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A tale of 2 buttercreams


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6 replies to this topic

#1 Tepee

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Posted 10 May 2004 - 11:28 PM

Scenario: Hubby (he's out of the doghouse now) leaves cakes in the car under scorching 102 degF heat. Only discovered this after lunch at restaurant was being cleared away.

Buttercream #1 is in this cake. I almost exclusively use SMBC, but since it's blazing hot recently, I thought I had better try something else. This is based on the regular American shortening-based bc. Ingredients include all shortening, few tablespoons of milk, cocoa, baker's chocolate, 2 tbls concentrated coffee, confectioner's sugar.

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Buttercream #2 is used to cover this cake. Basically SMBC but used 2 sticks shortening (to hopefully withstand the heat) and 1 stick unsalted butter, granulated sugar, egg whites.

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Which bc do you think survived the ordeal?







Amazingly, the one with the butter in it (the flip-flop cake) survived with hardly a sweat, while the one for my mom was reduced to a sorry puddle causing the whole cake to split. I swear the people from neighboring tables were cringing at the sight.

I would appreciate if someone could do a post-analysis of why the one with the butter in it handled the heat (excuse the pun) better. Even better if someone could share with me an awesome-tasting heat-resistant bc! TIA! :smile:

Edited by TP(M'sia), 11 May 2004 - 04:11 AM.

TPcal!
Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#2 JustKay

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 12:08 AM

Hi TP!

I'm hopeless when it comes to cake decorating but just wanted to tell you those decos are lovely.

And I'm hoping you'll teach me how to frost a cake decently one of these days. :biggrin:

#3 nightscotsman

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 04:53 AM

OK, I'll take a wild, non-scientific, stab in the dark at a guess - I think the one with butter stood up better because of the added structure from the meringue. Whipped egg whites don't melt in the heat and so they were able to help keep the fat together better than the "butter cream" that was basically just sweetened fat.

How does that sound?

#4 Tepee

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 06:08 PM

Makes perfect sense to me! Thanks, Neil! Looks as if this is a keeper.
TPcal!
Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#5 KarenS

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Posted 12 May 2004 - 09:31 PM

I can relate to working in heat and humidity (I'm in Hawaii). 102 is not something we experience very often though!
I use pretty much always FMBC (sometimes I add gelatin to it). I'm with Neil on the meringue helps "hold" the butter.
I too have to deliver cakes in heat and humidity (i pre chill my car). I remember this winter at the Hale Koa (the military hotel). Security there is very strict now. They open all doors of your car- plus the hood and the trunk, then they look under your car. Meanwhile, chilled air is gone! That was very soft buttercream by the time the wedding cake was set up- but the meringue did hold it.

#6 Tepee

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 12:37 AM

Whew! I'd have been a nervous wreck if I had to handle a wedding cake in such a situation! I'm so happy now that I know meringue is such a "tough" bc.
TPcal!
Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

#7 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 13 May 2004 - 05:33 AM

TP, wondeful cakes, I really like your style!! Particularly how you bases are considered in your total design.

I only use meringue based buttercreams on regular cakes-not novelty or wedding cakes because I never found it to hold up in the heat. And I'm talking about just the room temp. heat of which I work in (it's typically over 90F). So I'm pretty baffled reading you and Karens findings....makes me think I need to do more exploring on this.

When I do wedding cakes and novelty cakes I use a high ratio (sweetex brand) shortening not a regular shortening, with butter 2:1. When I've been out of high ratio and forced to use standard shortening there really is a huge difference........the standard shortening used 2:1 with butter doesn't hold up at all.