Makes about 6 cups
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 5 egg whites
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 cups (1 lb) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract or 1 vanilla bean, scraped
- Combine 1/2 cup of the sugar with the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment.
- Combine the water with the remaining 1/4 cup sugar in a small saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, without stirring, until it reaches the soft ball stage, 240°F on a candy thermometer.
- When the sugar syrup reaches 230°F, begin whipping the egg whites on medium speed. The egg whites should reach soft peaks at the same time the sugar reaches the desired temperature.
- With the mixer running, stream the hot sugar into the egg whites and continue whipping until cooled to room temperature.
- Once the meringue is cool, switch to the paddle attachment and gradually add the butter on medium speed. Add the vanilla and beat until smooth and light.
- Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
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