I've been posting about my problems with the stability of my SMBC lately, and I realize that it only seems to happen when I try to add a flavor (other than standard extracts). To make raspberry SMBC, for example, I add a couple of tablespoons of seedless raspberry jam. I've read here on CC that I don't have to add flour or p.s. to balance out the increase in liquid, but that seems counterintuitive to me.
How can I add fruits and jams without causing eventual separation or breakdown of my SMBC??
When are you adding the preserves?
I add fruit preserves to my SMBC a lot without any issues with it breaking down.
I add it at the very end, after it's all whipped together. I add room temp preserves a tablespoon at a time and beat in between with the beater blade until combined.
Hmm, I've never had a problem with it. Just keep beating on medium high speed after you add the jam -- I wouldn't add anything too too loose, but raspberry jam has never been a problem for me...
cakestyles: I will have to be more careful and try it your way. Maybe I'm adding too fast. I do wait until it's all done. I just find it breaks down over time.
What about fresh raspberries? How would I sweeten? Or would you suggest I just stick with jam for now?
Sometimes fresh berries will break down the SMBC as they release their natural juices, so unless I'm serving the cake to my family within a day or two I use preserves.
I love SMBC with fresh strawberries or raspberries in it though, it's SOOO good. But, like I said it may cause it to "weep" after a while.
It sounds like your recipe is not as sturdy as others. All of those European buttercreams take a lot of abuse and stay perfect. I add a huge amount of jam and no stability problems. Also, calibrate your thermometer to boiling water and make sure that is not an issue.
Which SMBC recipe do you use??
My SMBC recipe uses exotic sugars. I would rather someone give you a recipe that uses it more than I do. Mine is very stable, but I prefer IMBC. That was why I referred to European buttercreams. That also includes French. All three can handle large amounts of additions. MY IMBC recipe can be found on Cake Love, Warren Brown's site. His best advice is to bring thesyrup to 245 to account for the time it takes to transport and pour the syrup. My meringue/sugar mix became difficult to get off of the whisk when I changed it to the paddle. That's when I noticed the strength.
My SMBC starts with brow and muscovado sugar, but someone will chime in with a recipe.
Just be sure to calibrate the thermometer. You need the right amount of heat. And on SMBC, you definitely need accuracy because the eggs are only at the edge of the temp to make them safe.
Thanks. I made a huge batch today and before doing so, I checked my candy therm. It seemed to be about 5 degrees too low (at boiling and even after, it only read 95). So, perhaps my thermometer was indeed off and my temp wasn't high enough?
So, when I made it, I waited until it was 5 degrees higher than 160. WELL, after all was said and done (including ingredients for a double batch and half a jar of my seedless raspberry preserves), I noticed small opaque colored blobs (tiny)!!!!! When I felt one, it felt like gristle--I assumed it was over cooked egg. I noticed when I was whipping the syrup it smelled a little "eggy" which I had not noticed in prior batches. ACK! SO MUCH WASTED!
So, now what do I do!? I'm afraid to heat it even more next time! Is that what you're suggesting by heating to 245??? My recipe calls for heating to 160C, which I assume would be only 320F--so what is 245!? Maybe I just got it too close to the simmering water. >:|
Do you have any reason not to try IMBC or FBC? This would solve your problems. I don't like SMBC because it requires my attention standing at the stove. But I do have a few great SMBC recipes and I'll keep them. Custards also have to be watched.
And yes, me, the mega-baker, did not temper my eggs correctly on Monday in a custard-based frosting and I had the little dots. I ran it through the strainer and problem solved. We all screw up, but in the end, the ones who can just try again get the reward.
Once you get it right, you will have that skill for life. I tried to develop a recipe last week and I failed seven times. I finally realized that no matter what I did, the recipe was not stable. So I will start again. It was a stout gingerbread. I got the taste to outrageously phenomenal. But it sank. If it didn't sink, I lost some of the flavor. I may not ever be able to get that flavor to combine in a stable recipe. And I don't know enough about stout in a recipe to make corrections. I do know this combo has stumped everyone on the internet.
My vote is for you to try IMBC. I think I would go nuts standing over a double boiler doing all that whisking. With IMBC, you let the mixer do the work of whipping the meringue, then SLOWLY add the hot sugar syrup to it. Wait 15 minutes or so and then add the butter and flavoring and you're done!
Susan, sorry to hear about your gingerbread. Do you think it was over-leavened? I heard that over-leavening can cause cakes to sink. With all the yeast in the stout I would cut back on the leavening if you haven't tried that already. I have an awesome beer bread recipe and I was so surprised how much yeast is actually in beer. That bread rose so high I thought it was going to blow right out of the pan.
Anyway, better luck next time!
lrlt2000, I think you might be confusing temperatures. Does your recipe really say to heat up the whites and the sugar at 320F for SMBC? Are you sure it's not 160F?
I make IMBC. I think it's a lot easier. Susan was telling you to cook the syrup for Italian Meringue Buttercream to 245F, not the egg whites with sugar for Swiss Meringue Buttercream.
Yes, for SMBC, the temp was 160, which I did (plus 5 to account for the fact that boiling on my test calibration was 95). I really think I had the water too high and it must have been touching the bottom of the mixing bowl.
I tried IMBC this morning, based on Susan's recommendation and it came out beautiful! Thanks for the advice. I tried both in the past, but found SMBC to be easier (to make/mix, not to get right ). We'll see how this holds up comparatively!
ONE MORE QUESTION: I've posted this elsewhere, but while we're all here, I'll ask you. IMBC sets up nice in the frig, but what about covering with ganache (white) and then fondant with IMBC filling? This cake is due Saturday, and I planned on covering/decorating tomorrow. What should my frig-counter-decorate schedule be and do I need to put it in after I'm done? I've read no, but as my other post notes, I had stability and breakdown issues leaving the last one out for just 24-36 hours.
Thank you, everyone!
imagenthatnj: I think I did confuse that she was talking about sugar/water not eggs/sugar! That explains my confusion Thanks!
I leave my IMBC out overnight all the time. No issues.