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SBC Consistency and Texture

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 

So I'm COMPLETELY new to baking, and I'm baking a cake for a friend's birthday on Sunday. The plan is to do a ombre purple ruffle BC layered cheesecake (3 shades of purple and a white BC) with the ruffles looking like a flower on top with the center being left blank for sparkle candles... 

 

Since this cake is going to have to be refrigerated anyway, I was THINKING about trying my hand at making a SBC instead of American. The flavor of the BC will be amaretto (I still need to find a killer recipe). 

 

Since I'm used to American BC, I'm curious as to if the consistency of SBC is different since it involves whipping of eggs whites AND regular sugar as opposed to confectioners. There is a huge divide with people when it comes to whipped frosting vs BC (I like both with BC edging out whipped), but I want to see if the consistency of a SBC is the similar to American or closer to a whipped frosting before I attempt.... 

 

OH also, I went to Walmart looking for a candy thermometer and came up short... then I saw someone just use a digital thermometer that just registered high... is that sufficient enough?

post #2 of 23

ooh--cool--trying some new stuff for the new year--

 

yes--swiss meringue buttercream does not crust like american bc does--but when you fridge smbc it gets as firm as cold butter so you can use the heat of your hand to smooth surfaces and clean up edges if necessary--

 

when i make smbc--i just crank up the fire and whisk it like crazy and just pinch the mixture between my fingers to see if the sugar is dissolved --like five minutes for a small amount--some people are careful to get their eggs up to 160 degrees and more power to them but for example duff goldman (ace of cakes) uses uncooked raw egg whites in his smbc--so there's a whole spectrum there and we each just find our spot on it--

 

if you do go for the 160 degrees you need the right kind of double boiler (bain marie) where the top container fits down well and seals off the pot of boiling water without the water touching the bottom of the top container--if this does not seal well and fit down in there good enough you can still make wonderful smbc but it will never ever get to temp ever--never--

 

know what though--my local grocery stores carry candy thermometers and instant read ones too--so that's a possible source too--i'd use an instant read for this--but whatever--

 

meringue bc is famous for curdling being a part of the process--don't panic--just keep on beating it--make sure your meringue is not warm and your butter is not melty but room temp enough to smash evenly--i just smash each stick with my hand to be sure there's no spots too cold--you still want the butter to have some body--

 

after you make it a few times you can even cool the meringue a bit with colder butter but get a few successes under your belt with it before you go there--maybe never do this idk-- lol

 

if it tastes too buttery--add vanilla--or maybe you'll want to add almond--i'll leave the flavoring up to you--

 

and smbc is very whippy like--not like abc--

 

would love to see a picture if all goes well--no pressure

 

best baking & caking to you!


Edited by -K8memphis - 1/1/14 at 8:31am
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post #3 of 23

Hi...For my double boiler I just use a saucepan andte bowl straight from my mixer. As long as there are no dents or dings in either it seals every time and I always reach my desired temp..

post #4 of 23

You don't need special equipment except a thermometer.  I use my KA bowl on top of a pot with a couple of inches of boiling water.  It's important to cook your sugar/egg mixture to 160 for pasteurization for food safety.   Sugar melts at 140 so feeling it between your fingers is not really adequate.  Food safety first :)

 

This is the tutorial I used when I first made SMBC.  It explains the entire process with pics and entertaining as well.

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

 

Jeanne

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post #5 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JWinslow View Post
 

You don't need special equipment except a thermometer.  I use my KA bowl on top of a pot with a couple of inches of boiling water.  It's important to cook your sugar/egg mixture to 160 for pasteurization for food safety.   Sugar melts at 140 so feeling it between your fingers is not really adequate.  Food safety first :)

 

This is the tutorial I used when I first made SMBC.  It explains the entire process with pics and entertaining as well.

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

 

Jeanne

 

duff uses his egg whites right out of the shell--well in fact i used margaret braun's recipe way before duff was on the scene--no thermometer--but there's other big name cakers who don't advise to go to 160 either--

 

know why though? i am my own cup bearer--i love fried eggs with runny yolks--but i have found myself in the bathroom begging god for my life often enough after eating one that it finally dawned on me that runny yolks and i are not compatible at all anymore--not a little not ever and i go down fast too -- so i test my own icing--i've never gotten a reaction--

 

in fact--in 4th edition professional baking used in le cordon bleu culinary classrooms for swiss it says to warm the eggs to 120 degrees f--page 213

 

so finger pinch is most adequate for me--each to their own

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post #6 of 23

I just know the Department of Health requires holding the temp at 160 for food safety.  And quite frankly, even big name bakers can get things wrong. 

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post #7 of 23

well then that's how you should make it, jeanne, no worries

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post #8 of 23

I certainly don't worry about my SMBC.  Always comes out great!

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post #9 of 23

OP, it is always a good habit to wipe out your bowl and whip with some white vinegar before you start.  Because this is a meringue based icing, you want to make sure they are grease free.  It does not change the taste of the SMBC.  :smile:

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post #10 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by BatterUpCake View Post
 

Hi...For my double boiler I just use a saucepan andte bowl straight from my mixer. As long as there are no dents or dings in either it seals every time and I always reach my desired temp..

exactly what I do.  I sit a kitchen towel by the stove, so I can wipe the water off the bottom of the mixing bowl just before putting it on the mixer.

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post #11 of 23

I was doing it in 2 separate bowls then I had a duh moment. Went to the one bowl system. It's going to be interesting when we get to parts at school that I am accustomed to doing one way and they want me to do it another. Habits are hard to break

post #12 of 23
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your help! So SBC is akin to whipped icing then it seems.... 

post #13 of 23

You just need to make a small batch to know. I would not compare it to whipped cream if thats what you mean. It is a very smooth creamy taste and feel but heaveier that whipped cream. It is just wonderful.

post #14 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrispyKareem View Post
 

Thanks everyone for your help! So SBC is akin to whipped icing then it seems.... 


It's heavier than whipped cream but much lighter than American butter cream.  Even though you are looking to make amaretto bc, add the vanilla first.  Although I change the flavor of my SMBC all the time, I always start with vanilla. Now that's just me, others may say different.   Much luck with it.  Let us know how you made out.

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post #15 of 23

it's a little slice of heaven in my mouth..lol

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