Decorating With Buttercream That Has Eggwhites

Decorating By cloetzu Updated 19 Sep 2010 , 4:43pm by drakegore

cloetzu Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 3:39am
post #1 of 18

Hoping someone can help me understand more about this type of buttercream...

I've often seen recipes for buttercream that look something like this:

x lbs. unsalted butter at room temperature
x cup water
x cups sugar
x egg whites at room temperature
pinch of salt

The recipe usually goes like this, boil sugar and water, whip eggwhites, add hot sugar water to whites, add butter etc...

So since this recipe has raw eggwhites (not sure if they cook when you add the hot syrup??? i wouldn't think so) can this stay out of the fridge for long? ie can a decorated cake stay out at room temperature (during the winter cooler months)?

and if the syrup iIS hot enough to cook the eggs won't it COOK the eggs? i mean if it is still hot will it not cook the eggs and create chunks? what temp should the syrup be when added to the beaten eggwhites?

17 replies
LindaF144a Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 2:06pm
post #2 of 18

What you are talking about is an Italian Meringue Butter cream. I have not used it, so I can't answer you other questions. But try a search here and use "IMBC" for you search. Also you can try the internet.

AnnieCahill Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 2:37pm
post #3 of 18

Please check out this video-it will answer all of your questions:

This is the recipe I have been making for a while now.

iluvpeeks Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 5:05pm
post #4 of 18

I have made IMBC several times, and have always had nice results. It doesn't cook the egg whites because you are slowly pouring the boiling sugar/water combination down the side of your mixing bowl whipping at the same time, no chunks. Your egg whites are already beaten into a meringue when you add the sugar/water. also has good instructions for IMBC. There was also a thread started by Melvira called MBC epiphany not too long ago, but using SMBC, which is very similar. Its all explained there. HTH

cloetzu Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 9:08pm
post #5 of 18

just watched that video.. it was perfect! the only thing he didn't mention is if it needs refridgeration ...

I checked and that recipe also doesn't mention if it needs be refridgerated?

Coral3 Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 9:21pm
post #6 of 18
Originally Posted by cloetzu

just watched that video.. it was perfect! the only thing he didn't mention is if it needs refridgeration ...

I checked and that recipe also doesn't mention if it needs be refridgerated?

When the method tells you to heat & whisk the egg white and sugar together until sugar is dissolved, you can use a candy thermometer and ensure the temperature gets hot enough to pasteurise the egg whites.

cloetzu Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 9:29pm
post #7 of 18

okay I now understand that... but after it is made does it need to be refridgerated ?? - i.e if I decorate a cake with this buttercream do I need to refridgerate the cake or can it stay 'out' for several hrs/or all day like a crisco/butter buttercream could?

and does IMBC crust or not?

Rachel5370 Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 9:50pm
post #8 of 18

IMBC and SMBC are potentially hazardous foods and are not supposed to be out for more than four hours. It does require refridgeration. It does not crust. It should be out for a little while before serving because refridgeration makes it hard and it tastes better when it warms up a bit. The hot syrup is thought to bring the egg whites up to temp- egg whites need to be 170 degrees to be "pastuerized". HTH!

deMuralist Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 9:51pm
post #9 of 18

if the eggs are brought to the correct temp (I want to say it is 145, but not sure-you can google this) and with that much sugar then you do not need to refrigerate it....unless you are talking like a week or it will be in a super hot environment. If you are worried you can use pasteurized eggs, or eggology (which I love!)

I don't know if it crusts or not though, sorry.

drakegore Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 10:42pm
post #10 of 18

egg safety board says 160 is the temp that eggs whites are safe.

from what i have read from experts (so not me, lol) it is hard to assure the safety of imbc because much of the heat from the hot sugar mixture is absorbed by the bowl and the temp of the egg whites might not hit the critical temp.

with smbc, you are actually heating the hegg whites themselves so you can be sure they are hitting 160 before you begin to whip.

imho, smbc is also easier icon_smile.gif.

i have read a lot of debate about how long it is ok to leave unfridged.

iluvpeeks Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 10:48pm
post #11 of 18

IMBC & SMBC do not crust, in fact they will melt if its too warm, or in the sun. There is a recipe on cc in the recipes section that also includes powdered sugar to make it more stablile. You have to remember that both imbc & smbc are made with butter.

tokazodo Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 11:07pm
post #12 of 18
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

Please check out this video-it will answer all of your questions:

This is the recipe I have been making for a while now.

This was awesome, thanks for posting it. I learned a lot from watching it. I love being on this site because we can learn so much from each other!

iluvpeeks Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 11:42pm
post #13 of 18

It is a very informative site, and you can always find help. I'm just amazed at how many talented people there are in the cake world, and how willing they are to share their knowledge and talent. I have also learned so much.

AnnieCahill Posted 18 Sep 2010 , 11:53pm
post #14 of 18

Just a quick note about flavoring IMBC-you need to use a lot of extract. In one batch of Warren Brown's recipe I will use 2 1/2 TABLESPOONS of vanilla. That's right! This helps you to avoid the whole "tasting like butter" issue that people complain about with meringue buttercreams. Also, make sure you are using UNSALTED butter! Salted butter is a condiment and your IMBC will taste like crap if you use it. Make sure you eat it at room temperature. Again, it is made of butter so it will get rock hard in the fridge. Not appetizing for buttercream! Yes positively it has to be refrigerated. But I have left it out all day with no issues. You really have to leave it out of the fridge for a few hours to let it come to room temperature. There's no other way around it.

Make sure you have a candy thermometer for the syrup. If you are concerned about making people sick, you can use powdered egg whites and reconstitute. Make sure your eggs are super fresh and well-refrigerated and you shouldn't have any issues with people getting sick. I am making IMBC for my own wedding cake in December and since I have one pregnant woman, tons of old people, and some kids, I am going to go ahead and use powdered whites.

I'm glad you liked the video. I'm actually surprised that I nailed IMBC on the first try. A lot of people have problems with it at least once. Check out this other post I made a couple of weeks ago helping someone who was having problems getting their IMBC to come together:

IMBC turning to soup is not unusual. Actually, it's kind of normal. I use Warren Brown's recipe from Cake Love and there is a YouTube video of him making it:

He has a lot of useful tips for making the buttercream. I add my butter to the meringue at room temperature. You need to let the meringue cool down before you add the butter, or else you will get a soupy mess. After I add the syrup to the egg whites I let it WHIP on high speed for 15 to 20 minutes. Feel the bowl to gauge how hot it is. After 15-20 minutes, add your butter, two tablespoons at a time. I do exactly what Warren Brown does.

Here are a couple of tips to make your buttercream work if it doesn't look like it should after mixing everything together:

Curdled appearance:

Butter was too cold when added. Take a kitchen towel, soak it in HOT water, and wrap the towel around the base of the bowl. When the little butter chunks have softened/melted to the point of looking incorporated, you can take off the towel and keep whipping.

Soupy mess:

Meringue was too hot when butter was added. This is kind of a difficult, high-tech fix-hopefully you can do it. icon_smile.gif Get a bag of frozen veggies out of your freezer, and rub it around the base of the bowl until the buttercream starts to firm up. Keep whipping!

At no point have I ever taken the bowl off the mixer and done anything else to it. Some people say to put it in the fridge, or put it over a bowl of hot water to get it to come together. I have never done that. I just use the above methods and keep whipping!

Meringue buttercreams are so forgiving. As long as you let your meringue cool for 15-20 minutes you shouldn't have too many problems after you add the butter. PLEASE watch Warren's video. It is so useful and I even took notes when I was watching it. My first try with this buttercream was perfect!

cloetzu Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 1:59am
post #15 of 18

thanks for all the input and information! This was all very helpfull!

iluvpeeks Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 4:21pm
post #16 of 18

Another good way to flavor your IMBC or SMBC is with Torani Syrups. I used Raspberry last week, YUM.

iluvpeeks Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 4:22pm
post #17 of 18

Oh, one more thing. Annie, very informative. Thanks.

drakegore Posted 19 Sep 2010 , 4:43pm
post #18 of 18

i like to put my butter in cold icon_smile.gif
helps make stiffer bc.

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