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Swiss Meringue Buttercream


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#1 BROWNSUGA

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:08 PM

I am in need of help with SMBC. :biggrin: One, I have never had it until I made it at home. So, I dont know what to compare it to in order to make sure that it's coming out right.

When I make it, it tastes great -- while still in the bowl. However, it changes after it's put on the cake. Hopefully, I am explaining this right. The texture isnt the same after I apply it on the cake. It's not as ....ummm, what's the word....whipped-like or .....the mouthfeel is different. Does that make sense? :wacko:

Another thing, when applying it to the cake, should the cake be room temperature or chilled?

Thanks in advance.

#2 Dee

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 01:41 PM

Hmmm, not sure why the texture would change when you put on the cake. I always use SMBC for all my cakes and have always had pretty great results. I always cut and fill the cakes when the cakes are chilled, but the BC is room temp., freshly made preferably. Then I crumb coat and put the cakes in the fridge to chill, then go over again with the BC. As far as mouthfeel, I know I always advise clients to eat the cakes when they are at room temp because the taste and texture just aren't the same when they are right out of the fridge and cold... like eating hard butter which is what it is basically. Does this help at all??

#3 BROWNSUGA

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Posted 04 May 2005 - 02:01 PM

Thanks, Dee. I know exactly what you are talking about when you compare it to hard butter. I am letting it come to room temperature, but it kind of tastes....flat. It is not as fluffy or whipped as when I first make it.

#4 jgarner53

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 05:04 PM

Are you making it the same day you're using it?
"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

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#5 BROWNSUGA

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Posted 05 May 2005 - 06:24 PM

Sometimes yes and other times, no.

Would that have an effect on it?

#6 jgarner53

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Posted 06 May 2005 - 04:01 PM

I was asking because if I'm using old buttercream (whether it's been frozen or has been in the fridge), I always paddle it on low for a bit after it's softened to get the texture back.
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#7 Woods

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 02:46 AM

I am in need of help with SMBC.  :biggrin:  One, I have never had it until I made it at home.  So, I dont know what to compare it to in order to make sure that it's coming out right.

When I make it, it tastes great -- while still in the bowl.  However, it changes after it's put on the cake. Hopefully, I am explaining this right.  The texture isnt the same after I apply it on the cake.  It's not as ....ummm, what's the word....whipped-like or .....the mouthfeel is different.  Does that make sense?  :wacko:

Another thing, when applying it to the cake, should the cake be room temperature or chilled? 

Thanks in advance.

View Post



Brownsuga, Have you tried Italian Meringue Buttercream? Its easy and won't slump or melt in the summer and it is ethereal when made correctly. It also has the added bonus of using fully cooked whites so you can confidently serve it to little kids and old ladies. Woods

#8 chefpeon

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Posted 07 May 2005 - 11:07 AM

It also has the added bonus of using fully cooked whites so you can confidently serve it to little kids and old ladies.


As hot as I get my whites when I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream, I'd say they were more than fully cooked also.
I think the primary difference between Italian and Swiss Meringue Buttercreams is stability. Swiss tends to deflate a little quicker and doesn't hold up as well in warm situations. Italian is heartier and a bit more dependable. :wink:

#9 JeanneCake

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:00 AM

I'd always wondered about the difference between Swiss and Italian meringue buttercream. I've heard that Cheryl Kleinman and Ron Ben-Israel use Swiss exclusively (because she didn't like the little specs that sometimes appear in the IM). I've always used IM - it was what I learned in classes, and I love the taste and how it handles.

But what drives me nuts is the egg whites. Last year when everyone was on the low-carb binge, egg prices skyrocketed and I experimented with commercial whites. No matter what, the commercial ones would collapse when I added the sugar syrup - I tried Syso and Papetti and it happened with both. I have been able to use about a third of the weight in whites with them (10 oz out of 30 for the 20 qt mixer) , though but any more than that, forget it. Eggs have come down a lot (back to 4-6 cents each) so it's comparable to what I'd be paying for commercial whites.

Has anyone else had this problem with commercial whites and Italian Meringue Buttercream?

#10 BROWNSUGA

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 04:13 AM

I am in need of help with SMBC.   :biggrin:  One, I have never had it until I made it at home.  So, I dont know what to compare it to in order to make sure that it's coming out right.

When I make it, it tastes great -- while still in the bowl.  However, it changes after it's put on the cake. Hopefully, I am explaining this right.  The texture isnt the same after I apply it on the cake.  It's not as ....ummm, what's the word....whipped-like or .....the mouthfeel is different.  Does that make sense?   :wacko:

Another thing, when applying it to the cake, should the cake be room temperature or chilled? 

Thanks in advance.

View Post



Brownsuga, Have you tried Italian Meringue Buttercream? Its easy and won't slump or melt in the summer and it is ethereal when made correctly. It also has the added bonus of using fully cooked whites so you can confidently serve it to little kids and old ladies. Woods

View Post


I tired the Italian Meringue Buttercream yesterday and loved it. I will be making it from now on. It tastes like the Swiss Meringue Buttercream, however, it didnt taste "flat" after putting it on the cake. I will be making the Italian Meringue from now on. :biggrin:

Thanks alot everyone.

#11 chefpeon

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Posted 08 May 2005 - 09:46 AM

Has anyone else had this problem with commercial whites and Italian Meringue Buttercream?


The use of commercial whites had been discussed at length on another thread a while ago. I believe the consensus was that when it comes to whipping them, they are very very undependable. I know in my experience, commercial whites were pretty much a disaster in
whipping applications. I always always use fresh whites when I have to make meringues and
such. I know it's more work to separate them, and can be more expensive, but the dependability
is there, and that's what I need. I don't quite know what they do to commercial whites that makes them so squirrely.....it must be in the process...like pasteurization or some such.

:smile:

#12 BROWNSUGA

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 08:02 AM

I like making meringue buttercream, but I hate wasting the yolks. What is the best way to store the yolks if I am not going to be using them immediately?
Also, are there any other options? Can meringue powder be used...the back of the can gives a conversion of how much meringue powder and water equals one white.

#13 Dee

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:34 AM

Well, all my leftover yolks pretty much get turned into lemon curd....and then I usually freeze the lemon curd for whenever I need it. However, I've also frozen yolks, but you have to add 1 tsp. sugar for each yolk or else when you thaw the yolks they will be weird and lumpy and won't really be good for anything else. The sugar keeps the yolks liquid, but then you also have to conpensate for the extra sugar in your recipe when you do use them.

As for the meringue powder being used for bc, I'd be interested to find that out myself... never tried or heard of anyone trying that. I just use the stuff for royal icing.

#14 BROWNSUGA

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Posted 12 May 2005 - 09:44 AM

Thanks, Dee. I am going to have to do that next time I have leftover yolks.

#15 kthull

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 07:23 AM

In Pierre Herme's Desserts book, there's a wonderful recipe for Breton Sand cookies that uses 5 yolks. My family is crazy for those cookies so I'll usually whip up a few batches with my leftover yolks.

#16 Kris

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 02:29 PM

I'd always wondered about the difference between Swiss and Italian meringue buttercream.  I've heard that Cheryl Kleinman and Ron Ben-Israel use Swiss exclusively (because she didn't like the little specs that sometimes appear in the IM).  I've always used IM - it was what I learned in classes, and I love the taste and how it handles. 

But what drives me nuts is the egg whites.  Last year when everyone was on the low-carb binge, egg prices skyrocketed and I experimented with commercial whites.  No matter what, the commercial ones would collapse when I added the sugar syrup - I tried Syso and Papetti and it happened with both. I have been able to use about a third of the weight in whites with them (10 oz out of 30 for the 20 qt mixer) , though but any more than that, forget it.  Eggs have come down a lot (back to 4-6 cents each) so it's comparable to what I'd be paying for commercial whites.

Has anyone else had this problem with commercial whites and Italian Meringue Buttercream?

View Post


I have made IMBC with fresh eggs whites and a product called Just Whites that you find in the grocery store. Both yielded good results in terms of texture and stability. However the IMBC made with the Just Whites had a slightly "off" taste that I didn't care for.

Have you tried the Just Whites product?

#17 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 13 June 2008 - 01:32 PM

I just tried SMBC for the first time a couple days ago and I love it! I've always made IMBC because that's what I see talked about most.

Now I'm wondering about ratios.

I used one by Elisa Strauss from Confetti Cakes.
20 oz sugar
10 oz eggwhites
20 oz butter
(2-1/2 oz vanilla) - this part doesn't matter for the purposes of this discussion.

I loved that it didn't have as much butter as many others do.

Now, here's CIA's Cake Art list:
(17-1/2) 7 oz sugar
(10) 4 oz egg whites
(40) 16 oz butter
(5 tsp) 2 tsp vanilla

The bracketed amounts are x 2-1/2 so we have an even comparison based on the egg whites.

See, double the amount of butter in CIA's recipe. I think I would gag. Is there a reason I should use more butter?

What proportions do you use?
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#18 K8memphis

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 05:54 AM

I just tried SMBC for the first time a couple days ago and I love it! I've always made IMBC because that's what I see talked about most.

Now I'm wondering about ratios.

I used one by Elisa Strauss from Confetti Cakes.
20 oz sugar
10 oz eggwhites
20 oz butter
(2-1/2 oz vanilla) - this part doesn't matter for the purposes of this discussion.

I loved that it didn't have as much butter as many others do.

Now, here's CIA's Cake Art list:
(17-1/2) 7 oz sugar
(10)      4 oz egg whites
(40)      16 oz butter
(5 tsp)    2 tsp vanilla

The bracketed amounts are x 2-1/2 so we have an even comparison based on the egg whites.

See, double the amount of butter in CIA's recipe. I think I would gag. Is there a reason I should use more butter?

What proportions do you use?

View Post


Hmm, I just checked and I use almost twice as much butter as sugar. I use Margaret Braun's formula. Page 211 in her book. I never thought to tweak this recipe. It just works so easily. But I think I'll test it as I make it next time and see how I like it with less butter.

It's a really good icing.

#19 JudyPH

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 07:43 AM

I love both IMBC and SMBC.... but both dont hold up well with the heat here in Manila. Does anyone have suggestions on what kind of icing would work better in warm weather (something similar to IM and SM)? Wasn't there are recipe in the cake bible that's supposed to hold up better in warm places?

Dee... i also wanted to ask... you mentioned that you freeze your lemon curd. How do you store them? Does it change texture at all when you bring it out from the freezer?

Thanks.

Judy

#20 gfron1

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Posted 14 June 2008 - 07:50 AM

HERE'S a topic on freezing curd.

#21 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 17 June 2008 - 08:14 AM

I just tried SMBC for the first time a couple days ago and I love it! I've always made IMBC because that's what I see talked about most.

Now I'm wondering about ratios.

I used one by Elisa Strauss from Confetti Cakes.
20 oz sugar
10 oz eggwhites
20 oz butter
(2-1/2 oz vanilla) - this part doesn't matter for the purposes of this discussion.

I loved that it didn't have as much butter as many others do.

Now, here's CIA's Cake Art list:
(17-1/2) 7 oz sugar
(10)      4 oz egg whites
(40)      16 oz butter
(5 tsp)    2 tsp vanilla

The bracketed amounts are x 2-1/2 so we have an even comparison based on the egg whites.

See, double the amount of butter in CIA's recipe. I think I would gag. Is there a reason I should use more butter?

What proportions do you use?

View Post

Just bumping this up. I know better than to post a question at the end of the week :raz: ,
Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#22 echocolate

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 11:31 AM

Is there a marked difference between SMBC and regular American buttercream? What I'm getting at is whether boiling the sugar in SMBC makes all that much difference in the end product, as compared to mixing confectioner's sugar & butter in American-style...

Thanks !

#23 alanamoana

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 12:40 PM

Is there a marked difference between SMBC and regular American buttercream? What I'm getting at is whether boiling the sugar in SMBC makes all that much difference in the end product, as compared to mixing confectioner's sugar & butter in American-style...

Thanks !

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smbc does not involve boiling the sugar. the steps are:

whisk sugar and whites together in a bowl over a pot of simmering water. you want to make sure the sugar is dissolved and the temp reaches about 160F.

put the whites/sugar mixture on your mixer and whisk until cool.

add the butter and flavoring and continue whisking until shiny.

i don't know about american buttercream, but using powdered sugar will definitely give you a different product. the starch in the powdered sugar is still raw, so might give a different mouthfeel/texture. the overall texture of the buttercream is different as well. i think american buttercream ends up crusting over when left out, correct? smbc and imbc will both stay silky smooth and shiny at room temp.

#24 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:12 PM

Is there a marked difference between SMBC and regular American buttercream? What I'm getting at is whether boiling the sugar in SMBC makes all that much difference in the end product, as compared to mixing confectioner's sugar & butter in American-style...

Thanks !

View Post

I think there's a huge difference. I would never choose to have an icing sugar buttercream over a meringue buttercream. The MBC has a much smoother mouthfeel and can be made less sweet and like alanamoana said, it doesn't have the raw taste of cornstarch. Well worth the effort.

Edited by CanadianBakin', 24 June 2008 - 01:12 PM.

Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

#25 TheSwede

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 01:43 PM

A more interesting question is if it is a difference between a swiss or italian buttercream (or meringue)? My personal preference is the italian, it just feels easier to make.

#26 alanamoana

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Posted 24 June 2008 - 02:46 PM

A more interesting question is if it is a difference between a swiss or italian buttercream (or meringue)? My personal preference is the italian, it just feels easier to make.

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i used to feel that way, but i've been making smbc a lot lately and i really like the fact that you don't have to boil a sugar syrup. i think the only difference is the method of making the meringue because in either smbc or imbc you can use different ratios of butter to different effect. at least, that's what i think.

#27 Sugarshoc

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Posted 08 November 2008 - 02:22 AM

The difference is the temperature of the sugar. In a SMBC, you whisk the egg whites and sugar over a bain marie until the temperature of the mixture is 140 degrees F. Then you cool it with the whip on the mixer. In an IMBC, you heat sugar syrup to 238 degrees F and add the syrup to whites that are already whipping.

#28 LizD518

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 06:00 AM

I have a question about using SMBC after it has been refrigerated. JGarner mentions re-paddleing (not a word) the SMBC after it has been sitting out for a bit, but I'm wondering how long I should let it soften before doing so. I made SMBC for the first time this weekend and it looked and tasted good, but was too soft for my purpose and I wasn't yet ready to fill my macarons anyway, so I stuck it in the fridge, where it turned very, very stiff. I took it out yesterday and let it sit for about 45 minutes (~65* kitchen) and then tried to whip it up (by hand, with a whisk) to make it more fluffy again. It ended up with a sort of grainy (but soft grains)texture, with little lumps that look like unmelted butter, even though I'm pretty sure there was no unmelted butter when I put it in the fridge. I can see a couple of points where I might have gone wrong, but I'm hoping you could narrow it down a bit:

-Didn't wait long enough for it to soften
-Tried to whip it by hand instead of in my mixer
-Possible problem with original result?

#29 JeanneCake

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 01:01 PM

First and second ones; you want the buttercream at rm temp before you start to beat it otherwise it gets grainy and can separate when rebeaten. One of my chef instructors used to melt a small amount of buttercream (to a very very soft stage) in the microwave before she rebeat the rm temp buttercream in the bowl (using the mixer paddle).

#30 RWood

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Posted 13 December 2011 - 04:01 PM

Years ago, my chef instructor always told us to put the cold buttercream in a mixer bowl, place over a bain marie and melt it half way. Then put it on the mixer with the paddle on low speed. Just let it go until it's smooth, then you can up the speed and fluff it. Always worked for me, and if need be, I would hit the bowl with a torch if it still had a few lumps.
A ratio I found for SMBC that works well is 1 cup sugar, 1 cup whites and 1# butter.