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HELP!!! Swiss Meringue Buttercream

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I, for the life of me, cannot get my SMBC to set up. I can get it perfect to the meringue part but once I add in my butter it just becomes a loose lumpy mess that won't become a shiny smooth buttercream. I tossed out one batch because of it, plus it had separated. Now I'm on my second batch, where the same thing is happening, but I put it in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes, came back to whiping it and it's still lumpy and loose. What do I do?
post #2 of 15
Separation is part of the process. You have to just keep mixing it. It will set up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBoRMWcfNc
post #3 of 15
What's your recipe? Sounds like your proportions may not be quite right. Just a thought.

I made two batches of SMBC yesterday, and it's always somewhat touchy for me...butter can't be too soft, can't use egg whites from a carton, etc. I know others who don't have these issues, but I know *I* do lol.
post #4 of 15
Was your butter softened to room temperature? It sounds like it may have been too cold.
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by babycakes06

Separation is part of the process. You have to just keep mixing it. It will set up.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBBoRMWcfNc



I agree... when you look at it and think "it's not right" and are tempted to throw it out.... just let it keep beating and walk away, check back in 5 minutes it will probably have come together! Sometimes, if my butter is still too cold it takes a little longer, but eventually it always comes together icon_smile.gif
post #6 of 15
From Scratch has a tutorial on this, and I made my very first batch last week, perfect, Just follow the instructions to the T~~
Make each day count!!!
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post #7 of 15
I have had success (2 out of 2 tries) using AllWhites (http://www.allwhiteseggwhites.com/) pasteurized egg whites in a carton with this recipe:

http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/224405/swiss-meringue-buttercream

Not sure if I'll always be successful (or if the meringue gods were just smiling on me that day), but I'm hoping to continue using this recipe.
post #8 of 15
I'm 99% sure that your problems has to do with temperature. Separating and looking lumpy are CLASIC signs of butter that's too cold. You also mentioned putting it "in the refrigerator to chill for 20 minutes" but honestly, that's probably the worst thing you could have done.

I hope you already got it fixed, or at least haven't tossed your second batch as well! But in case you're still struggling, the quickest way to fix separated SMBC is to scoop out a bit (depends on how big your batch is, but anywhere from 1/4-1 cup, and microwave it until it's liquid then pour that back in with the rest, set it to mixing on med-low, and let it mix for at least a couple minutes. If it's looking a little better, but still not quite right, just melt a little more and add it.

I know it seems contradictory to make it warm when your problem is that it's all soft and goopy (especially if you're used to american style BC), but trust me. Temperature is almost ALWAYS the cause of problems when making meringue BC.
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #9 of 15
Sorry for the quadruple post! I have no idea how that happened... I swear I only clicked "submit" once! icon_redface.gif
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #10 of 15
Sorry...
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #11 of 15
icon_redface.gif
~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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~Kelsie
*In the process of slooowly updating my photos (3 year backlog). More coming soon!*
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post #12 of 15
soygurl is right. Just warm the mass up (taking a torch to the outside of the bowl works well too if you have one) and keep whipping. SMBC is VERY rarely ruined.
post #13 of 15
Yes usually if u keep mixing it will come together, just make sure the butter is at room temperature. I also use shortening in my SMBC and instead of putting the butter (and shortening in my case) in a few chunks at a time I just dump it all in (using the whisk attachment) and mix unitl incorporated. It has not failed me yet! thumbs_up.gif
post #14 of 15

Thank you to everyone who posted here.  It was so helpful.  I struggled with SMBC on and off all day and could not get it to stiffen up or even firm up in the fridge.  It finally broke and separated after I tortured it several times.  I tried melting a little and whipping again and it finally came together.  You guys rock!

post #15 of 15

avrotier, your posting your happy results is good News!  People can find lot's of great information by searching though the website and taking some time to read.

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~~We are living in a world today where lemonade is made from artificial flavors and furniture polish is made from real lemons. ~Alfred E. Newman  
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