OK, so I've been wanting to switch from powdered sugar BC to meringue based BC. I made SMBC (heated the egg whites & sugar to 160 deg) the other day and it was just too soft to use. What did I do wrong, how can I fix it? I can't remember how much sugar I used, but I used 5 egg whites and 4 sticks (1 lb) of butter. It was OK when I made it, it came together nicely. I stored it in the fridge and took it out a few days later and let it sit all day. I tried to re-whip it but it never came back together, it stayed kinda curdly. I thought maybe it needed to be chilled more and put it back in the fridge for a while. I whipped and whipped and whipped it before I decided that I didn't have time to fuss with it anymore and made my regular BC for the cake I was working on. It is back in my fridge. I would appreciate any advice.
I really want to use this kind of icing. I've only made it a few times and it has never seemed as stable as I would like. It gets too soft.
I'm no expert but been there, done that and I have a feeling there was oil involved in the process. Which is a no-no for meringue. This quote is from whatscookingamerica.com:
"The tiniest bit of fat or egg yolk will wreck a meringue, as fat interferes with the formation of good foam. When separating eggs, if a speck of egg yolk falls into the egg whites, lift it out with an empty eggshell half. Do not try to fish it out with your fingers; the oil on your skin will prevent the egg whites from expanding."
I don't think that was the problem. I had a stiff meringue when I added the butter. It came together nicely, but I wasn't going to use it right away so I put it in the fridge. When I was ready to use it I probably let it sit out too long before I whipped it again. I'll try to whip it again tonight.
If t stayed curdled then it was till too cold. I'm not sure what the temp is like over in Texas right now, but I would say that if your SMBC stayed curdled ad didn't come together you should try warming it up a bit and then whip it again.
This icing isn't soft, but it isn't the same in texture as what you are used to working with. It shouldn't melt off your spatula, but it isn't as stiff as a stiff powdered sugar based icing. You do need to let it whip up for a bit, even if your SMBC doesn't get curdled after you add the butter. If you don't, the consistency will be off.
So... what I would do is take it it fom the fridge and let it come to room temp and then whip it up... if it gets curdled again, heat it either by holding the bowl over some boling water for a couple of minutes at a time or using a torch on the side of your mixer. Then whip it some more and see if it doesn't come back together. Good luck... there is a little learnng curve when you start using SMBC or IMBC, but it is great to work with once you get past the hump.