Is Meringue Buttercream Hazardous??

Decorating By JazzyBaker Updated 14 Jun 2012 , 5:21am by scp1127

karateka Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 6:14pm
post #31 of 49

So, just for clarification purposes, when I see people posting on there that the meringue buttercreams are shelf stable and can be left out for a couple of days, are they all heating their egg whites/sugar to 160? The recipe I like states says to heat it to 110-120.


I have yet to find a reference (a cookbook, say) that states they may be left out.

I can't remember who it was that said it was ok, so I can't quote chapter and verse, but it has been stated.

SoFloGuy Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 6:27pm
post #32 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

So, just for clarification purposes, when I see people posting on there that the meringue buttercreams are shelf stable and can be left out for a couple of days, are they all heating their egg whites/sugar to 160? The recipe I like states says to heat it to 110-120.


I have yet to find a reference (a cookbook, say) that states they may be left out.

I can't remember who it was that said it was ok, so I can't quote chapter and verse, but it has been stated.




People are heating it to 160 to kill any potential salmonella, which odds are is not there anyway, but to be safe and certain it's worth the step, especially in business. Leaving it out won't produce salmonella, it can only make it spoil in other ways. So what I'm saying is that people are not heating it to 160 to make it stable to be left out, these are two different issues. Any food left out will eventually spoil.

AnnieCahill Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 7:13pm
post #33 of 49

My IMBC recipe calls for the syrup to be heated to 245 and then poured into the meringue, basically creating a marshmallow. I have no worries.

karateka Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 7:40pm
post #34 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

So, just for clarification purposes, when I see people posting on there that the meringue buttercreams are shelf stable and can be left out for a couple of days, are they all heating their egg whites/sugar to 160? The recipe I like states says to heat it to 110-120.


I have yet to find a reference (a cookbook, say) that states they may be left out.

I can't remember who it was that said it was ok, so I can't quote chapter and verse, but it has been stated.



People are heating it to 160 to kill any potential salmonella, which odds are is not there anyway, but to be safe and certain it's worth the step, especially in business. Leaving it out won't produce salmonella, it can only make it spoil in other ways. So what I'm saying is that people are not heating it to 160 to make it stable to be left out, these are two different issues. Any food left out will eventually spoil.




I get that. I'm just wondering why we have some people saying it can be left out for a few days, and some saying it can't. Some of those saying it can do it in their bakeries.....so I'm assuming they have some documentation somewhere. But I can't find any to use for my purposes.

aprilismaius Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 8:40pm
post #35 of 49

Hi everyone, not a direct answer to the question, but is a link to related information.

A very specific SMBC recipe was tested by the Food Safety Net Service. The recipe tested was defined by Texas law as a "Non-Potentially Hazardous Food".

http://texascottagefoodlaw.com/Resources/Recipes/SMBC.aspx

karateka Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 9:07pm
post #36 of 49

aha. Thank you.

SugaredSaffron Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 9:42pm
post #37 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

My IMBC recipe calls for the syrup to be heated to 245 and then poured into the meringue, basically creating a marshmallow. I have no worries.




Same. I asked my local EHO who said it was fine. I use pasteurised egg whites as well although I don't see the problem in using straight fresh ones.

hieperdepiep Posted 11 Jun 2012 , 10:23pm
post #38 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnnieCahill

My IMBC recipe calls for the syrup to be heated to 245 and then poured into the meringue, basically creating a marshmallow. I have no worries.




I like my IMBC as well. It 's so good.
Recently I put in my thermometer in de meringuecreme for checking the temperature, after pouring in de sugarsyrup of 249 F. My thermometer only said 140, but the problem is that the machine already had been mixing the syrup into the eggs, so probable the temperature at the precise point of adding the two ingredients together was way up higher. But how do you now for sure?

scp1127 Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 7:21am
post #39 of 49

If you drop 245 degree syrup on the whites, it is immediately turned into a confection. And it does drop in temp immediately. That is why many of us go to 245 vs 234 to compensate for the immediate drop. The eggs do get to 160, but the main factor here is the chemical change to a confection. SMBC and GBC do not have this safety factor. FBC follows the high heat method of IMBC.

I just made a batch of German buttercream. It is a process like IMBC, SMBC, and FBC, but the base is custard. I was sure to get the custard well over 160 degrees, but that did not make my buttercream shelf stable. The custard still needs to be refrigerated.

To address karateka, you need to look at the ingredients and determine the "weakest link". In IMBC, the eggs are now candy and can be taken out of the unsafe picture. Now we have to look at the butter.

This will be unpopular, but I looked at the Land O Lakes site which referred back to the FDA. Those of us in business should consider taking these same precautions, as we are liable for our actions and for what we say to a customer.

FDA and LOL both state to refrigerate butter when not in use, only short periods on the counter. I practice this in my business, but not personally. I am sure that HD's everywhere will concur.

So given the FDA guidelines, LOL, and our HD's rules, it is up to us individually to make decisions for our own businesse.

http://www.landolakes.com/TestKitchen/TipsAndTechniques/FAQ/Butter.aspx#fe5e33ed-99f7-43b4-9b05-184033bc08c8

hieperdepiep Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 9:40am
post #40 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

If you drop 245 degree syrup on the whites, it is immediately turned into a confection. And it does drop in temp immediately. That is why many of us go to 245 vs 234 to compensate for the immediate drop. The eggs do get to 160, but the main factor here is the chemical change to a confection. SMBC and GBC do not have this safety factor. FBC follows the high heat method of IMBC.

I just made a batch of German buttercream. It is a process like IMBC, SMBC, and FBC, but the base is custard. I was sure to get the custard well over 160 degrees, but that did not make my buttercream shelf stable. The custard still needs to be refrigerated.




Thanks fot the information!
I've done the GBC as well. It is so nice and rich.
Do you use BC or IMBC as a base for the curstard?
I remember a Dutch cheff telling here to heat the custard to 185 F. Someting about cooking the floor for optimum binding?.. But stil not shell stable.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 3:50pm
post #41 of 49

After the fairly recent outbreak of egg-borne salmonella, I switched from Eggland's Best to Davidson pasteurized shell eggs (I'd known that pasteurized shell eggs existed, because Alton Brown had mentioned them in more than one episode of Good Eats), even though nobody in our house eats their eggs raw or undercooked. They're difficult to find in Southern California, but Bristol Farms does carry them. In other areas, see the dealer listings on the Davidson web site.

In order to have enough eggs to bake my mother's birthday cake (and a pound cake to go with it, since I don't eat chocolate) a week ago yesterday, only days after I got back from my vacation, I had my dad run me by the nearest Bristol Farms (closer to the airport than to home!), to pick up a fresh dozen Davidsons.

As I recall, Davidson also offers pasteurized cage-free eggs, which I suppose could be described as both pasteurized and "pastured."

dandymom Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 3:59pm
post #42 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl

After the fairly recent outbreak of egg-borne salmonella, I switched from Eggland's Best to Davidson pasteurized shell eggs (I'd known that pasteurized shell eggs existed, because Alton Brown had mentioned them in more than one episode of Good Eats), even though nobody in our house eats their eggs raw or undercooked. They're difficult to find in Southern California, but Bristol Farms does carry them. In other areas, see the dealer listings on the Davidson web site.

In order to have enough eggs to bake my mother's birthday cake (and a pound cake to go with it, since I don't eat chocolate) a week ago yesterday, only days after I got back from my vacation, I had my dad run me by the nearest Bristol Farms (closer to the airport than to home!), to pick up a fresh dozen Davidsons.

As I recall, Davidson also offers pasteurized cage-free eggs, which I suppose could be described as both pasteurized and "pastured."




I've used pasteurized shell eggs too. I hate separating them. The whites tend to be very gelatin like and it seems the yolks are more fragile. It's a challenge getting all of the egg white separated without damaging the yolk.
Anyone else have this problem?

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 12 Jun 2012 , 4:09pm
post #43 of 49

Actually, I don't have any experience separating raw eggs to compare it with (and thankfully, I currently only have two recipes that require it, and only one that uses the whites; neither of them require the kind of complete separation needed for, say, a souffle or an Angel Food cake).

I either use the shell-to-shell method, or Alton Brown's bare hand method (or sometimes, a little of both), and I typically end up losing about every fourth or fifth egg I separate, on average (I'm sure that would improve with experience).

When I started with them, I was actually surprised at how little difference there was in handling characteristics.

scp1127 Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 5:25am
post #44 of 49

hieper, I do the authentic GBC where I start with a real cooked custard. I do take the custard way past 160. I wait for the "burps" and whisk one minute longer. To strengthen my GBC, I often up the thickener by about 30%. Just my preference and insurance policy.

The hot custard is put in the mixing bowl and whipped until room temp, when the butter is added just like the other European buttercreams.

You, of course, are in Europe, but I can imagine each country, years ago, developing a different buttercream method and then arguing how theirs was the best. To me they are all incredible, but GBC is by far my personal favorite. I'm not a sweet eater, but last night I actually put a little leftover buttercream in a measuring cup and ate it like custard. No cake needed for GBC.

FromScratchSF Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 7:04am
post #45 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFloGuy

Quote:
Originally Posted by karateka

So, just for clarification purposes, when I see people posting on there that the meringue buttercreams are shelf stable and can be left out for a couple of days, are they all heating their egg whites/sugar to 160? The recipe I like states says to heat it to 110-120.


I have yet to find a reference (a cookbook, say) that states they may be left out.

I can't remember who it was that said it was ok, so I can't quote chapter and verse, but it has been stated.



People are heating it to 160 to kill any potential salmonella, which odds are is not there anyway, but to be safe and certain it's worth the step, especially in business. Leaving it out won't produce salmonella, it can only make it spoil in other ways. So what I'm saying is that people are not heating it to 160 to make it stable to be left out, these are two different issues. Any food left out will eventually spoil.



I get that. I'm just wondering why we have some people saying it can be left out for a few days, and some saying it can't. Some of those saying it can do it in their bakeries.....so I'm assuming they have some documentation somewhere. But I can't find any to use for my purposes.




I haven't had much to add since y'all are working it out so nicely, but there are many books that have IMBC and SMBC recipes in them that have recommended storage. I just whipped out my battered and tattered Cake Bible - her Mousseline Buttercream (IMBC) page 245 - "2 days room temp, 10 days refrigerated, 8 months frozen".

My HD does not consider IMBC or SMBC as a unsafe food. I regularly leave 20-30-50 lbs of SMBC in Cambros in the bakery locked up next to my flour and other goods for 2-3 days.

Spooky_789 Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 5:17pm
post #46 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127

hieper, I do the authentic GBC where I start with a real cooked custard. I do take the custard way past 160. I wait for the "burps" and whisk one minute longer. To strengthen my GBC, I often up the thickener by about 30%. Just my preference and insurance policy.

The hot custard is put in the mixing bowl and whipped until room temp, when the butter is added just like the other European buttercreams.

You, of course, are in Europe, but I can imagine each country, years ago, developing a different buttercream method and then arguing how theirs was the best. To me they are all incredible, but GBC is by far my personal favorite. I'm not a sweet eater, but last night I actually put a little leftover buttercream in a measuring cup and ate it like custard. No cake needed for GBC.




SCP, do you have a good GBC recipe you don't mind sharing? Before reading this thread, I have never heard of it, but after hearing your description of it, it's something I'd like to try for personal consumption. I haven't had lunch yet today but boy, I'm thinking skip lunch and go directly for the custard! lol

Thank you very much!

hieperdepiep Posted 13 Jun 2012 , 6:45pm
post #47 of 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by scp1127


You, of course, are in Europe, but I can imagine each country, years ago, developing a different buttercream method and then arguing how theirs was the best. To me they are all incredible, but GBC is by far my personal favorite. I'm not a sweet eater, but last night I actually put a little leftover buttercream in a measuring cup and ate it like custard. No cake needed for GBC.




Mjam mjam..
I think custard is indeed a very all over europe style of dish from flan in Spain to our Dutch pudding.
I did it the other way around, lately. Let the custard cool on a cold plate, foil covered. Then start up the MBC and as soon that is fluffy mix in the custard. But maybe that is more the recipe of an enriched MBC, than yours , what is more of a creme mousseline I think, such a good filling!
Creme mousseline sounds better when selling.. (or is it because we had old issues with Germany here..haha)

Wise to thicken it, specially when stacking.
I've heard people here have had their fondant melted because of a bad made GBC, when used for icing.

Back on topic;
When using fresh eggs it is also important to take care of all the places the eggs, shell or content has made contact with, like hands bowls and sink.
I tend to crack my eggs on to top of the metal bowl, but that can actually turn into a solmonella-contamination place. icon_wink.gif

scp1127 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 5:18am
post #48 of 49

Here is the FDA stand on butter:

http://www.fda.gov/Food/ScienceResearch/ResearchAreas/SafePracticesforFoodProcesses/ucm094147.htm

The way I am reading it, cheap butters, often cut with water, are more succeptable. Also salted butters and those with preservatives have a better safety record. But low water content butter are safe.

If there is water or air, it can be unsafe.

I found it interesting that LOL adopted the policy of refrigeration, but like us, they are in business and this is damage control.

scp1127 Posted 14 Jun 2012 , 5:21am
post #49 of 49

Spooky, yes, I have several. One is a pastry cream base and the other I made last night was peanut buttercream. These are the top two I use. The one tops my Reese's cupcakes so that is the popularity.

hieper, you are right about stability. I don't think I would frost the outside of a cake in this other than homestyle cakes. I do reinforce them. The standard recipes are just too soft. But the taste.....

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