I'm trying out a new cake recipe to take to a family dinner (it's called Slutty Brownie Cake by What's Gaby Cooking) and it s iced with Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I've never made it before and also don't think I've ever had it before. I almost always make a "normal" buttercream, I guess what would be called an American crusting buttercream.
The SMBC looks more complicated to do or is it not that bad to do? How does it fair stability-wise compared to American buttercream? It's quite warm here and somehow in my mind it would be harder to pull off. What about the taste of it? Would you substitute it out for American buttercream or make the SMBC as called for?
I have done a bit of reading online about it but looking for thoughts from those of you on here.
I'm no help, but I love the name!!
hi, first of all I am not profesional baker so take my oppinion with reserve.
I like SMBC more then BC. Why? It taste better, lighter and it is look more like silk. And it is not so complicate to do it. Cooking or better word is heating the egg whites with sugar don't take to much time.
I think egg whites is holding buttercream better. But when it is hot outside....then everything is melting.
Luckily, my cakes never has to stay out for to long.
I switched from American B/C to SMBC a few years ago. The first few times I made it I thought I did something wrong, it turns out I just needed more patience. SMBC is more susceptible to warmer temperatures since there's a fair amount of butter in it. I would not use it if serving a cake outside on a hot summer day. Don't have an SMBC cake sitting in the sun. Do refrigerate your cake (or tiers) and let it come to room temperature as you're delivering the cake or serving.
I do find that adults enjoy the flavor more since it's not overly sweet.
I'll share my recipe and thoughts as I've made this several hundred times by now/
SMBC (About 3 cups)
- -1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter (if taking these right out of the fridge then microwave them for about 30 seconds. You don't want the butter rock hard but it should be cold and firm)
- -1 1/2 cups superfine sugar (superfine will dissolve quicker/easier I find)
- -6 egg whites (do not get any egg yolk into this, also make sure your mixing bowl is free of oil/grease or meringue will have issues)
- -1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use a good quality extract like Watson double strength)
- Whisk sugar and eggs in a double boiler until you no longer feel any graininess at the bottom of the bowl. This should take about 3-4 minutes. You want the water in your double boiler simmering, not boiling. I do this all in my mixing bowl since the next step is to whip this mixture into fluffy meringue.
- Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg white mixture until the meringue reaches firm peaks and the bottom of the bowl is just about room temperature. I find that this takes just about 10 minutes on my mixer (Kitchenaid Pro at speed 8).
- Remove the whisk attachment, and replace with a k-paddle.
- Reduce the speed to 1, and add your butter in tablespoon chunks. Make sure they incorporate well as you add them (don't plop 8 tablespoon of butter in there at a time, just pace yourself).
- Once all the butter is in, increase speed to 3
- Your SMBC will go through different stages of looking like curdled milk but ultimately the chemical reaction will happen and the SMBC will turn into a firmer, silky buttercream.
- At this point add any flavors from extracts, fruit etc. (for fruit, add actual fruit, not fruit juices and make sure they're not too wet).
From start to finish that's exactly how I make mine. I've had a handful of times where my SMBC was too soupy and never came together. I traced that back to 1) the mixing bowl was still too warm when I put the butter in, I lacked patience and 2) I did not wait the full 10 minutes for the meringue to get to the right consistency. It should definitely be a nice firm consistency, meaning when you take your whisk out, your meringue holds a nice peak and doesn't just flop over. If that happens, beat it more !
Hope this helps, SMBC is a great buttercream to make and elevates your cakes to the next level .
@kayra850 thank you for your reply. Much appreciated.
@Frank68 thank you very much for your recipe and thoughts. The cake is for a family gathering and it won't be outside sitting in the sun. We'll keep it inside where it is cool until it's time to cut it. The issue though is that I have to travel about 1.5 hrs with it to get to the gathering. I have AC in my truck and I also have a cake porter which I think should help to keep it cool as well but I really fear it will be a melted heap when we arrive. Having never made SMBC before, somehow it just looks more soft than regular buttercream but I think having said that everything is going to be soft in this heat.
The buttercream I make I don't find overly sweet and have never had anyone else say so either. Guess I'll give it a go. I don't know until I try, right? I'm going to put different/more stuff on top of my cake but here is an image of the cake from the recipe I am following:
[postimage id="4770" thumb="900"]
Wish me luck!
@Frank68 yes, thank you for recipe and direction
[postimage id="4773" thumb="900"]
I have traveled with this SMBC covered cake for 1.10 h at 38 C. Since it was properly cooled before travel and with ACin the car, there was no problem at all. I don't think SMBC is melting quicker then ABC .
Please, can anyone more expirience comment this. Give us word of advice.
i have only made SMBC once and although it was silky and smooth I was really disappointed with the taste - it was like eating 'raw' butter. That cake looks fantastic btw.
i use the recipe from "cakewalk" --
it might need more vanilla if it tastes like butter --
if it's soupy -- was your butter too soft -- were your egg whites too hot -- but even still -- put it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes and beat it again it should come together unless your butter was liquefied along the line -- if the first time doesn't work put it the fridge for a half hour or more and keep beating it --
duff makes his from uncooked egg whites so so long as the water didn't pee out of your butter you'll be fine -- use a lotta vanilla
if it's too buttery you can use less butter or add more eggs too
oh good -- I missed post #9 while I was letting the dog out and etc.
glad you got it!
@hep275 this stuff tastes pretty good :-) Next time I will add a bit more vanilla though.
@-K8memphis yes, I got it to work. I just wasn't patient enough after adding my butter and so initially thought I had a flop.
I'll post my finished cake (along with the others I did this week) on FNCC.
Thank you everyone for your help!
That's great news guys! Glad you made it, the trick is to just be patient :) You'll get much better at the more you make it.
On a side note, I made the slutty cake from the recipe above today lol. I had one of little baker girls visit and we had some fun for a few hours. Good combination of flavors!
@Frank68 that is too funny that you made the cake today. Mine is all assembled and ready for tomorrow. Glad to hear that it's a nice combo of flavors. I use family and friends as guinea pigs a lot and this is one of those times.
Now that I've made the SMBC an see it's not all that difficult I will make it again. It takes longer than regular buttercream but I do like the silky texture. Thanks again for your help, I appreciate it :-)
once you get used to making it will go fast -- I crank up the heat on the egg whites & sugar -- takes about five mins
(wasn't finished -- hit the wrong button) toss it in the bowl -- whip the meringue -- toss in the butter -- it does really go faster when you get used to it
The @Frank68 recipe posted above is pretty close in proportion to what I do as my base.
I put a whole tablespoon of double vanilla extract into mine, and it comes out tasting like vanilla ice cream. I add 3 or 4 table spoons of caramel and it taste like heaven. A few ounces of melted & cooled semi-sweet chocolate and it taste like the inside of a milky way candy bar.
The key for me has to be to always beat the egg whites until room temperature AND stiff firm peaks!! For the first 8 minutes I only beat the eggs on #5 KA just to let them cool down, then turn up to high to finish.
Then I dump the whole plate of 1 lb of butter in the bowl, change to the paddle, turn it on to low, and in just a couple of minutes it's a beautiful consistency.
When I want it sweeter or a bit stiffer I simply add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of sifted powdered sugar. Now it kills some of the beautiful silkieness, but not completely.
Gretchen Prices woodland bakery Swiss Meringue buttercream is a nice recipe. Lauren Kitchens mock Swiss meringue buttercream made with carton pasteurized eggs and no cooking is also a nice recipe. But for me @FromScratchSF 's recipe was the beginning of my love affair with SMBC. I don't think that it's available online anymore.
@kayra850 I forgot to thank you for sharing your experience with transporting an SMBC cake in warm weather. Your cake is very pretty by the way. Mine is just one tier so less stress that way. I have it all nice and cooled and will be loading it in the truck in a few hours. I'll post pictures once it is cut as I want to show the different layers of cake.
@MBalaska thank you for your post. My boyfriend loves caramel so I'll have to give that version a try one of these days. Now that I have made it and know all the steps/what to expect I won't be panicked along the way.
@-K8memphis I don't see how it can be made any faster than what it took me to do yesterday. The heating of the egg whites and sugar took no time at all, I beat the mixture for the recommended 10 mins (at which time I had the perfect peaks and temp) and then it was just the beating after adding the butter. My issue with it was really a non-issue and just not knowing what to expect where I had never made it before. I just figured it would come together quicker than it did after adding the butter and is why I posted that it was soup. Turned out that I was impatient & had just not beat it long enough.
Happy to report that the cake survived the 1.5 hr drive. I didn't get the SMBC even between the layers of cake but I was the only one who noticed. Lol. We are, afterall our own worst critics :-) It was a big hit and everyone loved the SMBC so thanks again everyone for your help!
[postimage id="4797" thumb="900"]
this cake looks incredibly beautifull and ssssoooooooo yummy.
@kstevens what a cake! Is there a little piece left for me?
I also wanted to do SMBC for the first time this weekend... But I choke. Did'nt have the energy to start over if something went wrong... Now I have regrets because my white chocolate ABC was way too sweet. I have to give it a try. This slutty brownies cake might be the occasion....
I like to add some melted white chocolate for a better tasting smbc.
@kstevens you're actually living closer than I thought. I dont know why, I thought you where from overseas. Anyway... By the time I would travel from Quebec to Nova Scotia, the left over cake would probably be long gone!! For the SMBC (and the slutty brownie cake), I will give it a try this week. It is my boyfriend birthday next saturday.
laetia -- a couple ideas on too sweet american bc -- make it with buttermilk or add a couple tablespoons of white balsamic vinegar -- it gives a similar tang as does cream cheese icing
Thanks for the tip K8! I' ll keep that in mind next time I do ABC