AndiDawn Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 12:08am
post #1 of

I have made SMB and IMB for some taste testings for approx. 20 people, and the answer is the same... love the texture but not the taste. I use all ABC for my decorating and was looking to the MB to expand my options for people. I have done all butter. all shortening, 1/2 butter & 1/2 shortening. I have added more flavorings - Am I totally missing something in the recipes or does anyone else have the same responses?

Thanks for your time!

26 replies
KoryAK Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 12:42am
post #2 of

What is it about the taste that they don't like? The main difference in taste is that it is far less sweet than ABC (allowing the butteriness to shine through). You can up the sugar content in your MBC or I have heard that some people mix it half and half with ABC, though I haven't tried that myself.

CakesByBeth Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 12:57am
post #3 of

I had the same thing happen, people liked how it looked and how light and smooth it was but they didn't like how buttery it was. Neither did I actually, and like you - I was thinking I messed up the amount of butter or something, but that wasn't it. It's just A LOT of butter.

Goreti Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 1:22am
post #4 of

I find that SMBC needs a lot of flavoring and tastes better if you use unsalted butter. I have added melted chocolate, strawberry puree, orange juice & zest. I add at least 1/4 cup of fruit puree. Those who have tasted it like it better than ABC because it is not as sweet.

mcaulir Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 1:47am
post #5 of

I've added half a cup of melted white chocolate to a batch of SMBC, which is delicious. I don't think there's such a thing as too much vanilla in this case, either.

AndiDawn Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 1:55am
post #6 of

The first batch I made people told me it was like eating a stick of butter with sugar sprinkled on it - the second batch was no flavor (I had added 6 T of flavorings; butter, almond and vanilla because I didn't like the flavor until that much was in it) - the third batch was more of the same - no flavor from some - to much butter flavor from others. "but if you can make it taste good, Andi, this would be divine!"

I may try the fruit puree and the 1/2 ABC with it - Thanks ladies

scp1127 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 5:06am
post #7 of

Not all recipes are the same. Some ratios are different, yielding a different taste.

Also, and this is a huge factor... using cheap butter will make an unpleasant butter flavor.

All store butters, including Plugra at $10.00/lb, and Land O' Lakes, have natural ingredients added. If you research this, it's a controversial practice in many foods, with manufacturers coming under attack.

Natural flavor means that the compound is made up of things found in nature, but chemically changed and used as a food additive. In butter, for example, it may be ingredients not even remotely related to the dairy industry. These additives are flavor enhancers. They are bolder in cheaper butters because they are substandard ingredients to begin with.

These cheap off-brand butters, because of the additives, will make a buttercream too buttery, just like the salt will bring out a more buttery taste.

I had a wonderful IMBC, but have honed it into an even more neutral taste for flavors from vanilla to Absinthe. The SMBC is the same. FBC still has a bold flavor because the yolks are so rich. GBC is the most neutral.

Another option is to get fresh churned butter from your local dairy or farm market. The ingredient label will only read, "cream", or "milk". But you still must have a balanced arsenal of Eurpean buttercream recipes.

Another issue: The flavor quality you use flavor the buttercream will have a substantial impact on the final flavor. European buttercreams with cheap or artificial extracts or flavorings will have a less-than-optimal taste.

scp1127 Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 10:47pm
post #8 of

I completely forgot to mention that I actually experimented with a popular off-brand butter.

For the past few weeks, I have been more busy than I wanted to be. But I decided to try Sam's butter in IMBC. I made a double batch and tasted it. No amount of vanilla could cover up the butter taste. I now had this approx 4 quart batch of useless IMBC. So I took some of my regular IMBC and added the off-brand in about a 75/25 ratio, LOL/Sam's. I was still too buttery.

For the experiment, I tasted the two butters alone. Butter by itself is not too pleasant, but with the tiny amount I tasted, there was very little difference in taste. So I think it starts to overwhelm in over-taste in a higher quantity. I think using it on a dinner roll or adding it to a potato with sour cream would be ok, but in the buttercream, the added unnatural "natural flavor" is just too much and maybe the culprit behind the butter taste.

metria Posted 3 Jun 2012 , 10:58pm
post #9 of

Last week I researched making butter at home and it seems pretty stinkin' easy to do with a standing mixer! at some point i'm going to have a taste test myself with IMBC using homemade butter vs. the store brand I usually get. Love to hear if anyone has tried this!

scp1127 Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 4:55am

metria, just be sure to get the moisture level correct. This will be your only issue. You will need to get the moisture out of the butter. I haven't done it, but I have seen posts from people who have done it. I think they used cheesecloth. I'm sure the correct method will come up on a google search. Good luck with that and let us know the results.

coleslawcat Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 12:19pm

I make my SMBC using Sam's Club butter and it's delicious. Recently, I've done vanilla, mint, strawberry and peanut butter. They've all been excellent. Which recipe have you tried? I really like the ratio in this recipe. I use it as my base for all of my SMBC's except for the peanut butter which I use a brown sugar SMBC as the base.

http://cakecentral.com/recipe/basic-vanilla-swiss-meringue-buttercream

coleslawcat Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 12:22pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

Last week I researched making butter at home and it seems pretty stinkin' easy to do with a standing mixer! at some point i'm going to have a taste test myself with IMBC using homemade butter vs. the store brand I usually get. Love to hear if anyone has tried this!




I made my own butter this weekend because I had some leftover cream. It was super easy. I'm not sure how to insure you get all the moisture out, but the method I used was to add ice cold water to my bowl of freshly beaten butter and then to scoop it into my hands and squeeze. I just kept scooping more butter into my hands and squeezing. I read online and that was the first method I found so I went with it. I don't have any way to measure how much moisture was left in the butter, but it was quite firm when I was done.

leah_s Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 1:12pm

I really don't like IMBC or SMBC either. And yes, I know how to make them correctly and have.

I use Charlotte's Whipped Cream Buttercream. It's a hybrid of ABC and a meringue based bc. There's no butter in it, it will hold up in long, high heat weather, has a similar consistency to any other meringue bc (if you don't incorporate too much air) and is semi-crusting. (Only crusts very lightly. You have to be able to smooth it with a bench scraper.) It uses powdered sugar and no sugar syrup. You can multiply the recipe to make as big a batch as you have a mixer to hold it. And it keeps on the counter for weeks.

Google it or look through the recipe section here.

metria Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 2:13pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by coleslawcat

I made my own butter this weekend because I had some leftover cream. It was super easy. I'm not sure how to insure you get all the moisture out, but the method I used was to add ice cold water to my bowl of freshly beaten butter and then to scoop it into my hands and squeeze. I just kept scooping more butter into my hands and squeezing. I read online and that was the first method I found so I went with it. I don't have any way to measure how much moisture was left in the butter, but it was quite firm when I was done.




One website I saw said from 32 oz of cream, they get 14 oz of butter, 14 oz of buttermilk, and presumed the missing 4 oz was buttermilk that had been rinsed away. I'll try your method of squeezing the butter. Thanks for sharing! How did it taste??

BakingIrene Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 2:34pm

Homemade butter will only taste as good as the cream that it's made from. Store-bought heavy cream has whip-stabilizing additives, that are going to carry over into the butter. I don't think that homemade butter made from commercial whipping cream would be as good as a decent commercial butter that contains "cream" as the only ingredient.

You have to read the fine print on the labels, and be prepared to buy a bunch of butter when you find a good brand. My experience of regional brands like Sweet Life is that they sometimes taste very "cheesy" which is also not good for baking.

To increase the butterfat content of commercial butter is very simple. Melt a cup of butter in a 1-cup measuring cup. Pour the clear top 3/4 cup of pure butterfat into 3 pounds of butter that you want to upgrade, and cream together at low speed without any other ingredients. This can then be chilled in blocks or sheets or as you wish.

And I use a lower proportion of butter to meringue for SBC or IMBC. That provides the wonderful texture without tasting like butter.

shari3boys Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 3:46pm

Im loving this forum topic! that is all i wanted to say! icon_smile.gif

coleslawcat Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 4:56pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

Quote:
Originally Posted by coleslawcat

I made my own butter this weekend because I had some leftover cream. It was super easy. I'm not sure how to insure you get all the moisture out, but the method I used was to add ice cold water to my bowl of freshly beaten butter and then to scoop it into my hands and squeeze. I just kept scooping more butter into my hands and squeezing. I read online and that was the first method I found so I went with it. I don't have any way to measure how much moisture was left in the butter, but it was quite firm when I was done.



One website I saw said from 32 oz of cream, they get 14 oz of butter, 14 oz of buttermilk, and presumed the missing 4 oz was buttermilk that had been rinsed away. I'll try your method of squeezing the butter. Thanks for sharing! How did it taste??




It tastes wonderful. I used it mostly on toast so far so I could really taste the butter and it was very nice. It was quite a treat.

imagenthatnj Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:38pm

http://www.joepastry.com/category/pastry-components/dairy/butter-cultured/

This is to make european-style (cultured) butter.

The reader comment at the bottom tells you to put it in a flour sack (maybe cheesecloth too?) and squeeze.

metria Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:45pm

i was just browsing America's Test Kitchen's "Feed" website and they have a cultured butter tutorial too!

http://www.americastestkitchenfeed.com/do-it-yourself/2011/06/how-to-make-cultured-butter/

shari3boys Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 12:56am

im loving SMBC but my biggest problem is in the heat.

What are you guys doing about cakes that you know will be outside or in warmer places etc?

I made cupcakes for my nieces bday last weekend and i used SMBC but the party was outside and the icing started melting off the cupcakes. I had to bring them in and stick in the fridge and then almost none of the 50 i brought were eaten bc people didn't go in to get them

dandymom Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 1:50am

I have recently started mixing IMBC with AMC and it has been a big hit, 1/2 and 1/2.

I've always used LoL or Plugra. Try melting quality butter next to a store brand butter at the same time in the microwave. See which one melts first. This test will show you that you get what you pay for.

pbuder Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 2:09am

I really love SMBC and IMBC because they aren't so sweet. I also had problems with being to buttery so I tried doubling the amount of meringue to butter and that has worked well for me.

scp1127 Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 6:57am

bakingirene, valid point on the cream. We have fresh dairy cream available here that uses low heat pasteurization. I actually have to shake the bottle to get it to start to pour.

I too have changed my ratios of meringue to butter. It really makes a difference.

dandymom Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 1:09pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

bakingirene, valid point on the cream. We have fresh dairy cream available here that uses low heat pasteurization. I actually have to shake the bottle to get it to start to pour.

I too have changed my ratios of meringue to butter. It really makes a difference.




We have a local organic creamery here. I use their milk for my kids. It's non-homogenized, perfect cream line milk in glass bottles. I've used their cream to make ice cream. I'm thinking I'm going to have to take a little drive to pick up some of their butter (local grocery carries their milk and cream, no butter.) I wish I had the time to experiment with actually making my own but with 4 kids I'm already juggling for kitchen time.

I like Miette's IMBC. It has. Higher sugar ratio than some of the other ones I've tried. I could eat it with a spoon for breakfast. LOVE.

luckyblueeye Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 11:48pm

Here's a link to a CC recipe that uses pasturized eggs and powered sugar...kind of a mix of IMBC and ABC. It tastes wonderful and is very easy to make and work with... my new favorite ! http://cakecentral.com/recipe/fluffy-american-buttercream icon_biggrin.gif

scp1127 Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 8:43am

dandymom, where are you located? The one I use is similar. It is homogenized, which just prevents separation. All dairy sold must be pasteurized, but these local creameries use a method of low heat pasteurization. Mine has the glass bottles too.

The one I use is Trickling Springs Creamery out of PA.

dandymom Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 1:21pm

scp1127, I live in Minnesohhhta. I'm north of the cities and near the the WI border. The creamery is in WI and the milk is so fresh that the cows are out back! It is pasteurized with low heat as well, but is cream line. It takes a few good shakes to mix it up but we don't mind. It's like manna from heaven icon_smile.gif

I also get farm fresh eggs out here. Nothing like a bright orange yolk!

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