Smbc? What The Heck Is Going Wrong Here???!!!!

Baking By Misdawn Updated 27 Nov 2010 , 2:22pm by Tomoore

Misdawn Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 5:14pm
post #1 of 21

The first time I made SMBC, it worked beautifully. Every time since then.....SOUP! I have tried the recipe on CC, Elisa Strauss's recipe, and Debbie Brown's recipe. This week I tried 5 different times! Same recipe each time (as the one that worked in the beginning) , same ingredients.....soup every time.

It works great right up until I add the butter. My merengue is beautiful with shiny peaks so stiff you can barely lift the head of the mixer out of the bowl! Then I add the butter and ...POOF....eggy soup! What gives!!!!!?????? icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

20 replies
stsapph Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 5:34pm
post #2 of 21

It sounds like you aren't beating it long enough. The mixture will look soupy, then curdled before it comes together. How long have you been beating the butter into the mixture? It normally takes about 5-10 minutes for me depending on the size of the batch.

KatsSuiteCakes Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 5:39pm
post #3 of 21

You can also stick the whole thing in the fridge for a while, then try re-beating it.

3GCakes Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 5:40pm
post #4 of 21

You definitely have not beat it long enough. (I hope you didn't throw it out!)

The butter will break down the meringue, and then the mixing will cause it to emulsify once again!

If you have to, throw a towel over your mixer, turn it on high, and let it go for 10 minutes or more. It WILL emulsify!!

If it doesn't, it's probably a little too warm, and you need to cool it down by putting it in the fridge for a bit or by using an ice bath on your bowl.

Once again, I repeat, once you add the butter you will get eggy soup. That is supposed to happen.

HTH.

Misdawn Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 5:52pm
post #5 of 21

Thank for the responses. Well I did some research before I ever tried the first time, and I knew to expect it to look soupy until the very end. But I also knew it was supposed to come back together and it just never did. i tried beating it for 5-10 minutes. The last batch I let go for about 20 minutes. Still soup. I tried refrigerating it to cool it down, then when I mixed it again, it had like a very tiny little curdled texture. It never got smooth. and it never got any thicker than potato soup. I could pour the stuff!

fuchica2007 Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 6:20pm
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misdawn

Thank for the responses. Well I did some research before I ever tried the first time, and I knew to expect it to look soupy until the very end. But I also knew it was supposed to come back together and it just never did. i tried beating it for 5-10 minutes. The last batch I let go for about 20 minutes. Still soup. I tried refrigerating it to cool it down, then when I mixed it again, it had like a very tiny little curdled texture. It never got smooth. and it never got any thicker than potato soup. I could pour the stuff!




Hey I had this issue and just figured it out. After you heat the eggs and sugar, pour it into your mixer bowl that has been left in the frigde. This helps to bring the meringue to a cooler temp as its whipping in the mixer. Also, if you have a strong stand mixer, take the butter right out of the fridge, dont let it sit out. SMBC is very temperature sensitive. These two changes really helped me, hope you were able to figure it all out. SMBC is my favorite frosting icon_smile.gif

Misdawn Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 6:40pm
post #7 of 21

o I may try that! I was standing there at my mixer holding a couple of ice packs on the outside of the bowl so it would cool faster! I'm sure it looked hilarious!

Misdawn Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 6:50pm
post #8 of 21

I totally fell in love with SMBC after that first successful attempt, but I cant continue using it for my cakes if it's so unpredictable. I've wasted 6 dozen eggs and about 3 or 4 pounds of butter just this week!

Loucinda Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 8:34pm
post #9 of 21

I make sure I can put my hands on the outside of the mixing bowl comfortably before adding the butter, and my butter isn't cold (like right from the refrigerator) but not room temp either. Hope you figure it out.

imagenthatnj Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 8:44pm
post #10 of 21

Butter should be a little soft, but still cold. I'm almost sure is the butter temperature. I don't leave my butter out too long. I take it out of the refrigerator and cut into pieces, and just leave it out for no more than 10 min.

jade8 Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 8:50pm
post #11 of 21

There are some really good pointers in "The Cake Bible". Look into it and I think you should be able to avoid the soupy mess.

fuchica2007 Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 8:52pm
post #12 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misdawn

I totally fell in love with SMBC after that first successful attempt, but I cant continue using it for my cakes if it's so unpredictable. I've wasted 6 dozen eggs and about 3 or 4 pounds of butter just this week!




aww thats sad icon_sad.gif I felt the same way though, until i finally figured it out the other day. The cold bowl and cold butter worked for me, although others seem to disagree. I would encourage you to try one last time, even a small batch.

SugarFiend Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 9:05pm
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Misdawn

o I may try that! I was standing there at my mixer holding a couple of ice packs on the outside of the bowl so it would cool faster! I'm sure it looked hilarious!




The big 5 lb. bags of frozen peas or corn you can get at Sam's Club or Costco work great for that too, and they're big enough that you don't have to stand there holding them. I just shove one under the bowl and go about my business. thumbs_up.gif

imagenthatnj Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 9:11pm
post #14 of 21

Misdawn, at this link, there's a practice SMBC recipe, small amounts.

http://smittenkitchen.com/2008/07/project-wedding-cake-swiss-buttercream/

tania9 Posted 17 Nov 2010 , 10:10pm
post #15 of 21

Once I had the soupy mixture so I put a wet towel around the bowl as it was mixing and it came together perfectly icon_smile.gif

Misdawn Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 2:04am
post #16 of 21

ok I have tried waiting until the bowl was cool enough to touch and I've tried the butter cold and at room temp. I am going to try the little recipe on the link posted above and try the cold butter/ cold bowl suggestion. I'll try it this weekend and let you guys know how it goes! Thanks for the help so far!

fuchica2007 Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 3:16am
post #17 of 21

yayy!! good luck! icon_smile.gif

debster Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 3:46am
post #18 of 21

I agree with putting something frozen under there, I put a bowl of icecubs. Good luck!!!!

imagenthatnj Posted 18 Nov 2010 , 4:07am
post #19 of 21

Misdawn, really, if the ingredients are at the right temperature and once you get the hang of it, you'll be fine, it will work without trips to the refrigerator, without wet towels, ice or anything like that. Just let it whip for a long time after you add the butter.

Here's a good video about it:




I just make italian lately because I couldn't bother anymore with whisking so much.

Good luck!

planetsomsom Posted 22 Nov 2010 , 7:47pm
post #20 of 21

don't mix the meringue too fast either, mixing anything too fast causes irregular air bubbles which break easily. Mixing everything on low speed and just waiting a longer time gives you a stronger base to work with.

Tomoore Posted 27 Nov 2010 , 2:22pm
post #21 of 21

I've been having the same problem. LOVE SMBC, but once I'd decided to commit to it, I started having a lot of problems and it's an expensive buttercream! I, too, will be trying your suggestions. Another question for those of you that use it regularly: do yo ever have problems with getting smooth even color when you color the SMBC? I use Americolor gels. Also, how do you contend with heat? I often felt that my shortening based bc tried to melt before we reached the car!

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