Swiss Meringue Butter????

Decorating By lostbaker Updated 9 Apr 2009 , 8:43pm by lostbaker

lostbaker Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 9:06pm
post #1 of 20

I made my first white cake, to be filled with a little mango curd[which is also ready], and, feeling adventurous, decided to try SMBC too. All of these were things I hadn't ever baked before, I usually just make chocolate cakes, chocolate ganache etc.
I watched and read a number of tutorials on SMBC, heard lots of raves about how good it tastes, and considering how much I hated the sweet taste of PS buttercream, I expected to love the taste. It was made perfectly, I couldn't believe I had no problems, inspite of using only a hand mixer. No problems yet.
But then I tasted the SMBC. It tastes like BUTTER :'( I don't know if it was something I did, or is this what everyone meant when they said it was 'rich'. Should I go ahead and use it, or did I do something wrong, and I have to toss it out?
I had some leftover batter, so made a few cupcakes while baking the cake. I filled one with the curd, and iced with the SMBC. It didn't taste as bad on it, it may also be acceptable.
Ok, I went on too long. All I want to know is, does SMBC really taste like butter? Or is it because of some mistake I made.

19 replies
antonia74 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 9:52pm
post #2 of 20

It should taste buttery....but not as if you just bit into a stick of butter, no.

First off, did you use unsalted butter? (Don't laugh, it's a common thing that is overlooked. icon_lol.gif )

Secondly, did you add enough vanilla or flavouring? Whatever you did, try double or triple as much. It needs it.

I usually use 2 T or more of vanilla per pound of butter, just to give you an idea.

Here's a really excellent how-to for making it, step-by-step with photos, just in case you needed more info...


__Jamie__ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:14pm
post #3 of 20

MMMMM....SMBC with mango curd, one of my faves! So, yes, it should taste a bit buttery, but not overpowering. And I goby tablespoons for my vanilla when adding it. In fact, I use 2 TBS in one batch. The vanilla is not overpowering, the butter is not's more like a sweet whiped cream, with a hint of vanilla, and a hint of's practically perfect.

__Jamie__ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:22pm
post #4 of 20

And's got a huge gob of butter, so yes, you're gonna taste the butter. Better than tasting shortening and having that grease slick on the roof of your mouth! Ugh!

lostbaker Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:27pm
post #5 of 20

Here the recipe that I used :
1 c sugar
4 large egg whites
26 tbsp butter ... 368 g
1 tsp vanilla ... I added about 1 - 1 1/2 tbsp

Does it seem ok? And it doesn't taste like a stick of butter, but it is reaalllly buttery.
ETA : No, I didn't use unsalted butter. Finding it is quite a task over here. Does it make that much of a difference?

__Jamie__ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:30pm
post #6 of 20

see next post icon_smile.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:30pm
post #7 of 20

Actually, it's in recipes...Jkalmans "The Well Dressed Cake SMBC with Variations"...exactly as it is written!

lostbaker Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:37pm
post #8 of 20

This is also about 3 sticks.. 3 sticks = 340 g.

TEE39 Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:37pm
post #9 of 20

Try making it a day or two before using it . I find that it taste a whole lot less buttery if you let it sit for at least 24 hours.

lostbaker Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:40pm
post #10 of 20

It does? Ok thats great, it's already in the fridge for 5-6 hours, I'll leave it overnight and taste tomorrow. Thanks icon_smile.gif

__Jamie__ Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:48pm
post #11 of 20

And you can totally take what you have, rewhip, add more should be ok!

lostbaker Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 10:52pm
post #12 of 20

Ok Jamie, I shall do that and update tomorrow on improvements, if any. [pray] Thanks icon_biggrin.gif

drakegore Posted 6 Apr 2009 , 11:25pm
post #13 of 20

i'm a smbc junkie icon_smile.gif
to me, it make a huge difference when you use salted vs. salted butter.
salted, bleh...unsalted, yummy.

did you taste the smbc cold or room temp? to get full flavor (not butter flavor) it needs to be room temp. when it's cold, you definitely get more of the "butter" flavor then you want.

my recipe is just about the same as yours and i use 1/4c. + 2tbs of lemon curd, fruit puree, or melted cooled chocolate to flavor. if i am using vanilla, it's at least 2 TBS.

don't give up on it, it really is wonderful stuff!

xstitcher Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 5:32am
post #14 of 20

I just made SMBC for the first time this weekend for DH's bday. I've been scared to try it for ages but decided to make it anyway. DH said he didn't want it because he said he doesn't like meringue's (he's thinking pies).

After he tried it though he was sold! Me personally I don't like it because it's like whipped cream (never was found of it) consistency but I'll definitely make it again because the whole family loved it.

I also wanted to add that the only other than the little bit extra butter you put in the only other thing I had done differently was add 2 tbsp of flavouring as per Jkalmans recipe here on CC.

lostbaker Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 5:58pm
post #15 of 20

Well, I did use salted butter, and I used the SMBC on the cake. Have yet to try it, but here's a picture. Keep in mind that this is my first decorated cake ever, with no classes or anything, and without even an icing spatula icon_razz.gif. I'd love comments on it.

One thing I noticed was the SMBC had a lott of air bubbles in it. I managed to stir out a few, but why does that happen?

drakegore Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 6:19pm
post #16 of 20

great first cake!
get a big ol' icing scraper and it will be your best friend when working with smbc (spackle knife at home depot works excellently, seriously).

the airbubbles - when you are done whipping your SMBC, take your paddle attachment and let it go on the lowest SLOW for five minutes and that helps get rid of air bubbles.

__Jamie__ Posted 7 Apr 2009 , 6:58pm
post #17 of 20

Yep ^^^^^^ for the air bubbles.

Bench scraper called Progressive Bash n Chop, found at Bed Bath and Beyond, or you can google it. No handle, which allows it to sit flat on your turntable, with no angle at all, straight up and down! The best I've ever used!

antonia74 Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 1:40am
post #18 of 20
Originally Posted by lostbaker

Well, I did use salted butter. One thing I noticed was the SMBC had a lott of air bubbles in it. I managed to stir out a few, but why does that happen?

You'll want to use UNsalted butter, not salted. It's much more delicate and tastier. It makes a huge difference.

(As for the air bubbles I just copied my reply here from a thread last year.)

Here's my 3 biggest tips that I use every time for getting buttercream really smooth. (I use Italian Meringue Buttercream, but the technique can be used on any type really):

1) use it when it's freshly made and room temp, that's when the consistency is perfect. After the last bit of butter & flavouring are added in the recipe, whisk it on top speed for 3 minutes then turn the mixer off and walk away for 30 minutes. Come back, switch the whisk for the paddle attachment and give it 2 more minutes on medium speed to get rid of the air bubbles and make it super smooth. It should be the consistency of soft whipped cream or soft-serve ice cream. If you have leftover cold buttercream that you want to re-use, let it come to room temperature naturally on your counter until it is soft...and whip it again to the same soft consistency. If you're using IMBC or SMBC and it's a bit cold when you start to mix it again, you'll notice that it seems to split and look curdled (like cottage cheese). DON'T PANIC and don't throw it out and don't add anything like icing sugar! The butter in the icing is just too cold and it needs a good mix to return to the right temperature. Just keep the mixer running and walk away for 5 minutes. When you return, it will be smooth and uniform once again, ready to use.

2) ice really cold firm cakes, semi-frozen if need be...but not 100% frozen solid. Torte, fill & thinly crumbcoat your cake and put it in the freezer for an hour. Take it out and immediately plaster it roughly with about twice as much buttercream as you'll really need. Huge tip here....SMOOTHING CAKES IS ALL ABOUT THE REMOVAL OF EXCESS ICING AND NOT AT ALL ABOUT BUILDING IT UP AND PATCHING!! I wish someone had explained this to me when I first started in the biz. It would have saved me years of frustration at trying to get my cakes perfectly smooth. Take your plastering knife (see point #3 for this & photo attached) and run it around the cake, digging in about 1/4 inch (5 millimeters) to get off the excess icing in one or two spins of the cake turntable. Now, take your offset palette knife and draw the icing in on top of the cake from the edges, about 4-5 times all the way around. The last step is to take your straight palette knife and draw it right across the top only once or twice to remove any lines. Done! Back in the fridge.

3) Toss those cheap white pastry scrapers, they truly aren't the best. Go to the hardware store and in the plastering section you'll see cheap, stiff plastic plastering tools with handles for a buck or two (see photo attached here.) Get a few widths, like 3", 6", etc. These are awesome!! They give you super sharp sides because they don't bend at all and they are the height of your cakes, so no lines appearing as you try to ice a 5" cake with a 3" smoother by going around twice on the top or bottom. These tools do it in one stroke! Fantastic.

__Jamie__ Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 3:28am
post #19 of 20

Antonia broke it down right there! I want to add that in addition to those scrapers....get a one piece bench scraper as well, the one SugarShack promotes in her video is handle, and no curved edges, so when you scrape, you are perfectly lined up top to bottom and you can smooth away!

lostbaker Posted 9 Apr 2009 , 8:43pm
post #20 of 20

Thanks for the advice Antonia and Jamie.
I'm not going to give up, I'll go looking for a bench scraper & the plastering tool, and also unsalted butter. I live in India, so I don't know where I could buy them, but I'm sure I'll find them.
Jamie, thanks for the name of the bench scraper, I'll go to the nearest BB&B and get that ASAP.
Hopefully I'll be here showing you improved pictures having an improved SMBC on it.
Thank you. I love CC. icon_smile.gif

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