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(RLB) Mousseline Buttercream


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#1 freddurf

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 05:10 PM

The recipe calls for 3 ounces of liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Mandarine Napoleon, or an eau-de-vie (what in the world is that anyway?). If I make her suggested passion fruit variation, do I still add 3 ounces of liqueur? (for the fruit variation, it says to add 3/4 cup of passion curd) I assume the answer is no, but the recipe didn't say to omit it if using a variation. If I add the liqueur what kind would I use to compliment the passion fruit?

One more question, if I want to make this frosting as written, but don't want any alcohol, can I use vanilla? If so, how much? 3 ounces sounds like too much.

#2 CanadianBakin'

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 05:20 PM

I just leave it out and it works fine. I think if I was using puree, I'd either make the liqueur a part of the total puree amount or leave it out. It's been a bit since I've made vanilla but I think 1 tsp extract is about right. I have some Tahitian beans that aren't very strong so last time I made vanilla, I added the seeds of one bean and it just adds to the look.
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#3 sanrensho

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 08:52 PM

I always leave out the alcohol in the mousseline buttercream, with no other adjustments to the recipe. (Most of my cakes are eaten by kids and adults alike.) IMO, the recipe works fine just by omitting the alcohol.
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#4 freddurf

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Posted 15 October 2005 - 10:44 PM

Thanks for the reply. I added a little more puree to make up for the 3 oz and it turned out great!

#5 Sugarella

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:22 AM

Eau de vie is a clear liquor made from fruit juice. Kirsch would be an example. :smile:

#6 chiantiglace

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:49 AM

eau de vie translation - water of life

not aged in wood like other brandies its aged in a crockery making it clear (alcool blanc) just like kirschwasser as mentioned, poire williams and chambord are other examples.
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#7 freddurf

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 02:38 PM

Eau de vie is a clear liquor made from fruit juice. Kirsch would be an example.  :smile:

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eau de vie translation - water of life

not aged in wood like other brandies its aged in a crockery making it clear (alcool blanc)  just like kirschwasser as mentioned, poire williams and chambord are other examples.

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Thanks for the info!

#8 *Deborah*

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 06:46 PM

Surely 3 oz. of liquor in a large-scale buttercream aren't going to make little kids drunk or anything? doesn't it just evaporate? :unsure:

I mean as opposed to soaking a cake layer in rum or whatever.
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#9 JeanneCake

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 07:02 PM

You add the liquor after all the butter has been incorporated, so there's no evaporation. In a large-scale buttercream (calling for 2.5# butter, which would be enough to double fill and frost a 10" round cake), you might use 3-6 oz of alcohol. Granted you're only eating one piece of this cake and not the whole cake... but some don't want any alcohol used at all. And if you don't use the whole batch of buttercream, you could end up stuck with a flavor you didn't want.

I don't add it to the buttercream; and I ask people when they place their order if there's any allergies or if they have a preference for using alcohol in the soaking syrup I use in some of my cakes.

There's a passion fruit liquor I've seen but I can't remember the name; I also think there's something called Grande Passion out there. This thread reminds me of something I read in the Cake Bible about a pistachio liqueur; has any one ever seen it?

#10 sanrensho

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 09:59 PM

Surely 3 oz. of liquor in a large-scale buttercream aren't going to make little kids drunk or anything? doesn't it just evaporate?


I don't see how the alcohol would evaporate if it's suspended in butter and meringue. (I sure wouldn't be going anywhere if I were encased in butter, sugar and meringue...mmm.)

Even assuming that the little ones aren't going to be turning tipsy and bumping into each other like bowling pins, it's not a decision for me to make if other kids will be eating the cake.

Edited by sanrensho, 16 October 2005 - 10:00 PM.

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#11 *Deborah*

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 10:05 PM

Surely 3 oz. of liquor in a large-scale buttercream aren't going to make little kids drunk or anything? doesn't it just evaporate?


I don't see how the alcohol would evaporate if it's suspended in butter and meringue. (I sure wouldn't be going anywhere if I were encased in butter, sugar and meringue...mmm.)

Even assuming that the little ones aren't going to be turning tipsy and bumping into each other like bowling pins, it's not a decision for me to make if other kids will be eating the cake.

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Well, that's why I asked the question, I didn't know it became permanently alcoholic by virtue of being in a buttercream. I didn't know you could keep it from evaporating. I see I should have taken more science classes!! :raz:

Does that mean that my icings for office cakes with vanilla are still alcoholic as well? LOL I thought it was just a sugar rush!
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#12 Ling

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 10:36 PM

I thought alcohol only begins to evaporate when it's heated to a certain temperature, so icings usually remain alcoholic...unless perhaps you're adding alcohol to a 7-minute boiled frosting while it's still been cooked on the stove.

#13 sanrensho

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 10:36 PM

Does that mean that my icings for office cakes with vanilla are still alcoholic as well?


More importantly, does your office employee preschoolers and toddlers? If not, then I think it's a moot issue.:smile:
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#14 *Deborah*

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Posted 16 October 2005 - 11:38 PM

I thought alcohol only begins to evaporate when it's heated to a certain temperature, so icings usually remain alcoholic...unless perhaps you're adding alcohol to a 7-minute boiled frosting while it's still been cooked on the stove.

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:laugh:

I thought it began evaporating upon being exposed to the air, regardless of temperature. :laugh:

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#15 RuthWells

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 09:58 AM

The recipe calls for 3 ounces of liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Mandarine Napoleon, or an eau-de-vie (what in the world is that anyway?).  If I make her suggested passion fruit variation, do I still add 3 ounces of liqueur?  (for the fruit variation, it says to add 3/4 cup of passion curd) I assume the answer is no, but the recipe didn't say to omit it if using a variation.  If I add the liqueur what kind would I use to compliment the passion fruit?

One more question, if I want to make this frosting as written, but don't want any alcohol, can I use vanilla?  If so, how much?  3 ounces sounds like too much.

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Oooh, I hope I'm not too late responding. Fred, I have never been able to incorporate 3 full ounces of fluid into this buttercream recipe -- it is too much liquid, in my opinion. That said, I usually splash a few tsps of vanilla (or whatever) to taste if I'm not doing a fruit flavoring.

#16 tekna

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Posted 17 October 2005 - 01:02 PM

The recipe calls for 3 ounces of liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Mandarine Napoleon, or an eau-de-vie (what in the world is that anyway?).  If I make her suggested passion fruit variation, do I still add 3 ounces of liqueur?  (for the fruit variation, it says to add 3/4 cup of passion curd) I assume the answer is no, but the recipe didn't say to omit it if using a variation.  If I add the liqueur what kind would I use to compliment the passion fruit?

One more question, if I want to make this frosting as written, but don't want any alcohol, can I use vanilla?  If so, how much?  3 ounces sounds like too much.

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Oooh, I hope I'm not too late responding. Fred, I have never been able to incorporate 3 full ounces of fluid into this buttercream recipe -- it is too much liquid, in my opinion. That said, I usually splash a few tsps of vanilla (or whatever) to taste if I'm not doing a fruit flavoring.

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I've been adding vanilla extract instead of the liqueurs. But like Ruthwells, I don't think I've ever added the full amount listed in the book. For a while, I was adding 45g to a batch that uses 1 lb. of butter. You get a good amount of vanilla flavor, but also makes it a little more ivory. I recently found some 2x vanilla, and now I add about 24 g to a 1 lb. butter batch, and it's pretty vanilla-y. If you only have access to 1x vanilla, I'm guessing 24 g of that might suffice.

#17 freddurf

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Posted 18 October 2005 - 01:27 AM

Thanks Ruthwells and Tekna!

#18 Marmish

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 04:38 PM

I made RLB's Mousseline buttercream today. This was the first time I tried a "real" buttercream. I got really nervous there in the middle when it was totally curdled and look so icky, but everything I've read here says just keep forging on and it'll all be ok. And it was. I flavored it with Chambord and tinted it ever so slightly pink.

The part I had a hard time with, aside from not panicking in the middle, was pouring the syrup. I was using a kitchenaid and tried to follow the pour-mix-stop-pour-mix-etc. method, but I ended up with what I thought was a lot of syrup left in the measuring cup that wouldn't come out. Then I discovered a glob that was attached to the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Any tips for pouring the syrup in? How important is it to get every last drop in there? Was that a factor in the curdy gloppy mess I eventually overcame?

#19 Patrick S

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 05:06 PM

This is one case where the older style stand mixer comes in handy. My mixer has a rotating bowl, but the beaters stay in one place, so I can drizzle the syrup right down into the mixer bowl with the machine on at full-speed. As far as what to do about that bit of syrup left in the measuring cup, I usually make just a little more syrup than the recipe calls for, allowing that a few % is going to stay in the cup. But taste your buttercream -- if its sweet enough for you as it is, then there's no need to adjust. If you want it a little sweeter, then next time add a few % to your syrup ingredients.
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#20 JFLinLA

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 05:25 PM

I took some baking classes last weekend and the instructor actually showed us a really neat trick when using the whisk attachment with the Kitchen Aid mixer. Ensure the wires of your whisk attachment are in place (check the ones at the bottom tip to make sure that bottom one is locked into the little notch), lock your bowl onto the mixer, lock the whisk attachment in place, raise and lock the bowl, then lift and unhook the whish attachment and let it drop. It will stay on the stem and still whisk while reaching the bottom of the bowl. We used this method over and over again in class with egg whites, cream, etc. Go figure! Just listen the mixer as it goes and, if anything sounds funny, then you probably need to adjust something.

Anyway, it won't help with the syrup left behind, but it may help with the glob that gathers on the bottom.
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#21 sanrensho

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 05:51 PM

After my first time making RLB's mousseline BC, I dispensed with the measuring cup and have gone to pouring straight into the mixer. I have had zero problems since then.

Getting every last drop of the syrup in there is not critical, in my experience.

Edited by sanrensho, 20 February 2006 - 07:57 PM.

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#22 RuthWells

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 07:19 PM

I made RLB's Mousseline buttercream today.  This was the first time I tried a "real" buttercream.  I got really nervous there in the middle when it was totally curdled and look so icky, but everything I've read here says just keep forging on and it'll all be ok.  And it was.  I flavored it with Chambord and tinted it ever so slightly pink.

The part I had a hard time with, aside from not panicking in the middle, was pouring the syrup.  I was using a kitchenaid and tried to follow the pour-mix-stop-pour-mix-etc.  method, but I ended up with what I thought was a lot of syrup left in the measuring cup that wouldn't come out.  Then I discovered a glob that was attached to the bottom of the mixing bowl.

Any tips for pouring the syrup in?  How important is it to get every last drop in there?  Was that a factor in the curdy gloppy mess I eventually overcame?

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Congrats, Marmish! Once you have experienced true buttercream, there is no turning back. :wink:

The glob in the bottom of the bowl suggests that the sugar syrup was a bit overcooked -- either it came off the heat too late, or it got added to the meringue so slowly that the carryover cooking went too far. The pyrex measuring cup (sprayed with a bit of Pam) is a good tool to prevent the carryover cooking.

As for adding the syrup, I have never cared for RLB's stop-n-start method. I simply leave the beater running and carefully pour from the pyrex in a thin stream between the beater and the side of the bowl. It takes a somewhat steady hand and a wee bit of practice, but results are great.

#23 Marmish

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for all the tips. I do think the syrup was slightly overcooked. I didn't think of spraying the measuring cup. Next time, I'll try watching the syrup more closely and spraying the cup. Then, I might get really brave and try pouring right from the pan.

Interesting tip about removing the whisk attachment. I think I may need to check the height adjustment of the bowl as well.

#24 SethG

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:16 PM

I've had some similar frustrations with RLB's stop-n-start method. Today I used a Flo Braker method that I think I may try with RLB's buttercreams. After you froth up your egg yolks with the mixer, you bring the mixer bowl containing the yolks and the whisk attachment over to your oven. When the syrup reaches the target temperature, you pour the syrup right into the middle of your yolks, and beat like mad, by hand, with the whisk attachment for a few seconds. Then stick the bowl and the whisk back on your mixer and continue. It worked very well for me.
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#25 sanrensho

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 08:19 PM

In case it wasn't obvious, I should add that I pour with the mixer running continuously. The only thing to be careful of is your aim. You want the syrup to hit the mixture and not the beaters or bowl. Even if you do end up with some hardened syrup on the beaters and bowl, you are still getting more syrup in there than using the pyrex method.
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#26 ComeUndone

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Posted 20 February 2006 - 09:41 PM

Personally, pouring hot syrup into egg whites/egg yolks is the only reason I still keep my handmixer around. I set the (heavy) glass mixing on a wet dishcloth, hold the running handmixer with my left hand, and pour hot syrup directly from pot with my right. FYI, I'm right-handed.

I much prefer the control and visibility that I get with the handmixer. As soon as all the syrup is incorporated, I transfer everything to the standmixer and continue mixing.

Of course, this is not too practical when you're dealing with larger batches.
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#27 Kris

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 12:54 PM

I made IMBC, but not Rose Beranbaum's recipe.

When I pour the sugar syrup, I do so directly from the saucepan (with a handle) into the KA mixer bowl. I use the wire whip beater on the "stir" speed and I slowly & carefully pour the syrup down the side of the bowl. I avoid the moving wire whip entirely.

Edited by Kris, 21 February 2006 - 12:54 PM.


#28 McDuff

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 01:06 PM

I recently saw Alton Brown sucking the hot sugar syrup into a stainless steel basting bulb and injecting it into the eggs. I've also seen people making IT in an 80- qt mixer and they just poured the hot syrup onto the meringue. Suppose there's a little less margin for pouring error in the amounts we talking about here.

#29 Lauren

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 04:15 PM

I also just made RLB's Mousselline buttercream for the first time this weekend. Does anyone else's seem very soft at room temperature? I ice my cakes chilled because I find it helps me achieve a very smooth finish on the icing, but when I let my iced cake come to room temp, the icing looks very soft. Is this normal for this buttercream, or am I messing up the chemistry by icing the cake cool? (The icing is room temp, by the way, when I use it.)

Thanks!
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Edited by Lauren, 21 February 2006 - 04:15 PM.


#30 Marmish

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Posted 21 February 2006 - 08:37 PM

I took the cake to school today. I bake once a month for all the birthdays of that month (and the half birthdays of the summer babies like me who got screwed all through school when it came to class parties). Based on the oohing and aaahing that came out of the lounge, and the substitute teacher working in the building that sought me out to ask if I sold cakes, I think everything came out ok in the end. :biggrin:

I'll surely make this again, and will use plenty of the advice from all of you more experienced folk. I keep saying one day when I'm sick of the kids and the parents and the teachers, I'm going to run away to a bakery somewhere. I think they think I'm joking. :raz: