Thread On Italian Meringue, Swiss Meringue, & Silk Merin

Decorating By cakeymom Updated 25 Aug 2009 , 2:29pm by __Jamie__

cakeymom Posted 23 Jun 2009 , 7:39pm
post #1 of 34

What are the differences other than ingredients and preparation for Italian Meringue, Swiss Meringue, & Silk Meringue Buttercreams???

Specifically; How they are stored? Piping ease? Taste preference? Humidity tolerance?

I made my first IMBC last night and it came out perfect. Now I'm wondering why I was so scared. I flavored it with homemade strawberry puree and some vanilla.

I took some red velvet cuppies to work today and used my IMBC with a small drip of the puree on top. So far my reviews have been great!!!!!

Thanks in advance,

cakeymom

33 replies
__Jamie__ Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 4:14am
post #2 of 34

Cool! Silk Meringue.....Cake Bible, right? Haven't tried it yet, but it's gotta be yummy. I swear by SMBC, and Tara, Pinkziab, swears by IMBC, and I think IMBC holds up a bit better from what I'm told.


Next time.....try making it with brown sugar. Holy cow.

madras650 Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 10:52am
post #3 of 34

Which of these frosting's are the less sweet? I need a less sweet BC for a wedding cake and nave no clue what to use.

Bunsen Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 11:11am
post #4 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by __Jamie__


Next time.....try making it with brown sugar. Holy cow.




Does that give it a toffee flavour?

I'm a recent convert to IMBC and would love to know what flavourings people use, and what cake flavours they pair them with.

__Jamie__ Posted 24 Jun 2009 , 8:46pm
post #5 of 34

Caramel....so delish! icon_smile.gif

BillaCakes Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 2:32am
post #6 of 34

If you live in Texas, forget using any of these buttercreams icon_cry.gif We've had triple digits the last few weeks and every time I make it, it tastes beautiful, goes on like a dream, and then melts the minute it walks out my front door. And my AC has been acting up to boot the last two weeks, which has made me very cranky and my cakes crap-tacular. Yargh! I have NOT tried using any of the Cake Bible recipes, but RLB's website raves about the Mousseline BC for high heat areas. I really don't want to have to resort to using a Crisco based BC because I can't tolerate the taste or texture (not to mention I am really trying to develop cakes that are organic or "natural" and Crisco is neither), but I feel like I have no choice. Has anybody tried adding anything to help stabilize theirs for hotter/humid climes? Or any suggestions on which recipe to use? I primarily use Swiss BC so far and have experimented with French BC as well. Still no dice.

Bunsen Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 3:03am
post #7 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillaCakes

RLB's website raves about the Mousseline BC for high heat areas.




I'm looking for something that holds up in the heat too... had a look at the mousseline recipe, now am I missing something or is it the same as IMBC?

BillaCakes Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 3:49am
post #8 of 34

Bunsen, I kinda thought the same thing too...maybe it's the amount/ratio of the ingredients?

madras650 Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 12:37pm
post #9 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillaCakes

Bunsen, I kinda thought the same thing too...maybe it's the amount/ratio of the ingredients?




Is this the recipe you are talking about? Have you tried it? Does it taste less sweet? I am looking for a less sweet but good BC recipe without crisco. Any suggestions?

BillaCakes Posted 25 Jun 2009 , 10:21pm
post #10 of 34

Nope, I have not tried the Mousseline recipe yet. I have tried Swiss, French and American BC's. French is the best tasting with Swiss being a close second, but they don't hold up nearly as well as American in the heat. But American uses Crisco and powdered sugar, which makes the taste and texture overwhelming IMO.

Bunsen Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 4:35am
post #11 of 34

Madras, I've tried the IMBC, it is not very sweet and is very buttery, I actually think it could do with being a little more sweet. From looking at recipes for SMBC it seems to have a similar amount of sugar, just a slightly different method.

mclaren Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 9:07am
post #12 of 34

i want to try IMBC but do not own a standing mixer, just a crappy hand mixer to serve me for now.

even with SMBC, i had to crank it up a lot longer than those of you with stand mixers or KA need to, before i could actually get something that looked like SMBC. icon_sad.gificon_sad.gif

madras650 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 11:07am
post #13 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bunsen

Madras, I've tried the IMBC, it is not very sweet and is very buttery, I actually think it could do with being a little more sweet. From looking at recipes for SMBC it seems to have a similar amount of sugar, just a slightly different method.




Thanks, I will try it again. The first time I made SMBC I used pasteurized egg whites in a container, it didn't whip up thick enough. It was just watery. So I will try the IMBC with regular egg whites. I need a less sweet buttercream for a wedding cake. The bride is European and does not like sweet BC and does not want any Crisco in her BC.

PTBUGZY1 Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 2:49pm
post #14 of 34

I keep saying i'm going to try the IMBC but still have not and living in Texas I may wait till the winter months. I read a forum yesterday about Duff' (ace of cakes) french buttercream he makes. So I made it last night, hmmm I'm not sure if I did something wrong. It looks good- smooth very shiny, but quite soft and it tastes very buttery and not very sweet. Is this how it should taste or should I add a flavouring? I'd appreciate your feedback.
Thanks in advance

mixinvixen Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 2:56pm
post #15 of 34

the 3 times i've tried these buttercreams, only one actually worked...beginners luck i guess! however, the last two batches tasted exactly like i had munched down on a stick of butter...yuck!! i had added plenty of flavoring, so i'm assuming it was the recipe itself. it's been 3 years now since those experiments, so i can't really remember which ones i made.

radtech Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 3:25pm
post #16 of 34

As far as making the IMBC a little more sweet you can add some powdered sugar to it- maybe 1/2 or 1 cup at the very end or the recipe, and it is excellent. No gritty taste that you sometimes get with Amercian buttercream. It also makes it a more stable buttercream.

drakegore Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 3:37pm
post #17 of 34

just a couple thoughts on smbc (which i love)

- it can take, and should have, a fair amount of flavoring added. a teaspoon will not do it justice. a small batch (5 egg whites, 1 1/4 cup sugar, 1lb butter, pinch of salt) can take up to 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons melted chocolate, fruit puree, peanut butter, etc. i add 3 tbs of real vanilla to mine.

- smbc has the benefit of being to use real egg whites safely. when you heat the eggs and sugar to 160 you are killing salmonella so you can have the benefits of the real meringue without the worry. when you make imbc much of the heat is absorbed by the bowl, so experts say this is not going to kill the bacteria (that said, the chances of salmonella are very, very, miniscule...but i bake for a lot of kids and i cannot take a chance).

diane

varika Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 3:53pm
post #18 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by mixinvixen

the 3 times i've tried these buttercreams, only one actually worked...beginners luck i guess! however, the last two batches tasted exactly like i had munched down on a stick of butter...yuck!! i had added plenty of flavoring, so i'm assuming it was the recipe itself. it's been 3 years now since those experiments, so i can't really remember which ones i made.




Did you use salted butter or unsalted butter? It really makes a VAST difference; you should use unsalted butter only if you don't like a strongly buttery flavor, and add plenty of vanilla.

Flavors I've made with SMBC: vanilla bean, orange, lemon, belgian chocolate, hazelnut. It takes flavorings beautifully.

Also, if you add a couple teaspons of vanilla, regardless of what else you flavor it with, it seems to really heighten the sweetness without making it cloyingly sweet.

Madras650--SMBC or IMBC are the way to go for your European bride, for sure. Definitely use real egg whites, not the carton stuff, though; I tried it with the carton stuff, too, and it's the only batch I've ever made that came out like a stick of butter no matter what I did, and I had SUCH trouble even getting it to spreadable consistency. And real egg whites seem to actually make the frosting a lighter color, I found! It was odd. icon_confused.gif

drakegore Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 4:09pm
post #19 of 34

i agree with varika icon_smile.gif
salted makes a huge (negative) difference in taste.

i add a couple teaspoons of vanilla in my other flavors too! it just makes a really yummy flavor base to build on.

smbc will go thru an ugly stage...just when you despair that it's not going to work and you want to toss the whole bowl, it comes together!
at that point, i switch the whip for the paddle and let it go on the slowest of slows for 3-5 minutes to minimize air bubbles.

Motta Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 4:32pm
post #20 of 34

I've made the Mousseline BC and it did stand up to some humidity and heat - not Texas-like but it was the mid 20's celsius. It tastes light and airy but still rich - got great reviews. My 14 year old niece wants it for her birthday cake.

I feel the neoclassic buttercream (from Cake Bible) is much too buttery. Even my DH who grew up on butter, cream and rich foods (Ukrainian culture) found it too heavy. It needs lots of flavoring to hide the butter taste and I did use unsalted butter.

BillaCakes Posted 26 Jun 2009 , 6:02pm
post #21 of 34

Mixinvixen, I love your handle and I got a kick out of your 'eating a stick of butter' comment. I feel the same way too. I love that the "European" BC's don't have as much of a sweet taste in them, but they can be like eating butter straight which is a little off putting. I'd be willing to be you didn't do anything wrong with your experiments, that's just the way the recipe is!

FYI, someone previously had wondered about the differences in these buttercreams, I figured I might share what I have gleaned from cookbooks, classes, and a few pastry chefs:
Swiss BC is made with egg whites and you only heat the egg whites and sugar until the sugar is dissolved.
French BC uses egg yolks or whole eggs and you whip them up while you create a sugar syrup.
Italian Meringue BC is egg whites and also uses the sugar syrup method.
American BC is the Crisco and/or butter with powdered sugar mix we all know and love.

IME, Swiss is the easiest to make and doesn't require a thermometer, which is a boon. French is richer in taste and *SUPPOSEDLY* IMBC holds up better than the previously mentioned BC's because of the sugar syrup. I find that questionable, but then again, hot summers.

HTH!

loriemoms Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 8:40pm
post #22 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by madras650

Quote:
Originally Posted by BillaCakes

Bunsen, I kinda thought the same thing too...maybe it's the amount/ratio of the ingredients?



Is this the recipe you are talking about? Have you tried it? Does it taste less sweet? I am looking for a less sweet but good BC recipe without crisco. Any suggestions?




I LOVE the mousseline buttercream but I have been chicken to try it in the summer. I am trying to find someone who can tell me it holds up in humidity. It is very soft and butterie..the book claims you can pipe with it, but I havent been able to, its still too soft. Has anyone been able to pipe with it?

LaBellaFlor Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 8:52pm
post #23 of 34

I have used IMBC and of course it will melt eventually, but I haen't had any problems with it. I find it to be more stable, cause of the sugar syrup. I have also used silk meringue butter cream. The first time I made it, I made it trying to achieve a certain texture, I didn't get exactly what I wanted. It still tasted good. I bumped up the egg yolks and switched to half & half and got the texture I wanted. It's a little sweeter, a little more buttery, and a little thicker then IMBC. I really enjoy it, BUT it is more expensive to make & definetly more time consuming, so I actually charge more for it then I would regular IMBC. Oh yeah, it's creme anglaise based with butter and a seperate meringue made, then all 3 combined.

CakeandDazzle Posted 24 Aug 2009 , 8:56pm
post #24 of 34

I am a SMBC girl all the way... yes make sure you use only unsalted butter! Also Ive made it with a hand mixer and it works just fine just takes alittle while! Another thing is I started to use carton egg whites... equals to 10 egg whites, 3 cups sugar 8 sticks butter.... after i cook and then whip they dont turn all meriguey they stay pretty liquied, but once I add the butter (i add it straight from the fridge) it turns out beautifully and saves me a ton of time!

doodledo Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:29am
post #25 of 34

I have made the SMBC and I love it. But I have only used it on cupcakes. How does this stuff hold up as a filling? I have a cake to make for Fri and she told me to make whatever. I found out the guy likes chocolate cake the best. Was going to do a choc cake with raspberry filling. I love SMBC with raspberry jelly in it. So after all my blabbing, will it holf up well between layers or will it cause the cake to buckle. And I am going to cover in fondant.

chleonard Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:33am
post #26 of 34

jamie-
you made IMBC with brown sugar? that sounds really good..
did you simple substitute the sugars?

loriemoms Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:43pm
post #27 of 34
Quote:
Originally Posted by doodledo

I have made the SMBC and I love it. But I have only used it on cupcakes. How does this stuff hold up as a filling? I have a cake to make for Fri and she told me to make whatever. I found out the guy likes chocolate cake the best. Was going to do a choc cake with raspberry filling. I love SMBC with raspberry jelly in it. So after all my blabbing, will it holf up well between layers or will it cause the cake to buckle. And I am going to cover in fondant.




That is a good question...how do you "stiffin" these types of buttercreams?

LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 1:54pm
post #28 of 34

I've used as filling and its fine. I don't thicken stiffing it up with powder sugar is a good idea as it not only alters the taste, but the texture. The point of a meringue based butter cream is to have that light texture and not be so sweet.

saberger Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:12pm
post #29 of 34

I use Cake Love's recipe for IMBC and love it. However, he uses superfine sugar which makes it a little sweeter in my opinion. I use regular granulated sugar and no vanilla and think is has a wonderful taste that isn't so overpowering. Maybe try that.

Now I have tried American, Swiss, and Italian. What is French? And where would I find a recipe for French and the Mousseline BC (which I never knew about)?

and silk meringue recipe?

LaBellaFlor Posted 25 Aug 2009 , 2:13pm
post #30 of 34

Frrench is made the same way, but it is egg yolk based, not egg white based.

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