• Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

  • product-image-quickten.png.a40203b506711f7664fc62024e54a584.pngDid you know that these all-volunteer forums are operated by the 501(c)3 not-for-profit Society for Culinary Arts & Letters? This holiday season, consider a tax-deductible Quick Ten Bucks to support the eG Forums and help us remain completely advertising-free. Thanks to all those who have donated so far!

Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
PaulaJK

Chocolate Buttercream help needed

29 posts in this topic

Made a chocolate buttercream

10 whole eggs + 1 1/2 c sugar +1.5 lbs BS chcolate +

18 tab butter.

BUT, mistakenly added 2 tab water to egg & sugar mix.

Results:

1.egg & sugar didn't thicken as well as usual

2.final mix is less thick than usual...somewhere between

glaze and usual buttercream

Am now refridgerating mix to see if it thickens.

Two questions:

a.Do I need to re-whip [fluff] the buttercream

because I refridgerated it?

b.If it's still too thin, can I add something to thicken

it---more chocolate or egg?--and how do I proceed

with this.

Thanks

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The buttercream recipe I use has powdered sugar in the recipe. If I am trying to get the right consistency, I adjust with sugar to thicken or some kind of liquid (water, milk or corn syrup depending on the recipe) to thin. I think you could add a little sugar to even things out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No no no....adding more sugar will NOT thicken it. You'll end up with soup if you do that.

I'm assuming of course, that you are making a french buttercream.....?

You're making a sugar syrup and adding it in a thin stream to your thickened eggs, right?

Or not?

Sounds like a weird recipe.....whole eggs? Usually french buttercreams use yolks only.

Anyway, if you want to thicken it, bring it out to room temp and re-whip. As you are doing so,

add room temp butter in chunks until it's the fluffy consistency you want. You should be fine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had the same problem with a swiss meringue chocolate buttercream, which used only egg whites. It never got quite soupy, but was definitely not as stable and thick as I would have liked. I tried chilling it, bringing it back to room temp, and adding softened chunks of butter, but the more butter I added, the thinner it got! So I stopped and just went with it the way it was. Tasted great.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a George Perrier/Le Bec Fin/ recipe.

I've made it a few times and it's been

v. good tasting. Guess I'll try to re-whip,

adding small amts of butter.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Buttercream can be thickened safely with powdered sugar. Fold it in to achieve the desired consistency.

I made French Meringue Chocolate Buttercream two days ago to ice a custom-order cake. For the icing, I used my tried-&-true 4-egg-white meringue with sieved superfine sugar, and beat in the softened butter & cooled tempered chocolate until just incorporated. It firmed up admirably and had no separation mishaps -- which is simply to underscore my conviction that if a method/technique functions dependably, then the outcome of your performance will follow suit. For my needs, a classic Swiss-meringue preparation is thoroughly dependable for flavouring with, e.g., maple syrup, Cointreau, and chocolate.

I agree with chefpeon that using whole eggs sounds peculiar for buttercream. Nevertheless, I do use 2 whole eggs + I yolk in my basic formula for an Italian-Meringue Caramel-Brandy Buttercream (made with a combination of granulated sugar & light corn syrup or liquid glucose in a ratio of 2¼ oz. sugar to ½ fl. oz. glucose). Often, only yolks are used in an Italian meringue.


"Dinner is theater. Ah, but dessert is the fireworks!" ~ Paul Bocuse

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hmm... I've never made an Italian meringue with yolks- only whites. I don't understand how it would be considered a meringue with yolks in it. These days I pretty much only use Italian meringue buttercream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My non-schooled opinion is that a yolk mixture with hot sugar whipped up is a pate bombe and a egg whites only mixture with hot sugar is a meringue.

I made the coffee buttercream recipe from Dorie Greenspans book Paris Sweets, this morning. In Dalloyau's Opera Cake recipe they use whole eggs and yolks to make bombe. Quite frankly I prefer buttercream recipes that include yolks. I like the richness yolks add to buttercreams (isn't that a German method?) verses an all whites buttercream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No, it is not German. The French and the English use yolks/ whole eggs. I just think it is too much with the butter and cake too. That is just my opinion though

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I need to fix this chocolate frosting problem....

I made two cakes, last weekend and this, that were the Woolley recipe for cake - torted - and filled with a 1) chocolate buttercream made with powdered sugar, milk, butter, cocoa, vanilla or 2) a Swiss meringue buttercream with added 5 ounces or so of milk chocolate and some cocoa. Both times the cake slumped with the frosting in between the layers practically melting and the cake falling over on itself. They were both covered in fondant.

Today's cake was a 9" hexagon with a 6" round tier on top. The top tier was a Wendy's banana cake with a caramel buttercream and this cake sliced perfectly and stayed together just fine. The buttercream base was from the exact same bowl as the milk chocolate so I guess the milk chocolate made it too soft? I'm hard pressed to figure out how I can add 8 oz of liquid caramel to the buttercream and it stays together but the chocolate solids melt!!

Here's the buttercream recipe:

1 lb butter plus 6T (I have the grams somewhere but it's too late to go look it up)

1 1/2 cups sugar

6 oz egg whites (I use the Pappetti)

2 T vanilla paste

I beat the butter to soften and add the vanilla. Heat the sugar and egg whites together to melt the sugar. Beat until it's a medium stiff meringue. Add the butter. Tastes fabulous even in a puddle.

So what do I do? Help!!!! My goal is to have layers that stay together, moist and filled with a recognizable layer of filling.


Josette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am sorry to hear about your mishap. I am not sure what it could be. Was the butter very soft? When I make meringue buttercream, I add slightly chilled butter to the meringue. The butter is soft on the outside, but still chilled.

Another question, was your chocolate too warm? Did you allow it to cool slightly before adding it to the meringue?

Another question, you mentioned that you use Pappetti Foods. Do you use the Whippin Whites or the regular All Whites? I am on the hunt for Whippin Whites. I can no longer find them in my area.


Edited by BROWNSUGA (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I highly recommend the mousseline buttercream recipe from The Cake Bible. It's light,spreads smooth,extremely stable & can have a variety of flavors added to it..such as lemon curd,chocolate..etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ok, I might be on the track for figuring this out. Here is the cake that I had the problem on....

gallery_22153_506_87104.jpg

When I dumped my pictures from my camera I really noticed the difference in the slant of those top turrets from the time I put them on and took a picture until I cut the cake. And I noticed that the slices on the girls' plates were holding together - from the outside of the cake. Once I put that together I think I know where part of my problem is. When I added those turrets I just stuck three long dowels into the top tier and popped the turrets over them with some royal icing to stick them to the fondant. I was worried about them toppling but hadn't thought about the added weight on all that sugar compressing down from the top tier to the bottom. I should have made some sort of plaque to put them on and then doweled underneath that. Duh! I still think the chocolate buttercream needs some work and will take some of the suggestions Keith and I emailed on today to see what I can do to improve its stability. But I think I just made it goo when I added too much weight to the top of the cake.

I'm now testing out a chocolate caramel ganache and a caramel buttercream on the chocolate cake layers. It's sitting out in fairly warm weather and I've encased it in plastic to try and simulate being encased in fondant. If that still holds up tomorrow then it's chocolate buttercream again for the same test. If that holds up then it's chocolate buttercream, fondant and something heavy on top with no support. If I get goo, then I know I've solved my problem and know how to fix these tiered cakes architecturally. And people wonder why these damn things cost so much!

Any other ideas with this new info?

I have tried the RLB mousseline and will do so again to see if the IB recipe holds up better. I checked in Toba Garrett's book as well and she adds 1/2 of high ratio shortening - Keith had to tell me what that is! - to get it to hold up better. That's on my test list as well.


Josette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hum...........maybe I'm not totally sure I understand..........to me the issue doesn't seem like your having problems with your buttercreams stability so much. In too much heat, nothing holds up great. Thats part of the reasoning why some people use frostings that contain shortening and xxxsugar verses french buttercream. Real butter melts at a lower temp. then shortening.

When I've encountered a wet (that word used because I can't think of a better one) or soft buttercream I wouldn't have been able to get the fondant holding onto the sides of my cakes as your photos shows yours does. The weight of the fondant makes the buttercream slide off the cake, literally.

The only corrections I see that could happen are: more supports internally and a cooler room or cooler frosting.

By the way, your cake is absolutely adorable!! I REALLY like how you designed it to represent a brick castle yet it remains totally feminine and frilly, you also have the crown feeling happening.......that's really excellent design imo!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The frozen whites are not ideal for a swiss buttercream. The addition of all that sugar before whipping prevents it from becoming a real meringe. Fresh egg whites are much better for this style of buttercream, but make sure you heat them up enough!!

If you want to use the frozen, then perhaps you'd consider an Italian buttercream. Same flavor as Swiss, but different method, and much stiffer. Here, the frozen whites work perfectly. If you haven't worked with an Italian bcrm before, it's a different experience, and will take some getting used to, but remember that it is essentially stiffer than what you're used to.

Now-- What to do with the soupy buttercream...?

I actualy LIKE working with a super soft buttercream as a final coat because it contains very little air bubbles, and winds up very smooth. However, your crumb coat needs to be very well set before you apply a soft icing. Make sure you chill your fully iced cake for at least an hour before you enrobe it, and you'll find that your edges keep their shape.

BTW, I don't see much slumping, and your cake is lovely!


Edited by cakesuite (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It wasn't so much the fondant coming off the sides but the filling in between the layers just oozed out instead of staying in a nice firm layer. That's what caused the cake to just fall over on itself once I started to cut it. Probably what held it together was the fondant and the dowels.

When I made the buttercream with the Papetti egg white only product (not frozen) I was able to get a medium stiff meringue and added the butter and had a product that was the right consistency. Same when I added the chocolate - it was a good weight and seemed to hold on the cake. I put it in the fridge for a while to firm up. That very same buttercream base held fine with the addition of the caramel so I'm still not sure what caused my problems. The temp here is in the 70's. The room was not excessively warm. Do you think the layer of fondant could be causing the filling to melt?

My caramel buttercream (exact same container of base buttercream as the castle ) and chocolate caramel ganache are pretty much right where they were last night in my experiment cake. I have the cake sliced in half so I can watch how the layers look over time (um, we ate the other half for science sake!) The caramel buttercream is holding up better than the ganache which is softening slightly and bulging out of the layer a bit. Maybe it's my chocolate?

I have made IB before so it's off to try that again. Would any of you cake experts care to post what you make for a chocolate buttercream? I'm not sure what you mean by a cooler frosting.

Thanks for noticing the design, Wendy. I was quite influenced by the castle at Disney last week. My girls were enthralled with all the princess paraphernalia so they loved this.


Josette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your filled cake is chilled, the buttercream should stiffen up fine. 70 degrees shouldn't make your filling ooze, if it's been previously chilled in the cake.

To make a chocolate buttercream, I add cooled melted chocolate to room temp. buttercream. It may often the buttercream slightly, but once chilled will set up beautifully. Caramel, on the other hand, may loosen up your icing, depending on how much you add, and how liquid the caramel is to begin with.

No, your layer of fondant wouldn't cause your icing to melt.


Edited by cakesuite (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have noticed that my chocolate buttercream gets softer and "soupier" as it sits between the cake layers. Usually I consider this a positive sign, but there have been cases in the summer where cakes have slid because of how much the icing softens. Like you, I use cocoa, not chocolate. I'm not sure why this happens, since the icing stays very firm when it's not sandwiched between two layers of cake, and the only thing we've done to deal with it is reduce the amount of liquid in the summer and make sure the cakes are thoroughly chilled when they go out the door.

I too thought your cake was adorable. Most cake artists I know are their own worst critics--I'm sure your clients were thrilled.

Good luck!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

a buttercream made with an italian meringue will last longer in hotter temperatures than the swiss method. basically, you heat the melt the sugar (with water), above soft ball stage, whip your egg whites & after they've reached volume, slowly add the hot sugar. makes a more stable meringue, and in turn, a stable buttercream.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mkfradin, Bingo! That's exactly what's happening. The chocolate, whether cocoa chocolate or a mixture, is very soft between the layers of cake. That's what's causing my problem. I guess if I fill and frost, put on the fondant and then into the fridge until a couple hours before I need it that should solve my problem. All decor will just have to go on at the last minute.

But why is only chocolate going soupy? The caramel and the vanilla are still both quite nice after 24 hours out.


Josette

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know those chocolate covered cherries that you make by wrapping in fondant, dipping in chocolate, and the fondant liquifies? I'm guessing something like that is going on here. Or else, the cocoa takes a while to absorb into the buttercream (I used to add way too much milk when I first made this), but maybe once it gets going, it just keeps absorbing--moisture from the butter, milk, and even from the cake. B/c we don't do a lot of fondant, and certainly not on the scale you are , it's not a huge problem for us, but I would be very interested in learning exactly why this happens, just from a food science standpoint. So if anyone has any further insight, please let us know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

after you fill and crumb coat your shold chill to set - then add successive layers of buttercream chilling to set in between until you have enough buttercream on (maybe 3 coats?) then you do a final smoothing and cover with fondant then decorate.

It is tough to cover a cake that hasn't been set/chilled because ut is soft and slippery

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't use any cocoa in my chocolate buttercream. I'm not sure if that makes much of a difference, but it sets up nicely.

How about using a chocolate whipped cream between the layers instead of the buttercream?


"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would be be so kind as to post your caramel buttercream recipe. That sounds like it is absolutely delicious!

Thank you.

BTW-- your cake is so precious, what a great idea.

Kelli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0

  • Similar Content

    • By Loubika
      Hi everyone,
       
      I'm a little pastry chief in France, still learning and really passionate. It's been five months that I did'nt studiy or practise and I miss that so much. I never stop talking about this. I decided to travel in south america to learn everything I can. I'm actually in Central Colombia, and I will travel to Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru, Bolivia and maybe a little bit more if I want to. I have time until march, more or less.
       
      My project is to go in the farms and meet the people who grow up the raw material I use for make my pastries, Talk to them and see the plantation would be really helpfull for me to understand how does it works. If people need, I'm volunteer for work in exchange with accomodation and food for a few days. My spanish is not good yet, but I'm learning and sometimes it's more funny to not speak the same language. I'm interested about everything, exotic fruits, citrus, coffee, cacao, sesame, pepper, spices...
       
      If some of you is, knows or works with farmers or pastry chiefs in those countries, I would be glad to meet you/them and learn everthing about the work. We can exchange good recipe too.
       
      Thank you very much,
      Loubna
       
       
    • By Darienne
      Yesterday I made my familiar go-to simple lime/cream cheese pie with one egg, some milk, lime juice & zest, etc, covered with a dark chocolate ganache: heavy cream, a dollop of butter.  It's in the fridge covered with a plastic topper but I can cover it with plastic wrap or aluminum foil.

      Today's lunch guest is not coming...onslaught of sleet, freezing rain, and now snow...oh goodie...winter's here...  Now she is slated for next Thursday.  Is there any possibility that the pie can last that long and not poison or at least revolt us?

      Thanks.
    • By LucyInAust
      Hello,
       
      I've been asked to make a cake with an edible film strip style ribbon (NOT made of fondant) and I'm trying to work out a solution given limited time (2 weeks) and limited skills (a lifetime's worth of lack of decorating skills and attention to detail!).
       
      Ideally I'd love to use a chocolate transfer sheet ... but the only ones I can find are in the USA (I'm in Australia) and the shipping time makes that impractical.  I've been googling and not seen a decent alternative that I think I can do (actually I haven't even found something that is edible that I think looks good, even from professionals!!)!  Fondant would be the most obvious solution but I've been given the instructions of no fondant (but maybe they wouldn't notice a strip?!) ... but chocolate seems possible.
       
      Some ideas I've thought of and would love feedback ...
      Could I use old film negatives as a transfer?  Cut out the frames and then use the strips?   (am I going to kill anyone with chemicals?!!) Could I create acetone strips by trying to stamp/cut out something that sort of looks like a film strip?  Use it as a stencil instead? Piping on to acetate using an image behind as a guide?  I can't say I have very steady hands so am thinking it would be very wonky?!!! If I did the outline in dark chocolate would I need a white chocolate layer to make it transfer onto a buttercream cake?  
      I have a chocolate tempering machine, most likely to be using Callebaut 54% but could use Lindt 70%/85%/90%.
       
      I've really only used transfer sheets directly on to dipped chocolate, and acetate to create random curls for decorations ... I'm wondering about the logistics of getting the chocolate on the strips, keeping it shaped for the cake (I think the cake is square ... but maybe it might be round?!) and also transferring them on to the cake?
       
      (back up plan ... plain ribbon!!!)
       
      Would love any advice!  Thanks!!
    • By curls
      Looking for your opinions and experiences... I am planning to put some wire shelving in my chocolate & confections kitchen. The kitchen has a concrete floor. This shelving will hold ingredients, colored cocoa butters, and packaging. Wondering if I should get casters for this shelving... what are your thoughts on this oh so important question?  ;-)
    • By DianaB
      I've used Valrhona Ivoire white chocolate as a base for various ganache recipes for some time after failing to create a good ganache with other white chocolate including Callebaut, a brand I otherwise like.  Valrhona is expensive compared to other brands available here in England but Vente Privée offers it at a good discount several times each year.  There is a Valrhona sale this week: 
      https://secure.uk.vente-privee.com/ns/en-gb/operation/57934/classic/3642874/catalog
       
      That link is to the English site but I know the company operates in other countries. You need to become a member to buy from the site, not sure why but it is free and you aren't obliged to buy anything.  
       
      I've already placed an order, popular products sell out fast.  Since ordering I have read various posts in the Pastry and Baking thread that have left me wondering if I should be using Opalys as my white chocolate rather than Ivoire.
       
      Do any of you have experience of both variants of Valrhona's white chocolate?  I would be grateful for any advice you can provide on using them in baking or chocolate making.
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.