Can someone help me with this. I've been doing SMBC for over a year now, but for some reason the last two times I've made it, it tastes just a little grainy to me (just not as smooth as usual) Am I over cooking or something? Has anyone had this issue? Should I beat it longer? Any help would be much appreciated. I'm wondering if I should scrap this batch and start over. Its a batch and a half so I would hate to, but its for an important event (not a wedding, though) so I want it to be good.
You're not allowing the sugar to melt completely before adding it to the mixer. Even if you get the eggs up to temperature, keep stirring it to make sure that the sugar is melted before you whip it.
Either that or you scrambled the whites a bit. I did that once... was trying to make icing while the kids were "playing" (read fighting) with eachother... turned away to speak to them and that was all it took. It wasn't too apparent by looking at it, but I felt it. I always taste the meringue before adding the butter to check and see if it's grainy. If you get your eggs too hot it can do that too. I aim for between 155 and 165... any higher and you will have issues. There's nothing you can do to fix it if that's the problem.
If it's sugar, and if you heated your egg whites thats's not likely the problem, you can keep beating it and the sugar will dissolve. The sugar will dissolve even if you don't heat the mixture... but then it wouldn't be a Swiss meringue...