KrispyKareem Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 3:43pm
post #1 of

So I'm COMPLETELY new to baking, and I'm baking a cake for a friend's birthday on Sunday. The plan is to do a ombre purple ruffle BC layered cheesecake (3 shades of purple and a white BC) with the ruffles looking like a flower on top with the center being left blank for sparkle candles... 

 

Since this cake is going to have to be refrigerated anyway, I was THINKING about trying my hand at making a SBC instead of American. The flavor of the BC will be amaretto (I still need to find a killer recipe). 

 

Since I'm used to American BC, I'm curious as to if the consistency of SBC is different since it involves whipping of eggs whites AND regular sugar as opposed to confectioners. There is a huge divide with people when it comes to whipped frosting vs BC (I like both with BC edging out whipped), but I want to see if the consistency of a SBC is the similar to American or closer to a whipped frosting before I attempt.... 

 

OH also, I went to Walmart looking for a candy thermometer and came up short... then I saw someone just use a digital thermometer that just registered high... is that sufficient enough?

22 replies
-K8memphis Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 4:22pm
post #2 of

ooh--cool--trying some new stuff for the new year--

 

yes--swiss meringue buttercream does not crust like american bc does--but when you fridge smbc it gets as firm as cold butter so you can use the heat of your hand to smooth surfaces and clean up edges if necessary--

 

when i make smbc--i just crank up the fire and whisk it like crazy and just pinch the mixture between my fingers to see if the sugar is dissolved --like five minutes for a small amount--some people are careful to get their eggs up to 160 degrees and more power to them but for example duff goldman (ace of cakes) uses uncooked raw egg whites in his smbc--so there's a whole spectrum there and we each just find our spot on it--

 

if you do go for the 160 degrees you need the right kind of double boiler (bain marie) where the top container fits down well and seals off the pot of boiling water without the water touching the bottom of the top container--if this does not seal well and fit down in there good enough you can still make wonderful smbc but it will never ever get to temp ever--never--

 

know what though--my local grocery stores carry candy thermometers and instant read ones too--so that's a possible source too--i'd use an instant read for this--but whatever--

 

meringue bc is famous for curdling being a part of the process--don't panic--just keep on beating it--make sure your meringue is not warm and your butter is not melty but room temp enough to smash evenly--i just smash each stick with my hand to be sure there's no spots too cold--you still want the butter to have some body--

 

after you make it a few times you can even cool the meringue a bit with colder butter but get a few successes under your belt with it before you go there--maybe never do this idk-- lol

 

if it tastes too buttery--add vanilla--or maybe you'll want to add almond--i'll leave the flavoring up to you--

 

and smbc is very whippy like--not like abc--

 

would love to see a picture if all goes well--no pressure

 

best baking & caking to you!

BatterUpCake Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 4:39pm
post #3 of

Hi...For my double boiler I just use a saucepan andte bowl straight from my mixer. As long as there are no dents or dings in either it seals every time and I always reach my desired temp..

JWinslow Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 8:55pm
post #4 of

You don't need special equipment except a thermometer.  I use my KA bowl on top of a pot with a couple of inches of boiling water.  It's important to cook your sugar/egg mixture to 160 for pasteurization for food safety.   Sugar melts at 140 so feeling it between your fingers is not really adequate.  Food safety first :)

 

This is the tutorial I used when I first made SMBC.  It explains the entire process with pics and entertaining as well.

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/

 

Jeanne

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 9:30pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWinslow 
 

You don't need special equipment except a thermometer.  I use my KA bowl on top of a pot with a couple of inches of boiling water.  It's important to cook your sugar/egg mixture to 160 for pasteurization for food safety.   Sugar melts at 140 so feeling it between your fingers is not really adequate.  Food safety first :)

 

This is the tutorial I used when I first made SMBC.  It explains the entire process with pics and entertaining as well.

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/

 

Jeanne

 

duff uses his egg whites right out of the shell--well in fact i used margaret braun's recipe way before duff was on the scene--no thermometer--but there's other big name cakers who don't advise to go to 160 either--

 

know why though? i am my own cup bearer--i love fried eggs with runny yolks--but i have found myself in the bathroom begging god for my life often enough after eating one that it finally dawned on me that runny yolks and i are not compatible at all anymore--not a little not ever and i go down fast too -- so i test my own icing--i've never gotten a reaction--

 

in fact--in 4th edition professional baking used in le cordon bleu culinary classrooms for swiss it says to warm the eggs to 120 degrees f--page 213

 

so finger pinch is most adequate for me--each to their own

JWinslow Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 10:25pm
post #6 of

I just know the Department of Health requires holding the temp at 160 for food safety.  And quite frankly, even big name bakers can get things wrong. 

-K8memphis Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 10:28pm
post #7 of

well then that's how you should make it, jeanne, no worries

JWinslow Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 10:31pm
post #8 of

I certainly don't worry about my SMBC.  Always comes out great!

JWinslow Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 10:44pm
post #9 of

OP, it is always a good habit to wipe out your bowl and whip with some white vinegar before you start.  Because this is a meringue based icing, you want to make sure they are grease free.  It does not change the taste of the SMBC.  :smile:

MBalaska Posted 1 Jan 2014 , 10:47pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by BatterUpCake 
 

Hi...For my double boiler I just use a saucepan andte bowl straight from my mixer. As long as there are no dents or dings in either it seals every time and I always reach my desired temp..

exactly what I do.  I sit a kitchen towel by the stove, so I can wipe the water off the bottom of the mixing bowl just before putting it on the mixer.

BatterUpCake Posted 2 Jan 2014 , 1:15am

I was doing it in 2 separate bowls then I had a duh moment. Went to the one bowl system. It's going to be interesting when we get to parts at school that I am accustomed to doing one way and they want me to do it another. Habits are hard to break

KrispyKareem Posted 2 Jan 2014 , 1:40am

Thanks everyone for your help! So SBC is akin to whipped icing then it seems.... 

BatterUpCake Posted 2 Jan 2014 , 2:19am

You just need to make a small batch to know. I would not compare it to whipped cream if thats what you mean. It is a very smooth creamy taste and feel but heaveier that whipped cream. It is just wonderful.

JWinslow Posted 2 Jan 2014 , 2:35am

Quote:

Originally Posted by KrispyKareem 
 

Thanks everyone for your help! So SBC is akin to whipped icing then it seems.... 


It's heavier than whipped cream but much lighter than American butter cream.  Even though you are looking to make amaretto bc, add the vanilla first.  Although I change the flavor of my SMBC all the time, I always start with vanilla. Now that's just me, others may say different.   Much luck with it.  Let us know how you made out.

BatterUpCake Posted 2 Jan 2014 , 2:53am

it's a little slice of heaven in my mouth..lol

KrispyKareem Posted 6 Jan 2014 , 12:10pm

AI decided to go with American buttercream because the person I was baking for is very particular..

[IMG]http://cakecentral.com/content/type/61/id/3162800/width/200/height/400[/IMG]

-K8memphis Posted 6 Jan 2014 , 1:57pm

that is one seriously tall cheesecake--i would really like a slice of that right now! you did a great job--american icing is a great choice because the smbc would have been meltier too--your creation is wonderful--

 

you did all that you set out to do and it's beautiful-- on a technical note--just because i'm a fellow decorator i can see that at the end of your bags of icing, as you piped, the icing got soft on you--that can be avoided next time by using more bags less full and you could alternate them & out the fridge if needed but just picking up some speed will also correct that--and if you fill the bags less full you will pick up speed right there too--

 

you rocked it and i'm sure everyone there was beyond thrilled with it--

 

(btw--i love your screen name ;)

JWinslow Posted 6 Jan 2014 , 5:54pm

Good for you!!!  I hope you will still give SMBC a go.  I think you will enjoy it.

KrispyKareem Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 1:36am

AThanks! [@]-K8memphis[/@] yea it was huge.. She said 20 people.. After it was all said and done 1/5 of that cake was left.. Two questions and a comment (I'm trying to gain more experience)...

My cake was incredibly hard to cut clean straight slices... The knife the restaurant gave me ended up twisting, so I'm assuming that was apart of the problem, and I think it was because the cake was so high... Any tips for that?

Also my cake ended up leaning a tad... Now that probably was because I didn't level my cake layers, but I did make sure they were nice and flat by pressing down on them with parchment paper immediately after they came out of the oven (I had crazy hills going on and that fixed them). Could that be why it leaned or is it something else?

So the frosting... I'm still searching for a go to BC recipe. I tried to adapt the Wilton recipe by not adding any vanilla extract and just adding in the Amaretto. Additionally, I did all butter instead of a mix of Crisco and butter (I wanted to opt for flavor). Well doing this taught me when I need my piping at attention to use some Crisco... I was also afraid of the icing melting off so I had them store the cake in the fridge for about 30 mins and then remove it... I think had it been room temperature the flavor would have been EVEN better.

Anyway back to the frosting, so I didn't use piping bags... I used the wilton decorator plus... So yea I had to clean and refill the decorator with each color.. (I'm just starting out and had a horrible experience with parchment paper piping and thought the bags would be similar) It was a pain... but I did it as I worked top to bottom... The lightest purple frosting went soupy on me when I tried to give it a blend to revive it from the fridge... so I added more powdered sugar to stiffen it... As you see it helped but not much... Thanks for the tip with the piping bags, I'll definitely do that next time.

But that actually brings me to another question... Is it easier to pipe chilled frosting or room temperature?

Thanks in Advance!

KrispyKareem Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 1:36am

AI'm definitely going to give it a try next time!

-K8memphis Posted 8 Jan 2014 , 3:52am

Quote:

Originally Posted by KrispyKareem 

My cake was incredibly hard to cut clean straight slices... The knife the restaurant gave me ended up twisting, so I'm assuming that was apart of the problem, and I think it was because the cake was so high... Any tips for that

 

i scrape clean the knife off after each cut--like use another knife to keep it scraped off--i dip it into a tall glass or pitcher of hot water too--keep a towel handy -- that will help to make cleaner cuts -- serving is a whole 'nuther learning curve huh--

 

Also my cake ended up leaning a tad... Now that probably was because I didn't level my cake layers, but I did make sure they were nice and flat by pressing down on them with parchment paper immediately after they came out of the oven (I had crazy hills going on and that fixed them). Could that be why it leaned or is it something else?

 

mighta been--it's better to cut them off level--it also could be that it needed one dowel in the middle to hold it all from sliding--

 

 

So the frosting... I'm still searching for a go to BC recipe. I tried to adapt the Wilton recipe by not adding any vanilla extract and just adding in the Amaretto. Additionally, I did all butter instead of a mix of Crisco and butter (I wanted to opt for flavor). Well doing this taught me when I need my piping at attention to use some Crisco... I was also afraid of the icing melting off so I had them store the cake in the fridge for about 30 mins and then remove it... I think had it been room temperature the flavor would have been EVEN better.
 

 

opting for flavor is plan A--you get a gold star ;) just watch the temp of your icing--and you are right again--room temp cake is better 

 

Anyway back to the frosting, so I didn't use piping bags... I used the wilton decorator plus... So yea I had to clean and refill the decorator with each color.. (I'm just starting out and had a horrible experience with parchment paper piping and thought the bags would be similar) It was a pain... but I did it as I worked top to bottom... The lightest purple frosting went soupy on me when I tried to give it a blend to revive it from the fridge... so I added more powdered sugar to stiffen it... As you see it helped but not much... Thanks for the tip with the piping bags, I'll definitely do that next time.

But that actually brings me to another question... Is it easier to pipe chilled frosting or room temperature?

Thanks in Advance!
 

you did all that with a decorator plus??? omg!! you did a fabulous job with that unruly god forsaken gadget--you'll get so much more control when you get the hang of piping bags--parchment or plastic--

 

as a pro decorator i keep a squirt bottle of water and a shaker of cornstarch at my station to thin or thicken my icing as needed--thin for leaves and grass--thicken for roses--piping fully chilled icing is too hard--you wanna pipe room temp icing but as you gain experience you will get a better grip on how to handle it so it doesn't melt on you--and as i said upthread you can alternate bags in and out of the fridge if necessary to control the meltiness--but as you gain experience you won't need to do this --

 

you did a great job an that cake, krispy, keep up the good work  

KrispyKareem Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 2:28am

Thank you SOOO much for the useful tips. Next time I bake, I'll be putting them to use!

enga Posted 9 Jan 2014 , 2:49am

Try this SMBC you wont regret it :)

 

http://youtu.be/j-YxuBKB92U

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