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How do i get a richer less sweet buttercream?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have been using a fairly standard BC recipe for a few years and for the most part it has been very well received. I have a small contingent that say the icing is too sweet. I make mine a little less sweet already since I do not like super sweet frosting. But I am afraid of cutting the sugar too much in my hot and humid climate. Would anyone be willing to share ideas on a stable but not so sweet BC? Should I just up the shortening content like the grocery store bakeries?
post #2 of 11
I noticed a difference when I switched from sweet cream butter to the lightly salted kind.
post #3 of 11
If you want richer and less sweet, you should definitely try some of the meringue buttercreams. Those are made with cooked eggs, sugar, and butter and have a higher proportion of butter relative to sugar than a standard confectioner's sugar buttercream. They are very, very rich and not nearly as sweet. They do behave somewhat differently from the confectioner's sugar based BC - it's all about getting the right temperature with them both when cooking and when using them for piping or spreading, so it can take a little time to get the hang of using them.

There are a bunch of recipes for Swiss or Italian meringue buttercream in the recipes section. CC user FromScratchSF has a blog with a really helpful tutorial for making Swiss Meringue BC that I've used and I've also made several of Martha Stewart's versions that came out lovely. I'm a relative beginner at this cake decorating stuff, not a pastry chef by any means, and have been quite successful with these, so you don't have to be an expert to get them to work.
post #4 of 11
don't forget French Buttercream! similar process to Italian and Swiss meringue buttercream, but using yolks instead of whites. yum!
post #5 of 11
Just keep in mind that if you switch to one of the meringue butter creams (I use FromScratchSF's SMBC and love it!) that it's an all butter buttercream and it won't fare well in hot/humid enviroments. It will need to be kept in an air conditioned area before service.
I believe that some people, and I'm not sure about FromScratchSF if she does it, but many people will sub in some shortening in place of the some of the butter in a SMBC. I've never done it, so I can't say if this works well, or has the same taste or texture.

I personally use SugarShack's buttercream when I'm using a shortening based icing, and find it's not quite as sweet as some of the others. And I've had many people tell me a) how good it is and b) that they don't usually eat the icing, but at this one.
post #6 of 11
I just add 1/8 tsp of popcorn salt to my buttercream. Popcorn salt is finer than regular salt and it dissolves better. It keeps the icing from having that sickly sweet flavor and doesnt affect the performance (crusting, temperature, etc.)
post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaDear

I just add 1/8 tsp of popcorn salt to my buttercream. Popcorn salt is finer than regular salt and it dissolves better. It keeps the icing from having that sickly sweet flavor and doesnt affect the performance (crusting, temperature, etc.)



^^This. I use about the same amount of lite salt, but I dissolve it in the warm liquid before I mix it in. That way the bc doesn't have a chance to be gritty. icon_smile.gif
post #8 of 11
I'm where it's 100+ for months on end with days of high humidity, and use SMBC quite successfully. It requires careful handling and a/c, but it can be done.
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post #9 of 11
my buttercream. Popcorn salt is finer than regular salt and it dissolves better. It keeps the icing from having that sickly sweet flavor and doesnt Image
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all of the advice! With the new website format I just realized I actually had replies to this post. I will definitely try the salt and extra shortening. I did try some meringue buttercreams over the last few months. I wasn't fond of them (although they looked beautiful) and neither were some of my anti-sweet clients. Oh well, they still buy my cakes so I have to be doing something right. icon_rolleyes.gif  Thanks again!

post #11 of 11

You should just test a small batch of your regular buttercream (you didn't say whether you use butter or shortening) and just add less sugar.  This will work just fine with an all shortening recipe, and then you simply add less liquid. 

 

Another reason that some icings taste too "sweet" is that you are not using a good strong real vanilla.  Yah I know that white "vanilla" looks nice and clean but it has this way of tasting too "sweet" when you use it in a shortening buttercream. 

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