jonicca Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 8:08pm
post #1 of

Which is the more popular amongst hobby/home bakers? And which is more popular for the professional bakers? I have only made BC with powdered sugar, but I'm ready to experiment. Are the meringues easy to flavor? How do they hold up for decorating? For roses? How would you thicken/thin them? How do they handle under fondant? TIA! icon_biggrin.gif

Oh yeah. . .and how do you smooth the meringue icings?

22 replies
AnnieCahill Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 8:17pm
post #2 of

It depends on who you ask. I really love Warren Brown's IMBC recipe which you can find on YouTube. I prefer this because it's easy to make, much less messy than a PS-based icing, and it has a very elegant mouth feel. It doesn't taste cheap or sugary. It's very silky and smooth.

Flavoring is easy. It's just like regular BC. Add extracts, oils, nut pastes, liqueurs, fruit purees, etc. It's also easy to decorate with, although it is more susceptible to melting from the heat of your hand. For that reason, I usually have another back-up bag filled and just switch the tips until the other bag "cools off" a bit (you can also just put it in a cake pan filled with ice).

With meringue buttercreams, the texture is manipulated with temperature, not the addition of liquids or more PS. So yes, you can pop your bag in the fridge to stiffen the BC and do some roses easily enough. No need to add anything to thicken/thin it. Also, it works fine under fondant. You just have to chill the cake well and cover it while it's still cold.

My tips:

1. Look up the Warren Brown recipe on YouTube (I add about 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra sugar)
2. Always use unsalted butter. I use Land O Lakes just because I don't have the money for Plugra and it's the best I can find where I live
3. Use GOOD flavorings, and use a lot. I use two to three TBS of Nielsen Massey vanilla extract. Please, for the love of all that is holy, don't ever use clear vanilla or imitation vanilla in this BC.

This is a website I always like to show people when they are reluctant to use meringue buttercreams for decorating. These folks use SMBC I think, but IMBC is basically the same thing, just different in preparation.

http://www.cupcakecafe-nyc.com/

CarolinaGirlAsh Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 8:21pm
post #3 of

I use both, but it just depends on what I am making and for whom. Most kids cakes I use the PS frosting and most adult cakes I use either SMBC or a combination of SMBC/PS. I personally prefer SMBC but a lot of people in my area like the PS frosting best.

jonicca Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 8:36pm
post #4 of

Thanks for the responses!

AnneCahill - I'll check out that site! I normally use Lorann's flavorings and I'm allergic to imitation vanilla, lol! And, if you chill to cover in fondant, do you then have to keep the cake refrigerated? Will the BC hold the weight of the fondant, when its room temp?

CarolinaGirlAsh - how do you mix the two?

Goreti Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 8:42pm
post #5 of

I'm only a hobby baker & have only been decorating for less than a year. I don't make lots of cakes since it is only for family & friends. I started doing American buttercream & cream cheese frosting w/powdered. Although everyone else seemed to like, I was not crazy for it. In December for my MIL's cake (the flower pot), I decided to try SMBC. It is now my go to buttercream. I love it and the family seems to love it too. I have flavored it with melted chocolate, raspberry filling, vanilla etc etc. It is so smooth & creamy. The first time, I had a hard time smoothing it but I find it much easier now. As far as making it, I have never had a problem either. Comes out perfect every time.

Norasmom Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 8:46pm
post #6 of

SMBC is much easier to spread on cakes. I find it to be very smooth. It doesn't crumb-coat, but since it's so smooth, crumb coating is not necessary. I also like it because it doesn't become crusty if left out.

CarolinaGirlAsh Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 8:48pm
post #7 of

Honestly, after I make a batch of each, I just fold it all together in my mixer. I have never had a problem with it. I don't usually measure it but I would say I probably use something like a 1 SMBC: 0.75 AB type of ratio. Most of the time I do it when I have leftovers of each and don't really want to make more of either.

AnnieCahill Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 9:01pm
post #8 of

I would keep it refrigerated until it's delivered. I have left cakes iced in IMBC out for several days. It won't hurt anything. But if I were doing it for someone else, I would definitely keep it in the fridge and I would advise them to do the same. I have guts of steel it seems so I don't worry about it. LOL

I use mine to crumb coat and dam and it's fine. It gets rock hard in the fridge so it's very sturdy and great to transport.

AmysCakesNCandies Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 9:05pm
post #9 of

I use an all butter PS buttercream, I prefer a crusting buttercream for two reasons:
*The additional structure & stability it adds to the cake. I have never had a delivery disaser with crusting PS BC.
* Crusting BC lends itself to decorating tequniques that I would otherwise need fondant for such as impressions.

And I guess the third and fourth reasons is that I can make it in my sleep and my customers really like the taste

AZCouture Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 9:33pm

I only make a meringue icing, and wouldn't make a PS one if you twisted my arm. If anyone I've ever made a cake for actually preferred a PS based one, it would be news to me.

tonedna Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 9:43pm

I think nobody is wrong in using what works best for them and tastes best. Everyone has diferent opinions on the subject but at the end of the say is all about you and whar works best.

Here where I live I cant's use Swiss or Italian buttercream. So I stick with crusting buttercream. I do love the fact that smoothes out like fondant and it is very strong specially over the summer.
But if I was to make cupcakes, I do like more the Italian or Swiss.. It works with those because they dont need to be stacked.

AZCouture Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 9:48pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

It works with those because they dont need to be stacked.



What do you mean?

tonedna Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 10:20pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

It works with those because they dont need to be stacked.


What do you mean?




It means I cant use swiss or italian buttercream in here because is too hot and
humid and the cakes become unstable. So if I use swiss or Italian, I use it mostly with cupcakes.

AZCouture Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 10:21pm

Oh ok, I thought you meant you couldn't stack them at all just because they are an MBC. I get it now!

tonedna Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 10:31pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Oh ok, I thought you meant you couldn't stack them at all just because they are an MBC. I get it now!




Oh yeah, swiss and italian can be stack. Its just not the best for where I live!
icon_biggrin.gif

jonicca Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 10:47pm

Thanks for all the responses! So what would you call a PS icing if you were describing it to someone? That's all I've made but even I'm revolted at the thought of there being shortening in it, even though I use hi-ratio and mix it with butter.

tonedna Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 10:50pm

In my personal opinion if it has butter, its buttercream

jonicca Posted 1 Feb 2012 , 10:55pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

In my personal opinion if it has butter, its buttercream




icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

CarolinaGirlAsh Posted 2 Feb 2012 , 1:06am
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

I only make a meringue icing, and wouldn't make a PS one if you twisted my arm. If anyone I've ever made a cake for actually preferred a PS based one, it would be news to me.




I tink its wonderful if everyone you make cakes for prefers meringue icing. As I said, I do too; however not everyone does and no one should look down on someone for using PS based icing. Some people don't love the overly buttery taste and mouthfeel of a meringue icing (shocking I know), probably because that is not what they are used to. Who am I to tell them they a wrong because they prefe something else. It would be like someone telling me I am wrong because I prefer vanilla cake over chocolate. I think of it as being like the scratch versus box mix cake debate. Everyone should use whatever works best for them in thier situation.

AZCouture Posted 2 Feb 2012 , 1:15am

I don't make it for a variety of reasons, and if you interpret that as "looking down" on someone who uses something else, that's your mistake. I don't even feel like getting into the many reasons why I don't make it.

QTCakes1 Posted 2 Feb 2012 , 1:19am
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonedna

In my personal opinion if it has butter, its buttercream




THANK YOU FOR SAYING THIS!!!!!! thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

YES, as long as it has butter, it's buttercream. I don't care if you make American, Swiss, Italian, or French. I don't care if you add hi ratio with the butter. As long as you use butter in them to make them, they are buttercreams. Now, if it is ALL shortening with butter "flavoring", that's not butter cream. Let's just call it frosting.

CarolinaGirlAsh Posted 2 Feb 2012 , 1:47am

Look, Im not judging. I am sure you do have a lot of reasons for not making it, and I am not feeling personally attacked or anything. I was just making a point about people liking different things and your first post about being surprised that anyone would prefer PS (yes, I know you said people that you made cakes for) could have been interpreted as being a little "uppity". Please note that I am not saying that this is how you meant it or that you are, just that this is how the tone could have been interpreted and I dont want anyone considering making PS frosting to feel like they shouldnt, if it works for them.

And yes, I also think that anything with butter in it can be considered a buttercream.

icer101 Posted 2 Feb 2012 , 2:08am

Tonedna, is right on the money. Of course , she is another great decorator on this site. I always respect her opinions. She is a great teacher and shares her knowlege so freely.

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