Smbc = Serious Yuck!

Decorating By seedrv Updated 17 Jun 2011 , 2:05am by Melvira

seedrv Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:20pm
post #1 of 63

Im making a grad cake that was specifically requested with frosting and fillings that arent too sweet. I made SMBC (white choc, choc, rasp) fillings. I make a lot of kid cakes and use American BC; powered sugar, butter, milk. The SMBC came out well for texture, but when I tasted it, well it definitely isnt too sweet and I dont really like it. This morning I asked my teen to try it (mistake) This is the worst thing Ive ever tasted! Please dont ever make me eat it again!! Now Im terrified that its going to make the cake taste terrible. Does this stuff taste better when mixed with cake?

62 replies
leah_s Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:32pm
post #2 of 63

Yeah, I'm one of those people who don't like IMBC or SMBC. You can try Charlotte's Whipped Cream Buttercream (in the recipe section) . It's sort of an American MBC. No butter, but soft and non-crusting.

cakification Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:37pm
post #3 of 63

I have to agree. A friend of mine ( who is also a WMI ) uses SMBC, and i cant stand it! She makes the most beautiful cakes of anyone I know in real life, but they taste awful! I find there's just no taste there at all, and IMO, cake and icing are supposed to be sweet!

aprilismaius Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:39pm
post #4 of 63

I wonder what recipe you used? Some are more buttery and less sweet than others. I only use SMBC and my customers love it. In fact, it's often one of the reasons I often get picked over other local bakeries. Post your recipe and I am sure some of us can make suggestions to you.

seedrv Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:44pm
post #5 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by aprilismaius

I wonder what recipe you used? Some are more buttery and less sweet than others. I only use SMBC and my customers love it. In fact, it's often one of the reasons I often get picked over other local bakeries. Post your recipe and I am sure some of us can make suggestions to you.




I used Toba Garrett's version from her Well Dressed Cake book...... The client is from India. Maybe they aren't used to sweet stuff. I wasted 3 pounds of butter making the flavors. I just don't know whether or not to use it......

aprilismaius Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:50pm
post #6 of 63

I hate Toba's recipe, and I agree, SMBC made with that recipe is total yuck. Way too buttery and not enough sweet.

Try this:

15 egg whites
3 3/4 c. granulated sugar
3 lbs. butter
4-6 TB (yes tablespoons!) of clear vanilla extract (depends on the brand you use.)

Now that is my base recipe. I add additional flavorings from there.

To fix what you already have, I would probably make more meringue (heavier on the sugar) and whip that in. Do NOT be afraid of clear vanilla extract. I'm serious, it is almost impossible to add too much.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 12:55pm
post #7 of 63

Definitely post your recipe. And how you made it too.

You made three different SMBC and they all tasted the same? It is not making sense.
There is a way you can make and it is delicious and there is a way you can make it and it tastes terrible.

The number reason on how it can taste bad is to use salted butter. IMO that stuff makes it taste nasty, nasty. I mistakenly put one stick in a batch that had 6 sticks and it still tasted awful. I had to toss the whole thing. I was so mad at myself for mistakenly picking up salted butter. The SMBC tasted like salted popcorn from a movie theater.

Also the kind of butter you use will make a difference. All brands of butter will add "butter flavoring" to their butter. My suggestion is to use the best brand you can afford. Land o Lakes is by far the best in my are for SMBC.

aprilismaius Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:00pm
post #8 of 63

LindaF144a is right, good, FRESH unsalted butter is important. You don't want to use something that has been hanging around in your fridge soaking up nasty odors and tastes.

seedrv Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:10pm
post #9 of 63

12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
5 egg whites
8 oz (1 cup) granulated sugar
2 TBSP real vanilla extract

I added 3 oz of semi sweet Baker's secret chocolate to one, 3 oz of Baker's white choc to one, and 1/3 cup rasp puree to the last. Butter was unsalted but bulk from Sam's club. icon_sad.gif But it had been recently purchased and wasn't sitting in fridge

aprilismaius Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:11pm
post #10 of 63

If you want to use that recipe, increase the sugar.

jenscreativity Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:11pm
post #11 of 63

Seerv,, I used SAME recipe exactly last night,,but noticed it was too buttery/oily..so what I did was add like a 1 1/2 tsp. of van. ext and boy, that made a difference to mine! It was great after that!

nanefy Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:21pm
post #12 of 63

All SMBC recipes can vary greatly. I found a recipe that I liked the consistency of and then upped the suger. I now have a SWEET SMBC and I love it. It just takes a bit longer for the sugar to dissolve, but I let the sugar and egg whites get 'friendly' for about 15 minutes before I start heating them to give them a bit more time to dissolve (this is also because I use granulated sugar and not caster sugar). It's all trial and error.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:25pm
post #13 of 63

The recipe I use is a 1:2:3 recipe. 1 part egg white, 2 parts sugar, 3 parts butter.
If I put this into your recipe it would be 5 egg whites, 10 ounces of sugar and 15 ounces of butter. The 10 ounces of sugar comes to 1.42, which is close enough to 1.5 cups.

To make sure the egg whites are from large eggs to get the ratio right. Large egg whites weigh approximately 1 ounce. If you use any other size the ratio is off.

I am assuming you are not weighing, but measuring.

The three ounces of butter and 2 ounces of sugar extra in the recipe will not make a difference.

If you use other ratios there is a distinctive difference in taste. I have tried other SMBC recipes posted here on CC. One had about equal parts sugar and egg whites and less butter. But when finished it had a stronger distinctive butter taste than mine before the flavoring was added even though it used less butter than my recipe.

It could be your butter from Sam's. I have not used that butter. But again every butter is different. Sam's is okay for baking probably, but not in a frosting recipe.

I am wondering where your real vanilla came from too. Is it a high end vanilla or from Sam's club? I know there are people on here who think brand does not make a difference, but I believe this is a classic case of yes it does.

Even though the butter is grade AA (I am assuming it is grade AA), there are different ways of making the same grade butter that gives us different results when we use it. At my local grocer they have a Grade AA butter that is half the price. I would love to use it in my SMBC. I tried it once and it my SMBC was a darker color and had a very waxy look to it the next day. I had made two batches - one with LOL and one with the lesser costing brand. The LOL batch didn't discolor. For whatever reason the two were different and the LOL one looked better, so now I use only that brand.

Try making a SMBC batch using only LOL butter. Try this recipe 5 egg whites, 1.5 cups sugar, 15 ounces of butter. Or if you have a small mixer you can do 3 egg whites, 3/4 cup sugar and 9 ounces of butter. If you mixer is too large then the egg whites will not whip properly.

In the future if you have to make this for a customer and they request this. Tell them it is your high end frosting and will cost a bit more. Then charge them the extra it would take to use LOL butter. That way it will be their decision to pay the extra and it will not dip into your profit margin.

HappyCake10609 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:31pm
post #14 of 63

SMBC is so delicious! Honestly, I haven't had one single complaint... It is worth trying a different recipe!

I agree with all the other tips as well... make sure the butter is unsalted, use only the best quality (I tried an organic "cultured" unsalted butter once and it was awful, so make sure you don't use a "cultured" butter). And SMBC takes a lot of flavor. If you made your current batch with unsalted butter, you can try rewhipping it and adding more flavoring. I'm not familiar with your recipe, but from the other accounts, you may need to try a different one...

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:38pm
post #15 of 63

Cultured butter has the same tang as cream cheese and sour cream. Some people like it. I have never had cultured butter, so I can't say personally how it would taste. While SMBC CC is good, I am not too sure if that much cultured butter would taste good. That's a lot of tang!

HappyCake10609 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 1:53pm
post #16 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaF144a

Cultured butter has the same tang as cream cheese and sour cream. Some people like it. I have never had cultured butter, so I can't say personally how it would taste. While SMBC CC is good, I am not too sure if that much cultured butter would taste good. That's a lot of tang!




It definitely had a lot of tang- that's the word for it! But also, despite adding LOTS of vanilla, the butter flavor was too strong, it tasted like vanilla flavored butter.... and even at room temp the SMBC was quite solid, not soft and fluffy. Luckily it was just for a "practice" cake I made for my family who have tried my SMBC many times, so they knew it wasn't the norm. I will never make that mistake again!

cakegrandma Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:02pm
post #17 of 63

I made a cake when my parents came down and used SMBC and my dad loved it. They are in their 80's and had never had anything like this before and boy oh boy did he eat cake, my mom doesn't eat it as she is diabetic and has trouble with her sugar levels. You can make brown sugar flavor by subbing brown sugar for white sugar or add various flavorings or seedless jams. Yum! If you would like to use castor sugar you can put your sugar in a food processor and zip, zip a few times and it is now castor sugar. I have used Sam's blocks of butter when I can't get to my restaurant supply and have had no problems with it at all, again, use unsalted. I also tried Toba's SMBC and I think it had too much butter but again, try flavorings in it. Try it again and let us know how you like it.
evelyn

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:07pm
post #18 of 63

The secret definitely is in the butter (unsalted, good butter) and in the butter temperature, and in the mixing. I've had bad SMBC that tastes like blobs of sugared butter.

Try this, if you want. It's the best explanation on how to make it. (Toba's recipe, by the way, has an extra lb. of butter if you compare it to all the others out there).

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/

I make IMBC but I want to thank fromscratchsf for the final technique on adding the butter. I got the most amazing, silky IMBC that I've ever gotten. As a 7-year old said when asked about how is that frosting, "it's the most awesome frosting in the world!"

Thanks again, fromscratchsf! I'll be testing your cream cheese SMBC this weekend.

adonisthegreek1 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:11pm
post #19 of 63

That's a first. Everyone here loves SMBC and IMBC. I've never had a complaint. I use the Dream Whip buttercream for kids cakes most of the time.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:15pm
post #20 of 63

never mind. i found the book.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:17pm
post #21 of 63

Which link, Linda?

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:25pm
post #22 of 63

Actually I have several problems with her recipe.

In my experience, 10 large egg whites does not equal 12 ounces. I always weigh my ingredients and they pretty much come out at 1 ounce per egg.

If you use the 1:2:3 ratio in her recipe, she does have it almost dead on. The sugar is 3 ounces short though in weight and that will affect the outcome. I'm not too sure what 680 grams is in the equivalent in the US. But at 7 ounces per cup of sugar, her sugar is only 21 ounces. But if you use 10 egg whites, the sugar amount is good but then the butter is 6 ounces too much. Given the eggs and butter are lower in that recipe. I would recommend at least cutting 6 ounces of butter out and see how that helps.

So all around a not too balanced SMBC recipe. It is not to say that all SMBC have to be that ratio. But my experience has been that you get a completely different meringue based on that egg white/ratio and that effects the amount of butter you can add.

Also, have you made this before? Did you mix it long enough so that it was a thick consistency. For lack of a better example I will say it is as thick as the canned frosting you can get in a can and not as thin as say Sour Cream. I cannot think of one single other food item besides canned frosting that best describes the thickness I want to convey. Sorry.

seedrv Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 2:47pm
post #23 of 63

LindaF1444a it is the first time making SMBC. As far as consistency it turned out really well, like really nice frosting. It just taste like kinda sweet butter as if I bit off a hunk of butter from a stick of butter. Since my taste buds are used to sweeter frostings, I thought maybe this is what it tastes like. Butter by itself is nasty but on a piece of toast is nice. That's why I wondered if it would taste better on cake then by itself. I've seen so many post where people love eating their SMBC out of the bowl. Not happenin'!

Larkin121 Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 3:02pm
post #24 of 63

If it tasted only like butter and wasn't fluffy and light, something wasn't right. It's like mousse and tastes like vanilla ice cream to me (if you use vanilla as your flavor, of course). It certainly has a buttery note to it which is more pronounced when cold out of the fridge. But it shouldn't taste just like butter. It's nothing like PS buttercream, though, so if you are expecting it to be anywhere near that sweet or sticky or similar in texture, you aren't going to get it.

We eat it straight out of the bowl at my house. And it's the only icing I ever use and my cakes are praised for their taste all the time, especially the icing.

FromScratchSF Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 3:12pm
post #25 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

The secret definitely is in the butter (unsalted, good butter) and in the butter temperature, and in the mixing. I've had bad SMBC that tastes like blobs of sugared butter.

Try this, if you want. It's the best explanation on how to make it. (Toba's recipe, by the way, has an extra lb. of butter if you compare it to all the others out there).

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/

I make IMBC but I want to thank fromscratchsf for the final technique on adding the butter. I got the most amazing, silky IMBC that I've ever gotten. As a 7-year old said when asked about how is that frosting, "it's the most awesome frosting in the world!"

Thanks again, fromscratchsf! I'll be testing your cream cheese SMBC this weekend.




Aw, thanks imagenthatnj!

I happen to be a fan of my recipe, but each one is different and each recipe has things that people like/dislike. you can taste the butter in my unflavored SMBC, but when a flavoring is added it has an extra pop because of it. Your ingredients matter, as well as the flavorings you put into it.

And then some people just prefer the crisco with powdered sugar icing. Despite my devotion to SMBC, I admit... I bought a junky piece of cake at Safeway yesterday and ate the whole thing. It was good, in a oh-my-god-this-is-disgusting-yet-i-can't-stop-eating sort of way icon_wink.gif I blame baking withdrawls!

Anyway hope you give it another chance!

jen

Melvira Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 3:13pm
post #26 of 63

I respectfully disagree 100% with the salted butter issue. I found that SMBC was nasty (to ME) until I started using as least SOME salted butter. Some people say it doesn't make a difference, and some people say you have to use one or the other. I say, figure out what you and your customers like, then stick with it. I started a thread quite a while back, in which I got my @ss handed to me for expressing that I like it better with salted butter, (I believe I was told I was stupid, or asinine... one of those wonderfully friendly monikers...I don't recall, but those comments were deleted) but at the end of the day, no one can tell you what tastes good to YOU but you. Take all the advice, smoosh it around in your brain, then take out what you like and use it.

LindaF144a, I give you absolute respect for your opinion on the butter, and please do not think I am saying you are wrong. I am simply stating my preference. I know this can be another CC hot button, so just wanted to assure you that I'm only speaking of my personal taste preferences and mean NO disrespect to any of you who prefer unsalted. And that sounds waaaay more butt-kissy than I intended. Just wanted to stave off anyone thinking I'm stirring the pot. icon_lol.gif

deuceofcakes Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 3:40pm
post #27 of 63

At a minimum, you definitely didn't add enough flavoring to the buttercream if you only added 3 oz of each. I have a recipe (via Nick Malgieri who is at the same cooking school with Toba Garrett) in which he adds 3/4 cup of thick raspberry puree (made by cooking down and straining a 10 oz package of frozen raspberries) to SMBC made from 1/2 cup egg whites, 1 cup sugar and 3 sticks of butter. This size recipe can also handle up to 6 oz of chocolate (and if it gets too thick, you can add a little cooled coffee, water, cream or even liqueur to get it to the right consistency - in fact, on epicurious, her chocolate buttercream recipe calls for adding ganache to the buttercream). Alternatively, the base recipe supports up to 2-3 tablespoons of extract or liqueur. Note that you should add liquid slowly, as you don't want to add too much liquid or it will start to seep out of the buttercream if it gets too warm. If you like it sweeter, then you can sweeten it but I'd try to dissolve sugar in something or you may have crunchy sugar crystals in your buttercream, or possibly add some powdered sugar.

A second tip: Make sure you measure your egg whites in a measuring cup too, not just count the number of eggs. There's a lot of variability in the amount of white per egg. Third, once refrigerated, this buttercream will firm up a lot, so it needs to be out to warm up before serving.

Finally, your taste buds may be used to the sweetness of American buttercream, making this less sweet recipe unappealing to you. As for me, I much prefer SMBC to American which I find too sweet, plus I don't like the starchy taste that comes with the powdered sugar.

Melvira Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 3:48pm
post #28 of 63

I also meant to agree with the 1,2,3 ratio method. I didn't like meringue buttercream untill I followed that outline. Now I love it.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 4:16pm
post #29 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by Melvira

I respectfully disagree 100% with the salted butter issue. I found that SMBC was nasty (to ME) until I started using as least SOME salted butter. Some people say it doesn't make a difference, and some people say you have to use one or the other. I say, figure out what you and your customers like, then stick with it. I started a thread quite a while back, in which I got my @ss handed to me for expressing that I like it better with salted butter, (I believe I was told I was stupid, or asinine... one of those wonderfully friendly monikers...I don't recall, but those comments were deleted) but at the end of the day, no one can tell you what tastes good to YOU but you. Take all the advice, smoosh it around in your brain, then take out what you like and use it.

LindaF144a, I give you absolute respect for your opinion on the butter, and please do not think I am saying you are wrong. I am simply stating my preference. I know this can be another CC hot button, so just wanted to assure you that I'm only speaking of my personal taste preferences and mean NO disrespect to any of you who prefer unsalted. And that sounds waaaay more butt-kissy than I intended. Just wanted to stave off anyone thinking I'm stirring the pot. icon_lol.gif




Melvira,
No offense taken. It is all in the taste buds. The same said frosting that I did not like, my DH and DD loved. So go figure. I do love my salt though as I sit here eating my tortilla chips. I just didn't like it in the frosting.

Another thing too. SMBC tastes better the next day or a few hours later. It has to have a chance to meld together IMO. I always like it better after a while then when it is first made. But you still need to taste test as you make it to make sure you have the balance correct.

LindaF144a Posted 15 Jun 2011 , 4:22pm
post #30 of 63
Quote:
Originally Posted by seedrv

12 oz (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temp
5 egg whites
8 oz (1 cup) granulated sugar
2 TBSP real vanilla extract

I added 3 oz of semi sweet Baker's secret chocolate to one, 3 oz of Baker's white choc to one, and 1/3 cup rasp puree to the last. Butter was unsalted but bulk from Sam's club. icon_sad.gif But it had been recently purchased and wasn't sitting in fridge




The PP brings up a good point. But is this recipe for each batch, or you made one and split it into three?

Also I forgot to add that Baker's secret is at the low end of taste. If you can move up a bit Ghirardelli has a good flavor too.

As I rule of thumb I add at least 1 ounce of flavoring for each ounce of egg white. It doesn't need to be like that, I just use it as a starting point. And them sometimes I add more depending on taste and the day and my mood. Well you get my point.

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