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Buttercream FAILED big time

post #1 of 40
Thread Starter 

 

40+ years of making buttercream...and this happened as I was teaching my Granddaughter how to make BC.  The ONLY thing I did different from my usual was add MILK instead of water (trying to make it more stable in my GD hot little hands)  AND I added a about 1/8 tsp of orange oil (loranns).  I've added orange oil before...so only thing really different was the milk.  We used all shortening (with the trans fat) instead of half butter cause of her hot little hands...again.

 

The texture is NOT grainy sugary type of mouth feel...it is almost a fine curdled feel to the mouth.  Actually my GD said it tasted as if we put some flour into it. We only use CANE Powdered Sugar...so that isn't the problem.  Sugar was sifted and sifted again.

 

3 mins into beating...it was fine...still a little sugary to taste but exactly as expected.  8 mins into it was this mess.  I've tried to whip it more but that doesn't help a bit.  Needless to say...I won't let my GD even try to spread this onto a cake. It is so rough it wouldn't spread worth a darn even if we could get past the weird mouth feel. We went to plan B.

 

Ideas? Is it possible that the orange oil and the milk interacted and "curdled"?  Can this be rescued for another day?

 

The silver lining in this is that my GD tends to want to be a perfectionist (at 9 yrs old) and stresses when she can't get a smooth iced edged cake.  LOL!  I keep telling her we need to be realistic...she is only 9 and not a professional and she is way better than most young wives would even be...but she just loves decorating cakes and tends to get disappointed when her vision isn't realized.  :-)  It wasn't her fault...it was mine I am sure cause I told her to put milk instead of water. 

post #2 of 40

i don't know what happened but i know the milk would not curdle it like that

 

on a maybe maybe not related observation i just made some royal icing---

 

i haven't opened a 50# bag of powdered sugar in eons 'cause i always used smbc anyhow

 

but there is so much static in there it was a joke--srsly -laughable--was like mini popcorn kernels popping around going every which way as i scooped it out--very strange

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #3 of 40
Thread Starter 

I bought 50 lbs of powdered sugar (in 1 bag) a few years ago...(rest.supply place) and I had a lot of problems with static using that.  Although it was supposedly sifted...it needed sifting when I took it out of large bucket...then I sifted again after taking out of the 2lb bags I would make up.  It was such a pain.  Not sure I really saved any money because of all the time needed to sift and sift and have static everywhere.

 

50lbs of powdered sugar later...this batch was made with 2 lb bag of C and H from grocery store cause I have to drive to another town to buy 50 lbs...so powdered sugar should not be the issue with this bad buttercream. 

 

If you rub it between your thumb and finger...you can feel it...and it isn't the same feel a poorly mixed buttercream would have.
 

post #4 of 40

that's a real shame about your buttercream--

the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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the only way to see the rainbow is to look through the rain

 

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post #5 of 40

I use milk always and have never had that happen.  I've also used orange extract, not oil, with the milk no problem.   I'm thinking it's the orange oil and milk combo causing the trouble.

 

Too bad that happened.  Not sure it is savable.

 

Looking close at the photo it really does look curdled.

Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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Quinte West, Ontario, Canada   www.TeriLovesCake.ca   Strictly Wheat & Gluten-Free         

 

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post #6 of 40
Wow I wonder what happened? I use heavy whipping cream and high ratio shortening in my buttercream so like k8 said I don't think the milk was the problem. Maybe post your recipe and just maybe we can figure what happened.
post #7 of 40
Was your high ratio shortening lumpy? There was a gal on here who post that her buttercream came out lumpy when we discussed it more we discovered her high ratio shortening was lumpy to start out with. She did have to throw out her first batch of buttercream because no matter how much she beat it it stayed lumpy. She took a hand mixer and beat the lumps out of the shortening and proceeded to make her buttercream from there
post #8 of 40

I think it is the orange oil and milk combo.  Could you put a drop of oil in a tablespoon of milk or two and see if it happens again?  Then you will know for sure, and if it happens, your granddaughter will learn a little about chemical reactions in the process. :)

 

Liz
 

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Follow me on my Twitter handle: @Sugar_Iowa

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post #9 of 40
Thread Starter 

The recipe I used was basically the Wiltons BC because I am getting her ready for her level 2 fondant class for kids by Wiltons. 

 

Since every year I give her Mom stuff on the Mom's birthday for her tool kit...I try to keep things simple and less confusing for her when she is baking with her Mom away from Nana's house.  Personally I prefer to weigh out my ingredients and I like the Winkbecklers recipe for 3lbs of powdered sugar since it fills my mixer.  But her mom always uses Wiltons, which is fine enough, though I prefer the SWBC.

 

It is just a shame that this had to happen on her very first buttercream she made all by herself.  And her cakes didn't quite rise as well as the ones I baked 2 days ago...so she noticed her's wasn't as thick. ( I checked to see if mix was the cut down net weight...but it was 18.25.   I was close by while she did this, (the cakes and icing) but she did it herself. 

 

Only thing it could be in my mind is the orange oil and the milk.  Since I make a lot of my own fresh cheeses...it is common to use lemon or orange juice, (or vinegar or citric acid) to curdle milk for ricotta and paneer. Curds made this way will be very fine if stirred...so if curdling is the problem then we beat that stuff into tiny tiny curds...LOL! 

 

Maybe if I had used an orange extract instead of an oil...it probably would not have happened.  Hopefully she won't get to discouraged...cause it wasn't her fault.
 

post #10 of 40
Oh poor baby I hope she doesn't get discouraged, to bad that happened. I didn't even know that they had wilton classes for kids. I've been making cakes for 15 years and took the courses about 10 years ago I decided to take them again just recently to refresh myself and we had two girls in there that were 10 years old the rest of use were adults anyways one the very first course in the second class they brought in buttercream made from there grandma who used her own recipe not the wilton recipe well it was very watery and didn't crust and when the girls tried to frost there cakes they became very messy so the instructer sp? Told them to only use the wilton recipe sadly to say they never came back.
post #11 of 40
Thread Starter 

Well I tried adding a few drops orange oil  to 2 tbsp of milk...heated it (since curds don't form with uncultured milk until 180 degree) and sure enough I got a few soft curds forming.  ( I only heated because I wanted a faster reaction than a long sit would accomplish.

 

You would not think a very small amount of milk in a buttercream would react to the orange oil...but apparently it did.  That might explain why 2 or 3 mins into beating it it was good and 8 mins into it it wasn't.  Perhaps that little bit of heat was enough to cause it to curdle.  The shortening was not lumpy because I beat it a little before adding the sugar. 

 

Well we learned a lesson. 

post #12 of 40
Wow 1/8th of a teaspoon and it curdled unreal.
post #13 of 40

I'm not sure it was the flavouring oil. I suspect its a shortening issue. Have you tried adding some more liquid and beating it again?

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Life's too short to make cake pops.
___________________________________
www.sweetperfection.com.au

www.sweetperfectioncakes.blogspot.com.au/
www.facebook.com/sweetperfectioncakes (come visit sometime!)

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post #14 of 40
Thread Starter 

My granddaughter just loved the level 1 buttercream cake class for kids...but she already knew how to do everything...plus she went completely prepared. 

 

All of the other kids had come with only a few items the list said was necessary.  A Mom brought her 2 kids without a cake even.  Just a tub of decorator frosting and a plastic knife. Not sure why the Mom thought she didn't need a cake.

 

Hailey ended up letting the whole class use all her (my) spatulas and colors since she took my tool chest.  I'm still missing a few.  LOL!

 

Classes are a bit pricey for the parents...35-40 dollars...one  2 or 3 hour class and probably a good $20.00 of needed supplies...BUT it was worth it for me because my GD saw how easy it was for her compared to the other kids.  She had hers done and was helping everyone else...which she loved.  It is a good marketing strategy for Wiltons I think.  They get to sell quite a bit of tools and icings and get those girls eager to decorate.  While I can teach her probably better than the teacher could...the teacher doesn't have to contend with gangnam style dancing while she is decorating cakes at Nana's.  LOL!  In other words teacher has her undivided attention and she can tell her friends that she had a CLASS.

post #15 of 40

Well I personally hate any BC that has shortening in it...but that's my opinion and really has nothing to do with your question...however, I think it very well could be your powdered sugar.  I don't buy in bulk...and once I bought a C&H pure cane powdered sugar bag...like I always do...and mixed up my BC as  usual with butter and cream cheese and all looked OK until I tasted it and it was BLECHH!   It tasted like...well..nothing!  Almost like I had mixed up a bowl of flour and butter!   Luckily it was only that one bag, but I've learned to taste every bag I open to make sure it's OK.   Powdered sugar has cornstarch mixed with it and apparently that one had WAY too much in there.   I would think maybe excess cornstarch might not mix well with milk and shortening and might have cause the curdling issues.   Check your sugar. 
 

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If I am ever on life support, unplug me...

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