Which Do You Prefer. Italian Or Swiss Buttercream?

Decorating By crystalc818 Updated 22 Oct 2011 , 1:24am by scp1127

crystalc818 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 2:50am
post #1 of 42

Im making a cake for my niece this saturday and I'm undecided, im a fan of the american buttercream, but not everyone likes it. Pros and cons of both swiss and italian please and thank you in advance

41 replies
Lovelyladylibra Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:10am
post #2 of 42

Id like to know also. I lways get the "your frosting is too sweet" with the american buttercream

dreamdelights Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:45am
post #3 of 42

I have done the swiss and its nice and light. I do the American Buttercream for the children and when I do I use salted butter to cut some of the sweetness

SweetDreams_DK Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:52am
post #4 of 42

I can't tell the difference between IM & SM in taste, but SM is easier to make. I don't like American bc, and only make classic French, IM or SM.

MCurry Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 4:04am
post #5 of 42

For children's parties I use American buttercream unless the parent wants something different. Children like the sweet sugar taste and it reminds people of grocery store cake frosting. For all others, I use swiss buttercream. I find it easier and faster to make in comparison to Italian. If someone specifically request Italian, I do know how to make it and would do it without any extra charge. As far as taste, swiss and Italian have a lighter taste without a grainy aftertaste of American.

littlestruedel Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 4:29am
post #6 of 42

According to my pastry instructor, Italian Buttercream is more stable then Swiss Buttercream because of the way in which it is made.

I personally don't like American buttercream (I find it overly sweet), so I primarily use Italian buttercream. Now that I make it so often, I don't find it that difficult or time consuming.

icer101 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 4:56am
post #7 of 42

I love both smbc and imbc. smbc is easier to make. I do think imbc is more stable, but i make smbc more. I like making french(using all yolks too) DeDE Wilson has it in her book. I like the wimsical bakehouse recipe for imbc better than any i have ever made. I like DeDE Wilson's imbc too, but still think whimsical backhouse imbc taste the best.

crystalc818 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 5:29am
post #8 of 42

And can I keep the cake covered with the swiss buttercream outside? Or does need to be refrigerated?

scp1127 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 11:11am
post #9 of 42

I exclusively use IMBC, SMBC, FBC, and GBC. I do use cream cheese, but it is also butter based. I use IMBC the most, but I choose based on the flavor I want.

I disaree on the time factor. I have no time in IMBC and FBC. The stove and mixer do all the work. I hate standing by the stove for SMBC and the custard based GBC. But if I want that base, I'll stand there.

Panel7124 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:36pm
post #10 of 42

IMBC (as I bake for Italians icon_smile.gif ). it's the less time consuming one IMO

SweetDreams_DK Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 3:48pm
post #11 of 42

Both the butter and the meringue make it necessary to refrigerate them. Just leave them out long enough to come to room temp. (Though I've left fondant covered IM and SM out over night...in a cool room.)

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 4:00pm
post #12 of 42

IMBC is easier to make in my opinion than SMBC. Faster, too, and as scp1127 said, stove and mixer do all the work.

FromScratchSF Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 4:17pm
post #13 of 42

Confession, I've only tried to make IMBC once and it was a disaster. Having to cook sugar to the perfect temperature then pouring it into your eggs that are whipped just right? I don't get how that is easier then making SMBC. And I've heard people say it's more stable, but nobody says how. How is it more stable?

scp1127 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 5:07pm
post #14 of 42

I have never made SMBC and IMBC in the same flavor, but when I compare, the stiffness seems to be more in the IMBC. Chemically, I think it's the 245 degrees of the sugar that cools into a confection in the IMBC. The SMBC only has the stability of the meringue, as the 165 degrees is just the minimum for a safe egg.

FromScratch, my first attempt at IMBC was bad too, but I didn't do anything wrong. I didn't wait long enough. All of that beautiful meringue not only deflates, but it curdles and looks like a mess. If you just walk away, you will come back to perfect Italian meringue buttercream.

If your thermometer is calibrated, even if you exceed 245, and as long as you haven't started caramel, take the sugar off of the stove and it will drop in temp rapidly. Pour at 245.

I have found the ratios in Warren Brown's recipe to be the best. That may also have a bearing on the outcome. It was similar to the FBC I already made. His recipe is also where I got the 245 vs. 238 in others. The 245 accounts for travel and pouring time, the syrup cooling in the process. In his way, the syrup hits the meringue at 236.

In IMBC, there is no babysitting, except to not overwhip the whites... but that is in all of them.

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 5:08pm
post #15 of 42

FromScratchSF, you should try again. Once you get the timings correct, it will be the easiest thing. I had a disaster too. I made Swiss once, then I decided to go on IMBC and the first time didn't go right. But then I tried again the same day and never went back to Swiss.

As for IMBC being more stable, I've tried to find the answer too. You know that rule about not adding sugar at the very beginning to your egg whites when you're making the common meringue, French meringue? Because it will take longer to whip them? Well, that's how Swiss kind of starts, egg whites with sugar. In Italian meringue, you add some sugar after it's gotten to soft peaks stage already and that makes the egg whites more stable.

I think that's what I heard on that Meringue, Vanilla Sauce, and Pastry Cream DVD I bought years ago from the CIA. Don't know if it's true, though! And I watched it long ago, so I could be wrong.

Long story short, you should really try again!

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 5:15pm
post #16 of 42

LOL, SCP, that was the advice I got. I set my timer to 15 min. on my mixer and walked away. When I came back, it was good. The first time I made IMBC I didn't wait long enough. And yes, I've gone to about 248 sometimes with the sugar. Once the fear is gone, it just works.

jenmat Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 5:49pm
post #17 of 42

I have not done the SMBC, but love IMBC.

For me I make a quadruple recipe with 20 ozs of eggwhite in a 10qt tabletop, and there is no way I can figure to put that pot on the stove and heat it correctly while standing there mixing. The IMBC works so much better, and yes, I have added the sugar when it was over-temp and really didn't notice too much of a difference.

For a KA mixer and smaller batch, I think either would be fine because the bowl would fit on the stove. (or in a pan on the stove as the case may be.)

jenmat Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 5:51pm
post #18 of 42

I also have added (GASP!) 1/4 recipe hi ratio shortening, the rest butter to stabilize and lighten the recipe up a bit and make it a little lighter in color.

Since then, those tasters who thought it was "too buttery" (who ever heard of such a thing as too much butter?icon_smile.gif) now love it.

Saulite Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:05pm
post #19 of 42

mousseline buttercream tastes really good too. and its good at the room temperature for 2 days.

SPODN Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:15pm
post #20 of 42

Can someone tell me what GBC is. I've used SBC and IBC and I just found a recipe for FBC that I am going to try next but scp1127 refers to GBC and I can't find a recipe for it anywhere. icon_sad.gif

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:19pm
post #21 of 42

GBC is German Buttercream, custard-based.

SPODN Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:28pm
post #22 of 42

Anyone know where I can find a recipe.

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:32pm
post #23 of 42

There are tons of recipes, some a little different from the others. Here's one that I think it's reliable. Maybe SCP will tell you another.


Panel7124 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:46pm
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127



In IMBC, there is no babysitting, except to not overwhip the whites... but that is in all of them.




scp, once i watched one of RL Beranbaum's youtube videos and she said to add 1/8 tsp of cream of tartar per 1 egg white and you can leave them. They will never be overbeaten. Don't know if it's true, I've never tried. Everytime I'm going to start making IMBC I think about it but later forget... icon_rolleyes.gif

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 6:50pm
post #25 of 42

I always add cream of tartar, but I thought that was to stabilize the egg whites. Some other people add a few drops of lemon juice, although I never knew the real reason for any of this.

crystalc818 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 7:16pm
post #26 of 42

Would someone like to share their italian buttercream recipe

Panel7124 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 7:19pm
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

I always add cream of tartar, but I thought that was to stabilize the egg whites. Some other people add a few drops of lemon juice, although I never knew the real reason for any of this.




Yeah, I also thought it was usually included in the recipe to stabilize them - maybe it's just a different wording. But I've never really used cream of tartar as I always try to add the least possible of thickeners, stabilizers, even colors. Next time I'm going to make a small batch of IMBC (probably tomorrow icon_smile.gif ) I'll add cream of tartar and leave the egg whites to beat for 20 - 30 min, let's see... My grandmother used lemon juice (for RI also) and I've always hated it taste-wise.

imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 7:39pm
post #28 of 42

That will be a good test, Panel. I've never heard of that reason to add it. Let us know! I don't think cream of tartar is an "additive." I checked on that because I hate unnatural stuff.


imagenthatnj Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 7:44pm
post #29 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalc818

Would someone like to share their italian buttercream recipe




Crystal, video and recipe:




Where's SCP???

Panel7124 Posted 20 Oct 2011 , 8:05pm
post #30 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by imagenthatnj

That will be a good test, Panel. I've never heard of that reason to add it. Let us know! I don't think cream of tartar is an "additive." I checked on that because I hate unnatural stuff.


- look at 'Adding an acid'. Grandmas are always right!

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