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Incredible SMBC - but what a pain!

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I tried a few shortening BC recipes and just hate them, because I can taste and smell the shortening, I love my butter buttercream recipe, but it is too sweet for a lot of people. So I tried the buttercream recipe here:

http://sweetapolita.com/2011/04/swiss-meringue-buttercream-demystified/

I messed it up when putting in the butter, because I think my butter was too old. It was lumpy and runny. I googled how to fix that, and got a cake central thread, which said put some in the micro, heat it, then dump it back in! Problem solved! It was still a little runny so I put in some confectioners sugar, like the added sugar in the Craftsy video I had bought. It got too sweet again, so I need to figure out how to get the consistency with the original recipe. Any suggestions???

The original recipe is unreal! Took me a while, but worth it. Really incredible!

Thanks,
Nancy
post #2 of 26

Try it again with butter you know isn't old. It's not the easiest recipe in the world to master right off the bat, so try again. And try to avoid deviating from the recipe. Practice makes perfect! You'll be a happy camper when you nail it. :)

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post #3 of 26

And actually, lumpy and runny sounds to me like the butter was too cold. There's a window of temperature that has to be just right. Butter has to be just right, the whipped egg whites have to be just right, it's touchy sometimes. I err on the side of things being too cold, because it's an easier fix to heat the mixing bowl up over a flame, than it is to wait for ice packs to chill it down when it's too hot. Just keep playing with it. I really think suggestions other than what's specifically outlined in the recipe won't be helpful until you get it right, the way it's written. Hope that makes sense. In other words, get it down the way it says first, then troubleshoot for future reference. 

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post #4 of 26

This is the recipe I use all the time.  I follow the directions in the tutorial and have never had an issue.  http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/

post #5 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help! I appreciate the suggestions. Yes, I,think the butter was too cold. That is how it reacted. The meringue came out perfect! I wiped everything down with lemon to avoid grease, was pleased as pie with the meringue, which I haven't done in years. I just realized that I used salted butter,too, because that is what I have for my regular BC recipe to cut the sweetness. Would that change things, too?

I must say, I liked making it, even though it took me forever. I think in my baking business, I am going to stick to all natural, and organic when I can. Only scratch stuff. I think it will take me longer to add to my menu, but I like the idea of being the only scratch baker around, and I like the wholesomeness of it. If someone doesn't book me because my real butter buttercream won't hold up in August, well, that will be the price I paymformsojng this the way I want. I paid $400 for a cake for my nice e this summer, and The frosting tasted of shortening. I don't want to be that baker.

BTW, how long does this SMBC take when you get familiar with it?

Thank you!
Nancy
post #6 of 26

Oh yep, salted butter would not make good SMBC, as far as I'm concerned anyways. Definitely use unsalted from now on. Let's see, I make a quadruple batch when I need to make it, in a 6qt Kitchen Aid, and I'd say it takes me about 20 minutes from start to finish. That's cracking 21 eggs, and cutting up three 1 pound blocks of butter...so, time will vary from recipe to recipe, and the methods each person chooses to use.

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post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
That's encouraging! I spent about 90 minutes today! Thank you!
Nancy
post #8 of 26

I love the meringue BCs but they also take me sooooo long, too!

 

Although I have made it and allowed the hot stuff to cool down quite a bit on the counter until still a little warm, then started it back up again, adding the butter in after it finishes cooling.  Whipped up perfectly!  I think that was Nick Malgieri's recipe in Perfect Cakes....

 

Mixer doesn't run forever and get hot and takes a lot less time.

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post #9 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by nancylee61 View Post
".............Any suggestions???

The original recipe is unreal! Took me a while, but worth it. Really incredible!

Thanks,
Nancy

Nancy, Very glad it worked out in the end.

 

The next time it will work perfectly, first time, every time.............. and you'll be glad that you persisted.  It is heavenly.  And now it doesn't seem like it takes any time at all.

 

For me there was one thing I was not doing correctly, and it was causing my first few failures.

I was not whipping the eggs to the STIFF peak stage.  Now I check it and the room temp butter doesn't go in until the eggs are whipped up correctly. 

 

For the people that like a little sweeter icing.  After it's all mixed up, you can add a half cup of sifted powdered sugar to a single batch, as some people like the smooth silky texture, but not the super buttery taste.

Cheers,

mb

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post #10 of 26

Oh yes, I also sent for a super long 16" wire whip to use to stir the eggs/sugar mix.

I just mix it in the KA bowl on a small pan of water (less dishes to wash.)  The longer whip made it easier to stir and kept my hands further away from the stove top.

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post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Great help, Thank you! I think this will be my go-to buttercream!
Nancy
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hi,

I have another tasting on Sunday afternoon, and then the one I had planned on Monday. Can anyone tell me the best time to make this and the best way to keep it? And to bring it back? Thank you!!
Nancy

post #13 of 26

SMBC freezes really well if you need to make it in advance. I freeze it all the time. When I need to use it I just sit it out on the counter until it comes back to room temp and just pop it in the mixer for a quick minute to fluff it back up. The same for when I take it out of the fridge. Just let it soften up and give it a mix.

post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 

Awesome!! So if I make it Saturday night, and put it in the fridge, and then take it out around 8AM and rewhip, should it be good to go for noon?? My kitchen is around 60 degrees. Yes, it's cold!!!!

Nancy

post #15 of 26

Wait for it to get soft first before you rewhip. I don't know how long it would take for it to soften where you are though, it rarely gets below 25C (77F) where I live. Hopefully someone who lives where it's cold can help you with timings!

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