FromScratchSF Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 2:22am
post #1 of

Hello all!

I've submitted this recipe to be included in CC's archives twice but it's not getting greenlight by the mods for whatever reason.

I commented on another thread about SMBC about my cream cheese version and said to PM me for the recipe. Little did I know my inbox would explode today! So, I'm making a thread here to direct people.

I came up with this method (the cream cheese part, I don't actually know when I finalized my egg/sugar ratio or where I got it from). Anyway, I make this all the time.

My ratios for SMBC:

6.25 oz egg whites
7 oz sugar
pinch of salt
1 lb of unsalted fine quality butter, 72 degrees or warmer

Whisk egg whites, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl over a pot of boiling water until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees and sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat, pop onto KA mixer with whisk attachment, and beat on high until stiff peaks form and bowl is cool to the touch. This may take 10 minutes or more.

TIP: You have to get STIFF PEAKS, sometimes I'll even let my meringue (gasp!) deflate a bit. It IS possible to have a cool bowl and medium peaks. DON'T STOP! Keep mixing.

Swap out to a paddle attachment and add your room temperature butter. Mix on LOW. Yes, LOW. Not medium low, not #2, but the lowest setting your mixer has. "But wait!", you might say, "I've been mixing for 3 whole minutes and it looks weird!" Yes my friend, that is exactly what it's supposed to look like. This is science happening, so this step can take up to 15 minutes before the emulsion between the butter/sugar/eggs takes place. You can't rush it. If you crank your mixer up on high because you are impatient, it will come together but all you did was break your meringue and end up with sweetened butter (the primary complaint from people that claim to not like SMBC). When made properly, you should get about 5 cups of SMBC. BUT, I have measured SMBC that I made as fast as possible vs. SMBC that I made properly. Not only did they taste different, but the hurried SMBC has a full cup less in volume.

TIP: If you can pick your pieces of butter up with your fingers and it's still firm-ish, it's still too cold and will take much longer to emulsify. So for perfect results make sure that butter was pulled out the night before and is nice and soft.

"But wait!", you say, "I forgot to pull it out the night before!" Try grating your cold butter with a cheese grater to maximize surface area to warm it up. Then let it sit for as long as possible before use.

I DO NOT refrigerate my SMBC. Science is at work here, called osmosis. The science that works for crusting icings made with shortening, butter, cream and milk that people don't hesitate to leave out for days on end is the same science that makes European buttercreams perfectly safe.

I included the above because I don't know if my cream cheese to SMBC ratios will work with other recipes, although you are welcome to try and post your results here.

Now, for the moment you have ALL been waiting for.............

Cream Cheese SMBC (heretofor CCSMBC)

10 oz. finished SMBC
8 oz. (1 package) Cream Cheese (can be cold)

Put your cream cheese in a bowl and whip it on HIGH to make it smooth and creamy. Pass thru it with a spatula just to make sure there are no pesky lumps. Keep whipping. Once it's nice and smooth, add your finished SMBC in batches, mixing on high (1/2 or you can do 1/3 if you are making a bunch). This is where people have gone wrong in the past. Notice I said add the SMBC to the cream cheese, NOT the other way around. Very important. Until you have made this a few times, you will need to watch it because if you add too much SMBC it will start looking glossy and curdled. If this happens, add more cream cheese (but make sure you follow the "whip it until it's smooth" step, if you toss in a lump of unwhipped cream cheese in it will never break down and emulsify.)

Finished CCSMBC is softer then regular but is great for topping cupcakes or using as a filling (damed with regular SMBC). I do not put it on the outside of cakes or under fondant (except as a filling) because of the softness, I worry about my layers shifting. It also has a very strong cream cheese flavor (which is hard to get using any other icing) so personally I think covering a whole cake is overkill.

Refrigeration: I have had iced cupcakes and cake out for 12 hours with no problems, flavor or texture changes. More then that though and it gets a strange... film? Almost like the film you get on custard or curds that do not have direct contact with plastic wrap when it's left out for longer with direct air contact. So in this rare instance I do refrigerate if I use it in advance or if it's in a cake just to protect the flavor and prevent that strange film from forming.

Questions?

Have fun!

Jen

82 replies
Sangriacupcake Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 1:55pm
post #2 of

Thank you, Jen, for posting your recipes and telling us about your techniques. This is the clearest explanation of how to make SMBC I have ever seen! I think my previous attempts at SMBC were less than successful because 1. my meringue wasn't stiff enough 2. I added the butter too quickly.

Ok, so I tried a batch using your instructions, and I had much better results--it clearly whipped up higher and had a creamier appearance, and I thought it tasted deliciously silky and rich. I put some on devil's food cupcakes for my family to taste, and they thought it was pretty good, but for some reason, they weren't impressed. What can I say--they're a tough audience.

Soooooo, I added the cream cheese as instructed, and yowza!!!! That stuff rocks! My DD, who usually won't touch cream cheese because of its fat content, was piling it on her cupcake!! icon_lol.gif Seriously yummy. Can you see me doing a happy dance?!

LindaF144a Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 2:06pm
post #3 of

What a great recipe. Why the mods won't put this in the recipe section baffles me.

I noticed that you ratio of egg white is almost 1:1. I use a 1:2:3 ratio. Do you get a more stable SMBC? I shouldn't use the word stable, but for lack of a better word I will keep it at that for now.

I'm not wondering if the film you get when left out is a result of the ratio of the eggs to sugar. I'm just thinking out loud. This is the only difference between your recipe and mine and I do not get a film.

I need to make some SMBC tomorrow. I am going to try your ratio over mine. I am always willing to try something new.

Thank you for sharing.

scp1127 Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 2:07pm
post #4 of

Thanks FromScratch. My cream cheese icing is very good (I modified Cakeman's), but it is my only icing that uses powdered sugar, and I think it is the only one that isn't cooked at some point. My modification was to cut the ps and add more butter and add vanilla bean paste. This recipe of yours sounds very interesting and I can't wait to try it.

HappyCake10609 Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 2:29pm
post #5 of

Thank you for posting! I was one of the many who had inquired about the recipe! I tried to come up with it on my own, and it was terrible (the curdley mess your referred to). I'm so excited to try this, now I just need an excuse to make a cake!

LindaF144a Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 2:59pm
post #6 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Thanks FromScratch. My cream cheese icing is very good (I modified Cakeman's), but it is my only icing that uses powdered sugar, and I think it is the only one that isn't cooked at some point. My modification was to cut the ps and add more butter and add vanilla bean paste. This recipe of yours sounds very interesting and I can't wait to try it.




Like you, my cream cheese recipe is the only one made with PS. I have made it with SMBC in the past by completing the SMBC, whipping it like here and folding it into the SMBC. But you need a lot of cream cheese to taste the cc flavor. And it reflects here with the ratio posted. I had some CCSMBC made by another person over the weekend. You could taste the CC, but I also had huge chunks of CC in the frosting. She obviously did not whip the cc!

infinitsky Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 3:32pm
post #7 of

Thank you for sharing this, I absolutely love SMBC and IMBC. Will be making a batch asap following your recipe and instructions.

FromScratchSF Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 5:29pm
post #8 of

Thanks all!

Ratios: Like I said, these are the ratios for I use for my SMBC recipe, I don't know where they came from, after I posted this I checked my 3 go-to baking books to see if it was in there to credit the original and no bueno. So unless someone corrects me, I guess the SMBC recipe is a Jennifer Bratko original, along with the cream cheese version!

Strange film - I think it's from the high cream cheese content like someone posted above. Cream cheese gets the same film or skin on it if left out for long periods. But again I avoid this by popping in the fridge.

Submission: I sub'd it when CC was having all those virus issues and was going down all the time, so maybe it was just missed or something? Should I try and sub it again?

I'm glad my explanation helped, many recipes are written assuming you already KNOW. I took another angle based on the repeated questions I see here on CC.

I am glad I could contribute here, more times then not I'm taking more then I feel I'm giving here, so thanks!

Jen

LindaF144a Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 5:46pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF

Thanks all!

Ratios: Like I said, these are the ratios for I use for my SMBC recipe, I don't know where they came from, after I posted this I checked my 3 go-to baking books to see if it was in there to credit the original and no bueno. So unless someone corrects me, I guess the SMBC recipe is a Jennifer Bratko original, along with the cream cheese version!

Strange film - I think it's from the high cream cheese content like someone posted above. Cream cheese gets the same film or skin on it if left out for long periods. But again I avoid this by popping in the fridge.

Submission: I sub'd it when CC was having all those virus issues and was going down all the time, so maybe it was just missed or something? Should I try and sub it again?

I'm glad my explanation helped, many recipes are written assuming you already KNOW. I took another angle based on the repeated questions I see here on CC.

I am glad I could contribute here, more times then not I'm taking more then I feel I'm giving here, so thanks!

Jen




Oh, it is crusting! Got it. I get that too and some like it. It doesn't bother me because it doesn't bother the taste.

Good to know, will try your ratio on my next batch. Thanks for the clarification.

Evoir Posted 2 Mar 2011 , 11:04pm

Thanks, Jen. I can't wait to try this out as an alternative to my powdered sugar version.

JulieMN Posted 3 Mar 2011 , 12:41am

Thank you very much....I can't wait to try this! icon_biggrin.gif

LindaF144a Posted 4 Mar 2011 , 1:49am

I am making some SMBC right now. I'm sorry, but I ended up using my own 1:2:3 ratio for the amounts of egg whites, sugar and butter. But I did it using your mixing methods. And mixing it on low after the butter is put in (all at once! What a time saver) is working wonderfully. It is about 12 minutes into it and it is looking quite good and delicious too. There is no buttery aftertaste.

But I am curious, when you flavor it, do you wait till it is fully emulsified? Do you add any Vanilla extract to it? I am making a vanilla bean and a raspberry SMBC, so I'll be adding it soon. I am waiting for the 15 minutes to pass and then dividing it in half.

I always add 2 tsp of clear vanilla extract, but this tastes so good I may not need to do that as a matter of routine.

I always whipped this on medium high per all the other research I have done. But truly, slow is best when adding the butter.

FromScratchSF Posted 4 Mar 2011 , 3:09am
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

I am making some SMBC right now. I'm sorry, but I ended up using my own 1:2:3 ratio for the amounts of egg whites, sugar and butter. But I did it using your mixing methods. And mixing it on low after the butter is put in (all at once! What a time saver) is working wonderfully. It is about 12 minutes into it and it is looking quite good and delicious too. There is no buttery aftertaste.

But I am curious, when you flavor it, do you wait till it is fully emulsified? Do you add any Vanilla extract to it? I am making a vanilla bean and a raspberry SMBC, so I'll be adding it soon. I am waiting for the 15 minutes to pass and then dividing it in half.

I always add 2 tsp of clear vanilla extract, but this tastes so good I may not need to do that as a matter of routine.

I always whipped this on medium high per all the other research I have done. But truly, slow is best when adding the butter.




Yay! I'm glad it's working out!

I add all my flavorings/purees/jams/chocolate/cream cheese to finished SMBC. (Try vanilla bean paste rather then extract... it's awesome).

Jen

LindaF144a Posted 4 Mar 2011 , 3:18am

Yeah, I use vanilla bean paste and extract for my VB SMBC.
It came out very nice and is on the counter waiting for the cupcakes to be made tomorrow. Your method worked great. Thank you again for sharing.

AngelFood4 Posted 4 Mar 2011 , 10:39pm

DELICIOUS! I just made a batch of the cream cheese IMBC and it's so yummy! and it's so nice to have something that is not PS based. I made my IMBC recipe but your mixing method at the end with the butter - so much easier and quicker! Thank you for sharing your tips! I also added some Cheesecake Lorann Oil to the entire batch and then took about 1 cup of it and added whipped cream cheese to it for the filling. Thank you!!! Tastes perfect with the Banana Cake too!

icer101 Posted 4 Mar 2011 , 11:05pm

Hi, had already seen your post on another thread and written that one down. Now have written this one down.Will try it soon. Love cream cheese fillings,etc. thanks again

scp1127 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 6:59am

FromScratch, is there a reason why you choose SMBC over IMBC? I am new to IMBC. I have always used a custard base or french buttercream in the past. I have recently added the IMBC, and obviously, I now use all of my whites and yolks.

FromScratchSF Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 7:31am

I go SMBC over IM because it's easier to make for small quantities and I'm small time. At this point I don't even use a thermometer when cooking my whites because I can tell by sight and steam if they are at 160, you can't tell that with syrup for true IMBC.

I am getting much busier though, when I get past the point where I can no longer produce the quantities of SM that I need in my trusty KA, I'll have to start using the big Hobbart making IM (no way I can hold a 60q bowl over a pot of water) icon_biggrin.gif Anyway, I'll probably try and perfect neo classic IMBC to prevent overcooking disasters trying to use organic agave instead of corn syrup to fit more with my mission statement.

I use all my yolks in my yellow cake, which is my default "white" cake for normal orders. I only do true white for wedding cakes.

scp1127 Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 7:59am

Is their taste or consistency different, or are they the same end product? I don't have large quantities either. Rose's neoclassic is similar to my french buttercream, but my recipe does not use the corn or golden syrup and the lemon juice. I'll have to try that.

FromScratchSF Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 8:03am
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

Is their taste or consistency different, or are they the same end product? I don't have large quantities either. Rose's neoclassic is similar to my french buttercream, but my recipe does not use the corn or golden syrup and the lemon juice. I'll have to try that.




I don't think so, I think they taste the same. I've never had success making french BC, pm me your recipe? Would like to try it. Purtty please?

I also just sub'd this recipe for a 3rd time... maybe they'll greenlight me now that there is a thread?

LindaF144a Posted 5 Mar 2011 , 3:25pm

I read on another thread here on CC that they both taste and look the same. However, on IMBC the sugar is cooked to 238 or candy stage. I would think that would make it a little bit more stable.

At the bakery I used to work for we use SMBC and made it in big batches. I think the owner used to put one large pan inside a larger pan for a double boiler so that she would have a handle to hold. And she made it in a 30 gallon mixer.

Having said all that I have never tried IMBC and I should just once. Sugar at 238 degrees intimidates me. But I need to get over that fear. I guess I'll be trying it soon. I'll probably love it and want to use it all the time then too.

And can you talk some more about French buttercream - taste, benefits, etc. Mainly why do you need to have that in your selection I guess is what I'm thinking. Is there a different taste? Should I be trying this recipe too?
Thanks!

scp1127 Posted 6 Mar 2011 , 7:47am

French buttercream uses the yolks instead of the whites. A few weeks ago, CC members helped me through my first IMBC recipe. I then made IMBC in one mixer and FBC in another. I divided the icings into fourths and flavored each one equally... vanilla, chocolate, raspberry puree, peach puree. The FBC was superior in chocolate and the two purees, I am sure because of the richness of the yolks. The vanilla IMBC was better because the FBC brought out the butter flavor (again, probably the richness of the yolks) too much to be used with just vanilla.

Here is my recipe:

6 lg egg yolks
1 c sugar
4 sticks butter
1 tsp boiling water ( use hot tap)

Beat yolks in mixer until light in color. Combine the sugar and 1/2 c water in saucepan and cook to 238 degrees. Pour into yolks with mixture running and mix on med speed until room temp. Add the butter a little at a time. The tsp of water just changes the consistency to super smooth. This is a preference... not necessary. I also use the water to dissolve espresso powder.

FromScratch, if you compare the neoclassic, please let me know the results.

FromScratchSF Posted 8 Mar 2011 , 6:21pm

OK ladies, as promised I finished my blog.

Jen

FromScratchSF Posted 13 Mar 2011 , 10:49pm

CC finally posted my recipe to their archives... and changed my ratios. Didn't know they did that. Anyway, if you have made this please rate/review here:

http://cakecentral.com/recipes/17580/cream-cheese-swiss-meringue-buttercream/comment-page-1#comment-9927

Thanks!!!

Jen

scp1127 Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 11:45am

When you said , "changed the ratios", did they change the recipe?

LindaF144a Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 1:01pm

They probably wanted to have it Cups and not weight. However 2 cups is rounding too high. Classic case of simplifying a recipe. Good thing you were on top of it. Personally I weigh everything. Being there are professionals as well as home bakers, they could have included both.

Thanks for pointing this out.

scp1127 Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 1:13pm

Thanks, Linda. I printed the post as well as her blog, so I'll stick with that.

FromScratchSF Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 5:17pm

Yes, they changed it to "1 lb cream cheese, 2 cups SMBC". I made my own comment on the thread, just hope people read those... because I guess when you sub a recipe you can't change it.

scp1127 Posted 14 Mar 2011 , 6:24pm

I'll stick with what I copied last week. Thanks.

pmarks0 Posted 15 Mar 2011 , 8:56pm

I found your recipe (and then this thread) and went to your blog as well (which I've now added to my google reader icon_smile.gif ). I have always used an SMBC recipe on this site (http://cakecentral.com/recipes/5453/the-well-dressed-cake-swiss-meringue-buttercream-with-variations) which I quite like because I find it doesn't have a strong butter flavour which many SMBC recipes do have.

I noticed that there's not a huge difference in the quanties in comparison to your recipe. But I notice that you're weighing your egg whites (or are yo using al liquid measuring cup?). The main difference I think is just the amount of butter.

Is it possible that your mixing method could make a difference in flavour or do you think it's the measurement of the egg whites as opposed to using 5 egg whites. I always buy large eggs. I don't buy organic, but I do buy the more expensive butter. I don't believe it has any added flavour or colour.

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