Did I Do Something Wrong With This Swiss Merigue Better Cream?

Decorating By Hamaranpuu Updated 25 Jul 2014 , 1:29pm by Hamaranpuu

Hamaranpuu Posted 14 May 2014 , 6:31pm
post #1 of 40

Hello all. I made swiss meringue better cream for the first time for mothers day, to ice a cake for my mom. I have never worked with it before...or even tasted it. SOOO...I was wondering if I did it right. I was expecting it to be a lot more fluffy. And when I tried to pipe a simple border with it it was really hard to controle. I used the recipe from Joshua Russle's Craftsy class. Any thoughts on this? Everyone said it tasted a lot better then the American buttercream I usually use...but i found it just a bit ...greasy? I used store bought egg whites so i didn't have to worrie about getting the egg sugar mixture to hot. And I did add the whole 3 cups of butter...

 

This is what it looked like after I was done mixing. Could it be to much butter?

39 replies
Rfisher Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:06pm
post #2 of 40

AToo cold is my guess? Did your carton egg whites fully go to stiff meringue before butter was added?

Hamaranpuu Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:12pm
post #3 of 40

Yes. I whipped them to stiff peaks. and I brought my butter to room temperature. I didn't let it get smooshy soft though. I had been told that you needed to be able to stick your finger in butter but that it shouldn't be melty soft. (I have also seen videos of people using butter still slightly chilled. They say if its to soft it wont work...so many conflicting instructions...)

Rfisher Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:26pm
post #4 of 40

Ahttp://cakecentral.com/t/603562/smbc-not-fluffy Look at the picture in this thread, maybe that might help wi some insight, but it will probably not be much insight for you. I do know that a couple of times mine, while incorporating the butter it would start to pull away from the bowl, get too cold, and I would have to warm the bowl with my hot little hands to get it to smooth back out. But I never had a batch at looked exactly like yours. Sorry!

AZCouture Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:30pm
post #5 of 40

AToo cold. Try real egg whites next time too, and for smbc that is neither greasy nor too buttery, Google "Well Dressed Cake SMBC recipe". It will lead you back here to a recipe posted on Cake Central, but it's easier to find it by googling.

AZCouture Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:32pm
post #6 of 40

AI throw my butter in straight from the fridge sometimes, and sometimes I let it warm up, there are just so many little things you can do differently and things that some will say never to do, always do, etc. Have to practice, until you get it right.

Hamaranpuu Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:43pm
post #7 of 40

I knew something was wrong when I went to scrape the beater and after cutting one side it all fell off with a plop. NO ONE uses it in my area so I had never even tasted it before...I had no idea it could get to cold while whipping.

 

Thank you guys! I will look google for that link.

JWinslow Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:46pm
post #8 of 40

I was curious about trying the egg carton whites.  I made SMBC with them.  - Let's just say I will use real egg whites from now on.  They took forever to come to a "not so stiff peak". 

I have used the recipe AZ has recommended - it is really excellent.  Give it a try :)

Hamaranpuu Posted 14 May 2014 , 7:55pm
post #9 of 40

awesome. I was going to use fresh egg whites but my thermometer had let me down the night before for my caramel filling. It was WAY OFF and I have no idea why. So for a first try I just went out and got the carton of egg whites to be safe.

mattyeatscakes Posted 14 May 2014 , 11:38pm
post #10 of 40

AI would microwave about 1/4 of the batch, 10 sec interval for about 20-30 sec. It will look like melted icecream. Add it to your remaining batch and beat again with the paddle. It should fluff up. I've had this problem before too. Good luck :)

Rfisher Posted 14 May 2014 , 11:42pm
post #11 of 40

Ahttp://cakecentral.com/t/594605/making-smbc If you feel like reading even more, see this!

waggs Posted 14 May 2014 , 11:56pm
post #12 of 40

AGo to beyond buttercream web page. She has a whole tutorial on this. She explains everything you need to know and the buttercream is great.

MBalaska Posted 15 May 2014 , 12:04am
post #13 of 40

Quote:

Originally Posted by Hamaranpuu 
 

 I have never worked with it before...or even tasted it. SOOO...I was wondering if I did it right. ..."

 

just out of curiosity, what recipe &  tutorial did you follow to make that first batch.......

Hamaranpuu Posted 16 May 2014 , 7:59pm
post #14 of 40

Joshua Russle's Craftsy class, is the tutorial I took. Its called Modern Buttercream.

 

•     8    egg    whites    (about    1    cup)
•     1    cup    granulated    sugar
•     6    sticks    unsalted    butter    (3    cups),    at
room    temperature
•     1    cup    confectioner’s    sugar    (sifted)
•     Pinch    salt
•     2    tablespoons    vanilla    extract

Hamaranpuu Posted 16 May 2014 , 8:03pm
post #15 of 40

I wrote about my expirience in my blog if anyone is interested in taking a better look at what went wrong. I have pictures of the whole proses.

 

www.agapecakes.workpress.com

 

Its my latest post so it should be right at the top of the home page. Just for those who are curious.

mzteaze Posted 16 May 2014 , 8:29pm
post #16 of 40

A

Original message sent by Hamaranpuu

I wrote about my expirience in my blog if anyone is interested in taking a better look at what went wrong. I have pictures of the whole proses.

[URL=http://www.agapecakes.wordpress.com]www.agapecakes.workpress.com[/URL]

Its my latest post so it should be right at the top of the home page. Just for those who are curious.

Thanks for sharing the blog pictures. I saw two things right away....

The meringue wasn't stiff enough. Also, the butter wasn't soft enough. At least in your picture it appeared to be more frozen than softened to room temp.

I'm thinking it looked broken because your egg whites were literally warmer than the butter when you started mixing the two. Ideally they would be roughly the same temp by the time you mix them together.

I made my first batch of SMBC during the same weekend. It turned out fine but wasn't as stiff as I thought it would be mainly because I also didn't get the whites as stiff as necessary.

Keep in mind, stiff, hard peaked egg whites, take time even with a KA mixer.

Hamaranpuu Posted 16 May 2014 , 9:10pm
post #17 of 40

Thank you for taking the time to read the post and give me some feed back mzteaze. It will help out a lot next time!

ladyofivy99 Posted 16 May 2014 , 9:24pm
post #18 of 40

ABeyond Buttercream has the best SMBC tutorial IMHO She breaks everything down step by step and includes pictures. Check it out. THE only thing I change is to add 1.5 c sugar instead of 1. HTH

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

Edited to add link

Hamaranpuu Posted 17 May 2014 , 2:39pm
post #19 of 40

I just had a thought that I would put out there. because I used a carton of egg whites instead of fresh I didn't have to warm then over the dubble boiler for more then like...a minute or to and the sugar had dissolved. I am reading Beyond Buttercream RIGHT NOW. and she said the sugar wont dissolve until 140 f. My egg whites were no were near that warm. Could the sugar dissolve a lot quicker in the carton egg whites? I checked over and over and over because I didn't believe it my self WHILE it was happening. And if that did happen would that have affected the overall out come of the icing as well?

Rfisher Posted 17 May 2014 , 3:00pm
post #20 of 40

AThe best practice in learning (I feel) is to do the exact same recipe you did the 1st time, but only change one variable. My suggestion of that first variable would be taking up your eggs white to correct temp. See your results from that batch and go from there. I have had mediocre results from carton whites, but others claim they get perfectly fine results. Changing two things at once in a recipe when figuring out problems makes it tough to pinpoint where the issue lies. Changing to fresh eggwhites as well as bringing up to 160 I think would be an exception to that guideline, for me. Good luck, let us know what you come up with!

-K8memphis Posted 17 May 2014 , 4:43pm
post #21 of 40

i did not read the whole thread -- no the 160 degrees is important for safety not for the success of the recipe because eggs whites will whip up at any temperature--whips better (more volume) when not cold--but the high temp is strictly for safety--some famous bakers use raw egg whites in their meringue buttercreams--they don't cook them at all--

 

so using fresh instead of the carton egg whites might do the trick--if you get any yellow bits of yolk in there--a piece of egg shell will draw it out like a magnet --

 

and your bain marie set up needs to be right before you can expect to get that mixture to 160 degrees--the bottom of the pan should not touch the water but it needs to set down into the pot of water enough and fit tight enough that the heat can get up there--it's muy frustrating to try & get it to temp when your double boiler set up will simply not allow it to happen--

 

sometimes when i used my mixer bowl, it would just sit on top of the pot of water too high to hit the temp so i got a slimmer deep huge stainless steel bowl that fits down into my dutch oven so it works great --

 

one other tidbit--i stand on a step so that my arm doesn't fall off whisking that stuff--i'm not short but by the time you pile all that stuff up on the hot stove it's too tall so an ergonomic thought for you --

 

best smbc to you

AZCouture Posted 17 May 2014 , 6:45pm
post #22 of 40

AThey don't cook them at all? That's just gross.

Hamaranpuu Posted 17 May 2014 , 10:14pm
post #23 of 40

Some of the vary old recipes I have for royal icing call for raw egg whites with no cooking as well. I guess back in the day people just weren't aware or not as worried about food safety as we are today. Sometimes I think we go overboard.

Thank you everyone for ALL of your input. I am really really looking forward to trying SMBC again. I have a really busy month of cake making comeing up. (1 or 2 cakes every week.) I can't believe it I usually only get one a month. (I work only for close friends and family.) I am so excited about being able to offer SMBC. NO ONE in my area even knows what it is. (Or no one i have talked to.) I will absolutely let you all know how my next attempt goes. But it might be a month in the future. Would love to use it for the owl cupcakes I am planing for my sisters 30th birthday.

-K8memphis Posted 18 May 2014 , 1:33am
post #24 of 40

i googled smbc and came up with the following from the first page of smbc recipes listed--i noted the temps they recommend to heat the egg whites to in each recipe or said 'no temp' if none is mentioned-- just an interesting fyi

 

http://www.marthastewart.com/353415/swiss-meringue-buttercream no temp

 

http://www.marthastewart.com/318727/swiss-meringue-buttercream-for-cupcakes no temp

 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/swiss-meringue-buttercream/ says 140 degrees

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ron-ben-israel/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe.html#! --ron ben israel's recipe no temp

 

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/Swiss-Meringue-Buttercream-109239 --toba garrett's recipe say 140 degrees

 

http://sweetapolita.com/2011/04/swiss-meringue-buttercream-demystified/ -- she says 160 degrees

 

http://www.beantownbaker.com/2011/02/my-favorite-swiss-meringue-buttercream.html -- 140 degrees

 

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/swiss-buttercream-recipe.html?_escaped_fragment_- bronwen weber say 120 degrees and she taught at a cordon bleu school

 

http://cakecentral.com/b/recipe/buttercream-swiss-meringue 160 degrees

 

http://www.perfect-wedding-day.com/buttercream-icing-recipe-1.html  140 degrees

 

http://www.craftsy.com/recipe/swiss-meringue-buttercream -- joshua john russell's recipe no temp

 

http://thebearfootbaker.com/2014/04/swiss-meringue-buttercream-recipe/ 115 degrees

 

http://cakecentral.com/recipe/duff-goldman-butter-cream -- duff goldman's no heat at all

 

http://www.bakespace.com/recipes/detail/Duff%27s-Buttercream-%28swiss-meringue-buttercream%29/13456/#.U3fpgvldXa4 another duff recipe 110 degrees

mzteaze Posted 20 May 2014 , 8:10am
post #25 of 40

K8, I noticed some of the variables listed as well with the temps.  However, the American Egg Council says this:

 

Doesn’t cooking destroy bacteria? Is there any general rule for cooking eggs?

Even light cooking will begin to destroy any Salmonella that might be present, but proper cooking brings eggs and other foods to a temperature high enough to destroy them all. For eggs, the white will coagulate (set) between 144 and 149° F, the yolk between 149 and 158° F, and whole egg between 144 and 158° F. Egg products made of plain whole eggs are pasteurized (heated to destroy bacteria), but not cooked, by bringing them to 140° F and keeping them at that temperature for 3 1/2 minutes. If you bring a food to an internal temperature of 160° F, you will instantly kill almost any bacteria. By diluting eggs with a liquid or sugar (as in custard), you can bring an egg mixture to 160° F. Use these temperatures as rough guidelines when you prepare eggs.

cook_temp

 

Notice that temps between 144 - 149°F starts to coagulate the egg whites, so when making a meringue, it doesn't seem feasible to bring the whites to a temp above 140°F.  They do state that ANY light heating begins to kill off potential Salmonella which seems to explain the wide variance in recipe approaches since it's up to the philosophy of the recipe writer/chef - hence some are ok with no heat which others use a bit of heat as a guideline to allay fears.

 

Now (sorry this is getting long) - IF you are completely concerned about it - they suggest two things.  Either use pasteurized SHELL eggs or do the following;

 

Cooking Egg Whites for Use in Recipes
Cooking egg whites before use in all recipes is recommended for full safety. The following method can be used with any number of whites and works for chilled desserts as well as Seven-Minute Frosting, Royal Icing and other frosting recipes calling for raw egg whites.

In a heavy saucepan, the top of a double boiler or a metal bowl placed over water in a saucepan, stir together the egg whites and sugar from the recipe (at least 2 tablespoons sugar per white), water (1 teaspoon per white) and cream of tartar (1/8 teaspoon per each 2 whites). Cook over low heat or simmering water, beating constantly with a portable mixer at low speed, until the whites reach 160° F. Pour into a large bowl. Beat on high speed until the whites stand in soft peaks. Proceed with the recipe.

cake

Note that you must use sugar to keep the whites from coagulating too rapidly. Test with a thermometer as there is no visual clue to doneness. If you use an unlined aluminum saucepan, eliminate the cream of tartar or the two will react and create an unattractive gray meringue.

The egg whites in an Italian meringue (made by adding hot sugar syrup to egg whites while beating them) do not reach much above 125° F, so this method is not recommended, except for dishes that are further cooked. If, however, you bring the sugar syrup all the way to the hardball stage (250 to 266° F), the whites will reach a high enough temperature. You can use a sugar syrup at hardball stage for Divinity and similar recipes.

AZCouture Posted 20 May 2014 , 8:34am
post #26 of 40

AI just [B]have to[/B] cook my SMBC to 160 degrees no matter what, or I wouldn't sleep well at night. A little matter of getting a phone call from the HD, because someone's food caused a hundred guests to visit the er that night would terrify me. I know there are still a hundred other things that can go wrong, no matter how safe I am, but at least I can reasonably check that very simple possibility off, because I'm vigilant about cooking the egg whites to the [B]proper[/B] temp.

And I believe that recipes that instruct the user to just heat it until the sugar dissolves to be dangerous and irresponsible, assuming the recipe calls for carton whites. People are [B]dumb[/B] and will follow the same method with fresh eggs. Very irresponsible if you ask me.

AZCouture Posted 20 May 2014 , 8:36am
post #27 of 40

AMaybe not a hundred other things could go wrong, but geez louise, why wouldn't anyone take the time to use a thermometer and [B]verify[/B] they're good to go. Never in a million years would I just assume it got hot enough.

mzteaze Posted 20 May 2014 , 9:27am
post #28 of 40

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

I just have to cook my SMBC to 160 degrees no matter what, or I wouldn't sleep well at night. A little matter of getting a phone call from the HD, because someone's food caused a hundred guests to visit the er that night would terrify me. I know there are still a hundred other things that can go wrong, no matter how safe I am, but at least I can reasonably check that very simple possibility off, because I'm vigilant about cooking the egg whites to the proper temp.

And I believe that recipes that instruct the user to just heat it until the sugar dissolves to be dangerous and irresponsible, assuming the recipe calls for carton whites. People are dumb and will follow the same method with fresh eggs. Very irresponsible if you ask me.

 

I understand...that's why I said, it really comes down to the comfort level of the person developing the recipe and/or the person subsequently replicating it via recipe.  Some writers try to note all the different safety issues that crop up - others do not.  Reasonable effort is necessary as no one recipe can address ALL of the potential issues as they vary from state to state, let alone country to country.

 

Now, I do have to point out this factoid from the American Egg Council - all things considered, the chance of getting salmonella from an egg (it's from the shell by the way) is 1 in 20,000 or in other words, the chance of you getting it from an egg is 0.005% (this figure is for the US only).  Or as quoted "at this rate, as an average consumer, you would encounter a contaminated egg every 84 years."  They go on to say (notice the reasonable effort):  "in the U.S., eggshells are washed and sanitized to remove possible hazards. You can further protect yourself and your family by discarding eggs that are unclean, cracked, broken or leaking and making sure you and your family members use good hygiene practices, including properly washing your hands and keeping them clean."

 

Not trying to change your mind but simply pointing out why others might not feel as strongly as you do about it.

Hamaranpuu Posted 20 May 2014 , 1:25pm
post #29 of 40

   It is also interesting to note that many European country have banned commercial egg washing. It can damage the outer layer of the shell and make it easier for contaminants to get in to an uncracked egg. Also, everyone in the US, and most people in Canada refrigerate there eggs. But Many places in Europe do not for this reason. Once the outer coating on an egg shell has been removed the contaminants that can leek in to the egg make it spoil faster.

 

Different countries, different safety practices.

 

(As a note the countries that do not 'wash' there eggs before sale do clean them in some way.)

-K8memphis Posted 20 May 2014 , 1:53pm
post #30 of 40

yes the food code put out by the fda also says eggs hot held for service must be cooked to 165 degrees -- however eggs can be cooked to 145 if served immediately -- most recipes that involve cooking eggs do not instruct about temps -- if eggs or meat is being cooked less than these guidelines then that needs to be listed on the menu or posted so it can be seen by diners--not that it's not allowed -- but that the caution/communication is evident -- that people are informed --

 

very good idea to not only get to 160 degrees but to document the temperature of each batch -- putting it into a hazard analysis critical control point system -- haccp -- even better -- additionally it's possible and advisable to consider getting a variance from your local regulatory agency specifically for this hazard if you are in business--

 

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/RetailFoodProtection/FoodCode/UCM374510.pdf

 

Variances     8-103.10 Modifications and Waivers.

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