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Swiss versus Italian Meringue Buttercream


K8memphis
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Poor Martha has what some people call Italian meringue buttercream listed as Swiss meringue buttercream in one of her books. I hate to pick on her beings as how she's within the confines of her 'college dorm without the freedom' thing. But is there not a clear cut formula for each of these???

I mean I thought Swiss meringue buttercream was egg whites and sugar heated then whipped into a meringue, & add butter etc.

I thought Italian meringue buttercream was heated sugar and corn syrup added to meringue etc.

But I must be wrong??

Then I was told Julia was on Martha's show making a cake and joined in calling it swiss mbc. So while a rose by any other name is still as sweet - is there not a definite Swiss mbc formula and a definite Italian mbc formula???

Anybody know??

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Your obsevations are correct about the mbc's. If i'm going to make an italian mbc, i know how i'm going to do it, but i guess i can also understand that someone who doesn't do it all the time can "mislable" a buttercream. that sounds like what happened, just a mistake.

...and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce it tastes alot more like prunes than rhubarb does. groucho

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I'm not a professional pastry chef and don't claim to be an expert, but in the pastry course that I took a while back I THOUGHT we were taught that French buttercream was a whole egg buttercream and Italian and Swiss were meringue buttercreams. But I could be wrong.

Am I wrong? I would love to have clarification.

For meringues I was taught:

French was done "cold", Swiss was "warm" using a water bath to heat the whites, and Italian or "hot" where you heat the sugar and add it into the whites.

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And I thought that a French bcream used a creme anglaise base. At the very least, French bc is the only one with any yolks in it.

My understanding is the same as yours: Italian bc uses heated sugar, and Swiss bc heats the eggwhites and sugar together.

"I just hate health food"--Julia Child

Jennifer Garner

buttercream pastries

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I'm not a professional pastry chef and don't claim to be an expert, but in the pastry course that I took a while back I THOUGHT we were taught that French buttercream was a whole egg buttercream and Italian and Swiss were meringue buttercreams. But I could be wrong.

Am I wrong? I would love to have clarification.

Wull, yah I have heard the exact same thing. However I have a recipe I have used forever for French buttercream that is eggless, aheh. So??? But for really yes you are correct - there absolutley is a French bc that does use the yolk.

But so far I am becoming more & more convinced that that's a whopping typo in that MS book - somebody copied & pasted the wrong formula. But then again there are decorators out there relying on that recipe as Swiss mbc when it's Italian. Gets confusing. :rolleyes:

Maybe we should call it 'European' buttercream or 'part of it was heated buttercream' and put whatever the he** we want in it!! :biggrin:

Edited by K8memphis (log)
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I'm a bit afraid to post anything on this topic as a while ago I mentioned three types of buttercreams - Italian, French and German. In a subsequent posting by someone else I was told there was no such thing....

But... here's what I learned at cooking school.

1. Italian buttercream - basically heating sugar and water mixture to a certain temperature and adding to whipped egg whites (while still whipping). Once cools whip in room temperature butter.

2. French buttercream - same as Italian buttercream except the sugar and water mixture is added to whipped egg yolks.

3. German buttercream (our instructors also called this Mousseline - sp?) - the base was essentially pastry cream to which we added the butter. This type was mainly recommended for choux pastry filling.

Perhaps these were terms used by the pastry chefs at Dubrulle ( Vancouver cooking school) and not so common to the industry as a whole????

Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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I'm a bit afraid to post anything on this topic as a while ago I mentioned three types of buttercreams  - Italian, French and German.  In a subsequent posting by someone else I was told there was no such thing....

A technicality, I think. French buttercream is indeed a yolk-based buttercream. The yolks are cooked with hot sugar syrup, then butter is added.

But I think that according to the Official Pastry Chef Lexicon (what, you don't have a copy?), the terms Italian buttercream and Swiss buttercream don't exist. There are however what are called an Italian meringue buttercream and Swiss meringue buttercream (bc made from Italian meringue and Swiss meringue, respectively).

Italian meringue is whipped whites cooked with a hot sugar syrup. Swiss meringue is whites and sugar warmed together, then whipped. Buttercream is made from either by adding softened butter.

AFAIK, anyway.

As far as German buttercream, I've heard the term, but I don't know if it's an official designation or not. I make a similar thing to what you describe (I use an eggy custard instead of a pure pastry cream, then whip butter in). I call it a custard buttercream, knowing full well I could invoke the wrath of the Pastry Product Naming Council any day now.

B. Keith Ryder

BCakes by BKeith

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bkeith - thanks for the humourous clarification. BTW I checked out your website - absolutely amazing Bcakes!!!

Support your local farmer

Currently reading:

The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

Just finished reading:

The 100-Mile Diet by Alisa Smith & J. B. MacKinnon

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But I think that according to the Official Pastry Chef Lexicon (what, you don't have a copy?)

B Keith, thank you so much!! Yah, momentarily forgot to check my copy, then I got an asthma attack dusting it off...cough cough cough kachoo...been so long since I used it, cough sputter...

But also I have been using your whimsical cake instructions - well, used 'em twice - great great stuff - so easy - feels like the cake police should be closing in on you feels so wrong but works so good.

ThanksAgain!

I think Martha slipped, and who would dare cross her on her show? Well, not Julia, that's for sure!

BakerChick, yah I guess she did. But it really freaked me out because there are so many terms that are not nailed down, especially in sugar craft - everybody's got their own formula for gum paste and flower paste for example. I thought these meringue formulas were fairly specific.

I make the Swiss all the time. The Italian I made once was too floofullee. The Swiss is like magic in your mouth.

Any how, Thanks y'all.

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