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Buttercream Frosting/Icing: The Topic


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#121 Sugarella

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Posted 03 March 2006 - 08:23 PM

* ps...........I don't know why I'm calling the cooked flour and milk a "roux"........it's something my Mom called it. Is there a proper name for that? Could I be spelling that wrong is it Roo? Roux is traditionally butter and flour................

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Yup, you got it right, it's a roux. Roux is any flour and fat mixture cooked into a paste to use as thickener.... technically milk has fat so I think the term is still correct in this instance.

Edited to add: Do those of you who use these icings actually like them and/or prefer them? I'm curious about them.... I use Nick Maglieri's buttercream and really prefer its taste and texture; previous to that I was using Sylvia Weinstock's, both of which I think are much better than RLB's Mousseline. If the flour leaves a taste in these icings, could you possibly sub something like potato starch or even rice flour????? I'm wondering if a flour icing could be modified so that it did hold together.......

Edited by Sugarella, 03 March 2006 - 08:26 PM.


#122 SweetSide

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 07:28 AM

It sounds like the typical frosting for a red cake. I wouldn't really call it buttercream..........more like a variation of one.

When I make similar, I can tell it has flour in it too. Theres no way around that. It's not a browned roux. And it's texture is 'different'/fluffy, that's because you're using the roux.

If you wanted something very similar you could use a pastry cream of your liking that had cornstarch not flour as the thickener. Sub out equal weights and continue the recipe as written.

Alot of people like this frosting because it seems less sweet and not rich.

* ps...........I don't know why I'm calling the cooked flour and milk a "roux"........it's something my Mom called it. Is there a proper name for that? Could I be spelling that wrong is it Roo? Roux is traditionally butter and flour................

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Wendy, You got it -- I'm frosting a red velvet cake, and I've not done one before. Since it was such a big hit with the people it was given to, especially the frosting, I'll not make any changes to it.

I think a part of the problem was the cold temperature of my kitchen as well and by warming the frosting I could have fluffed it up a bit more. The part I didn't like the most was how it was spreading.

* ps...........I don't know why I'm calling the cooked flour and milk a "roux"........it's something my Mom called it. Is there a proper name for that? Could I be spelling that wrong is it Roo? Roux is traditionally butter and flour................

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Yup, you got it right, it's a roux. Roux is any flour and fat mixture cooked into a paste to use as thickener.... technically milk has fat so I think the term is still correct in this instance.

Edited to add: Do those of you who use these icings actually like them and/or prefer them? I'm curious about them.... I use Nick Maglieri's buttercream and really prefer its taste and texture; previous to that I was using Sylvia Weinstock's, both of which I think are much better than RLB's Mousseline. If the flour leaves a taste in these icings, could you possibly sub something like potato starch or even rice flour????? I'm wondering if a flour icing could be modified so that it did hold together.......

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Sugarella, I haven't used any of the buttercreams you mention above, but just looked up Nick Malgieri's in Perfect Cakes. Looks like the typical swiss meringue buttercream that I use, which is my preferred buttercream at home.

I don't like to make IMBC much -- which seems to be more of a standard -- so I use SMBC. At home, with my mixer, the amount I need to make of the IMBC for one cake does not have enough meringue to really fill the mixer, so when I pour the sugar in, no matter how much care I take, it hits the shoulders of the whip and sprays around the bowl. If I dribble it down the side of the bowl, it leave a streak and clump of sugar syrup. No problems at school when I was making gobs of the stuff.

But those people who I give cakes to think the SMBC and IMBC are very rich. My husband called the icing I referenced above "not as greasy".
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#123 K8memphis

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 08:50 PM

The formula that I have used forever, is cook the milk, sugar and flour, then add the other stuff. In fact, the original says to add small pieces of real cold butter to the completely cooled cooked mixture. I would always refrigerate or freeze the cooked mixture and then add room temp butter. Mine tastes like ice cream, it is rich and less sweet than regular American buttercream. I never detected a 'made with flour' note in mine. I guess the sugar helps change the texture well enough.

Curious is that when you goggle french buttercream you get a variety of recipes including several of this variety and several offshoots and some with the yolks. This recipe is a buttercream as are the other ones. It is part of our cooking fabric.

#124 CaliPoutine

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 12:12 PM

I have a question about an Italian buttercream I made the other day.

I used the recipe in the latest issue of Fine Cooking, but I cut it in half.

I used
2 1/2 egg whites
1/2 plus 1/8 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups butter
1/4 cup plus 1tbls corn syrup.

Everything seemed to go ok, I dribbled in the sryup after whipping the whites. Then I incorporated the butter and added some vanilla paste and then at the last minute I added some homeade vanilla extract.

So then I tried to pipe it on my cupcake's using a star tip and it wasnt that stiff. Ok, no problem. I stuck the entire pastry bag in a glass and back in the freezer. I was able to pipe it, but it still wasnt that thick and it was flat.

I threw the rest in a tupperware and pulled it out that evening to frost a couple more and it looked really unattractive, it totally separated.

The client did hire me and I have to frost 60 cupcakes for a cupcake tree. Should I give up on the Italian buttercream and just go with a regular butter/powdered sugar deal or does anyone have a better suggestion?

Thanks!!

Edited by CaliPoutine, 14 March 2006 - 12:12 PM.


#125 sanrensho

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 12:27 PM

I threw the rest in a tupperware and pulled it out that evening to frost a couple more and it looked really unattractive, it totally separated.   


Did you try rebeating it at room temp? I've had some separation occur with IMBC after refrigeration.
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#126 CaliPoutine

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 12:38 PM

I havent done that yet, but I will.

That doesnt solve my problem about frosting the cupcakes for the party. I need a frosting that will be really nice and high when piped.

Know of any?

#127 SweetSide

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 12:39 PM

I have a question about an Italian buttercream I made the other day. 

I used the recipe in the latest issue of Fine Cooking, but I cut it in half. 

I used
2 1/2 egg whites
1/2 plus 1/8 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups butter
1/4 cup plus 1tbls corn syrup. 

Everything seemed to go ok, I dribbled in the sryup after whipping the whites.  Then I incorporated the butter and added some vanilla paste and then at the last minute I added some homeade vanilla extract.

So then I tried to pipe it on my cupcake's using a star tip and it wasnt that stiff.  Ok, no problem.  I stuck the entire pastry bag in a glass and back in the freezer.  I was able to pipe it, but it still wasnt that thick and it was flat.

I threw the rest in a tupperware and pulled it out that evening to frost a couple more and it looked really unattractive, it totally separated.   

The client did hire me and I have to frost 60 cupcakes for a cupcake tree.  Should I give up on the Italian buttercream and just go with a regular butter/powdered sugar deal or does anyone have a better suggestion?

Thanks!!

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Some thoughts --

Was the meringue mixture totally cool when you started to add your butter and the butter at room temperature? You don't want to have a warm meringue melt the butter or the mix will separate.

To me -- and I'll defer to others -- it seems like a lot of sugar/corn syrup to egg whites. But, I've never made a buttercream using corn syrup in the syrup mixture (I'm assuming the corn syrup was heated with the sugar to 242F..)
Cheryl, The Sweet Side

#128 RuthWells

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Posted 14 March 2006 - 01:01 PM

Should I give up on the Italian buttercream and just go with a regular butter/powdered sugar deal or does anyone have a better suggestion?

Thanks!!

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Don't give up on Italian buttercream! I haven't tried the FC recipe yet, but the one from The Cake Bible is very reliable, pipeable, and much more delicious than butter and 10x sugar. I have a picture in the What's for Dessert thread of a cake covered in flowers piped from Italian buttercream, if you want to see it in action.

#129 Wendy DeBord

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Posted 15 March 2006 - 06:09 AM

CaliPoutine............that's an amazingly small amount to make. It would be a challenge for anyone to make that small of a batch well. I don't think you can judge it at all in that quantity.

#130 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

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#131 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

#132 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.

#133 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.
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#134 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.


#135 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.

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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

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#136 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

#137 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.

#138 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

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#139 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.

#140 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.

#141 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.

#142 Tippy

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 02:00 PM

the first recipe in the thread I often use a variation of for filling cupcakes or small layers - it can be made to the almost exact texture as Twinkie cream.

As far as the last buttercream question - often the icing will separate - or look kind of curdled, and can be brought back to a creamy texture by vigorous beating.

If you want an icing to withstand hot summer temps, you need to sub in more shortening instead of butter, and a hi-ratio shortening, like Alpine will hold up about the best, but no cake like super hot temperatures.

the meringue buttercreams are wonderful - but risky in summer.

adding meringue powder to the icing sugar can sometimes help with the crusting and holding factor.

Also - adding a tablespoon of meringue powder to your dry cake ingredients can help lift a too-dense cake.

#143 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

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#144 Patrick S

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Posted 16 March 2006 - 03:54 PM

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

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If you want to try the neoclassic buttercream but dont want to buy the book, you can find the recipe here.
"If you are irritated by every rub, how will you be polished?" - Rumi

#145 RuthWells

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Posted 17 March 2006 - 08:06 AM

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

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It's a great reference book. A lot of bakers find her cakes overly sweet and on the dry side, but it's an invaluable resource for fillings, frostings, ingredient substitutions, and the like. I am constantly pulling it off the shelf, even when baking recipes from other sources.

#146 CaliPoutine

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 05:08 PM

CaliPoutine............that's an amazingly small amount to make. It would be a challenge for anyone to make that small of a batch well. I don't think you can judge it at all in that quantity.

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Ok, I feel like a failure and I'm ready to cry. I was hired for an event on Saturday night. I had to provide 60 cupcakes. I stupidly made this frosting at 5pm and it failed( once again). The first time I tried the recipe from Fine Cooking( which btw, it didnt work for Marlene either). This time I tried RLB's mouselline buttercream. I removed the sugar syrup when it reached 248f. I poured it into the pyrex dish as instructed. Here is what my mess looks like. I ended up throwing it in the fridge and making the standard buttercream of butter and 10x sugar.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Posted Image

These pics are from tonight, I tried to rewhip it to no avail.

What did I do wrong? I've wasted 2lbs of butter( 3.79lb). Is there anything I can do with this mess?

#147 JeanneCake

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:13 PM

I can't tell from the first photo whether there's liquid in the bottom left corner or not.

When you added the hot syrup, how did you do it (slowly? quickly? what speed was the mixer at?) It may be that your meringue deflated/collapsed and so the butter didn't incorporate.

Do you have a blow torch? You could use it to warm up the sides of the bowl while the whip is on (speed 2 or 4) and see what happens. Or take some out and put it in a microwave safe container, and nuke it for 3-5 sec until soft and melt-y (like ice cream). Add this in a steady stream to the cold buttercream and let it go for a few minutes and see if it comes together. You can only do this once or twice before you end up with just butter in the bowl, though.

Edited to add: When I'm re-whipping buttercream, I use the paddle and try to have it as close to rm temp as I can (as long as it isn't ice cold)

Edited by JeanneCake, 05 April 2006 - 08:14 PM.


#148 Sugarella

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:21 PM

What is that creamy white liquid in your bowl!?!

Were the whites whipped to stiff peaks before you added the sugar syrup, and were you whipping the whole time you were adding it?

#149 sanrensho

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:24 PM

Also, what was the temp of your butter when you added it to the meringue?
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#150 CaliPoutine

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Posted 05 April 2006 - 08:33 PM

I can't tell from the first photo whether there's liquid in the bottom left corner or not.

When you added the hot syrup, how did you do it (slowly? quickly? what speed was the mixer at?)  It may be that your meringue deflated/collapsed and so the butter didn't incorporate.

Do you have a blow torch?  You could use it to warm up the sides of the bowl while the whip is on (speed 2 or 4) and see what happens.  Or take some out and put it in a microwave safe container, and nuke it for 3-5 sec until soft and melt-y (like ice cream).  Add this in a steady stream to the cold buttercream  and let it go for a few minutes and see if it comes together.  You can only do this once or twice before you end up with just butter in the bowl, though.

Edited to add: When I'm re-whipping buttercream, I use the paddle and try to have it as close to rm temp as I can (as long as it isn't ice cold)

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The whites were at stiff peaks and then I added the syrup with the mixer stopped. Then I turned it on for a few seconds, then added more sryup and then did the same thing. Then, it seemed ok. I started adding the room temp butter. I had taken the lb of butter and put it in a seperate bowl and mixed it for a minute. I started adding teaspoons. It just never came together

and yes, that is a syrup at the bottom.

I've had it in my fridge since saturday. No blow torch. Any other options? Can I just use the butter in a cookie recipe because basically thats all it resembles at this point.( plain lumpy butter)

Btw, I used fresh farm eggs, could that be a reason why? I also used some vanilla paste.