Help! Smbc Emergency!

Decorating By luvmykids2bits Updated 25 Oct 2014 , 4:03am by winniemog

luvmykids2bits Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 5:10pm
post #1 of 30

I'm new to SMBC, but I made a test batch that turned out beautifully.  I went to make it for my cake, did everything exactly the same, and it took a long time to get past the curdly stage.  It seemed softer when it finally did come together, so I put it in the fridge for an hour.  I just took it out now and stirred it, it's very soft and starting to look curdly again.

 

I did 9 egg whites, 1.5 cups white sugar, 1.5 lbs unsalted butter, 3/4 cup melted bittersweet chocolate and purreed raspberries for flavour.

 

How to I salvage the SMBC?

29 replies
luvmykids2bits Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 5:44pm
post #2 of 30

I've been whipping it on low with a paddle attachment for about ten minutes and it's starting to come back together.  I'm freaked, though.  Now what??  The cake is due on Thursday, but I need to ice and decorate it today (chocolate cake, SMBC, then fondant).  Do I store it at room temp or the fridge?  Will the icing go all weird on me when I take the cake out of the fridge?  HELP!!!

luvmykids2bits Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 5:53pm
post #3 of 30

It was looking not too bad, so I turned the mixer up a speed and it's all curdly again.  Is there hope or do I quit and start again?

petitecat Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 5:58pm
post #4 of 30

AHiya, I use the following quantities per egg: 50g of sugar & 100g of butter. I'm not sure but it looks from your quantities that you may have too much egg? If I were to make a batch of SMBC using 9 eggs, I would have 2 cups of sugar and nearly 2lbs of butter.

Sorry I know it doesn't help much right now but after it comes together, just wait and see what your SMBC is like at room temperature for an hour. If it seems stable then use it. If you dont think it will do I would make another batch. I hope it works out in the end for you x

luvmykids2bits Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:00pm
post #5 of 30

Still whipping.  The texture is so light and fluffy, though - like a very light mousse instead of a spreadable butter like the last batch I did.

 

Anyone??

luvmykids2bits Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:01pm
post #6 of 30

Thanks, petitecat.  I think I'm about to give up on it and just use American Buttercream and try SMBC on another cake.

petitecat Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:06pm
post #7 of 30

AOk better luck next time :smile:

luvmykids2bits Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:16pm
post #8 of 30

Giving up.  I decided to try the last batch I had made on the cake (different flavour) and while mixing it up, it went from beautiful texture to all curdled as well.

 

Poo.

Gingerlocks Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:18pm
post #9 of 30

The only thing you can do is to keep whipping..sometimes it does come together. Did you get a bit of yoke in it? Sometimes that can cause problems..

 

I should also say that 9 egg whites is too much..find a recipe with 6 is your best bet. 

ammcats Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:22pm
post #10 of 30

ABefore you finally give up try this. Take about 1/3 cup out, put in microwave, then slowly add back to mixture whilst beating. Often that brings the curdles back together again. Worth a shot . Good luck!

winniemog Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:41pm
post #11 of 30

AYour basic ratios aren't that far off mine so I don't think it's your quantities at fault, you've maybe got a little more egg white than I use. I'm wondering how much raspberry you added. SMBC is an emulsion, mostly fats, so if you add too much in the way of water-based ingredients, the emulsion can break, making it look curdled. I would do another batch, start with chocolate, then try adding a little raspberry to start and seeing what happens. I normally use about 11-12 oz raspberries, puréed and sieved, for this quantity of SMBC.

Cevamal Posted 21 Oct 2014 , 6:59pm
post #12 of 30

I haven't made this particular recipe but serious eats generally has solid information and this comes with a slide show:

 

http://sweets.seriouseats.com/2011/10/sweet-technique-swiss-buttercream-for-cake-decorating-cake-technique-baking.html

luvmykids2bits Posted 22 Oct 2014 , 12:34am
post #13 of 30

Thanks, everyone.  I think the raspberries may have been my culprit.  They were frozen berries, and there were some ice crystals on them when I purreed them.

 

I think I will try again tomorrow and see if I can recreate my first success with it.  It's so delicious, I want it to work!

 

The cake will be due Thursday - should I keep it in the fridge until it is delivered and displayed?

winniemog Posted 22 Oct 2014 , 1:35am
post #14 of 30

AI use frozen berries in winter too, but I let them defrost on paper towel, it soaks up the excess water.

I never ever refrigerate fondant-covered cakes but there are plenty of people who do. There's no issue with SMBC at room temp, problems are only with other fillings that need refrigeration,

mattyeatscakes Posted 22 Oct 2014 , 3:13am
post #15 of 30

AI've had this happen before too. When adding the cooled melted chocolate, just fold it in. Don't use a mixer, use your spatula to fold it in the SMBC. The first time i added chocolate, i whipped it up and the whole thing became like mousse! :(

Also use room temp anything, when adding flavours to your SMBC. Anything cold will curdle it. Also, drain your puree or cook it (like a jam or fruit concentrate), you'll get better results. Don't add too much liquid to your frosting either..

Good luck and don't lose hope! It's really easy once you get the hang of it :)

sannalee Posted 22 Oct 2014 , 10:50am
post #16 of 30

Quote:

Originally Posted by ammcats 

Before you finally give up try this. Take about 1/3 cup out, put in microwave, then slowly add back to mixture whilst beating. Often that brings the curdles back together again. Worth a shot . Good luck!

This, I tried it the other day with a batch and it worked wonders.

LisaPeps Posted 22 Oct 2014 , 7:00pm
post #17 of 30

Just needs warming up a touch to get it back to the emulsified stage. Stick it over a double boiler for a little bit and re whip or do as previous posters suggested and temper it a bit with a third warmed. 

winniemog Posted 22 Oct 2014 , 7:56pm
post #18 of 30

AIf you're using a stainless steel bowl, a quick blowtorch will have the same effect.

luvmykids2bits Posted 24 Oct 2014 , 6:19pm
post #19 of 30

Warming it a bit and remixing it did the trick for the third batch I tried, Caramel Swiss Meringue.  It was so delicious, but wow, the amount of time it takes to make is insane!

MBalaska Posted 24 Oct 2014 , 6:53pm
post #20 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by luvmykids2bits 
 

Warming it a bit and remixing it did the trick for the third batch I tried, Caramel Swiss Meringue.  It was so delicious, but wow, the amount of time it takes to make is insane!

 

@luvmykids2bits  being a lazy git myself, I bought a jar of caramel ice cream topping and put a few spoonfuls in my SMBC last month and it was yummy deluxe.

MBalaska Posted 24 Oct 2014 , 8:07pm
post #21 of 30

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvmykids2bits 
 

Warming it a bit and remixing it did the trick for the third batch I tried, Caramel Swiss Meringue.  It was so delicious, but wow, the amount of time it takes to make is insane!

 

@luvmykids2bits what was time consuming that made you insane?

mattyeatscakes Posted 24 Oct 2014 , 10:13pm
post #22 of 30

A

Original message sent by MBalaska

@luvmykids2bits   being a lazy git myself, I bought a jar of caramel ice cream topping and put a few spoonfuls in my SMBC last month and it was yummy deluxe.

[COLOR=008000][SIZE=12px]ps ( I must need new reading glasses as all of the time I've seen your name I thought it said LUMPY kids)[/SIZE][/COLOR]

Caramel topping for icecream? And it works? Gotta try that! I haven't tried making caramel SMBC because i'm too lazy to make my own caramel! Hehehe

winniemog Posted 24 Oct 2014 , 10:33pm
post #23 of 30

AI use my own salted caramel sauce for SMBC and other emergencies requiring sweets.....and I always have some on hand in the fridge, it's quick and easy to make and unbelievably delicious. There's not much that can't be cured with a spoon of that sauce straight out of the container!

But in France last year I saw Bonne Maman (the brand that makes fancy jams etc) had a caramel sauce in a jar, and we now have it in Australia. It's a similar taste and texture. Maybe you could check if it's available in the States? Might be in a fancier store, in Australia it's just with all the breakfast spreads....so European to have caramel sauce on your baguette for brekkie!

MBalaska Posted 24 Oct 2014 , 11:29pm
post #24 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by winniemog 

I use my own salted caramel sauce for SMBC and other emergencies requiring sweets.....and I always have some on hand in the fridge, it's quick and easy to make and unbelievably delicious. There's not much that can't be cured with a spoon of that sauce straight out of the container!

But in France last year I saw Bonne Maman (the brand that makes fancy jams etc) had a caramel sauce in a jar, and we now have it in Australia. It's a similar taste and texture. Maybe you could check if it's available in the States? Might be in a fancier store, in Australia it's just with all the breakfast spreads....so European to have caramel sauce on your baguette for brekkie!

 

It would be a treat to try some of your homemade salted caramel sauce.  You would be able to control the density of the caramel by making it yourself.  The icing topping was very thin & liquid.  Only about 2 tbsp. were put into my SMBC and it thinned it out considerably. So that's the down side, however the flavor on a butter cake was a perfect combination.

 

Some people suggested the dulce de leche cans, and they've have had great success with that.  There are some fabulous suggestions here.  Caramel sauce for breakfast!

luvmykids2bits Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 1:15am
post #25 of 30

With all the whipping and beating, it is working out to about an hour of mix time each time I make a batch of SMBC.  I'm hoping it gets better!

 

As I was still experimenting with the SMBC, I used some Sherrif's Caramel Spread.  It's a very, very thick caramel, I used about 3-4 tablespoons and it was perfect.  The texture and taste was amazing!

-K8memphis Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 2:04am
post #26 of 30

Aan hour -- yoiks! it will get much better -- after cracking eggs -- 12-15 minutes tops to cook and whip the meringue then add the butter -- i would never make it otherwise

MBalaska Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 2:43am
post #27 of 30

Quote:

Originally Posted by luvmykids2bits 
 

With all the whipping and beating, it is working out to about an hour of mix time each time I make a batch of SMBC.  I'm hoping it gets better!

 

As I was still experimenting with the SMBC, I used some Sherrif's Caramel Spread.  It's a very, very thick caramel, I used about 3-4 tablespoons and it was perfect.  The texture and taste was amazing!

 

Yoiks is right.  What type of mixer are you using?

luvmykids2bits Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 3:27am
post #28 of 30

It's a heavy duty Kitchen Aid stand mixer.  It takes about 20 minutes of whipping with the whisk attachment (5 minutes high speed and then 15-20 low speed until cool) and then 30-40 minutes on the lowest speed with the paddle attachment to add the butter and get it past the curdly stage.  If there's a way to speed that up, I'm all ears!

MBalaska Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 3:47am
post #29 of 30

@FromScratchSF gets the greatest amount of credit from me, as I'm a newer SMBC maker.  Her tutorial on her website changed my whole decorating world in a wonderful way.  I must have read through this tutorial  three full times before actually trying it out.

 

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

 

The best part for me was that you could use her recipe and at the very bottom of the page, she said that she has used up to 2 whole cups of sugar and it worked!

Boom! that was a revelation for me.  I've even dumped the whole big blob of butter - all of the sticks in at one time.  and it came together as wonderful SMBC after about 8 to 10 mins at low speed.   ( 6 quart KA)

 

So the only thing that I might be doing differently, especially because I only have 5, 6, & 7 quart home Kitchen Aid mixers and not big commercial ones......

I only put the mixer on about a #6 when I first start up the mixer and the eggs/sugar are hot.  I set the timer for 10 minutes. When the timer goes off, turn the machine up to max and set the timer for 5 minutes more.  It's usually a nice cool room temp by then.  So I check it for stiff firm peaks. Beat a few minutes longer. My belief is that without getting it to that firm peak stage the SMBC has always gone stupid on me.

 

It's with great appreciation that I keep referring people to her SMBC tutorial.  Jennifer Bratko Rocks!!

winniemog Posted 25 Oct 2014 , 4:03am
post #30 of 30

AThat was precisely the tutorial that landed me in SMBC happy land too! It works a treat.

Plus like [@]MBalaska[/@] says, I often dump in the whole amount of butter in one go, no issues. Also, for some reason, I don't usually seem to go through soupy or curdled stages, my SMBC usually comes together in only a few minutes of mixing at lowest speed with the paddle. The time-consuming part is getting the temp of the swiss meringue down. A pastry chef gave me the tip last week to check the temp of the meringue itself, that the bowl can still be holding quite a lot of heat and be warm even when the meringue is good to go.

Now I have two batches of SMBC to make this afternoon and I know that having said it works perfectly every time, I will get a visit from the Curdle Fairy or perhaps Little Miss Soupy.

Never mind, I can always post a picture later for you all to laugh at!

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