Both delicious and easy to prepare, this icing goes well with cakes or cupcakes.
2¼ cups sugar
9 large egg whites
1½ pounds unsalted butter, softened
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped, seeds reserved
½ teaspoon clear vanilla extract*
• In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, whisk together the sugar and egg whites until sugar is dissolved and mixture registers 140° on a candy thermometer, approximately 8 minutes.
• In a medium bowl and using an electric mixer at high speed, beat the egg-white mixture until stiff peaks form and mixture is cool, approximately 10 minutes.
• Reduce speed to medium-low, and add the butter, a few tablespoons at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla bean seeds and vanilla extract, and beat at low speed until the frosting comes together and air bubbles diminish, approximately 3 minutes.
*Clear extract will keep the frosting a true white. Regular vanilla extract may be substituted.
(Pictured with Vanilla Bean Cakes)