How Do I Fix My Italian Butter Cream?

Decorating By hasfour Updated 30 Jan 2012 , 6:31pm by Rosie2

hasfour Posted 17 Apr 2009 , 3:36pm
post #1 of 15

I made Italian Butter cream yesterday and I thought it was good. I put it in the fridge, but today when I came to work with it I found it separated. The butter is on top and liquid on the bottom. The butter is curdling. I tried to beat it for 5 minute but the butter did not drink the liquid. Can I fix this batch or should I start from the beginning?

14 replies
antonia74 Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 10:21am
post #2 of 15

It was already separated in the fridge? Or, do you mean it was separated when you started to re-beat it? icon_confused.gif

It's not like "regular" buttercream. It has to come back up to room temperature before you can mix it and re-use it.

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 (this can take a few hours or overnight, depending on the temp in your house and the amount of buttercream you're trying to use!) ...and whip it again to the same soft consistency.

If you're using IMBC or SMBC and it's still 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 on medium/high and walk away for 5 minutes. When you return, it will be smooth and uniform once again, ready to use.

(When I'm really impatient, I run a blow-torch around the metal mixing bowl for a few seconds as it is mixing. It warms the bowl, which in turn warms the contents a little. Saves time! You can also warm your cold buttercream in the microwave for a few seconds to give it a head start in the mixer...only about 20 seconds for a pound or so, be careful not to melt it!)

Mike1394 Posted 18 Apr 2009 , 1:19pm
post #3 of 15

If it separated in the firdge it sound slike you over beat the egg whites.


hasfour Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 4:12am
post #4 of 15

Thank you antoni74 for the information. The BC was already separated in the fridge. When I got it out of the fridge, I re-beat it when it was cold and that is why the butter curdled.

When I read your reply I brought the BC to room temperature and re-beat it for approximately 10 minutes and it worked. It is smooth and tastes great. This is my fist time making IMBC and I think I over beat the egg whites as mike said.

Thanks guys you are so great.

antonia74 Posted 19 Apr 2009 , 2:50pm
post #5 of 15

For anyone else, here's a great link to watch the process of making it in step-by-step photos....


SDCakeDecorator Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 1:48pm
post #6 of 15

OK . . . dummy me. I accidentally used 2 sticks of 'salted' butter in my IMBC!!! It tastes salty, yuck. Any answers out there if there is way to fix this? Powdered sugar to offset the saltiness? Or maybe making a few more batches and incorpoating them in to those as to not waste it? Or should I just throw it away! Thanks!!!

chleonard Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 4:31pm
post #7 of 15

i wouldn't think that you would have to throw it away. did you make a whole batch (4 sticks of butter?) if so, maybe add the next two unsalted. (i have used 1/2 and 1/2 before and never noticed a taste difference, but that must be my taste buds?) did you already add the vanilla. i add 1-2 tsp pure vanilla. maybe try that and then taste it.

SDCakeDecorator Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 4:50pm
post #8 of 15

I actually made a batch and a half . .. that is why I couldn't believe it tasted so salty. I was using it right away so I added my flavoring and that still didn't help. I then added some powdered sugar . . . . took a bit of the saltiness away . . . I think I will 'divide' the batches and then try and save them that way, it freezes well if I have too much!! And yes I will use only unsalted butter. But I truly didn't believe that those couple sticks would make such a difference . . even my husband thought it was extremely salty. Maybe the butter I purchased had 'more than usual sodium content' or something! Thanks for you help. I will do that . . .

ceshell Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 7:24am
post #9 of 15

SDCakeDecorator, that's a bummer and quite unexpected I'm sure, since several people here intentionally use half salted butter. icon_sad.gif If you don't use salt a lot in your house (I don't) then the "extremely salty" flavor might have been a matter of perception? Also how much vanilla did you use? Another way to try to combat it is to turn it into white or regular chocolate IMBC. Just pour 1/4c melted chocolate (per recipe) into the IMBC. Wait til the chocolate is totally room temp of course. Or add another flavoring, like some lemon curd, etc. Still, I vote with the "blend it with another batch later" suggestions.

To the OP: yay! Another batch of IMBC saved! Hurrah!

Rosie2 Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 5:25pm
post #10 of 15

I know this is an old post, but I have a question re: IMBC ---- I made a batch last night and it came out totally buttery and heavy, it is NOT light and fluffy like people said. I have re-whipped it at room temperature and it's it's like a heavy 'buttery spread'. Does anyone know if it still can be saved? I don't know what I did wrong, but I'm always intrigued by people that made delicious IMBC...also, is there a way to make it white? I know is yellow because of the butter content, but does anyone tried to color it? any help will be appreciated thank you! icon_smile.gif

littlestruedel Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 5:30pm
post #11 of 15

^ Rosie, it sounds like it hasn't been beaten enough. When I re-whip mine, it can really look yellow and butterlike and not be very sweet. I re-whip it on high until it gets light and fluffy (and it will get much whiter) and then leave the mixer on low for about five minutes to get the air bubbles out.

Rosie2 Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 9:15pm
post #12 of 15
Originally Posted by littlestruedel

^ Rosie, it sounds like it hasn't been beaten enough. When I re-whip mine, it can really look yellow and butterlike and not be very sweet. I re-whip it on high until it gets light and fluffy (and it will get much whiter) and then leave the mixer on low for about five minutes to get the air bubbles out.

Thank you Littlestruedel, I'm glad I saw your message otherwise I was about to throw it away. And, I thought I over did it on the whipping that's why I stopped...I'll try again. Thanks a million!!!! how long do you think I should re-whip?

littlestruedel Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 9:50pm
post #13 of 15

I find it depends on the temperature of the buttercream and my kitchen. Usually 5-10 mins on high with my whisk attachment. I now only use my whisk attachment because I found the beater blade wasn't getting it fluffy enough. Good luck!

DeniseNH Posted 28 Jan 2012 , 11:50pm
post #14 of 15

I have a few tips for IMBC makers. 1.) overbeating the egg whites doesn't make the IMBC separate as it sits in the fridge. I've beat mine almost dry accidentally while on the phone and it came out just the same. Warm your cold IMBC in the microwave for a few seconds at a time until you can rebeat successfully. If your IMBC is too heavy try eliminating one stick of unsalted butter. Came across this once when I only had three sticks and the recipe called for 4. Trying to add anything to IMBC except wedding white chocolate to make it sturdier just doesn't work. Purchase your IMBC butter now and it will be whiter - cows are eating hay in the barn during the winter and produce whiter butter so stock up (seriously). Got this hint from a HUGE butter producer. If you want a nice white buttercream, replace one stick of the three with Alpine shortening then dip the very tip of a toothpick (and I do mean just a dot) into violet (not purple) gel food coloring and swish around in the icing - that small amount takes the curse off of the yellow in your butter. You can also use a Wilton whitener - about a tablespoon ful with the violet dot. You can make IMBC ahead of time - store in the fridge then warm in the microwave and rebeat but it never comes back to its original fluffieness like when you first made it. IMBC is good on cakes in room temps up to 82 degrees. Hope this helps.

Rosie2 Posted 30 Jan 2012 , 6:31pm
post #15 of 15

Thank you for this info DeniseNH! I have a couple of questions if you don't mind.
When you said "adding wedding white chocolate to make it studier" do you mean regular white chocolate? how much? at what point do you add it? also, when you said to substitute butter for 'Alpine Shortening" do you add the shortening at the same time you add the rest of the butter? is there a change in the flavor? That's amazing about the dot of violet to offset the yellowish color thumbs_up.gif

Ok, sorry for all the questions, but I won't let IMBC defeat me LOL icon_biggrin.gif

Thank you!!!

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