grams)

½ Cup Milk (90 grams)

 Butter

2 Cups Butter (450 grams)

 Syrup

⅓ Cup Water (75 grams)

1 Cup Sugar (250 grams)

 Flavor

Any extract or liquor. Rose water, blossom water, almond extract, etc…

With 3 eggs

 
3 Eggs. ⅓ Cup or 150 grams

 Cream base

2 Tablespoons Sugar (33.7 grams)

⅓ Cup Milk (67.5 grams)

 Butter

1 ½ Cup Butter (337.5 grams)

 Syrup

4 Tablespoons Water (56.2 grams)

¾ Cup Sugar (187.5 grams)

 Flavor

Any extract or liquor. Rose water, blossom water, almond extract, etc…

With 2 eggs

 
2 Eggs. ¼ Cup or 100 grams

 Cream base

2 Tablespoons Sugar (22.5 grams)

3 Tablespoons Milk (45 grams)

 Butter

1 Cup Butter (225 grams)

 Syrup

3 Tablespoons Water (37.5 grams)

½ Cup Sugar (125 grams)

 Flavor

Any extract or liquor. Rose water, blossom water, almond extract, etc…

With 6 eggs

 
6 Eggs. ¾ Cup or 300 grams

 Cream base

⅓ Cup Sugar (67.5 grams)

½ Cup Milk (135 grams)

 Butter

3 Cups Butter (675 grams)

 Syrup

½ Cup Water (112.5 grams)

1 ⅔ Cup Sugar (375 grams)

 Flavor

Any extract or liquor. Rose water, blossom water, almond extract, etc…

Steps

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Getting Ready

1. Before you start the recipe, make sure the 4 egg whites are at room temperature (

30 minutes

to

1 hour

)

2. The

Butter

(2 Cups or 450 g) must be soft : Let the

Butter

warm to room temperature (

30 minutes

to

1 hour

)

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Important !

In this picture, the

Butter

(2 Cups or 450 g) is too hot and therefore too liquide ! The cream will fail. If your

Butter

(2 Cups or 450 g) is too liquid, wait that it cools down to become creamier

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Cream base

3. For the cream base, beat the 4 Egg Yolks and the

Sugar

(3 Tablespoons or 45 g)

4.  Bring to a boil the

Milk

(½ Cup or 90 g)

5. Pour the

Milk

onto the bowl with the Yolks/Sugar mix and stir

6. Transfer the bowl to the saucepan
Pierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s Buttercream

7.  Cook, while whisking fast to avoid the yolks to cook too fast

8.  Boil to 185 °F / 84 °C, and remove from the heat

9. Transfer to another bowl
Pierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Whipping

10. Transfer the cream to a mixing bowl, and whisk
Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Adding the butter

11. While beating the mixture with the whisk, slowly add the

Butter

(2 Cups or 450 g) a couple tablespoons at a time

12. Almost stops your heart seeing the quantity of

Butter

(2 Cups or 450 g), but that’s what makes buttercream so tasty !

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Just continue to add butter and the cream will smooth out, continue beating to get a light texture

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream
Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream
The cream holds to the whisk
Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Flavor

13. Add in the flavor ( vanilla, rose extract, etc… ) and briefly give it another whisk

The Italian Meringue

14.  Place the

Water

(⅓ Cup or 75 g) in a small saucepan, add the

Sugar

(1 Cup or 250 g) and bring to a boil

15. Wash down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in cold water to prevent crystallization

16. While the syrup is cooking, start beating the Egg Whites (4), on medium speed
Pierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s Buttercream

17. After

5 minutes

, increase the speed and wait another

5 minutes



18. Wait until the syrup temperature reaches 225 °F / 110 °C

19. When the syrup temperature reaches 225 °F / 110 °C, beat the egg whites on maximum speed

20. Boil the syrup to 245 °F / 118 °C and remove from the heat
Pierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s Buttercream

21. Pour the syrup in slowly

22. Try to pour between the whisk and the side of the bowl, not on the whisk !

23. Beat until completely cool : touch the bowl to make sure it is not hot anymore before proceeding
Pierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s Buttercream

24. The meringue holds to the whisk, otherwise you must continue beating

5 minutes



25. Here’s your Italian meringue !
Pierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s Buttercream


How much meringue?

  • In the original recipe

    Hermé takes only 175 grams of this meringue
  • My choice

    My choice is to use the whole amount of the meringue, the result will be a lighter cream, with a brighter color. Trust me, the result will be just great…


Mixing

26. Hermé mentions that the cream and the meringue should be mixed using a rubber spatula.
I just combine them in the mixing bowl and whisk them together using the stand mixer

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream
27. Put the batter back to the mixing bowl

28. Beat on high speed, not more than

8 seconds

Pierre Hermé’s ButtercreamPierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Pierre Hermé’s Buttercream

Result

The result is a delightful, light cream, that can be used right away.

To use it later, keep refrigerated

The result and the pix



Comments for This Recipe

18 Comments
  1. On Saturday November 5, 2016
    DeeDee wrote:
    I just took a petits fours class from S Treand . His butter cream is good but a bit yellow for frosting cake. I will try it.
    Like all recipes you posted. Thanks!
    Just wonder if you have a recipe to glaze a cake. I saw some of them in pink or orange and
    very shiny. It looks stunning.
    DeeDee
  2. On Saturday November 5, 2016
    François answered:
    There are several recipes for buttercream.
    I think this one is the best, as it stays white, ideal for wedding cakes.

    Most pastry chefs in france use Yolks which makes the buttercream more "yellow", the reason being that the recipe starts with a "Crème Anglaise" which always calls for Egg Yolks, then the butter is added. I think this version is better because you add the remaining whites, whipped, which gives a better cream (white) that is fluffier

    And you are right, Stéphane Tréand's pastries are just exceptional !
  3. On Saturday November 5, 2016
    François answered:
    For the glazing, I have several recipes for those glazings, including one from Christophe Felder and another one from Bachour, that I will post soon online
  4. On Saturday November 5, 2016
    DeeDee wrote:
    Thanks so much Francois.
    Looking forward to your new post for colour glazings

    DeeDee
  5. On Friday October 20, 2017
    Marielle wrote:
    Thank you so much for this recipe, Francois! Is this more stable than the Swiss Meringue? I tried making the buttercream with only egg yolks, and while I was mixing it, it looked super stable. But as I piped it, it slowly melted. I hope this recipe will fix the problem as I really love how it tastes!
  6. On Friday October 20, 2017
    François answered:
    Hi Marielle. Depends on what you are trying to do :

    For frosting and decorations, the Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe in French HERE) is better and holds at room temperature

    For a cream used inside desserts (like the Ispahan), this Hermés recipe is great in taste ! However it is too soft to be used at room temperature, It is piped inside desserts, and then placed in the fridge where it will harden.

    Looks like for what you need, the Swiss Meringue Buttercream would be better, I will translate the recipe in English soon.
  7. On Monday October 23, 2017
    Marielle wrote:
    Thank you for replying, Francois! Yes, I actually have been using Swiss Meringue Buttercream, buy when I tried French buttercream, I was hooked! Taste wise, it was much better! Do you think there is a way to make the French buttercream stable? I really think it is possible if we keep experimenting. Coz it’s such a great buttercream just to be used as filling!
  8. On Monday October 23, 2017
    François answered:
    Yes I agree the taste is superior, though not as easy to use as the Swiss Meringue Buttercream.

    So if you really want to use it for frosting, it's possible ! My teacher (a MOF) was using it as well. To stabilize it, just place it in the fridge after making it, and stir it every 5 minutes until it is "firm enough". Of course, if you wait too long, it will harden. So check it every 5 minutes in the fridge and take it out of the fridge once it has the right consistency.
  9. On Friday March 30, 2018
    Zak wrote:
    Hi Francois, thanks for the tasty recipe! I tried to fill macarons with this buttercream, and though it was very tasty, it didn't hold much in room temperature. And that's in relatively cold weather... I wonder whether I did something wrong, or is there a better buttercream you recommend to use for macarons in room temperature in cold weather? Thanks!
  10. On Saturday March 31, 2018
    François answered:
    Hey Zak, this buttercream doesn't hold long at room temperature I agree. That's why I almost never use buttercream to fill my macarons.

    I am still behind translating my macarons recipes in English, but you can have a look HERE at the fillings and creams that I use, they hold at room temperature longer
  11. On Saturday March 31, 2018
    Zak wrote:
    Thank you for your quick response! Thanks to good Google Translate I was able to read the macarons recipes, and found out that the ganache recipes are different between flavours. What I like in the buttercream recipe is that it is a good base and I can easily change its flavour to whatever I want. Do you have any idea what good base I can use with macarons that is very flexible in terms of flavours? Thanks again..
  12. On Sunday April 1, 2018
    François answered:
    Depends on the ganache used. For fruit, we used a pectin based ganache called confit'. In a nutshell, a sugar/pectin mix is added to boiling fruit puree, brought to a boil, and then cooled down.

    For other ganaches, we use a cream/white or black chocolate mix

    There are other ways to come up with a thick paste (pistachio paste, gelatin, butter, etc... ”.

    Each are different and depend on the flavor. Browse them all
  13. On Tuesday May 29, 2018
    Sofia wrote:
    Hello, I want to make a opera cake with this recipe of butter cream, It is posble to frizzed the cake? for how long??
  14. On Tuesday May 29, 2018
    François answered:
    Yes, I've seen professionals freezing their cakes.

    Not more than 2 weeks probably ?
  15. On Tuesday June 12, 2018
    David wrote:
    Hi and thank you for this recipe! I made and it tastes amazing, but I think it seems it may have curdled a little bit and looked a bit more on the yellow side, did I make a mistake somewhere?
  16. On Thursday June 14, 2018
    François answered:
    Never had this issue, honestly.

    Unless anything a bit acid was in your saucepan or ingredients. It's also possible that you beat your cream too long. The cream must be whipped but not too long, otherwise it will curdle and will become butter-y.

    You just want to whip them lightly, not stiff !
  17. On Wednesday October 31, 2018
    Daria (http://Cooktocelebrate%20on%20Instagram) wrote:
    HI! I was wondering whether you would be so kind as to give me a piece of advice?

    I am looking for a recipe for a buttercream (lemon preferably) that I can use for macarons that can be frozen and when defrosted would still hold shape. Many thanks for your help!
  18. On Wednesday October 31, 2018
    François answered:
    This one should work as Hermé uses it for his Vanilla buttercream macarons

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4 Eggs

3 Tablespoons Sugar (45 g)

½ Cup Milk (90 g)

2 Cups Butter (450 g)

⅓ Cup Water (75 g)

1 Cup Sugar (250 g)

Any extract or liquor