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Basic Buttercream


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31 replies to this topic

#1 bripastryguy

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 12:00 PM

Can anyone post some tested tried and true quality buttercream recipes?
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
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#2 Katherine

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 12:03 PM

What sort of buttercream are you looking for? The old-fashioned kind, with powdered sugar, or with meringue, or egg yolks?

#3 Elizabeth_11

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Posted 08 August 2003 - 07:43 PM

From Sebastien Canonne at the French Pastry School:

(rather small, but excellent recipe)

Butter 82% 250 g
whole eggs 50 g
egg yolk 20 g
water 25 g
sucrose 80 g

Method:

Whip butter (room temperature) with whisk attachment.
In another bowl, whip the eggs and yolk until VERY light and fluffy..
Boil the water and sucrose to 123 C/253 F
Pour the hot sugar syrup over eggs in large pours (pour a lot, then whip, pour a lot, then whip, etc.--NOT the small stream method)
Add in the butter piece by piece. (sometimes the butter will vary, use best judgement when it hits the right consistency.
Add flavorings.

I have another recipe that I've used from the Great Chefs website as well, it has always turned out great, but I'm fairly certain that it's almost identical to the one above.
-Elizabeth

Mmmmmmm chocolate.


#4 Ladybug

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Posted 09 August 2003 - 01:38 PM

I like Rose Levy Beranbaum's Neoclassic Buttercream. She uses corn syrup instead of boiling water and sugar together and the results are identical to her Classic Buttercream recipe, although the procedure is much simplified.

#5 chefette

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 09:42 AM

Elizabeth - after whipping the butter til it is very fluffy how do you manage to add it piece by piece?

#6 bripastryguy

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 10:31 AM

Chefette,

Do you and steve have a good working (and ofcourse tasting) buttercream that can hold up nice on display?
"Chocolate has no calories....
Chocolate is food for the soul, The soul has no weight, therefore no calories" so said a customer, a lovely southern woman, after consuming chocolate indulgence
SWEET KARMA DESSERTS
www.sweetkarmadesserts.com
550 East Meadow Ave. East meadow, NY 11554
516-794-4478
Brian Fishman

#7 FireIslanddish

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 12:15 PM

Check out (I know) Martha Stewart's website for the Cupcake Cafe buttercream that is very popular in NYC

#8 alithea

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 12:28 PM

Martha Stewart also has a rum buttercream for her wedding cake featured in Baking with Julia. It calls for all yolks, I think it's 14 or 16 of them, and no egg whites, so it is a bit of a pain. But it's the best buttercream I've ever had, and the pale yellow color is so nice.

#9 TuWanda

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Posted 12 August 2003 - 04:07 PM

If you need something to hold up well, I second RLB's Neoclassic. It will hold up well to display, and it's simple to make. It's also delicious. Her Mousseline buttercream is also wonderful.

It will not hold up to the grasping hands of a 1 year old. :wink:

Edited by TuWanda, 12 August 2003 - 04:08 PM.


#10 PastryLady

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 06:17 AM

I always make swiss buttercream because I love the smooth texture and versatility to add other flavors later. My recipe is enormous though. I use a 40 qt bowl over the flame.

I can't recall the sugar amount, but will post it tomorrow after work. I know it is 15# butter and 5# whites.

You dissolve whites and sugar over medium flame while continuously stirring until you feel with your fingers that the mixture is no longer grainy (sugar has dissolved). Take off flame and put on medium speed for 30 seconds and then high for about 8 minutes until merangue is about trippled in volume and has a trac when you run your finger along it. Add butter slowly.

I am thinking it is 5# of sugar now. Obviously you can reduce this to fit your needs. I Add fine sea salt (a pinch) with my flavoring when re-whipping up the buttercream. This picks up the flavor, but often I leave out the salt as it could possibly group together in one area. Never use shortening as this is clearly disgusting in buttercream.
Debra Diller
"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

#11 nightscotsman

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 06:57 AM

If you are holding the cakes at room temp, an egg white butter cream (with either swiss or italian meringue) is the way to go. An egg yolk buttercream would spoil much sooner.

#12 Elizabeth_11

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 08:49 AM

Chefette--my directions stated to whip the eggs until light and fluffy, not the butter. The butter is just whipped till soft and pliable. I should have been more specific in the directions; sorry about that.

Edited by Elizabeth_11, 13 August 2003 - 08:50 AM.

-Elizabeth

Mmmmmmm chocolate.


#13 JFLinLA

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 10:29 AM

Clearly the eGCI needs to offer a course on everything one needs to know about buttercreams.
So long and thanks for all the fish.

#14 TuWanda

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 11:12 AM

Martha Stewart also has a rum buttercream for her wedding cake featured in Baking with Julia. It calls for all yolks, I think it's 14 or 16 of them, and no egg whites, so it is a bit of a pain. But it's the best buttercream I've ever had, and the pale yellow color is so nice.

That's french buttercream, and I agree - the taste is superior to any buttercream going.

But - it's difficult as hell to work with, doesn't hold it's shape very well for piping, and is incredibly temperature sensitive and humidity sensitive.

For pure taste, though - french is the best thing ever... :smile:

#15 PastryLady

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Posted 13 August 2003 - 01:14 PM

Personally, I have never had a Martha Stewart recipe turn out. Keep her pictures, but ditch the recipies. :wink:
Debra Diller
"Sweet dreams are made of this" - Eurithmics

#16 Phish

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 02:39 AM

Can you make buttercream without yolks?

#17 chefpeon

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 08:06 AM

Can you make buttercream without yolks?

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Yes, read the above post by PastryLady.

#18 tejon

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 04:07 PM

I thought about posting on the Baking 101 thread, but I'm in the middle when it comes to baking. Not a novice, but certainly no professional either. Recently I made my first buttercream. I used a recipe from Flo Braker's The Simple Art of Perfect Baking, a book I have really enjoyed both for the variety of recipes and the great length of explanation and detailed instructions. Making the buttercream was no problem at all, and the end result looked wonderful. However, the taste....well, it mostly tasted like softened butter. It was almost not sweet at all, and didn't really seem like a frosting. I couldn't imagine putting this on a cake as is. Thankfully, I needed double that amount of frosting, so I figured I'd find another recipe and blend the two, making something that hopefully would work. I rummaged through my other cookbooks and pulled out my trusty Fannie Farmer. I made their buttercream ("Butter Frosting II"), and while it was sweeter than I would have liked, it was much better.

I wasn't 100% happy with either recipe, though the first just seems off in terms of proportions. Here are the two ingredients lists:

The Simple Art of Perfect Baking
1 lb. unsalted butter
8 egg yolks
1/3 cup water
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar


Fannie Farmer
1 lb. unsalted butter
4 egg yolks
1 cup water
2 cups sugar

So what is your favorite classic buttercream recipe? additionally, how much chocolate (and what kinds) do you like to add for a chocolate buttercream?

Edited by Wendy DeBord, 16 March 2006 - 05:21 AM.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

#19 SweetSide

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 05:32 PM

This has been my favorite so far, but not the one I use the most. We also adapted this one and substituted a combination of reduced creme de cassis and black currant puree for half of the milk. That one was good...

2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs
1 tbs vanilla extract
2 pounds unsalted butter


The one I use most often is IMBC or SMBC of 1 part egg whites, 2 parts sugar and 2.5 to 3 parts butter. Addition of vanilla or liqueur of choice.
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#20 Sugarella

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 05:38 PM

I'm curious with the method with both of these.... are you cooking the whites with the sugar, or the sugar with the water, then using that syrup to cook the eggs? If it's the latter, that's a bit risky, food safety-wise.

For chocolate, I don't bother making chocolate buttercream anymore....just ganache. Different recipes for inside and outside a cake.

I'll post my buttercream later when I've got more time.

#21 Patrick S

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 06:19 PM

I'm curious with the method with both of these.... are you cooking the whites with the sugar, or the sugar with the water, then using that syrup to cook the eggs? If it's the latter, that's a bit risky, food safety-wise.

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If your yolks are hot when you add the syrup, you can easily push the mixture past 160F, which would be sufficient. If you wanted to be absolutely sure that your yolks are pasteurized, you could heat the yolks in a double boiler to 140 or so, so the syrup would just have to heat it up 20 more degrees.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#22 Kerry Beal

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 07:05 PM

So what is your favorite classic buttercream recipe? additionally, how much chocolate (and what kinds) do you like to add for a chocolate buttercream?

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[/quote]

I tried a lot of different recipes before I finally settled on this one. It makes a very respectable chocolate buttercream. I use a kitchen aid mixer with the wire whip.

Chocolate Buttercream

1 cup plus 2 tbsp sugar
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 extra large eggs
2 extra large egg yolks
14 ounces room temperature salted butter
4 ounces melted bittersweet chocolate, cooled
3 drops Loranne Gourmet Chocolate Flavour

Mix together sugar and water in small saucepan and cook to 240 F. While cooking sugar syrup, start beating eggs and yolks with cream of tartar in mixer. Eggs should be fluffy and lightened in colour by the time the syrup reaches temperature. Drizzle sugar syrup down side of bowl with the mixer going at full speed. When the syrup is all incorporated continue to beat until cool.
Now add the room temperature butter, then the cooled melted chocolate and the flavour. If the butter is too cool the butter cream may clump, so heat the outside of the bowl with a towel soaked in hot water or with a hair dryer or heat gun just until clumps disappear.

Edited by Kerry Beal, 15 March 2006 - 07:16 PM.


#23 tejon

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 08:11 PM

I'm curious with the method with both of these.... are you cooking the whites with the sugar, or the sugar with the water, then using that syrup to cook the eggs? If it's the latter, that's a bit risky, food safety-wise.

View Post


Both involved cooking the sugar and water together, then using the syrup to cook the eggs. I'm not overly concerned about the safety of the eggs I buy, but I'm also satisfied that this method cooks them well enough that it's not an issue.

SweetSide,I love the idea of Creme de Cassis as a flavoring. Have to try that.
Kerry, where do you get the chocolate flavour? Is that something I could order online?
Sugarella, how do you differ the ganache for filling versus frosting?

Edited by tejon, 15 March 2006 - 08:15 PM.

Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

#24 Kerry Beal

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 08:27 PM

Kerry, where do you get the chocolate flavour? Is that something I could order online?


[/quote]
Kathy,

I think I got the flavour at McCall's in Toronto, but I have also seen it in my local bulk food store. LorAnn is American, their website is www.lorannoils.com and you can apparently order directly from them.

They sell pure citrus oils, a lot of natural and some artificial flavours. The gourmet line are very concentrated flavours and you don't need much. In fact if you use to much it tastes quite awful. But a couple of drops just boosts the flavour nicely.

Kerry

#25 Sugarella

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 08:47 PM

If your yolks are hot when you add the syrup, you can easily push the mixture past 160F, which would be sufficient. If you wanted to be absolutely sure that your yolks are pasteurized, you could heat the yolks in a double boiler to 140 or so, so the syrup would just have to heat it up 20 more degrees.

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D'oh! :blush: I read that wrong. :blush:

Both involved cooking the sugar and water together, then using the syrup to cook the eggs. I'm not overly concerned about the safety of the eggs I buy, but I'm also satisfied that this method cooks them well enough that it's not an issue.
Sugarella, how do you differ the ganache for filling versus frosting?

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Don't say frosting!
Frosting: Comes in a can
Icing : Tastes good
See the difference? :laugh:

My filling ganches are usually made with heavy cream and are spreadable in varying consistencies and may have liqueurs or nut butters added; ganaches for icing the outside are made with sour cream and are poured. That's what I do, anyways.

Here's my buttercream; I said earlier I'd post it:

3/4 cup egg whites (about 5 large eggs)
1 1/2 cups / 300 g. granulated sugar
1 lb. / 454 g. salted butter, softened
2 tsp. Vanilla

Whisk whites and sugar together with a hand whisk and heat, whisking continuously, over the top of a double boiler until the mixture is HOT, about 130 degrees.

Remove bowl and beat egg mixture on MEDIUM speed until cooled down, about 5 minutes, until the eggs are forming stiff peaks and the mixture and bowl are cool to the touch.

On LOW speed, add butter in 10-12 additions until smooth and blended and mixture is light and fluffy.

Increase speed to HIGH and continue beating for another 5 minutes; the volume will double. When completed, add the vanilla or any other flavourings and just blend to incorporate.

-----> I use salted butter becaue I mainly do wedding cakes so I need the added life.... you can use unsalted but perhaps add a pinch of salt to the recipe.

#26 tejon

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 10:36 PM

Don't say frosting!
Frosting: Comes in a can
Icing : Tastes good
See the difference? :laugh:

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Ah, gotcha. Thanks for the icing tip, then ;-) Interesting to see how many buttercream variants there are out there. Now to make a bunch of cakes to test them all :biggrin:.
Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne

#27 JFLinLA

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 10:37 PM

Tejon -- I'm in the middle like you. I had many failed attempts at buttercream then I found the recipe for mousseline buttercream in RLB's Cake Bible. I like the taste and texture and the way it holds up and I've yet to screw it up.

Good luck.
So long and thanks for all the fish.

#28 dlellingsworth

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 10:58 PM

My favorite buttercream is Swiss buttercream. It is very easy to remember the proportions: 8 ounces egg whites (1 large egg has a 1 ounce white for all intents and purposes), 12 ounces granulated sugar, 20 ounces softened sweet butter and 2 tablespoons vanilla. Whisk the whites and sugar in a bowl, then whisk over a double boiler until frothy, steamy and until the temp. reaches about 150 degrees. Immediately put it into a mixer (with whip attachment if stand mixer) and beat on high speed until mixture comes down to room temperature. Lower speed to medium/low and gradually add butter and vanilla. I then switch to paddle on low speed to remove some air bubbles. I love this recipe-no need for a candy thermometer like you need for Italian buttercream. It is not overly sweet and adults really love it-especially compared to the very sugar-ry buttercreams. You may want to give it a try.

#29 RuthWells

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 08:45 AM

Tejon -- I'm in the middle like you.  I had many failed attempts at buttercream then I found the recipe for mousseline buttercream in RLB's Cake Bible.  I like the taste and texture and the way it holds up and I've yet to screw it up.

Good luck.

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If you haven't yet, try RLB's neoclassic buttercream as well (the one with yolks instead of whites). It doesn't pipe as well at the mousseline, but it has a richer flavor.

#30 tejon

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 03:31 PM

Sounds like it's time to get a copy of The Cake Bible, eh?
Kathy

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all. - Harriet Van Horne