I have always made french buttercream, but last night I made IMBC for the first time. I think my methods for french buttercream got in the way, because I am sure I did something wrong. The meringue and sugar syrup mixture were perfect... fluffy, smooth, and shiny. My butter was room temp, but about 70 degrees, so still slightly stiff (as for my french buttercream). I waited until my mixing bowl was room temp to add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time. I added one of the sticks and stopped. At this point, the meringue began to lose volume. I cooled it for 5 minutes and began again, adding the rest of the butter. Since it still did not come together, I let it run like I do french buttercream. I left it for a few minutes and I came back to what looked to be the equivalent of a nice, thin consistency american buttercream (frosting, not piping consistency). I thought that IMBC would retain the consistency of the meringue/sugar mixture, which is what I see on the youtube tutorials and is what I get with french buttercream. I have named, I think, all of the places I could have gone wrong. So now I need some help from you seasoned IMBC experts.
My butter was room temp, but about 70 degrees, so still slightly stiff (as for my french buttercream). I waited until my mixing bowl was room temp to add the butter, about a tablespoon at a time. I added one of the sticks and stopped. At this point, the meringue began to lose volume.
This is completely normal, just carry on whisking.
I cooled it for 5 minutes and began again, adding the rest of the butter.
You don't need to cool at this point, just carry on whisking.
Since it still did not come together, I let it run like I do french buttercream. I left it for a few minutes and I came back to what looked to be the equivalent of a nice, thin consistency american buttercream (frosting, not piping consistency).
The mixture isn't supposed to be thin, it's meant to be fluffy but doesn't look how it does in the meringue stage.
What is your recipe? You may need more butter.
I use this recipe.
5 egg whites
50g fine sugar
250g granulated sugar
500g unsalted butter
1 1/2 tbsp vanilla essence
Heat the 250g sugar and 100ml water to softball stage. Whisk the egg whites and gradually add the 50g sugar, whisk till it reaches hard peaks. Add the sugar syrup very slowly to the egg whites, whisk until bowl is cool to the touch. Add the butter in chunks (I add about the equivalent to 2 tbsp chunks), carry on whisking and it will gradually come together. Add the vanilla and whip. Use a spatula around the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure it is all mixed together.
Hope I can help!
Thanks, LisaPeps! I converted the butter (our 4 sticks) and it is the same, as well as the eggs. None of the recipes said to whip until cool, but common sense and the french buttercream call for this. I did stop the process at that first stick of butter, and maybe this was a problem. How long would you say to whip meringue until room temp, and how long after the butter is added do you whip before it comes together? I am assuming that the consistency is fluffy and shiny (when done correctly).
Whip the meringue stage for approximately 10 mins (till the bowl is cool to touch). The butter should be just above room temp (not too soft but not too hard). Once all the butter is added it only takes about 5 minutes for it to come together.
When I make it I use a hand held mixer because I don't have a stand mixer and I use it on the fastest (turbo) setting, maybe your mixer isn't fast enough?
When it's ready it's not shiny because of the added butter. It's hard to describe what it should look like.
The icing on this is IMBC
I used the smaller of my Kitchenaid mixers on high. Imay have just stopped and started too much, over-thinking it. I did switch to my beater blade paddle when it would not come together. Tis works on the french, which is similar, but maybe I took the air out. I am out of eggs, but I will try again tomorrow using your time references. Thanks again!
The beater blade probably took some air out of it, I'd stick to a whisking one. Hope it goes well tomorrow
Stiil no eggs, kids came over. So hopefully my new batch will be a winner. I use the beater blade on french buttercream, egg whites, and whipping cream with no problem. But to solve this, I need to duplicate the correct way to do it before I change any of the variables.
I would love to know how you got on! Let me know if you need any more help
Lisa, your suggestions were exactly on target. All of those stops and starts didn't help, but my biggest mistake was the beater blade on my mixer. It works on french buttercream, but not on IMBC. If you are interested, I would like to share my french buttercream recipe if you don't already have one. Between the two, you can use the whole egg. I made my corrected IMBC in one mixer and french in the other, then flavored them the same. The french, using the yolk, is a little richer. I think it makes the flavor that is added a little deeper.
Thanks again from the other side of the world, and let me know if you would like that recipe.
I would love the French Buttercream recipe!
scp1127, I use the paddle when I start adding the butter. It comes out OK. A few people recommend this. Just a few examples:
Here is my french buttercream recipe. Compare and let me know what you think.
6 lg egg yolks
1 c sugar
1/2 c water
1 lb (4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened, just like IMBC
1 tsp hot water
In a mixer, beat the yolks until light in color (maybe 4 minutes). In a saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 c water and cook to 238 degrees. With the mixer running, pour the sugar mixture into the yolks in a slow stream. The volume will start to increase. Continue to mix until it cools to room temp, 8 to 14 minutes. Add the butter in bits and beat until fluffy. Add the hot water and any flavoring.
This consistency is fine for borders and rosettes. If you need it stiffer, take that part out before adding the water and add slightly less water.
This makes the same amount of icing as IMBC and doubles easily.
imagenthatnj, mine deflated immediately when I used the paddle, but as I stated, I kept stopping the process, trying to figure it out and I'm sure that added to my failure. The second batch with the whisk was fine. I am just too spoiled with those beater blades. I will check out your suggestions.
I made the IMBC recipe here on CC, and switched to beater blade when it was time to add the butter and had no problem.
scp1127 if you do not mind sharing your french BC recipe, I like to have it too. I really hate wasting the yolks.
Edited to add: I guess we posted at the same second so thank you for sharing your recipe!!!
infinitsky, did you get the recipe? We were posting at the sme time and it is before you asked for it. Let me know how you like it.
imagenthatnj, I just copied your tutorials in case I have a repeat of my failure. Thanks!