Duff's Icing...

Decorating By trumpetmidget Updated 29 Aug 2008 , 2:12am by FromScratch

trumpetmidget Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 3:20am
post #1 of 39

I saw Duff demonstrating his icing on food network and got the recipe of food networks site. It is for French buttercream. Have you made it? I made it this afternoon and I am not a fan of it. I'm afraid I did it wrong or am wondering if I am just not used to it. It has an odd texture and is very sweet. I have been using buttercream dream for a while now and love that. Duff's icing is so different. Do you use that on a special cake or is it for any cake?
Thanks.

38 replies
JanH Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 3:24am
post #2 of 39

Everything you ever wanted to know about the different types of frosting:
(With opinions on different recipes.)

http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopicp-6011626-.html

HTH

FromScratch Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 3:34am
post #3 of 39

His buttercream isn't really a french buttercream.. I have always know that to be made with egg yolks and not whites.. it's a swiss meringue buttercream and similar to what I make. I am willing to bet that you didn't add enough vanilla. For a 10 egg recipe I'd add at least 2 TBSP of vanilla. It is very different than a powdered sugar based icing but I would never see it as being sweeter than one.

Try throwing some more vanilla in there and see if it makes it better.. it usually does. icon_biggrin.gif

trumpetmidget Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 3:37am
post #4 of 39

His recipe didn't even call for vanilla. I will add some. That would be nice.
I thought a swiss buttercream needed to be cooked? I didn't cook it. Which is another thing that bugs me, but I guess the sugar cooks the egg whites or something and that is why it is okay to eat?
Thanks for the advice. I'll try it!

DebBTX Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 3:51am
post #5 of 39

Maybe the eggs were pasteurized.
Is that the case with all of y'all that use eggs in your buttercream?

-Debbie B.

FromScratch Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 3:53am
post #6 of 39

Oh good god.. no vanilla at all??? Yucka! Defintiely add some in there.. it makes a HUGE difference. And I always cook the eggwhites over a double boiler until they reach 160-170 degrees before putting them on the mixer to whip up the meringue.. it's not "necessary" I guess, but it makes me feel better. The chances of getting sick from raw eggs are pretty low really, but if you are serving this to kids or anyone who has a compromised immune system it's best to be safe than sorry.

Add the cooking of the whites while whisking over a double boiler next time and add some vanilla.. I can't get over no vanilla.. maybe this is his base icing and they add whatever flavoring their cake calls for?? I hope so. icon_lol.gif

The recipe I use calls

Mike1394 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 10:03am
post #7 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by trumpetmidget

His recipe didn't even call for vanilla. I will add some. That would be nice.
I thought a swiss buttercream needed to be cooked? I didn't cook it. Which is another thing that bugs me, but I guess the sugar cooks the egg whites or something and that is why it is okay to eat?
Thanks for the advice. I'll try it!




Can you post a link to the recipe? I'm curious as to what was made. Did it call for regular sugar? If it did was it grainy?

Has anyone ever made French BC? I never have, I bet it's good. Sort of like a buttery pastry cream I would think.

Mike

pumpkinroses Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 10:45am
post #8 of 39

I made this recipe once, I didn't add any flavoring (since it didn't call for it). It was ok but I thought it was because I'm used the the 1/2 butter, 1/2 crisco recipe. Although several people at work that ate some loved it just as it was. If I try again I'll definatley add the flavoring.

Jocmom Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 11:28am
post #9 of 39

There were ratings under the recipe, and almost everyone added something to make the frosting taste better. I'll find the link and post it, Mike.

Homemade-Goodies Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 11:30am
post #10 of 39

Hi Mike...I'm thinking that this is the recipe she used: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-challenge/french-buttercream-recipe/index.html

I thought French bc used yolks...this sounds like uncooked SMBC. ...and yes, add the flavoring for sure!

Jocmom Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 11:38am
post #11 of 39

Homemade Goodies types faster than I can. thumbs_up.gif

The recipe link that she posted is the same one the OP was talking about. Read some of the user ratings (to the right of the recipe) for tips on how to adjust the recipe. I'd be bummed if I used 10 egg whites to make something that I didn't like. I may reduce the recipe further and try it out on the family before I make a full batch.

Mike1394 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 11:39am
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Homemade-Goodies

Hi Mike...I'm thinking that this is the recipe she used: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/food-network-challenge/french-buttercream-recipe/index.html

I thought French bc used yolks...this sounds like uncooked SMBC. ...and yes, add the flavoring for sure!




Thanks, that recipe has some issues LOLOL I would think. How is that sugar going to melt so the icing isn't grainy? It doesn't sound to safe either with the uncooked egg whites. I think they need a new proof reader for recipes

Yes every BC I've seen called French has the yolks.

Mike

alanahodgson Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 11:51am
post #13 of 39

I've made french buttercream and it is the best tasting buttercream I've ever made. I don't make it often 'cause I don't often have a pile of egg yolks laying around (usually only after a nice big white cake). Its similar to SMBC but with a more rich flavor. Its quite yellow, however. Great under fondant, but not great unless your color scheme is yellow. Here's the recipe I've used:

Egg Yolk Buttercream --

2 cups sugar
1 cup water
16 large pasteurized egg yolks
4 cups (8 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place sugar and water in a small saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Do not stir again to avoid formation of sugar crystals. If sugar crystals stick to sides of the pan, wash them down with a pastry brush dipped in water. Or, cover pan briefly to encourage steam, which will wash away any sugar crystals automatically.

Meanwhile, with a balloon whip, beat yolks until thick, light, and creamy. When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees on a candy thermometer, remove pan from heat and pour syrup in a slow, steady stream over yolks with machine on low. Turn machine on high and continue to pour in the syrup in a steady stream, avoiding beaters. Alternatively, turn off mixer to add the syrup.

Beat on high until cool, or about 15 minutes. Touch bottom of bowl to test temperature. When bowl is cool, stop the machine and test surface of buttercream. It should be cool to the touch. Do not add butter while mixture is warm, or butter will melt and ruin the texture. Add the butter, several tablespoonfuls at a time. Continue to whip until buttercream becomes well blended, pale yellow, and fluffy.

aligotmatt Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 11:57am
post #14 of 39

JMO, but I don't think this is the buttercream he actually uses. Nor do I think the book Collette and other people put out contain the actual cake recipes they bake... I'm just cynical like that icon_smile.gif

SHogg Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:15pm
post #15 of 39

I know that Duff only makes fondant covered cakes. And you can see the undecorated but covered cakes sitting on racks in his shop. Do you think he uses this recipe because it can sit out longer and hold up better without refrigeration for several days? I'm not sure how long SMBC can sit out for. Is there something about his icing that works better with fondant cakes?

jules1719 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:19pm
post #16 of 39

Egg yolk buttercreams are the least heat stable of any of the cooked egg buttercreams. I'm surprised "Duff" would use yolks.


Aligotmatt- if you published a book, wouldn't you include recipes you use? I would, what's the big deal? I'm sure it's the books aren't all inclusive.

I think the act of publishing a book sorta precludes any secrecy on their part.

seagoat Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:24pm
post #17 of 39

I have used the french vanilla buttercream from Toba Garretts book. You have to add lots of flavoring for it not to taste so buttery. Vanilla and orange combo is always delicious.

Her buttercream is with egg whites, cook sugar with water then add to the beaten egg whites. It sounds just like IMBC...so I wonder why she is calling it French?

aligotmatt, I'm with you there! If they are the real recipes, they have had to change something. That's just what alot of chefs do.

trumpetmidget Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:25pm
post #18 of 39

Homemade Goodies, that is the right link for the recipe I used. I cut it down in half to try it. I don't know if it is the recipe he uses in his shop, but it is the one he demonstrated on the food network.
As for it being grainy, it isn't at all. It is really, really smooth. It is much smoother than my regular recipe. I gues because you make the meringue first before you add the butter? I don't know. All I know is that it tastes funny. Not bad, really, just too rich, maybe? Definetly too sweet. But, I am going to add vanilla to it and see if it changes. Also, I was planning on mixing some strawberry preserves with it for a filling, so that may taste good. I will let you all know.

Mike1394 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:27pm
post #19 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by SHogg

I know that Duff only makes fondant covered cakes. And you can see the undecorated but covered cakes sitting on racks in his shop. Do you think he uses this recipe because it can sit out longer and hold up better without refrigeration for several days? I'm not sure how long SMBC can sit out for. Is there something about his icing that works better with fondant cakes?




Like I said earlier I think the recipe is wrong. In SMBC the reason to cook the sugar is to melt it. This recipe will have gritty, and grainy texture due to the sugar not melted.

Mike

FromScratch Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:32pm
post #20 of 39

It is definitely a SMBC.. you don't have to cook SMBC for the sugar to dissolve. It will dissolve just fine given enough time. Cooking it makes it go faster for sure and makes the meringue whip up easier and adds the benefit of pasturizing the whites (provided you get it warm enough). I'm quite sure that his cakes don't sit out on the racks for long. I used his recipe for reference when I built my own SMBC recipe.. I took out some butter and added the vanilla and cooked my whites (because I'm impatient), but I did make his recipe as is once and it whipped up perfectly with the sugar dissolving just fine. icon_smile.gif The only real issue I see with this recipe is the lack of flavoring, and I am willing to bet that this is just the base for all of his icing flavors.

This works great with fondant.. smooth it out then chill it so it firms up.. it gets solid like a stick of butter when cold.. and apply your fondant.. let come to temp and gently smooth further if needed. Don't smooth roughly or you will move the icing around and have a mess. There's a learning curve for sure with this type of icing, but it's definitely worth it. icon_smile.gif

FromScratch Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:38pm
post #21 of 39

Mike.. the reason you cook the whites when you make a meringue is to de-nature the protiens to make it go faster. Some say that it makes it more stable as well. If you don't cook it, it will still beat up just fine.. it will just take a bit longer. There is water in the whites (they are 90% water) and that will dissolve the sugar with no problems. icon_smile.gif

aligotmatt Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 12:53pm
post #22 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719


Aligotmatt- if you published a book, wouldn't you include recipes you use? I would, what's the big deal? I'm sure it's the books aren't all inclusive.

I think the act of publishing a book sorta precludes any secrecy on their part.




I would put recipes in it... but not necessarily MY recipes. We were talking about after weddings sending a little packet to the bride with some business cards and pens, as well as a couple of recipes for cake, but not MY cake, just other cakes...

bethola Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 1:18pm
post #23 of 39

I have made Duff's recipe. I found it to be REALLY sweet and buttery. I DID add vanilla. I'm sure since all he does is fondant the sweet doesn't really overwhelm his cakes. I don't do a lot of fondant cakes so if you do a whole cake in it the taste COULD give you sugar overload! LOL

Mike: You are right the French buttercream is wonderful. When I experimented with it there were a couple of my friends that really liked it. But, MOST of my friends like the full on Crisco Buttercream!

Have a good day everyone!

Beth in KY

trumpetmidget Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 1:46pm
post #24 of 39

I added the vanilla and it made a WORLD of difference. Thank you, jk! It's not nearly as sweet now. It is so smooth, it's very different than my regular buttercream. I mixed it with strawberry preserves, which gave it a funny texture. I think I put in too much preserves and next time I'll whip it in my mixer rather than using a spoon. It tasted alright. I am anxious to taste the cake with everything, but have to wait till this afternoon. We're bringing our experiment to my girlfriends who is having a rough time of it.
Is this a kind of buttercream you would use regularly for decorating? I don't usually chill my cakes - I'm an in-home operation (licensed), and am not allowed to make anything that requires refridgeration. Will it crust? I assume not. Do you need to chill it to put on fondant or can you put on the fondant at room temp? I would think fondant would be tough because it would be so slippery, since the icing is super smooth. I guess it will be another experiment! icon_smile.gif

dinas27 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 2:14pm
post #25 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by seagoat

I have used the french vanilla buttercream from Toba Garretts book. You have to add lots of flavoring for it not to taste so buttery. Vanilla and orange combo is always delicious.

Her buttercream is with egg whites, cook sugar with water then add to the beaten egg whites. It sounds just like IMBC...so I wonder why she is calling it French?

aligotmatt, I'm with you there! If they are the real recipes, they have had to change something. That's just what alot of chefs do.




I use toba's French Vanilla BC all the time - no egg yolks or egg whites, but you cook milk and sugar with flour then add whipping cream and butter. She also has a recipe in her 'Well decorated cake" book for an IMBC.

Like jkalman said - you dont need to heat the egg whites and sugar, it will not be gritty, I've never made a merigue for lemon pie that was gritty, icon_confused.gif

Mike1394 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 5:39pm
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Mike.. the reason you cook the whites when you make a meringue is to de-nature the protiens to make it go faster. Some say that it makes it more stable as well. If you don't cook it, it will still beat up just fine.. it will just take a bit longer. There is water in the whites (they are 90% water) and that will dissolve the sugar with no problems. icon_smile.gif




I wasn't worried about cooking the whites. It was the sugar I had the issue with. The whites will beat up fine without cooking them. The sugar makes them stable. I just would take the chance that the sugar doesn't dissolve.

Mike

jules1719 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 5:54pm
post #27 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike1394

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkalman

Mike.. the reason you cook the whites when you make a meringue is to de-nature the protiens to make it go faster. Some say that it makes it more stable as well. If you don't cook it, it will still beat up just fine.. it will just take a bit longer. There is water in the whites (they are 90% water) and that will dissolve the sugar with no problems. icon_smile.gif



I wasn't worried about cooking the whites. It was the sugar I had the issue with. The whites will beat up fine without cooking them. The sugar makes them stable. I just would take the chance that the sugar doesn't dissolve.

Mike




SMBC- Swiss Meringue Buttercream- A swiss meringue is one in which the sugar and whites are combined and then heated both to dissolve the sugar AND to allow the whites to obtain full volume. The hot mixture expands to fullest volume.

Adding butter makes it a buttercream.

IMBC- Italian Meringue buttercream- An italian meringue is one in which the sugar is cooked first and poured over frothy whites and whipped until cool.

Again adding butter makes it a buttercream.

French meringue is whipped whites to which sugar is slowly added. It is commonly found on top of lemon meringue pie and is almost always cooked in some way after preparation.

Technically, all of these buttercreams are French. If you tell me you made "French buttercream" I'd ask you which one? LOL The point is Swiss Meringue and Italian Meringue exist as separate preparations.

Calling a buttercream made with yolks or whole eggs "French" is a bit of a misnomer. Pour boiling sugar syrup over yolks or whole eggs and you get "pate a bombe". It's the base for a gajillion different preparations; adding butter results in yet another type of buttercream.

jules1719 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 6:00pm
post #28 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by aligotmatt

Quote:
Originally Posted by jules1719


Aligotmatt- if you published a book, wouldn't you include recipes you use? I would, what's the big deal? I'm sure it's the books aren't all inclusive.

I think the act of publishing a book sorta precludes any secrecy on their part.



I would put recipes in it... but not necessarily MY recipes. We were talking about after weddings sending a little packet to the bride with some business cards and pens, as well as a couple of recipes for cake, but not MY cake, just other cakes...




Well, I never got this attitude but I respect your right to assert it. Who cares who has which recipe... it's what you do with it. I give recipes out all the time. What is it you think you are guarding? I assume you aren't baking recipes you invented from the ground up... I'm curious.

jules1719 Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 6:07pm
post #29 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by seagoat

If they are the real recipes, they have had to change something. That's just what alot of chefs do.




I find this funny. I don't know a single chef who wouldn't share a recipe if asked. I know this perception is out there but it's so untrue.

It's a shame because professional chefs and by extension cake designers are some of the most generous people you will meet.

tx_cupcake Posted 28 Aug 2008 , 6:12pm
post #30 of 39

I know this is completely off-topic, but Jules, I love your avitar.

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