4 large eggs
1/3 cup maple syrup or honey
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
1 pound unsalted butter, softened, each stick cut into tablespoons
*For chocolate buttercream add 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled
In the bowl of a standing mixer, combine eggs, maple syrup or honey, vanilla and a pinch of sea salt. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water. Whisk constantly until the mixture reaches 160 degrees, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Beat egg mixture on medium-high with whisk attachment for 8 minutes until light and billowy. Reduce the speed to medium and add butter one tablespoon at a time. When all of the butter is added, turn off the mixture and scrape down the sides of the bowl (at this point the buttercream might look curdled, but don't worry, it will turn creamy). Whisk the entire mixture for one minute on high until light and fluffy. *If adding chocolate, slowly pour in the chocolate and mix until incorporated.