sorry if this is a 2nd posting, but i cant find the one i posted just an hour ago.
Is there anywhere on CC that explains the differences between French, Swiss and Italian meringue buttercreams? I have a german customer that is requesting a not too sweet icing, and i think one of these would fit the bill. How do you decide which one to make, is one easier to prepare then another, how does it hold up to piping? does the cake need refridgeration until servings and how long can it sit out? Any and all responses are welcome, or point me in the direction of a previous discussion as i feel sure this is not the first time its been asked. many thanks.
i can't speak to french, but i can speak about swiss and italian.
both are not too sweet and both are meringue based.
smbc is made by whipping a meringe of heated sugar and egg whites...and then adding butter and flavoring.
imbc is made by whipping a meringe and then adding a heated sugar syrup..and then adding butter and flavoring.
before i go any further, i must be honest that i am a smbc person, so i must confess my bias
i like smbc because (TO ME) it is easier. i do not have to worry about scrambling eggs with smbc
the main reason i like smbc over imbc is you heat the egg white/sugar mix to 160 and the eggs become safe (i bake for a lot of kids, so i cannot take any chances...and the chances are very small with imbc, but if i can avoid something i do). much of the heat from the sugar syrup is absorbed by the bowl so the imbc egg whites most likely are not hitting the magic temp of 160.
both smbc and imbc do NOT crust.
there is some debate about just how long they can sit out. you certainly would be fine out for half a day and many say longer, but i fridge right up until 3 hours before it's needed.
both are more heat sensitive than shortening based bc's but really, unless you sitting it in direct sunshine, it is usually fine.
and lastly, they are both OMG good, lol.