Hi guys, i'm always reading these posts on here and i cant believe how many types of buttercream there is out there. I only knew of the basic BC which is royal icing sugar and butter, then i was introduced to the RI, butter and cream cheese which i love (but its very sweet) Ive noticed you guys from USA mention crusting BC, what is the difference?
Ive only been taught to cover my cakes in fondant, but i find it very interesting how its done in just buttercream, is that a normal BC recipe as above.
Family and friends ask me to do cakes and i offer chocolate or sponge with buttercream filling. Everyone on here seems to have cookie flavours and aqll sorts.
There are quite a few types of icings expecially when you include American types also. There are three main types of buttercream, one being the American Buttercream this usually has either half butter half shortening (or trex in the UK) or just shortening, they use shortening as it has a higher melting point to butter but living in the UK we don't have that problem so much which is why we usually use butter. Then there is crusting buttercream this can once again be done with high ratio shortening or butter, there is a ratio of 1 part butter to 2 part icing sugar. e.g. 4oz butter and 8oz sugar. This makes the buttercream have a slight crust and is not so soft. This type of buttercream is usually used to cover cakes.
The other icing or frosting you mentioned with cream cheese is called exactly that cream cheese frsoting and that makes it a different icing to buttercream. If you want a cookie flavour buttercream e.g. Oreo just add crushed Oreo's to your buttercream recipe delicious.
With your recipe, if you leave the buttercream out does it feel a little dry to the touch? If so that means it's formed a crust which is dependent on the sugar to fat ratio in your recipe.
Most American buttercreams are crusting. The recipe can have all butter and still crust. I think in the UK you guys mostly just use butter for the buttercream right? In the US it's either all butter, all shortening, or a combination. The ratio of fat to fat doesn't make it crust-it's the ratio of fat in any combo to sugar.
I use the term American buttercream loosely for any buttercream that is made with the icing/powdered sugar and fat. I use the term meringue buttercream loosely for buttercreams like IMBC and SMBC which start with a meringue then have 100% butter added in. Then you have French buttercream which uses the egg yolks as well. There's also cream cheese buttercream which is a mixture of cream cheese, fat, and icing sugar.
I have also seen hybrid recipes which start as a meringue then have icing sugar and fat (either butter or shortening) added in. One such recipe is the Whipped Cream Buttercream in the Most Saved Recipes section. I have used it several times and it's really good. It doesn't crust but it's still good.
I have flavored my buttercreams with all kinds of stuff. I have mixed it with puddings, folded lemon and other fruit curds in, and folded crushed Oreos or other cookies in. I have also chopped up peanut butter cups and added those in. Filling variations are endless with buttercream. You just have to experiment and have fun!
Edited to add: a lot of people like crusting buttercreams because they feel it's easier to get a smooth finish with them. You can use a paper towel (without a pattern), foam roller, or parchment paper to rub over the icing to remove spatula marks and other imperfections. I just wanted to add that.