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BROWNSUGA

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

35 posts in this topic

A more interesting question is if it is a difference between a swiss or italian buttercream (or meringue)? My personal preference is the italian, it just feels easier to make.

i used to feel that way, but i've been making smbc a lot lately and i really like the fact that you don't have to boil a sugar syrup. i think the only difference is the method of making the meringue because in either smbc or imbc you can use different ratios of butter to different effect. at least, that's what i think.

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The difference is the temperature of the sugar. In a SMBC, you whisk the egg whites and sugar over a bain marie until the temperature of the mixture is 140 degrees F. Then you cool it with the whip on the mixer. In an IMBC, you heat sugar syrup to 238 degrees F and add the syrup to whites that are already whipping.

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I have a question about using SMBC after it has been refrigerated. JGarner mentions re-paddleing (not a word) the SMBC after it has been sitting out for a bit, but I'm wondering how long I should let it soften before doing so. I made SMBC for the first time this weekend and it looked and tasted good, but was too soft for my purpose and I wasn't yet ready to fill my macarons anyway, so I stuck it in the fridge, where it turned very, very stiff. I took it out yesterday and let it sit for about 45 minutes (~65* kitchen) and then tried to whip it up (by hand, with a whisk) to make it more fluffy again. It ended up with a sort of grainy (but soft grains)texture, with little lumps that look like unmelted butter, even though I'm pretty sure there was no unmelted butter when I put it in the fridge. I can see a couple of points where I might have gone wrong, but I'm hoping you could narrow it down a bit:

-Didn't wait long enough for it to soften

-Tried to whip it by hand instead of in my mixer

-Possible problem with original result?

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First and second ones; you want the buttercream at rm temp before you start to beat it otherwise it gets grainy and can separate when rebeaten. One of my chef instructors used to melt a small amount of buttercream (to a very very soft stage) in the microwave before she rebeat the rm temp buttercream in the bowl (using the mixer paddle).

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Years ago, my chef instructor always told us to put the cold buttercream in a mixer bowl, place over a bain marie and melt it half way. Then put it on the mixer with the paddle on low speed. Just let it go until it's smooth, then you can up the speed and fluff it. Always worked for me, and if need be, I would hit the bowl with a torch if it still had a few lumps.

A ratio I found for SMBC that works well is 1 cup sugar, 1 cup whites and 1# butter.

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Thank you! Next time I will pull it out well before I need it and wait for it to warm up.

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Bumping up this thread with another SMBC question. I love using it for cakes, but have only made vanilla, and chocolate SMBC so far. Both delicious, but I do love variety.

I understand it can be flavoured with coffee, lemon curd, fruit purees, praline paste, liqueurs etc. Does anyone have ratios for how much flavouring I can use, so that it does not change the fluffy texture of the BC, or make it "weep" or cause it to separate?

I am using this recipe (Bo Friberg's, if I remember right):

240 ml egg whites

400 g granulated sugar

600 g butter

vanilla and salt

Thank you.

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I just add whatever I want to flavor. I have never worried about ratios too much. I add lemon curd to taste, chocolate to taste or to the color I want, zest, ground praline, extracts, liqueurs, whatever. I've never had a problem with it. It's actually pretty forgiving, and I don't know why it scares people the way it does.

I used SMBC instead of IMBC only because it's a simpler process. I have the type of mixer at work that has one of those safety cages (which I hate) and it makes a mess trying to add hot sugar syrup to the whites. I use a 1:1:1 recipe making it. 1# butter, I cup sugar, 1 cups whites. Just increase as needed.

The method I use for getting it ready to use is what I was taught in pastry school. If it's cold, just add chunks of the cold buttercream to the mixer bowl. Place over a bain marie and melt about halfway down, breaking up the chunks. Put it on the mixer, and mix on low with the paddle. If need be, I use a torch on the bowl if it's still too cold, or put it back over the hot water. I will increase the speed a little to get it to come together, but I was told not to whip it too high to prevent too many air bubbles.

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II have the type of mixer at work that has one of those safety cages (which I hate) and it makes a mess trying to add hot sugar syrup to the whites.

There's a way around this; use a magnet on the outside of the cage. When I got my 30 quart it was the first thing I did (figure out how to swing the cage around so I could pour hot syrup in without the cage being locked in place). Then it seems that someone mentioned it to the tech working on the mixer one day and now I don't need the magnet anymore.... :biggrin:

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I make this in a 20 qt mixing bowl..

Buttercream

4 Cups Fresh egg whites

8 Cups Sugar

2 t salt

6 lbs butter soft

Heat the whites, sugar & salt in mixing bowl over direct flame until sugar is dissolved. Beat at high speed until stiff meringue, add butter 1# at a time, scraping down sides of bowl. Mix well !!

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