tcturtleshell Posted 28 Feb 2005 , 6:01am
post #1 of

I have been looking at all different kinds of buttercream icing recipes. Recipe after recipe I have not found one recipe (so far) other then the Wilton one that has meringue powder in it. Is Wilton the only one that uses it? Is it because they make it & just want to sell it? I've found that out time & time again w/ Wilton. Am I wasting my money buying it & putting it in my icing? That stuff is expensive! icon_cry.gif If I don't need it then why am I using it??? I know it makes things stiffer. I've never used any recipe w/out it so I don't know how they would turn out. Do I need to use it or not? thumbsdown.gif or thumbs_up.gif Thanks for your response! icon_smile.gif

52 replies
tcturtleshell Posted 28 Feb 2005 , 6:03am
post #2 of

I forgot to add.. I know some people use cream of tarter in place of meringue powder.

PurplePetunia Posted 28 Feb 2005 , 6:06am
post #3 of

I've found the same thing with those products - they're not always necessary. But I guess its the job of the instructors (for those of us who took the wilton classes) to promote their products. icon_sad.gif

I don't use the meringue powder as much anymore either. It just makes your icing crust more. The only time I use it is for decorations like roses or figure piping like clowns or small animals.

If you do buy it, try buying it from a cake bakery instead. I used to buy the name brand at Michaels for about $14 (Canadian) but now I buy twice the amount for about $5 from a local cake bakery. thumbs_up.gif

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 28 Feb 2005 , 6:38am
post #4 of

My opinion: Waste of money and it ruins the taste of your lovely icing.

MrsMissey Posted 28 Feb 2005 , 1:30pm
post #5 of

icon_lol.gif Wouldn't you know it....I have just the opposite opinion! That is what is great about this place...we are all entitled to our opinion! I wouldn't make and icing without meringue!

blessBeckysbaking Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 9:09am
post #6 of

I have made roses and everything without it only use it for my royal icing I spend that money in other places just me though

flayvurdfun Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 9:22am
post #7 of

see I am a duff! I always though meringue powder was for meringue topping on a cake to give it a foamy look like lemon meringue pie.... you say it stiffens things? I cant do a rose one and i try alot! if meringue will help then maybe I should try it? But if its as expensive as you say then it wont be before we PSC back to the states!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 5:26pm
post #8 of

It is added to get crusting when you are using an all shortening recipe. I use half butter, half shortening, milk and cream. This type of icing doesn't crust, but it does set and is still easy to smooth. I use the meringue powder in cookie icing for the crusting factor because with the butter in the icing, it doesn't get hard like Royal Icing, but the meringue powder allows the icing to set.
Wilton's is expensive, but one thing I would say. Sometimes the meringue powder I have bought from bakeries, is not nearly as fresh and is lumpy. But I guess a lot depends on the turnover of product at your bakery. I do find that because of the packaging, generally you can count on the Wilton one to always be fresh, so that is a plus.
Regarding the roses, you may want to add either corn syrup or piping gel to your icing to get a better consistency for the roses. Personally, I think the piping gel works well for most people that were having problems with making roses. You add about 1 tsp - 3 tsp. per 3 1/2 cups of icing.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 6:10pm
post #9 of

We've had this discussion on other boards. We are all using the same ingredients but some crust and some don't.

When I make my buttercream recipe using all shortening, it still crusts, in fact, better than when using any butter at all. When I add milk or creamer it still crusts. So I'm convinced your buttercream crusts or not depending on how you hold your tongue. (wink) I never use meringue powder in my icing or cakes.

kate Posted 3 Mar 2005 , 7:13pm

I never have used meringue powder in buttercream and at the bakery where I worked we didn't either. I've only used it to make royal icing. I adjust the liquids in my buttercream for making roses. Less liquid gives a stiffer buttercream for detail work and more liquid gives a softer buttercream for frosting cakes. When I worked at the bakery I had to learn to do with one consistancy buttercream because it was made in huge batches, it's all what you get used to.

tcturtleshell Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 12:38am

Flayvurdfun,

I use meringue powder all the time. It is about $2 something on base & $3 something off base here. I think I will not use it to ice my next cakes just to see how I like the icing. But I will use it on my roses! Roses need stiff icing, I don't like the looks of med icing roses. The look like there just flopped onto the cake! I like a real looking flower like in fondant. So I use the meringue powder. It's in the bx so pick up a can & test it out! You might like it ~

tripletmom Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 1:01am

To meringue or not to meringue...once again I have learned something new!

I too was under the impression that meringue was really intended for the sole purpose of royal icing. Actually, I have never come across a regular icing recipe that called for it.

So what is the verdict....meringue or no meringue?

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Mar 2005 , 1:33am

It's all up to you. It has never made my icing one iota stiffer than without. Not once.

Others swear by it.

You have to do your own testing to decide.

tcturtleshell Posted 5 Mar 2005 , 6:07am

I really think using it makes your flowers harden faster. I make a rose then I put it right onto my cake & it's almost all the way hardened. I like using it but I am going to try not using it to see what happens, since I have never not used it. The wilton BC icing recipe calls for it. I kinda feel they are just trying to sell it by putting it in there icing. Oh, well if they are their smart! Next batch I make I won't use it & let ya'll know~

AngelWendy Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 7:26am

I can't stand the meringue powder flavor - tangy and bitter aftertaste. I will use it for my Wilton courses, but after that I'm only going to use it for royal icing flowers. In our Wilton classes they expect us to use it and have smooth cake frosting tops - perfectly crusted. Ugh. Tomorrow is the last class for me for Course II, so I won't have to use it for awhile after that. I just tried the recipe with butter for half the fat instead of all shortening and it's much better.

~AngelWendy

veejaytx Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 10:02am

Let me throw another question in here.
I haven't used meringue in my bc, but I have been using fudge base. What is the general feeling about that? Nobody has even mentioned fudge base in my few days of reading recipes, hints, etc. I am wondering if that might have some bearing on my piped designs breaking and falling off.

LMK please! Janice

flayvurdfun Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 10:09am

I checked TC and Weisbaden, Hanau, and Darmstadt does not have the meringue stuff... maybe Vogelweh or Ramstein might...I will check just to see...I still want to wait. I dont want to have alot of this stuff packed.

PureShugga Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 11:43am

Our Wilton Instructor said it was a waste of money unless it is hot weather or your doing a wedding cake - she said it stabalizes and helps the buttercream stand up in heat, other than that we've left it out except for in Royal and Colorflow. Our teacher did tell us that Wilton pushes the product to make money but its not necessary. And I think it makes my creamy buttercream taste like a big pile of dookie - I don't like it.

Cakeasyoulikeit Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 12:15pm

Very interesting topic. Glad someone brought it up. I had been wondering about the use of it in the bc icing. Seemed unnecessary. I'll be making bc today, so I think I'll try without the powder. For years, if I wanted stiff icing, I used all shortening and a smoothed egg white. I guess there are potential health issues with using egg white, but I used it for seven years and never had a single problem. Maybe all the sugar killed the germs!

cakeconfections Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 1:08pm

From the way I understand meringue powder, it really is not necessary in buttercreams. It is not added for the "crust factor". I do believe that it is helpful to use to help buttercream from breaking down. I do not use it, but if my icing was going to be sitting out somewhere warm for a period of time, I would proabably consider it. You can also use dry egg whites in the place of wiltons meringue powder.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 4:07pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by veejaytx

Let me throw another question in here.
I haven't used meringue in my bc, but I have been using fudge base. What is the general feeling about that? Nobody has even mentioned fudge base in my few days of reading recipes, hints, etc. I am wondering if that might have some bearing on my piped designs breaking and falling off.

LMK please! Janice




OK- you got me with this one... fudge base? When I think of fudge base I think of marshmallow creme...

Need more info, please....

veejaytx Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 4:32pm

All I know is that my teacher, who took Wilton classes about 20 years ago, uses it and I use his recipe, which includes "fudge base". He buys it in bulk and I buy it from him. The recipe calls for one rounded tblsp with a 2 lb bag of powdered sugar, shortening, vanilla, water and a little salt.

I had wondered why no one else had mentioned using it, and can't believe you haven't heard of it. It is white, looks a little like pie dough, similar consistency, that is the only thing I can think of as a comparison.
I just now tasted it, and it is sweet, and might be sort of like a dryer, heavier, marshmallow creme.

Janice

cakeconfections Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 4:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by cali4dawn

Quote:
Originally Posted by veejaytx

Let me throw another question in here.
I haven't used meringue in my bc, but I have been using fudge base. What is the general feeling about that? Nobody has even mentioned fudge base in my few days of reading recipes, hints, etc. I am wondering if that might have some bearing on my piped designs breaking and falling off.

LMK please! Janice



OK- you got me with this one... fudge base? When I think of fudge base I think of marshmallow creme...

Need more info, please....




Ok dawn, I found a little infor on her fuge base. I found a small exceprt on baking91.com. It seems that fudge base is actually a nick name for a product called Bright white icing base. It can be found on http://www.thespecialtyshop.com/recipes.html . This is what they say that it is, "The Brite White is a white icing base that improves icing stability and aeration. Brite White produces a light, fluffy, all-purpose icing which can be used for frosting, decorating or flower making. This product has a rich neutral flavor that does not compete with any flavor added."

That is about all i can find. Maybe you will be a little more successful with what I have found.

AngelWendy Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 6:30pm

The description of fudge base sounds a lot like fondant mix that I think Wilton makes. I got it at a candy making class. Not sure what's in it exactly, though.

GHOST_USER_NAME Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 6:31pm

OK- gotcha! Bright White I know about... fudge base I did not...

My lesson for the day!! (wink!!)

tcturtleshell Posted 4 Apr 2005 , 7:50pm

I tried with & without merinque on my cakes. I haven't been able to get them to crust at all. So I will use meringue powder on my wedding cakes. They will be sitting out awhile & since I live in Louisian I have the humidity problem too! So I think meringue will help me alot!!

This was a very good discussion!!!!

PureShugga Posted 5 Apr 2005 , 2:23am

Brite White huh? Sounds interesting - where do you find it and how much does it run? Is it pretty expensive? I'd like to experiment with it, I'm looking for a signature buttercream, something that's just a bit different than others, I haven't been able to find THE one yet although I have several that are great.

tcturtleshell Posted 5 Apr 2005 , 3:46am

HEY FLAYVURDFUN...

The BX doesn't have meringue powder? They carry it here along with the other Wilton products. If they don't carry it get them to order it! I used to work at the BX & you can get them to order anything as long as they already carry other products from that brand. Check into it. Don't talk to a associate though... talk to a manager. The manager of that department. That should get you some! I should only take a week to come in.
Good luck~ ~TC~

cakeconfections Posted 5 Apr 2005 , 3:48am

If they have dried egg whites that will work the same.

juliet Posted 7 Apr 2005 , 4:57pm

Quick question, I've only ever bought the pre-made buttercream from Wilton. I see receipes using all shortening and that kinda freaks me out a little icon_confused.gif . Does it taste good or does it taste like you're bitting in a tub of lard?

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