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(RLB) Mousseline Buttercream


freddurf
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Personally, pouring hot syrup into egg whites/egg yolks is the only reason I still keep my handmixer around. I set the (heavy) glass mixing on a wet dishcloth, hold the running handmixer with my left hand, and pour hot syrup directly from pot with my right. FYI, I'm right-handed.

I much prefer the control and visibility that I get with the handmixer. As soon as all the syrup is incorporated, I transfer everything to the standmixer and continue mixing.

Of course, this is not too practical when you're dealing with larger batches.

Candy Wong

"With a name like Candy, I think I'm destined to make dessert."

Want to know more? Read all about me in my blog.

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I made IMBC, but not Rose Beranbaum's recipe.

When I pour the sugar syrup, I do so directly from the saucepan (with a handle) into the KA mixer bowl. I use the wire whip beater on the "stir" speed and I slowly & carefully pour the syrup down the side of the bowl. I avoid the moving wire whip entirely.

Edited by Kris (log)
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I recently saw Alton Brown sucking the hot sugar syrup into a stainless steel basting bulb and injecting it into the eggs. I've also seen people making IT in an 80- qt mixer and they just poured the hot syrup onto the meringue. Suppose there's a little less margin for pouring error in the amounts we talking about here.

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I also just made RLB's Mousselline buttercream for the first time this weekend. Does anyone else's seem very soft at room temperature? I ice my cakes chilled because I find it helps me achieve a very smooth finish on the icing, but when I let my iced cake come to room temp, the icing looks very soft. Is this normal for this buttercream, or am I messing up the chemistry by icing the cake cool? (The icing is room temp, by the way, when I use it.)

Thanks!

Lauren

Edited by Lauren (log)
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I took the cake to school today. I bake once a month for all the birthdays of that month (and the half birthdays of the summer babies like me who got screwed all through school when it came to class parties). Based on the oohing and aaahing that came out of the lounge, and the substitute teacher working in the building that sought me out to ask if I sold cakes, I think everything came out ok in the end. :biggrin:

I'll surely make this again, and will use plenty of the advice from all of you more experienced folk. I keep saying one day when I'm sick of the kids and the parents and the teachers, I'm going to run away to a bakery somewhere. I think they think I'm joking. :raz:

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At room temp, my RLB Mousseline Buttercream seems unstable. Does anyone else have this problem? Also, does any one of you use the Mousseline to ice the entire cake? Do you have buttercream recipes that you swear by? I loved the way that the Mousseline tasted, but I am worried about transporting (four hours away) the wedding cake I'm making this June if it is iced in this. Can you tell if I have done something wrong to the recipe that might cause it to seem unstable, or is it just like that?

Thanks!

Lauren

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One option is to refrigerate, if that is possible. Try it. I have some of the RLB Mousseline BC in my fridge right now. At room temp, the (defrosted) BC was very soft, but has set up nicely in the fridge.

I'll let others comment on the stability of this recipe, as I haven't tried a lot of other buttercreams.

Edited by sanrensho (log)
Baker of "impaired" cakes...
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At room temp, my RLB Mousseline Buttercream seems unstable.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Also, does any one of you use the Mousseline to ice the entire cake?  Do you have buttercream recipes that you swear by?  I loved the way that the Mousseline tasted, but I am worried about transporting (four hours away) the wedding cake I'm making this June if it is iced in this.  Can you tell if I have done something wrong to the recipe that might cause it to seem unstable, or is it just like that? 

Thanks!

Lauren

Hi Lauren,

I love the Mousseline buttercream and use it often, to cover entire cakes as well as for piped decorations. I never have a problem with it seeming unstable, which makes me think you may have had a problem with the recipe. Did you add the full amount of optional flavoring that she suggests -- I think she says up to 2 fluid ounces? I have never been able to add that much liquid without the emulsification starting to get funky, so that's one possibility.

As for transporting a cake iced with this buttercream, I agree with Sarensho. Chilling the cake down hard is the key. In fact, if you're driving 4 hours, I'd freeze the iced, decorated cake overnight and let it slowly thaw during the drive. Just be sure to have it well boxed so that any condensation will form on the box rather than on the cake itself.

Edited by RuthWells (log)
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At room temp, my RLB Mousseline Buttercream seems unstable.  Does anyone else have this problem?  Also, does any one of you use the Mousseline to ice the entire cake?  Do you have buttercream recipes that you swear by?  I loved the way that the Mousseline tasted, but I am worried about transporting (four hours away) the wedding cake I'm making this June if it is iced in this.  Can you tell if I have done something wrong to the recipe that might cause it to seem unstable, or is it just like that? 

Thanks!

Lauren

Hi Lauren,

I love the Mousseline buttercream and use it often, to cover entire cakes as well as for piped decorations. I never have a problem with it seeming unstable, which makes me think you may have had a problem with the recipe. Did you add the full amount of optional flavoring that she suggests -- I think she says up to 2 fluid ounces? I have never been able to add that much liquid without the emulsification starting to get funky, so that's one possibility.

As for transporting a cake iced with this buttercream, I agree with Sarensho. Chilling the cake down hard is the key. In fact, if you're driving 4 hours, I'd freeze the iced, decorated cake overnight and let it slowly thaw during the drive. Just be sure to have it well boxed so that any condensation will form on the box rather than on the cake itself.

Ruth,

Thanks for your pointers - I did in fact add all THREE ounces of liqueur she called for, plus I added the 3/4 CUP of lemon curd that she suggests for to make the fruit flavored version. I'll definitely not include as much liqueur next time. How much do you usually add? The emulsion definitely started to do weird things when I added the liqueur (I did it gradually, although it didn't seem to matter much). I wrestled with the buttercream until it finally emulsified, but it became almost transparent when it came to room temp.

Also, about the transportation question - I don't have a problem at all with freezing the iced layers and transporting them frozen (thawing). I've got the freezer space, and I'd feel much more secure transporting the very smooth finish I am able to get with this buttercream recipe if it were frozen for most of the trip. How long should I expect the 12" tier to stay frozen in a very air conditioned vehicle? If I began my trip safely frozen, could I expect to get there relatively frozen still? If I am planning to go to the site the day before the wedding, could I assemble the cake that night, or do you all think I would need to keep the cake chilled until the next morning? (RLB says the icing is fine for two days at room temp).

Thanks so much for your help!

Lauren

Edited by Lauren (log)
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Ruth,

Thanks for your pointers - I did in fact add all THREE ounces of liqueur she called for, plus I added the 3/4 CUP of lemon curd that she suggests for to make the fruit flavored version.  I'll definitely not include as much liqueur next time.  How much do you usually add?  The emulsion definitely started to do weird things when I added the liqueur (I did it gradually, although it didn't seem to matter much).  I wrestled with the buttercream until it finally emulsified, but it became almost transparent when it came to room temp.

Also, about the transportation question - I don't have a problem at all with freezing the iced layers and transporting them frozen (thawing).  I've got the freezer space, and I'd feel much more secure transporting the very smooth finish I am able to get with this buttercream recipe if it were frozen for most of the trip.  How long should I expect the 12" tier to stay frozen in a very air conditioned vehicle?  If I began my trip safely frozen, could I expect to get there relatively frozen still?  If I am planning to go to the site the day before the wedding, could I assemble the cake that night, or do you all think I would need to keep the cake chilled until the next morning?  (RLB says the icing is fine for two days at room temp).

Thanks so much for your help!

Lauren

Yup, definitely sounds like too much liquid was added. I usually stick to maybe 1TBS max of liqueur or vanilla and never have a problem. I also find that her guidelines with regard to curds and added chocolate are reliable. If you're adding a liqueur AND a curd or puree, I would start with the puree and watch the emulsification carefully while gradually adding additional liquids.

I'm afraid I won't be much help re: your 12" tiers, as I don't bake on that scale very often! But I would think that it would still be somewhat chilled when you arrive (4 hours, right?) and you could either stack your tiers that night (nothing will spoil) or refrige everything until the next morning. What time of day will the cake be served? You may prefer to assemble everything the night before to reduce hassle on the day of the wedding...... Sounds like a fun project!

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I can NEVER get stable buttercream at home, but I take pastry courses and have no problem in class. I have experimented with different peak stages of my eggs, different temperatures of my simple syrup, the temperature of the butter when I add it, etc. I'm still a doomed buttercream maker.

Last night, we were making Italian buttercream and it suddenly occurred to me that in class we use Plugra, and at home I use regular, unsalted Land o Lakes.

So, I started wondering if the fat/water content of the premium v. "regular" unsalted butter might have something to do with stability.

I just had this lightbulb go off last night, so I haven't have a chance to experiment, but I figured I'd ask the advice of those more experienced in buttercream their opinions first? Could this make a difference?

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can you be a little more specific about what is "unstable" about the buttercream you make at home? How does it differ from what you make at school?

I was lucky enough last summer to have my distributor make a mistake and send me four cases of Plugra - at the regular butter price! :wub: . I worried that it would make my buttercreams too rich, but it was fine. I didn't notice a huge difference in it; it seemed to go on a little more smoothly, but that could have been my imagination...

I don't know the exact temp of the butter when I add it, but it is cool (not cold), and soft (but not smooshy).

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Plugra vs. others.... not much of a difference in day-to-day applications. Why pay more unless you REALLY need it. We just switched from all Plugra to generic crap from one of our distributors (long live food cost) and haven't come across problems. Yes, fat content is different but not enough to screwup a buttercream, IMO.

Buttercream. Keep it simple, right? 1-2-2 1/2. 1 part whites, 2 parts sugar, 2 1/2 to 3 parts butter. Flavor as needed.

The biggest thing you can do to make your buttercream come together nicely is to balance the temperature of your meringue and butter. Warmer meringue means colder butter. Cooler meringue means room temp butter. If all else fails, whip the hell out of it, blowtorch it, and you will recover.

Devin

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Plugra vs. others.... not much of a difference in day-to-day applications. Why pay more unless you REALLY need it. We just switched from all Plugra to generic crap from one of our distributors (long live food cost) and haven't come across problems. Yes, fat content is different but not enough to screwup a buttercream, IMO.

Buttercream. Keep it simple, right? 1-2-2 1/2. 1 part whites, 2 parts sugar, 2 1/2 to 3 parts butter. Flavor as needed.

The biggest thing you can do to make your buttercream come together nicely is to balance the temperature of your meringue and butter. Warmer meringue means colder butter. Cooler meringue means room temp butter. If all else fails, whip the hell out of it, blowtorch it, and you will recover.

Devin

Exactly where I stand. I never had a problem with a buttercream until last week. All of a sudden I had a curdled mess of cottage cheese looking stuff in a bowl -- 65 pounds of it! Stuck my hand in to feel it -- and it was so cold I was amazed. (If our kitchen hits 65 I'd be shocked! :wacko: )

Butter was at room temp -- apparently a too low temp as I had whipped the meringue longer than usual due to a distraction. A little warm butter, a blast with the blowtorch, and back we were to beautiful buttercream...

Cheryl, The Sweet Side
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Late answer... I've been so BUSY lately.

The buttercream that I make at home is not as stiff as the buttercream that I make in class. I can pipe the buttercream that I make in class, but the SAME recipe at home is too soft to pipe. Of course, once I put it in the refrigerator it stiffens up, but it is basically just firming buttercream that is too soft -- not correcting the original problem with the texture.

I keep thinking that my problem is either that I am am either not bringing my water and sugar to the correct soft ball stage, or my butter is not at the correct temperature when I add it (or I am not letting the syrup/egg mixture cool enough before I add my butter, which would also be a problem). Devin's meringue/butter temperature ratio tip is very helpful, as is your butter guideline.

I think that it is going to be a matter of trial and error until I get it right. When you have a PC standing over your shoulder in a classroom setting, it is a lot easier that calculating all of the variables at home.

can you be a little more specific about what is "unstable" about the buttercream you make at home?  How does it differ from what you make at school?

I was lucky enough last summer to have my distributor make a mistake and send me four cases of Plugra - at the regular butter price!  :wub: .  I worried that it would make my buttercreams too rich, but it was fine.  I didn't notice a huge difference in it; it seemed to go on a little more smoothly, but that could have been my imagination...

I don't know the exact temp of the butter when I add it, but it is cool (not cold), and soft (but not smooshy).

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I think you're on to something with the temp of the meringue and butter. What kind of mixer are you using at home? If you are using a 525 watt KA, add the sugar syrup at speed 8 and then after a min or so, turn it down to speed 6. When you can comfortably put the inside of your wrist against the bottom part of the bowl , you're ready to add the butter. (you don't have to beat ithe butter separately first, either.)

As devin said, if your meringue is on the warm side, the butter can be cooler than usual. If the meringue is room temp, softer butter is the way to go.

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Thanks. I am using a 525 watt KA. The speed tips are a great help. Maybe I'll have some time to try a batch this weekend.

I think you're on to something with the temp of the meringue and butter.  What kind of mixer are you using at home? If you are using a 525 watt KA, add the sugar syrup at speed 8 and then after a min or so, turn it down to speed 6.  When you can comfortably put the inside of your wrist against the bottom part of the bowl , you're ready to add the butter. (you don't have to beat ithe butter separately first, either.)

As devin said, if your meringue is on the warm side, the butter can be cooler than usual.  If the meringue is room temp, softer butter is the way to go.

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