What Did I Do Wrong???

Decorating By Quan86 Updated 28 Nov 2011 , 11:50pm by AnnieCahill

Quan86 Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 3:40am
post #1 of 13

Basic Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Makes around 5 cups of frosting
  5 Egg Whites
  pinch of salt
  1 1/2 c Granulated White Sugar
  2 c (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, room temp. cut into 1 tbsp pieces
  2 tsp Vanilla Extract or Paste
  For Cream cheese: Substitute 1 c of cream cheese for 1 c of butter

OK so I was trying to make this kind of buttercream but when i cracked my eggs to just get the whites, jus a tad bit of the yolk got into my whites so i tried removing what i could and started the process and the sugar dissolved like it said so i transferred them to the mixer and started to whip them til its cool and they never would get stiff so do you think the little bit of yolk had something to do with it? I still went through the whole process and still not right, it was more so runny but not to runny. Put it like this it couldn't be piped. LOL

These are the directions.

In a heat proof bowl add the egg whites and a pinch of salt. Whisk vigorously until all the whites are broken up. Add in the sugar and place over a pot of simmering water. Whisk the mixture consistently while heating. The mixture will become thick and frothy and take on a creamy color. At this stage if it appears as the sugar has dissolved, touch the egg mixture and rub between your fingers. If it feels smooth it is done. If you feel even a slight gritty texture keep whisking and every 30 seconds feel and check the mixture until smooth when rubbed between your fingers. When you rub it between your fingers it should feel smooth not gritty.
the sugar. *
Transfer the egg mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form and the egg mixture has cooled to room temperature, about 10 minutes.
Reduce to medium and add the butter, 2 tablespoons at a time. Continue adding the butter once each addition has been incorporated. After the last piece of butter has been added around 30 seconds later the mixture will look separated or curdled. Continue to beat on medium-high speed until thick and smooth, it will come back together, promise. It takes around another 3 minutes for it to start to come back together at this point, add in the vanilla, flavoring, coloring, or liquor, and mix just until incorporated. The mixture may look split again upon adding the liquor. Just whisk until it comes back together. Taste add more of the flavoring or color until desired result is achieved. Continue mixing until desired thickness is achieved it takes a total of 3-5 minutes

Thanks alot

12 replies
EnglishCakeLady Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 4:15am
post #2 of 13

Unfortunately, yes, it will be that tiny bit of yolk in your whites that caused your problem. Even a scrap of leftover buttercream in your bowl will do this. Sorry this happened to you - but persevere with SMBC or IMBC - it's worth it!

Quan86 Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 4:26am
post #3 of 13

Thanks I kinda figured that but wasn't sure since it was my first time. Is there An easier way to make SMBC or IMBC. Whats the difference BTW the 2.

EnglishCakeLady Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 4:38am
post #4 of 13

The difference is only in the preparation method - you end up with the same product.

With SMBC you cook the egg white and sugar together over boiling water. With IMBC you whip the egg whites with a little sugar and then add boiling sugar to the mix. I think people might prefer SMBC as it's deemed not to be so dangerous as there's no boiling sugar involved.

I only ever make IMBC just because the recipe I use has never failed me, even the first time I made it. I made SMBC once and found it a little too buttery, but I realise that's just the recipe I used. However, a friend has been bugging me to try her SMBC recipe and she adds white chocolate to it, so I will try!

Here's the IMBC recipe I use - it has never gone wrong for me!

Quan86 Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 4:41am
post #5 of 13

Can u pipe with this, is it sturdy enough?

EnglishCakeLady Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 4:44am
post #6 of 13

Oh my, yes! I've done this method twice and it's awesome!


Quan86 Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 4:57am
post #7 of 13

OMG that is so Beautiful!

KoryAK Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 8:39pm
post #8 of 13

Also you need to heat the whites until they are hot, not just until the sugar is dissolved. Just hotter than bath water you'd want to climb into is a good rule of thumb.

Quan86 Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 8:56pm
post #9 of 13

ok thank you KoryAK

ickworthpark Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 9:14pm
post #10 of 13

I haven't made this but I did watch a video demo the other day and there was one variation to your method. It said the last 10 minutes of beating should be done with the paddle rather than the whisk.

Using the whisk would, I think, add in a lot more air, and might make it more difficult to achieve a smooth finish. I could be wrong tho!

KoryAK Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 10:28pm
post #11 of 13

Once the buttercream is completely made, you switch to the paddle to gently break all the air bubbles down and make the icing smooth as glass. FYI you need to have the bowl full to at LEAST the shoulders of the paddle to do this right, which is usually more than one batch of buttercream.

LisaPeps Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 11:29pm
post #12 of 13


This is a great SMBC tutorial.

I personally don't think the yolk was the issue. I make IMBC all the time and on occasion get a bit of yolk in the whites with no issue. I also never wash my utensils and bowls with vinegar.

I would say your issue is with the method, most likely the temperatures. Read the tutorial and give it another go. IMO IMBC is easier to make though.

AnnieCahill Posted 28 Nov 2011 , 11:50pm
post #13 of 13

Quanesha, give Warren Brown's recipe a try. I think you will like making it better than SMBC. For me, I just don't have the patience to stand there whisking egg whites over the stove. Maybe one of the previous posters gave you a link-you can find him on YouTube making the recipe. He is so awesome!

I do exactly what he does. If my butter is cold then I won't let the meringue cool down as much. The main thing to remember is use unsalted butter and plenty of flavoring. I use two to three tablespoons of good quality vanilla.

Also, if you find it's not coming together (if it looks curdled), keep beating it. I only use the whisk during the meringue phase, then switch to the paddle when I add the butter. I think if you keep on with the whisk it will incorporate too much air. If it looks runny in the bowl then get a bag of frozen vegetables and rub the bowl with it. It will firm up right quick. icon_smile.gif

Ok for piping, since it's all butter it's going to soften more quickly than a shortening based buttercream. What I would do is fill two bags and keep one on ice for when your hand starts to melt the icing.

You can DOOOOOO it!!!!!

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