Meringue Buttercreams - Need Help!

Baking By Motta Updated 25 Jun 2010 , 3:02pm by LisaMarie86

Motta Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 5:21am
post #1 of 16

I love these buttercreams (italian, swiss, mousseline) but when I pour the sugar syrup into the mixer it tends to crystallize very quickly. I get small crystallized bits of sugar in the buttercream.

I follow directions from The Cake Bible and Rose writes that we should pout the syrup in 3 parts, whipping for 5 seconds in between each pour. It sounds like a short period of time but when you do it, it's long enough to harden the sugar by the 3rd pouring.

Any advice? Should I just pour all the sugar in at once?

15 replies
antonia74 Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 10:22pm
post #2 of 16

I pour my sugar syrup in in one episode. You're totally right.....the heat from the pan keeps cooking it beyond the soft-ball stage.

(She probably wrote that so that you could turn the mixer on and off, avoiding getting syrup on the whisk and spinning it to the side of the bowl instead of allowing it to incorporate. Understandable, but not necessary if you're careful thumbs_up.gif )

tweeter_bug98 Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 10:34pm
post #3 of 16

I pour all of the syrup at once. I use Martha Stewart's recipe and it has yet to fail me:

http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/swiss-meringue-buttercream-frosting

luvbuttercream Posted 24 Jun 2010 , 10:49pm
post #4 of 16

I use this one and it hasn't failed me yet it is a bit of a different process than what you described so maybe that is why it has had no problems.

Sinful Swiss Meringue Butter Cream
Ingredients

* 1/2 cup (4 oz) of egg whites
1 cup (8 oz) of granulated sugar
1 1/2 (12 oz) cup butter
1 tsp of flavoring (I use 3/4 tsp van & 1/4 tsp almond)

Instructions

Put eggs and sugar in your mixing bowl and beat with whisk until well combined. Put bowl over a hot bath on stove top and KEEP mixing until mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (approx 3 min). When thats done, take bowl to mixer using the balloon whisk on medium speed until a meringue like texture is achieved may take up to 10 min(but worth it if you want a slightly stiffer frosting). Replace balloon whisk for paddle. Slowly add your room temp butter in pieces and mix until smooth. Now add your extracts and (color optional-pref gel). You will notice it curd a bit approx. 3 min into mixing, keep it on medium for another 3-4 min and it will be smooth & silky. Dont get impatient it will turn out so good! Hope you enjoy.

Motta Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 12:04am
post #5 of 16

Thanks for the replies! I will pour away with abandon from now on icon_biggrin.gif

p.s. thanks for the extra recipes...I love to try out variations. Has anyone made an espresso flavored one yet?

LindaF144a Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 12:44am
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvbuttercream

I use this one and it hasn't failed me yet it is a bit of a different process than what you described so maybe that is why it has had no problems.

Sinful Swiss Meringue Butter Cream
Ingredients

* 1/2 cup (4 oz) of egg whites
1 cup (8 oz) of granulated sugar
1 1/2 (12 oz) cup butter
1 tsp of flavoring (I use 3/4 tsp van & 1/4 tsp almond)

Instructions

Put eggs and sugar in your mixing bowl and beat with whisk until well combined. Put bowl over a hot bath on stove top and KEEP mixing until mixture is no longer grainy to the touch (approx 3 min). When thats done, take bowl to mixer using the balloon whisk on medium speed until a meringue like texture is achieved may take up to 10 min(but worth it if you want a slightly stiffer frosting). Replace balloon whisk for paddle. Slowly add your room temp butter in pieces and mix until smooth. Now add your extracts and (color optional-pref gel). You will notice it curd a bit approx. 3 min into mixing, keep it on medium for another 3-4 min and it will be smooth & silky. Dont get impatient it will turn out so good! Hope you enjoy.




This recipe is a swiss meringue and the OP is describing the process with a Italian meringue. Same ingredients, different starting point.

OP how cold is your meringue? Is it cooling the sugar too quickly?
Also if the pan is heating the sugar after you receive the desired stage you can do two different things. You can pour the sugar mixture into a pyrex measuring cup with a spout to stop the cooking. Then you can use the cup to pour the sugar into the meringue. Or you can stop heating the sugar a few degrees before it reaches the correct temp knowing that it will heat up to the proper temperature before you start pouring. That is a risky calculation, so I like the former better than the latter.

Also I have read that you need to be careful that the sugar does not hit the beater because you will get the crystals you describe from the beater flinging the sugar around.

HTH

Motta Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 12:53am
post #7 of 16

Linda - you are correct, I do prefer the Italian meringue. I hadn't thought about the temp of the meringue....I use pasteurized egg whites straight from the fridge. I better let them get to room temp before I use them.

I do pour my sugar syrup into a glass measuring cup to stop the cooking so I think it's the cool meringue and the whipping that is the problem. I will have to aim better when I pour the syrup.

Thank you so much!

LindaF144a Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 12:58am
post #8 of 16

Pasteurized egg whites are your problem also. It says on the box that they do not whip to a meringue. Now I have gotten mine to whip into a meringue, but not a stable meringue. And like Antonia said, the humidity won't help you either. (The humidity finally broke here and it is just awesome outside. Which is good for the RI I need to make soon!)

Even though there are several people on here who will testify that they use them and it will work fine, or it has worked fine for you in the past, it will not stand up as well as real egg whites. I have used both for SMBC and I get frosting using both, but I get a way better and more stable frosting using fresh egg whites.

And I'm sure with IMBC it would be even better using fresh.

But also cold meringue and hot sugar would create a faster cooling than you probably desire.

Good luck and keep us posted on your results.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:21am
post #9 of 16

The only thing that we ever use in culinary school is pasteurized egg whites. It's the only thing that I use for customers, and they make wonderful meringues. We use warmed pasteurized egg whites, never cold - straight from the fridge.

antonia74 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 1:59am
post #10 of 16

I only use the cartons of whites too, as it saves time/money not having to separate all those eggs AND I'm not left with dozens of leftover yolks each weekend. icon_lol.gif

I find they are actually better because they whip up beautifully and they don't contain any of the tell-tale chalazae (those stringy "umbilical cord-like" thingys in there) that can cook into teeny tiny solid egg dots/pieces.

My IMBC using carton whites is usually smoother than my IMBC using fresh whites.

Motta Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:21am
post #11 of 16

And that's one of my biggest issues - I'm cheap. I try to use all I can, I try to reuse scraps of fondant, I save stuff I should throw out in case I need it, etc. It's not working for me.

What I am going to do with all those egg yolks? I could make golden yellow cake, I suppose or custard fillings.

Linda: When you say "stable" do you mean full of body? Is the pasteurized egg white meringue going to melt somewhat? or do you mean that it will keep fresh longer so it's a healthier, safer choice?

LindaF144a Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:38am
post #12 of 16

By stable I mean it was full of body. It was stiffer, if you call it, and didn't melt or get real soft like it did when I used liquid meringue.

Someday I'll try using them again. Right now all I have available is a store brand name product. Not that those products aren't good. But I often do get different results using a brand name product. I used to use store brand butter, but noticed when I bought Land of Lakes that my butter/sugar creaming was lighter and fluffier. So now I use LOL for my cakes. I would probably get the same good results everybody else here does if I could find that. Even though we have a great chain here, they carry different stuff at each store in my area. If I go to the larger one (the one where the owner of the chain lives and shops) I can probably find something else there.

As for all the egg yolks, I love creme brulee. You could also make some lemon curd or other fillings. I think you can freeze curds too. But if you want to make me some creme bruleee......icon_wink.gif

Motta Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 5:09am
post #13 of 16

Yes, I agree that expensive butter does make a difference. I suppose you're right about name brands. I'm using a grocery store brand of egg whites and it's pretty good but I wonder now if I can find a better one?

For those pastry chefs - what brand do you use?

Linda - I'd love to make creme brulee for you. Come on up to lovely Alberta, Canada sometime!! The weather is great right now but like they say...wait 5 minutes and it'll change.

LindaF144a Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:22pm
post #14 of 16

Dern! If you had said Toronto I could make it date. But Alberta is a bit of a hoof for me. I live south of Toronto on the US side right on the lake. And surprisingly, we say the same thing about our weather too. icon_smile.gif

DetailsByDawn Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 2:40pm
post #15 of 16

I use pasturized eggs whites too - always! It takes all stress out of the process for me - I use Swiss Meringue and the only thing I need to worry about is cooking the sugar/egg white mixture until there is no longer any sugar crystals - You don't actually have to hit an exact temp, which is nice. I find Swiss MUCH easier to make than Italian, but that's just my opinion. If you're stuck on using Italian, I've heard that adding some corn syrup (not sure how much, but I'm sure a search might help) will keep the sugar from recrystalizing. Good luck!!

LisaMarie86 Posted 25 Jun 2010 , 3:02pm
post #16 of 16

As long as you make sure there are no additives that contain fat added to the egg whites you will be just fine using pasturized egg whites. Ive used them so many times I cant even count now. I am not sure of the brand we use I will look and post Monday but they fluff beautifully and make wonderful Italian buttercream, swiss buttercream, meringue, japonoise, sucess, and countless other things. Make sure the bowl is free of any fat along with the beater, also have everything at room temp eggs could be warmer than room temp. Egg whites don't like to be whipped at cold temperatures. When I make Italian meringue I pour from the pot straight into the mixer and dont try not to hit the whip attachment, I also dont pour it directly on it either but I don't make an effort to avoid it. Never gotten a grainy product doing that either. Good luck to the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144

Pasteurized egg whites are your problem also. It says on the box that they do not whip to a meringue. Now I have gotten mine to whip into a meringue, but not a stable meringue. And like Antonia said, the humidity won't help you either. (The humidity finally broke here and it is just awesome outside. Which is good for the RI I need to make soon!)

Even though there are several people on here who will testify that they use them and it will work fine, or it has worked fine for you in the past, it will not stand up as well as real egg whites. I have used both for SMBC and I get frosting using both, but I get a way better and more stable frosting using fresh egg whites.

And I'm sure with IMBC it would be even better using fresh.

But also cold meringue and hot sugar would create a faster cooling than you probably desire.

Good luck and keep us posted on your results.


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