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bripastryguy

Buttercream Frosting/Icing: The Topic

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Hi all - first post.

I'm wondering if you can use yogurt or sour cream as a flavoring for buttercream - I've done French buttercreams a lot, but never tried any flavoring other than liquor or chocolate in them.

Does anyone have any experience doing something like this?

I'd also consider using buttermilk.

Many thanks!

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In Confetti Cakes she adds 1 cup cream cheese to her Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I haven't tried it yet but I plan to.


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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My first thought is that the high water content in those ingredients might make your icing too thin or maybe weep even. I've never used it in a meringue icing. Of course cream cheese is added all the time--see the difference in water content though?

But I have a cream cheese filling that uses sour cream and I add gelatin so it holds better and the water has somewhere to be--held in the gelatin.

But I have these products and ingredients leftover from a recent project--I'll test & report back.

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I'm thinking it may depend on your definition of buttercream as well. Are you talking about the meringue based types? That might be a bit tricky but you could probably work it out with some experimenting. I sometimes use a slightly modified (I find the recipe as written a bit too soft to work with so I use less water and I also alter the shortening/butter ratio in favor of the butter) version of the "house buttercream" from the Whimsical Bakehouse book (yep, some people actually find the all-butter type "too buttery" so I try to make them happy as much as it pains me) and I could see it easily adapting to working in some sour cream, yogurt or buttermilk. Especially if you drained the yogurt or sour cream in a cheesecloth first. Of course there are buttermilk and yogurt powders out there too. That completely eliminates the water factor.


It's kinda like wrestling a gorilla... you don't stop when you're tired, you stop when the gorilla is tired.

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The softness of FBC and meringue BC pretty much restricts what you can add.

If you really want to try yogurt in your BC, then make a yogurt cheese, first. Lay three layers of cheesecloth in a strainer, then place this on a large bowl. Add the yogurt to the center of the cheesecloth, then tie it and hang it in your refrigerator, with a bowl underneath to catch the whey which will separate. Normally, you would hang this overnight and use it the next day, but in this case, you really want to draw out as much liquid as possible, so I would suggest two days. If it forms a rind, trim it off before incorporating it into the BC.

Yes, it is a bit of work, but you may find it worth it.

Let us know what you choose to do.

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Just checking in here--haven't started my experiments yet--but I just remembered that Bronwen Webber uses buttermilk in her American buttercream (ie non- merigue buttercream).

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Thanks for the suggestions, all. I did mean a french buttercream, or possibly a meringue one (I prefer the french kind).

I didn't think the ingredients would be kind to buttercream, but figured I'd ask.

K8 - is your cream cheese filling something you can do ahead and hold? The reason I'm thinking of buttercreams is that while I was experimenting with a yogurt mousse, I'm not sure the schedule for this project will allow me to actually use the mousse (it's set with gelatin, so I'd have to make it when I assemble the cake) - and more importantly, I'm not sure the mousse will survive a 4 hour car drive even if I freeze the whole thing...

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K8 - is your cream cheese filling something you can do ahead and hold? The reason I'm thinking of buttercreams is that while I was experimenting with a yogurt mousse, I'm not sure the schedule for this project will allow me to actually use the mousse (it's set with gelatin, so I'd have to make it when I assemble the cake) - and more importantly, I'm not sure the mousse will survive a 4 hour car drive even if I freeze the whole thing...

Yes I make it week of then assemble the cake and I keep it refrigerated all the way through delivery. I tested this filling frozen but not with the gelatin as I currently make it now. I know it does well defrosting without the gelatin.

But the insulating strength of corrugated cardboard cannot be underestimated. If you stick in some of those frozen freezer packs, your creation will stay fine for four hours. (I mean if it is already chilled firm.) For example I wire those freezer packs into the corners of the box. I wrap them in a paper towel to absorb any moisture and place them in a plastic bag and wire that securely to the corners of the box. Keep it out of the sun and keep it sealed shut. Makes a nice environment for delivery. I use all butter icing and deliver all over Memphis in the summer and no worries.

PS. Things have come up this week so I might not get to those testings like I thought I could...sorry...maybe another time.

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Hi all,

I was going to add this to one of the big existing buttercream threads but they are all very old now.

A few weeks ago I made a special 21st birthday cake for a friend, and decided to use IMBC for the frosting. I haven't really had many frosted cakes before, so don't know exactly what it should be like, but from all descriptions I thought it would be right - less cloyingly sweet than the plain butter + sugar variety, and I imagined it would be quite fluffy and light too.

I read the eG threads carefully and found the IMBC demo which was super helpful, and as I proceeded it seemed right, following the demo.

But what I got was something that was kindof light (i guess), not too sweet (which is good), but with a very prominent greasy/buttery mouthfeel. As soon as I tasted it, it felt almost like a film of butter in my mouth, with the sweetness and vanilla coming through after. The taste itself was ok but the experience was not pleasant.

I ended up adding quite a lot of cointreau to try and 'cut' the greasy feeling and so I also had to add some confectioners sugar to keep it from breaking. After this, it ended up quite firm (not "solid" but definitely not light and fluffy) and became a bit difficult to spread smoothly on the cake. Of course, by this point I'm not surprised, because I did deviate from the designed recipe.

So anyway, my main questions are :

Is this just the way IMBC is? Very buttery, with an unpleasant mouthfeel. Maybe this is just what people like, but it definitely wasn't to my taste!

Can you cut the butter down quite a lot and still get the emulsification working? I think I would like a frosting that was much more like the Italian Meringue, with about half the butter just to make it rich and creamy enough. I am thinking that it may not come together without all the butter added.

Also, I guess, can you overbeat IMBC? Once it all came together, I wasn't sure whether to keep whipping it which I thought might have made it lighter, but it didn't seem to... And i was afraid it would cause it to go too firm and become chunky.

Thanks for reading!

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I do find that some have too much butter for me. My go-to recipe is now a Swiss Meringue Buttercream that uses 10 oz egg white, 20 oz sugar and 20 oz unsalted butter. I do find that you need to make sure you add adequate flavouring but as you found out you have to be careful how much. I've never ended up with overbeaten buttercream so I have no idea if this is possible.

And at the end of the day it's a personal preference. My husband still prefers icing made with icing sugar. I've tried to convert him, but to no avail. :rolleyes:


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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I find IMBC to be entirely too much work for me. SMBC uses the same ingredients, and produces the same results, without the boiling of sugar.

I agree that the recipe is extremely important. For instance, when someone asks me which recipe to use, I suggest Martha's recipe, then after they get the technique down, they should experiment with other recipes, or create one of their own. While I find her recipe too sweet for me, the online instructions are so clear that they're practically no-fail.

The end result also depends upon the brand of butter you use. I had purchased an off-brand, because of a great price difference, and was very, very disappointed when I tasted it. It had that stick of butter after-taste, no matter how much flavoring I put in it.

The only time I've experienced over-whipped MBC was at school. The stagiere, who was new and had no experience with buttercream, forgot he had a huge batch of SMBC in the 20 qt. By the time it got to us, it was so soft, due to heat of friction, that it was unuseable until refrigerated for a while.

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Hmm, interesting point about the brand of butter, Theresa.

I bought a cheap brand as well, and so that probably did have an impact. I suspect the texture would have still been icky but having a nicer taste could make a huge difference. It's hard to buy butter that's about 3x the price, but maybe i have to just suck it up, i guess it is the main component!

Thanks for your comment too, Canadian... that 1:1 sugar : butter ratio sounds very different and probably much more to my liking. I will probably try that soon. You are right that it may just be something I will never like, but looking at the ingredients, it sure seems like I should :P

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I think the swiss meringue buttercream is surely your answer, and you could even add a little less butter to it. be sure the buttercream whips to almost WHITE and it will have less greasy mouth feel. if you overwhip and it get's too soft, plop the mixer bowl in the fridge for 10-15 mins and then re-whip. If the buttercream gets too cold you might warm the bowl with a torch or warm towel until the proper consistency is reached.

my husband likes cold buttercream. i only like it at room temperature.

depending on what flavor of cake you're frosting, a little lemon zest might cut the butter/greasy flavor. vanilla is very important too.

Here's a wild idea...has anybody ever subbed a little cream cheese for part of the butter...that could be interesting...


Stephanie Crocker

Sugar Bakery + Cafe

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Here's a wild idea...has anybody ever subbed a little cream cheese for part of the butter...that could be interesting...

Serious Eats has a thread on this in it's archives.

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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Here's a wild idea...has anybody ever subbed a little cream cheese for part of the butter...that could be interesting...

I just tried it this week and it broke. It's possible the cream cheese wasn't quite warm enough but the overall flavour didn't impress me enough to want to try again. Collette Peters has it as a suggested flavour add-in with her recipe for SMBC so it must work.


Don't wait for extraordinary opportunities. Seize common occasions and make them great. Orison Swett Marden

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Here's a wild idea...has anybody ever subbed a little cream cheese for part of the butter...that could be interesting...

I just tried it this week and it broke. It's possible the cream cheese wasn't quite warm enough but the overall flavour didn't impress me enough to want to try again. Collette Peters has it as a suggested flavour add-in with her recipe for SMBC so it must work.

Never tried the cream cheese, but Claudia Fleming has a recipe for goat cheese buttercream

(to fill cornet-shaped tuiles). I tried it, and the consistency wasn't as smooth as with all butter, and it definitely had what I would call an acquired taste. There's also a recipe for white chocolate

cream cheese frosting from "The Cake Bible" that's absolutely delicious. I use it as a filling

for red velvet cakes, chocolate cake...fantastic.


www.onetoughcookienyc.com

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The subject of using dry fondant powder to make buttercream frosting, either as a main or side ingredient, came up in another forum I belong to.

I thought this would be a great place to get some input.

I would further like to venture a guess that she is using it in an American-style buttercream frosting, although it was not revealed as to whether it was a confectioner's sugar type or a meringue type of frosting.

Does anyone have any thoughts or knowledge as to how this is used?

Thanks in advance -

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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I have a tub of Drivert Sugar which can be used to make poured fondant by simply adding hot water and beating til smooth. It's approximately 8% invert sugar, and is a very fine powder.

There's a recipe on the tub for icing:

3 Cups Drivert Sugar

1 1/8 Cups Sweetex

1/4 Cup (scant) hot water

3/4 tsp Flavoring

pinch of salt

Mix the sugar with ½ of the Sweetex and very hot water until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients, mix, then slowly add the rest of the Sweetex a little at a time until fluffy.

So, it's an American type. My guess is that the Drivert doesn't tend to get grainy.

The Sweetex is a high-ratio shortening developed specifically for icing.

It would be interesting to see how the Drivert acts in a butter-based American buttercream. It is a lot more expensive than 10x sugar, so hopefully it performs better at room temperature or something.

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Thanks, Lisa!

How interesting to see this. And with it using Sweetex, I'm sure it's more stable at room temp.

Theresa :biggrin:


"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."

- Abraham Lincoln

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I recently made a sculpted elephant cake for a customer, using a blue tinted buttercream. Since there were lots of nooks and crannys around the mouth/trunk and feet areas of the cake, I applied buttercream and smoothed it as best I could, then refrigerated until firm. Once the buttercream chilled, I scraped the edges smooth with an offset spatuala.

I noticed that the area of buttercream I scraped changed in color to a darker shade of blue.

Can anyone tell me what's happening with the colored buttercream and how I can prevent it from changing color?


Beaches Pastry

May your celebrations be sweet!

Beaches Pastry Blog

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Only speculation, but it seems like the buttercream suffered from something like oxidation, where the surface became lighter following prolonged contact with the air. I guess a question would be whether the scraped area became lighter once it was exposed for a while, or did it stay darker.

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Anytime you scrape off refrigerated colored buttercream it will streak. The color is bleeding out of the buttercream is what is happening. Once I have my colored buttercream on the cake, I smooth it well, then refrigerate, then I don't touch it after it's refrigerated. You can't stop the streaking if you scrape it after it's cooled. :sad:

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