Swiss Meringue Disaster Or ?

Decorating By mcyoung Updated 5 May 2010 , 3:24am by dalis4joe

mcyoung Posted 2 May 2010 , 2:58am
post #1 of 60

Typically a buttercream or fondant baker, however I made my first Swiss meringue via a Martha Stewart recipe.. Was beautiful looking but the taste ..eh not so much...

Since this was my first time experimenting with it and I am not exactly sure how it should taste... Can I get some opinions?

To me it just seemed way too buttery/greasy.. Is that how it should be?

Also what is the difference between Swiss and Italian?

Thank you so much!

~Melissa

59 replies
craftybarb Posted 2 May 2010 , 3:02am
post #2 of 60

I also made martha's for the first time and it was way to much butter so I cut the butter down and it was good.

sweettooth101 Posted 2 May 2010 , 3:11am
post #3 of 60

I've made swiss meringue thrice and italian once trying to get my family to like it but they are not buying it. They all find it taste like sweet butter. I reduced the butter too but it did not make much of a difference. So I will be sticking to my regular buttercream.

Edit Posted 2 May 2010 , 3:11am
post #4 of 60

I use the 1-2-3 SMBC recipe. 1 cup egg whites, 2 cups sugar, 3 cups butter. Butter should be unsalted. Add flavoring to your taste. Usually with this much I use 2 TBSP vanilla but you can add more or other flavorings. It is yummy.

mamawrobin Posted 2 May 2010 , 5:59am
post #5 of 60

I use the Well Dressed Cake SMBC receipe from this site. It's good but all SMBC/IMBC is buttery. You have to add lots of flavor to this type of buttercream. I add 1 cup of melted white chocolate to mine and it's pure magic thumbs_up.gif

afunk Posted 2 May 2010 , 6:11am
post #6 of 60

SMBC takes flavors really well. I usually add about 1/4 cup of vanilla to a recipe that yields 8 cups, then add other flavors from there. I get rave reviews every time.
It's the nature of SMBC or IMBC to be buttery, some people like it and others don't. The only real difference between them is the method. With SMBC you whisk the sugar and egg whites over boiling water then make that into meringue and add the butter and flavor. With IMBC you make a simple syrup with the sugar and water then add the hot sugar to the meringue, followed by the butter and flavor.
Hope that answers your question.

dalis4joe Posted 2 May 2010 , 12:03pm
post #7 of 60

Here is some info on different icings and some FAQ"s....

http://www.baking911.com/decorating/cakes_buttercream.htm

hth

LindaF144a Posted 2 May 2010 , 2:08pm
post #8 of 60

I just made some yesterday for the first time also. I tasted it with and without flavoring.

I added 3 oz of melted white chocolate. I got the recipe off of Oprah's website. It is Ben Isreal's SMBC recipe. I don't see a link to Martha's so I can't compare. I had 3 sticks of butter to 1 1/2 cups of sugar and 4 oz egg whites.

It was buttery tasting before I added the chocolate, and quite silky. It was not an overly buttery tasting because of the meringue, but still it kind of had no flavor besides the butter. I don't think this is what you want for frosting, at least I don't. Then I added the white chocolate and it gave it a slight delicious white chocolate flavor which is lighter than regular chocolate. I personally think I should have added another ounce. But at 3 oz it would work on a white cake without taking over the taste of anything else. I guess once it hardens it also makes for a sturdier SMBC. It was hot at my house yesterday and my cake was not ready, so I put it in the fridge until today.

In the recipe Ben also adds an apricot or pistachio paste flavoring. I have got to find some of that paste and try it. I love the taste of pistachio in desserts.

While we are talking SMBC, I want to ask is it supposed to go through a curdling stage in order to be correct? Mine never did, it just stayed smooth throughout the whole process. I'm curious to know if this is okay too.

rvercher23 Posted 2 May 2010 , 2:17pm
post #9 of 60

I just made smbc the other day, and it went through a curdling process while I was making it, and when I was bringing it back to room temp. from being in the fridge.

mamawrobin Posted 2 May 2010 , 7:21pm
post #10 of 60

I've never had my SMBC to go thru a "curdling stage" . mcyoung..You can add up to 1/2 cup of melted white chocolate. I've also mixed 2 to 3 TBSP. raspberry puree with my white chocolate and that is my favorite. It is so good ya don't even need cake. I can eat it straight from the bowl icon_lol.gif

LindaF144a Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:40am
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

I've never had my SMBC to go thru a "curdling stage" . mcyoung..You can add up to 1/2 cup of melted white chocolate. I've also mixed 2 to 3 TBSP. raspberry puree with my white chocolate and that is my favorite. It is so good ya don't even need cake. I can eat it straight from the bowl icon_lol.gif




This is good to know. I add 2 more ounces to my SMBC because my daughter said it tasted butter first and then the sweetness. By adding the extra white chocolate it brought the chocolate taste to the front.

I frosted my cake for my Wilton class this frosting. That was a mistake. icon_sad.gif The room was so hot the frosting was wilting, it never set up. I was lucky I could pipe with it. The flowers on the cake were of the Crisco butter cream (it was easier to make that batch for me and DD than two separate ones) and even that was difficult to use. I walked out of class a tad frustrated. I know it was just the frosting reacting to the heat. But right now I have a huge profound of awe and respect for you professionals out there!

dalis4joe Posted 3 May 2010 , 1:24am
post #12 of 60

Ok so I just made the 1-2-3 SMBC and the taste was excellent.. buttery but after adding flavor its very good... now my problem.....

VERY SOFT... Almost runny.... left eh KA on.... made coffee.... served dinner.... cleaned up after dinner.... served coffee... (still going) (still thin.... super soft..) WENT TO THE PHARMACY..... came back.... still same consistency... I had NO choice but to make the cake with it like that (it was my MIL's b-day and he was in the living room waiting lol) so I did a simple icing with swils made with a spoon on top that called it a cake lol....
I am a bit dissapointed (sp?) because I was waiting for BC consistency and I never go tit....

anyone knows what I did wrong????

here is what I used:

4 oz egg whites
8 oz granulated sugar
12 oz unsalted butter

I cooked the egg whites (pinch of salt) with the sugar in a waterbath until no more grains felt when rubbing my 2 fingers with the mixture... then on to the KA with the whisk attatch. 20 minutes..... then change to paddle attach. add the butter 1 tablespoon at a time.... it was supposed to look bad before it looked good.... welll it never looked bad.... it just got to a soft silky consistency and never got thick/stiff/smoothing consistency... it was like cool whip.....

anyone? please help????? icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_mad.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_mad.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

mpetty Posted 3 May 2010 , 1:37am
post #13 of 60

From what I understand, SMBC and IMBC are supposed to have that silky, whipped cream consistency. I've read that the one drawback to them is that they don't crust. You can refrigerate them to get a rock hard consistency, but that's for crumb coating and using under fondant. Left out of the frig they will eventually warm back up to the whipped cream consistency.

dalis4joe Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:20am
post #14 of 60

hummmm ok.... lemme fridge the leftover... and I will see... today was super hot here in Ohilly so it might be the temp.... but the one that I saw on you tube looked more "sturdy" than mine.... so let's go from there... thanks for you help though.... makes me feel a bit better icon_smile.gif

ladyonzlake Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:29am
post #15 of 60

SMBC and IMBC are the same except for the cooking method. They need to have flavoring added to it. For vanilla I use clear vanilla extract from Watkins.
These buttercreams take to other flavors very well, I add fresh strawberry or raspberry puree's for a wonderful strawberry or raspberry BC, Lemon curd for lemon BC, semi sweet chocolate added is to die for and white chocolate is really good too! I also add passion fruit puree for passion fruit bc.
I use IMBC and find it to be so versitle for a number of different fillings for cakes.

ladyonzlake Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:32am
post #16 of 60

Your BC should have a thick whipped cream consisitancy. It sounds like you added your butter before your meringue was cool enough. You can add more butter to get it to whip up nice.

Yes, at times when making it, it will curdle but keep whipping and it will come together.

ladyonzlake Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:37am
post #17 of 60

You'll know when your meringue is ready for the butter when it starts jumping around the bowl...your bowl should also be cool to the touch.

mamawrobin Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:39am
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by dalis4joe

hummmm ok.... lemme fridge the leftover... and I will see... today was super hot here in Ohilly so it might be the temp.... but the one that I saw on you tube looked more "sturdy" than mine.... so let's go from there... thanks for you help though.... makes me feel a bit better icon_smile.gif




You should cook/heat your egg whites and sugar to 160 degrees and then put in your KA and whip until peaks form. Sometimes this takes what seems like forever. I add my butter, cut into tablespoon size pieces, cold, straight from the fridge. By the way you're describing your buttercream it sounds like you didn't whip your meringue enough before adding the butter and maybe your butter was too warm as well. I don't know if you can save this batch or not.

CakeandDazzle Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:42am
post #19 of 60

Make sure you DID NOT use salted butter! That will ruin it

mamawrobin Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:50am
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by CakeandDazzle

Make sure you DID NOT use salted butter! That will ruin it




I agree but it won't give her the problems that she's having.

afunk Posted 3 May 2010 , 3:50am
post #21 of 60

Dalis-
I think your kitchen/butter was too warm or your meringue was too warm and caused your butter melt. I'm in so cal and this happens to me too. The easy fix is to let it cool in the fridge (say 10-20 minutes)until it firms up a little, then rebeat. Like others have said it should be smooth, but thick. I think you can save that batch if you let to chill for a while.
And if you chill it too long, let it sit and come to almost room temp and rebeat.

Another note, when I whip the meringue, I let it beat until the side of the bowl is cool enough to put my hand on for a minute or two. Then I change to the paddle and add the butter.

Hope that helps!

ladyonzlake Posted 3 May 2010 , 4:36am
post #22 of 60

I've never heard of switching to the paddle. I use the whip the whole way icon_biggrin.gif

hollylikescake Posted 3 May 2010 , 5:10am
post #23 of 60

I tried to make the mousaline buttercream from the cake bible and it came out so soupy. I know I whipped the eggs to a good peak so I wasn't sure what happened. I think I just figured it out. I let my butter set and come to room temp first. I though that is what you were suppose to do. Ooops. Are you suppose to add you butter cold to all of the meringue buttercreams?
Also, even after I put it in the fridge over night, the next day it still went back to soupy when out of the fridge? So you really think it was because I added warm butter?
I am still learning - so you all are the best! Thanks for sharing all your tips.

Kerbear73 Posted 3 May 2010 , 5:35am
post #24 of 60

Cakeanddazzle or mamawrobin: can you please explain what would happen from using salted butter?
Thanks for sharing your expertise! I learned alot from this thread!

dalis4joe Posted 3 May 2010 , 6:17am
post #25 of 60

ok I think u guys hit it where is hurts.... yeap... I think it was too warm.... first off my butter wsas cold but by the time I beat the mixture, when it was time to add it... I knew it was kinda too soft but I didn't think it was a biggy so I still added it (my little men on my shoulder told me... whill the butter before u add it, but I didn't listen)
I chilled it....so tmo will do what u guys said... let it come to almost room temp... then mix again....

I did use unsalted butter....

I really want it to get "fixed" lol... because the taste is really really nice.... u can tell the difference from regular BC for sure.... so I will see tmo...

But now I have all you guys have told me and I will try again next week for another taster cake I have and I want to make the IMBC or another MBC... I might try the IMBC... but I want to add the white chocolate u guys mentioned.... sounds yummy... I wanna make sure tho... u can use white morsels? or does it need to be white chocolate (like the one that comes in a bar form?

TIA and Thanks for all your input on my troubleshooting... love ya!!!

mamawrobin Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:14pm
post #26 of 60

dalis you can use the white chocolate chip. I prefer the bakers white chocolate squares but either one is fine thumbs_up.gif I'm sure your next batch will be perfect.

mamawrobin Posted 3 May 2010 , 12:16pm
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kerbear73

Cakeanddazzle or mamawrobin: can you please explain what would happen from using salted butter?
Thanks for sharing your expertise! I learned alot from this thread!




Your buttercream would be so buttery ya couldn't stand it for one thing. I'm not sure about the other reasons icon_lol.gif

LindaF144a Posted 3 May 2010 , 1:16pm
post #28 of 60

I think the problem with my SMBC was I did not check to see if the egg white were cooled before I started adding the butter. That would explain why it blended so well and didn't curdle. I believe. Mine is not soupy, but would not have been stable enough to use under fondant or even get a thick layer of icing either. It would set up in the fridge, but then just melt again almost instantly after taking out of the fridge.

I still need clarification - You add cold butter to the meringue?

Also in make the puree for a strawberry or raspberry flavor, can you describe what you do. Do you cook it slight, or mash it up and add it? I'm going to search for a recipe, but thought I would add the question in here too.
Thanks.

dalis4joe Posted 3 May 2010 , 1:26pm
post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamawrobin

dalis you can use the white chocolate chip. I prefer the bakers white chocolate squares but either one is fine thumbs_up.gif I'm sure your next batch will be perfect.




thanks... can u tell me how much to add....

ladyonzlake Posted 3 May 2010 , 2:02pm
post #30 of 60

No, add room temp. butter. Make sure your merinque is cool or it will melt the butter thus making soup.

I use the puree receipes from the cake bible but you could use any puree recipe. I add 1/4 cup puree to 2 cups of BC. I also omitt the vanilla when I add other flavors. My strawberry BC taste like strawberry icecream!

Also, I use pasturized powder egg whites to save on costs (I make a LOT of IMBC) for my business and then I don't worry about samonilla (sp?) issues. I order the egg whites by the case though. For small quanitites you can get it in the baking aisle at the grocery store.

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