Is This Split Buttercream???

Baking By LouisNutri Updated 23 Aug 2015 , 12:13pm by LouisNutri

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LouisNutri Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 9:58am
post #1 of 16

Hi! I usually make two types of buttercream:FLOUR and SWISS MERINGUE. The past few tries, both bcs have turned out like the picture below; from chocolate to colored bc. I have never experienced this before until I changed my butter. I do try my best to make sure that everything is at the same temperature before I add the butter and/or chocolate. However, I'm unsure if this is split buttercream? Because the usual description I see about split bc is that it looks like cottage cheese.

15 replies
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AAtKT Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 10:12am
post #2 of 16

Your picture didn't come through...

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costumeczar Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 11:53am
post #3 of 16

If it's a broken buttercream you can reconstitute it by wrapping a dish towel soaked in hot water around the bowl and whipping it on high speed. Keep the towel hot by re-wetting it until the buttercream comes together.

If it looks like soup that means that the sugar was too hot or the butter was too soft, so just stick the bowl in the freezer for ten minutes and whip it again. Or wrap a bag of frozen peas around the bowl and whip it so that it cools down.

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LouisNutri Posted 18 Aug 2015 , 9:45pm
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LouisNutri Posted 20 Aug 2015 , 8:52am
post #5 of 16

So sorry. CakeCentral keeps sending me an error each time I try to upload the picture. But here it is:


Okay, the buttercream's texture is not grainy or anything; in fact, it was smooth. But the appearance of it is kind of off-putting for me, it looks very disjointed and just not together. When I do refrigerate it, it does come out very piece-y like yeast granules when I move it around while it is still at solid state.

I tried the following methods to TRY and fix it but I am unsuccessful:

> Get 1 cup of the bc and microwave for a few seconds and then re-introduce it to the bc.

> Wrap an ice pack around the bowl while beating on the highest speed of my mixer.

> Wrap a hot towel and/or use a hair blowdry on the sides while beating on the highest speed.

> Beating the bc for 10 minutes (I timed it!) on highest speed.

All of what I did are unsuccessful. It's kind of frustrating, are there any other factors to split buttercream other than temperature differences?

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LouisNutri Posted 20 Aug 2015 , 8:52am
post #6 of 16

By texture, I mean the mouthfeel, sorry.

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yortma Posted 20 Aug 2015 , 1:31pm
post #7 of 16

Is that chocolate BC?  It looks as if there are bits of hardened chocolate in your BC.  If your BC is too cold when you add chocolate you will get solid bits, (or if it wasn't completely smoothly melted to begin with).  Since the melting point of the chocolate is  higher than your frosting, I don't think it can be saved by gently warming.  Maybe add chips or cookie chunks to make it a filling where you wouldn't expect a smooth texture.  I melt my chocolate in a double boiler since I never seem to be able to get it perfectly smooth in the microwave.  Then , afTer cooling, add it into BC that is fully room temperature.  Another option is to mix cocoa with hot water , enough to make a sour cream textured paste, mixing until smooth.  Cool, and add that to your BC (with some Godiva dark chocolate liqueur) and so good!  HTH

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-K8memphis Posted 20 Aug 2015 , 3:06pm
post #8 of 16

is that the cooked flour with cocoa added? is that icing meringue or cooked flour? was your sugar fully dissolved --

my cooked flour recipe combines the sugar with the flour then adds the milk and cooks it --otherwise you can get those kind of results but need to know which kind of icingicing, the recipe and your general method of preparation

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LouisNutri Posted 21 Aug 2015 , 12:59am
post #9 of 16

Yes, the one in the picture is Chocolate Flour BC. The recipe states to cook cocoa powder, milk, flour and sugar together until it thickens, then cool it down to room temperature before adding the room temperature butter in tablespoons, and when all butter is added, I add the cooled (room temp) melted chocolate. In the melted chocolate, I actually added some cinnamon powder & cayenne, which I probably should have added to the flour mixture beforehand.

But this does not only happen in my chocolate bc (swiss or flour), it happens with my vanilla as well. But with vanilla, it isn't as noticeable because it's white, but when I'm piping it, I can actually see some separation. Could the heat of my hand during piping do this? I remember now that before I changed my butter, I was also using a Wilton Dessert Decorator Plus, which has a thicker container compared to disposable piping bags, which I believe would delay the transfer of the heat from my hands to the bc. But when I changed my butter, I also changed to disposable piping bag.

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-K8memphis Posted 21 Aug 2015 , 6:05pm
post #10 of 16

everything changes everything in baking y'know -- but it looks like an emulsion issue whether it's the cocoa not cooking up right or the added chocolate getting cold too quick idk but i'd guess it was the cocoa not getting fully incorporated but i don't know why unless the cocoa is grainy before you start for some reason like humidity got in there -- but cocoa is pretty uniform -- and the chocolate cooling off too quick usually looks different than that -- looks like little tabs rather than pin dots --

but i've made the cooked icing where it gets weird like that and see i used that cooked icing exclusively in the 70's & 80's then sometime in the late 90's switched to smbc and i can't remember how i goofed it up to get it like that -- i'm rambling here but if you need to and i think you do -- sift your flour & granulated sugar and if it's choc icing sift the cocoa too -- and you do wisk it all together before cooking yes? don't add milk to the flour without the sugar/flour fully incorporated -- yeah i think that's the issue come to think of it -- the flour needs to be surrounded by sugar so it doesn't clump --

now for it to be an issue with your smbc as well -- how can that be unless you're not melting all the sugar grains unless you're adding powdered sugar -- then easy peasy it's your ps

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-K8memphis Posted 21 Aug 2015 , 6:07pm
post #11 of 16

so if it's the powdered sugar then you need to buy better ps and sift it -- but i never use ps in either of these but some people do 

and -- add the melted choco to the cooked mixture when it cools a bit but still warm -- no worries that way

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LouisNutri Posted 22 Aug 2015 , 12:34am
post #12 of 16

I don't use powdered sugar--I use granulated cane sugar. The cocoa mixture cooked well and was like a pudding before I added the butter and chocolate. Maybe the mixture (with butter) was too cold when I added the chocolate, that would be sensible based on your explanation. I will try what you suggested; adding the chocolate to the cocoa mixture instead of adding it last. Thanks!

Yes, I sift and whisk all ingredients before I cook it. It's my one must-do habit every time I bake or make this kind of bc. :)

*Last edited by LouisNutri on 22 Aug 2015 , 12:36am
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AAtKT Posted 22 Aug 2015 , 1:10am
post #13 of 16

As a note... When I make the cooked icing (just made it today too) and need it to be chocolate, I will put the cocoa powder in the milk and when the mixture is warm but before finished I will add the cooled melted chocolate to it so that it mixes in more evenly... 

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LouisNutri Posted 22 Aug 2015 , 6:38am
post #14 of 16

Thanks for the tip! :)

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-K8memphis Posted 22 Aug 2015 , 12:19pm
post #15 of 16

so what country are you in are you here in the states? if you are not then it might be your ingredients -- there was a poster on here who had a terrible time with a preparation and after many posts it was determined that they were in india and could only get certain kinds of products and i see from another post you are limited to some extent with strawberries that way too

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LouisNutri Posted 23 Aug 2015 , 12:13pm
post #16 of 16

I live in the Philippines. That's what I thought, as well, since I only experienced this when I changed my butter, but other ingredients are still the same.

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