Getting Discouraged

Decorating By bakeforfun21 Updated 31 May 2014 , 12:15am by enga

bakeforfun21 Posted 26 May 2014 , 8:40pm
post #1 of 25

AI try so hard to make buttercream. The flavor is great but the consistency is horrible. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. No matter how much sugar I add, I can't get stuff or medium. Only thin. I even tried smbc that came out like water. It was fine until I added butter. I'm nit discouraged from cake baking but from making buttercream.

24 replies
Sammy09 Posted 26 May 2014 , 8:47pm
post #2 of 25

AKeep your chin up and you will eventually find success if you don't give up. I use Three. Little blackbirds SMBC. I follow the procedure carefully and weigh my ingredients.

enga Posted 26 May 2014 , 8:56pm
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by bakeforfun21 

I try so hard to make buttercream. The flavor is great but the consistency is horrible. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. No matter how much sugar I add, I can't get satuff or medium. Only thin. I even tried smbc that came out like water. It was fine until I added butter. I'm nit discouraged from cake baking but from making buttercream.

Don't be discouraged, I have a recipe now that I can make with my eyes closed. It's a nice recipe, I even use pasteurized egg whites that were previously frozen.When it's time to add the butter and shortening (at room temp), I practically dump it all in at once! :eek: It comes out great every time!

 

It's so easy a monkey could do it :lol:

 


Danilou Posted 26 May 2014 , 9:19pm
post #4 of 25

AWith your SMB make sure your whites are ultra stiff and cool to touch before adding your butter and the butter needs to be soft. It will probably curdle at this stage but keep beating on low and it will come together. If it was watery I would say your white's weren't cool enough. I use sweetapolita's recipe its slightly sweeter than others.

jennicake Posted 26 May 2014 , 10:09pm
post #5 of 25

I learned the hard way last week that not all pasteurized egg whites are equal.  I always use pasteurized egg whites for my SMBC with no issues, but used a different brand last week and 3 batches all failed miserably.  If you are using pasteurized egg whites, try a different brand or try fresh egg whites instead.  If it still doesn't work out for you with fresh egg whites, then you may need to look at your technique. 

AZCouture Posted 26 May 2014 , 10:27pm
post #6 of 25

AAnd not all methods for recipes work well for everyone. I actually don't wait for my smbc whites to get cool, I'd be waiting forever. So once they're sufficiently stiff, in goes the fairly cool butter. You just do what works for you, and if takes a hundred tries, and several recipes to figure it out...so be it.

scrumdiddlycakes Posted 26 May 2014 , 11:54pm
post #7 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by AZCouture 

And not all methods for recipes work well for everyone. I actually don't wait for my smbc whites to get cool, I'd be waiting forever. So once they're sufficiently stiff, in goes the fairly cool butter. You just do what works for you, and if takes a hundred tries, and several recipes to figure it out...so be it.


I never let mine cool, and toss in butter straight from the fridge if I'm feeling extra lazy, lol.

Soupy SMBC is easy to fix, just keep beating and stick a bowl of ice under your mixing bowl, assuming the recipe/measurements were accurate.

 

I've had meringues completely collapse on me before, and I just toss the butter in anyway, then beat the tar out of it. Comes out perfectly every time. (Usually because I do something stupid, like dumping cocoa powder into the meringue, lol)

Meringue buttercreams are becoming the new macarons of the baking world, with all the little tricks and tips, lol, and the truth is they are super easy. The answer to almost every problem is just keep beating.
 

Norasmom Posted 27 May 2014 , 1:30am
post #8 of 25

Is it just SMBC you are having trouble with or also the traditional buttercream?  Easy fix with traditional buttercream, you simply add very little liquid.  I always have to add more liquid to mine than indicated.

 

As for SMBC, beat the heck out of it.  It can take what seems like forever and it goes through a curdling stage.

I love SMBC but my family hates it. They tell me it tastes too much like straight butter…

enga Posted 27 May 2014 , 1:44am
post #9 of 25

I wanted to add that the recipe calls for fresh egg whites but you can use pasteurized ones, it's totally up to you.

 

I haven't tried it with cold butter or cocoa powder. When I make the chocolate version, I add cooled melted chocolate to the already made SMBC. I said it was an easy recipe because I think it leaves more room for error. I also like it because the shortening and powdered sugar help to make it a little more stable.

 

I have tried different MBCs and had failures as they are temperamental at times. This is one of my favs to use that has never let me down. I love French and German meringue butter creams but I use them more as fillings.

 

Experiment with different types, you will find your favorite one too!

thecakewitch Posted 27 May 2014 , 2:04am
post #10 of 25

ASometimes it's not the recipe but technique/skill. Understanding the how and whys is more important than the recipe itself.

Nadiaa Posted 27 May 2014 , 2:23am
post #11 of 25

AI use FromScratchSF's SMBC. She has a fantastic tutorial on her blog that I found SO helpful when I first learned. http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/

When you're making regular BC with icing sugar and butter or shortening, just cream your butter well and add your sifted icing sugar a bit at a time. Sometimes I'll add a tablespoon of milk to it at the end but if my butter is on the softer side I don't always need it. Which BC recipe are you using?

AZCouture Posted 27 May 2014 , 7:04am
post #12 of 25

A

Original message sent by thecakewitch

Sometimes it's not the recipe but technique/skill. Understanding the how and whys is more important than the recipe itself.

Absolutely.

AZCouture Posted 27 May 2014 , 7:08am
post #13 of 25

AI love SMBC but my family hates it. They tell me it tastes too much like straight butter… [/quote]

Seriously, if you want to.convert them, look up the SMBC recipe by Well Dressed Cakes, just Google it, and it will lead you back here (easier than the search function here, IMNHO)

I've been using a tweaked version of that for years, and the one thing I hear most from people who.have complained of overly buttery taste in mbcs, is how this is [B]not[/B] buttery. Buttery enough, but very very tame. Excuse the typos.

MBalaska Posted 27 May 2014 , 10:06am
post #14 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by bakeforfun21 

I try so hard to make buttercream. The flavor is great but the consistency is horrible. I don't know what I'm doing wrong. No matter how much sugar I add, I can't get stuff or medium. Only thin. I even tried smbc that came out like water. It was fine until I added butter. I'm nit discouraged from cake baking but from making buttercream.

 

So, what icing have you been using on all of your cakes in your photos.  They look like perfectly normal iced cakes & cupcakes.  The Wilton class you said that you took, teaches icing basics.

http://cakecentral.com/t/776499/i-ice-better-with-medium

 

You say you are going to start a business and selling your cakes.  Making you own homemade icing is not required to start a business.

http://cakecentral.com/t/776536/your-first-sale

 

MimiFix gave you simple and basic information for making buttercream.

bakeforfun21 Posted 27 May 2014 , 11:51am
post #15 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by MBalaska 
 

 

So, what icing have you been using on all of your cakes in your photos.  They look like perfectly normal iced cakes & cupcakes.  The Wilton class you said that you took, teaches icing basics.

http://cakecentral.com/t/776499/i-ice-better-with-medium

 

You say you are going to start a business and selling your cakes.  Making you own homemade icing is not required to start a business.

http://cakecentral.com/t/776536/your-first-sale

 

MimiFix gave you simple and basic information for making buttercream.

I've been using the Wilton icing they sell at Walmart. I didn't know that. I'm not ready to start a business yet but I am interested. I really want to make my own icing. I think it adds that special uniqueness. 

thecakewitch Posted 27 May 2014 , 3:35pm
post #16 of 25

AThe only way to develop your skill is by doing it. A lot of times! And although this forum has a lot of members willing to help out, you should get a baking book (not a cook book) and read up so you will understand whatthe ingredients or procedure is for.

And bake some more!

cai0311 Posted 27 May 2014 , 4:56pm
post #17 of 25

AI ordered Sharon's Sugar Shack DVD on buttercream. The information is great. She walks you through the process, ingredients, fixes... I use her recipe on all my cakes. I love how easy it is to make and ice with, and all my brides love the taste.

ellavanilla Posted 27 May 2014 , 10:16pm
post #18 of 25

I used RLBs IMBC recipe from the cake bible, and her classic BC which is basically a French Buttercream.

 

I've been making those recipes for over a decade and last week I could not get the classic BC to come together. I used ice, refrigerated and whipped. NO go. Eventually I had to add another lb of butter. The only thing I can figure is that the extreme high temps outside somehow changed the consistency. 

 

My point is that you can do everything right and sometimes it still goes wrong. 

 

But keep trying. Use a candy thermometer and be sure your sugar gets up to temp. 

Natka81 Posted 30 May 2014 , 2:24pm
post #19 of 25

So far, I have used 3 or 4 different recipes for SMBC, waisted like 10 pounds of sugar, many egg whites and  butter, and the result is either stiff but too buttery or soupy. But I will keep trying because I like it better than butter cream.

ellavanilla Posted 30 May 2014 , 5:30pm
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natka81 
 

So far, I have used 3 or 4 different recipes for SMBC, waisted like 10 pounds of sugar, many egg whites and  butter, and the result is either stiff but too buttery or soupy. But I will keep trying because I like it better than butter cream.

 

 

stiff but too buttery--add more vanilla. this will sweeten the BC and loosen it up a bit.

 

soupy--pop the bowl in the fridge or freezer for a couple of minutes. take it out and rebeat. 

 

BE SURE that you get your sugar up to the right temp.

Natka81 Posted 30 May 2014 , 6:08pm
post #21 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by ellavanilla 
 

 

 

stiff but too buttery--add more vanilla. this will sweeten the BC and loosen it up a bit.

 

soupy--pop the bowl in the fridge or freezer for a couple of minutes. take it out and rebeat. 

 

BE SURE that you get your sugar up to the right temp.

Ok will try it. Thank you.

AileenGP Posted 30 May 2014 , 11:39pm
post #22 of 25

Don't get discouraged!

 

There's a lot of good suggestions here and a lot of good links to recipes/blogs as well. I had the same problem in the beginning when I was first making the buttercream and now I can make it in my sleep.

 

Whoever I gave the SMBC recipe to would always have a hard time because they forget that it will all come together if you have patience =).

 

Because of that, I posted a tutorial with step by step pictures (including the soupy, curdled stage) on my blog including troubleshooting and tons of flavor variations. It took me years of tweaking this recipe to get it to where it never fails me. I hope you check it out!

 

http://dessertdesignlife.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream/

enga Posted 31 May 2014 , 12:00am
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by AileenGP 
 

Don't get discouraged!

 

There's a lot of good suggestions here and a lot of good links to recipes/blogs as well. I had the same problem in the beginning when I was first making the buttercream and now I can make it in my sleep.

 

Whoever I gave the SMBC recipe to would always have a hard time because they forget that it will all come together if you have patience =).

 

Because of that, I posted a tutorial with step by step pictures (including the soupy, curdled stage) on my blog including troubleshooting and tons of flavor variations. It took me years of tweaking this recipe to get it to where it never fails me. I hope you check it out!

 

http://dessertdesignlife.com/swiss-meringue-buttercream

Wow, nice site! Now you've made me want cheese cake! I know you posted this for bakeforfun21 but thanks for sharing ;-D 

AileenGP Posted 31 May 2014 , 12:05am
post #24 of 25

Glad you en

Quote:

Originally Posted by enga 
 

Wow, nice site! Now you've made me want cheese cake! I know you posted this for bakefofun21 but thanks for sharing ;-D

 

No problem! Thanks for visiting the site! Soon I hope to get some cake recipes, cake photography tips, and fondant/gumpaste tutorials on there. 

enga Posted 31 May 2014 , 12:15am
post #25 of 25

Quote:

Originally Posted by AileenGP 
 

Glad you en

Quote:
Originally Posted by enga 
 

Wow, nice site! Now you've made me want cheese cake! I know you posted this for bakefofun21 but thanks for sharing ;-D

 

No problem! Thanks for visiting the site! Soon I hope to get some cake recipes, cake photography tips, and fondant/gumpaste tutorials on there. 

Well I'll definitely be visiting,lol I love the ombre cupcake pics with your daughter, my grand sons love to bake too. I cant wait for the tutorials. I have this new camera and I struggle so much with taking pictures of my cakes. And I don't even want to go there with my fondant/gum paste skills :roll:. I need all the help I can get!

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