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Buttercream......??????

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Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 05:39 PM

Why does my buttercream look like it wouldn't stay on the side of a cake if I tried ti ice one now....does it have to set up again in the fridge or have I done something wrong.....?

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    sugarbuzz RE: Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 05:51 PM

    Post the recipe so we can see the proportions & also your method of making it. There are many types of buttercream ..meringue based? yolk based?

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      Hungry Celeste RE: Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 06:17 PM

      If you have no a/c, it just might be too hot for buttercream. It tends to separate more easily when the temp is too high, or at least the non-stabilized kinds of buttercream tend to separate (kinda looks like scrambled eggs).

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        Susanbnyc RE: Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 07:17 PM

        I actually used THIS (SEE BELOW POST)recipe from an old thread...it's a"shortcut" recipe...but..I was unprepared for how much of it there was...so I had to seperate the first stage into 2 batches...(the whisked eggwhites and sugar) ...I think on the first batch I added in the butter before the eggwhites were all the way cooled..... and then to add insult to injury...I added a shot of expresso (or some of a shot) and melted chocolate....It has set up again in the fridge and look like it will work. The second batch I did...the other half that had been waiting around for a while and was cool by the time I started mixing and then ading butter worked great...although...it's a little disconcerting how much butter goes in..... and I love butter...but ewwwwy...it's one of those things better made by others so you can enjoy it without so much knoledge/guilt of what's inside!

        Celeste...It's not a heat problem...I am in Calgary where it is on the cool side for August.

        recipe follows....

        "I stole this recipe from a bakery I worked at a few years ago, and haven't made buttercream any other way since:
        Whisk 1 cup egg whites & 2 cups sugar over simmering water until hot (160F), then whip on high speed in mixer until cool & tripled in volume. While whipping on medium speed, add 1# 10 oz. softened unsalted butter bit by bit. Then 7 oz. melted chocolate, any color, and vanilla or liqueur of choice. Works great!"

        1 Reply
        1. re: Susanbnyc
          babette feasts RE: Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 11:26 PM

          The eggs were probably still too warm. Something that's mostly butter will firm up with chilling because butter of course is firm when cold. Or if it just needs to stiffen a little, you can dip the bowl in ice water as you stir to cool it. Buttercream like that can take a lot of semi-melting and re-beating to get it smooth (would use the paddle attachment at that point). It also freezes well. Just thaw to (cool) room temp and beat.

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          bruce RE: Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 07:51 PM

          That recipe looks fine to me. It might be that you didn't mix it long enough after adding the butter. As well as I remember, it looks bad before it actually comes together. You didn't melt the butter did you? Was the chocolate hot when you added it?

          Wait, I just read your last post. I believe it was the heat of the other ingredients that melted the butter & caused problems.

          Butter cream always does seem like a lot of butter, but when you have it on the cake it will balance out.

          1. JoanN RE: Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 08:02 PM

            "If you have no a/c, it just might be too hot for buttercream. It tends to separate more easily when the temp is too high, or at least the non-stabilized kinds of buttercream tend to separate (kinda looks like scrambled eggs)."

            This is exactly what happened to me earlier today. I was making Krissywats vanilla frosting, posted here about a year ago. All of a sudden I had something that looked like scrambled eggs. Perfect description. Tasted great, just looked a little funny. No time, or enough additional ingredients, for a do-over. Birthday boy is due in a couple of hours. So I just firmed it up a bit in the fridge, spread it on as best I could, covered the top with sprinkles (the birthday boy is 10), and have it sitting in a box directly on top of my air conditioner. With fingers crossed. I was afraid the frosting would fall apart and start melting. But so far so good. Try putting it in the fridge for a bit and see if that works for you as well.

            3 Replies
            1. re: JoanN
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              Hungry Celeste RE: JoanN Aug 9, 2006 08:09 PM

              I've given up on homemade buttercream in the coastal south except in cooler weather. It's depressing to make a lovely buttercream, set it in the fridge to firm up, then take cold frosting & a cake chilled in the freezer and STILL HAVE THE FROSTING FALL OFF THE CAKE before you're done with it. Italian, french, whatever...I haven't found a truly heat proof buttercream yet. My SO requests a cake with buttercream every year for his June birthday, so I go thru this annually.

              1. re: Hungry Celeste
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                cheryl_h RE: Hungry Celeste Aug 9, 2006 09:36 PM

                Can you substitute ganache for buttercream? It's very easy to make, tastes delicious and is fairly bulletproof. You can make it out of white or dark chocolate so if your cake will go with those flavors you may find this option to be a solution.

                1. re: Hungry Celeste
                  danna RE: Hungry Celeste Aug 10, 2006 07:32 PM

                  Humidity sucks. Not only is buttercream a problem, i had my normally bulletproof 7 minute frosting start to leak off a cake last week.

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                Susanbnyc RE: Susanbnyc Aug 9, 2006 09:17 PM

                Wow....now I'm affraid of what will happen when I actually ice the cake.... I'm using it for an Icecream cake...so maybe that will keep it looking good.

                Thanks for the tips!

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                  rootlesscosmo RE: Susanbnyc Aug 10, 2006 04:03 AM

                  Paula Peck's "Art of Fine Baking" gives what she calls "Classic Buttercream" involving egg yolks only, no whites. Recipe is as follows:

                  Make a simple syrup of 1/3 cup water to 2/3 cup sugar; bring to a boil and continue boiling until it reaches 238° F. (This needs to be pretty accurate.) While the syrup is cooking, whisk five egg yolks at high speed, until thick and sticky. Drizzle in the syrup, beating continuously, and beat on high speed several minutes, until the egg-sugar mixture has cooled to room temperature and is thick and pale ivory color, sort of resembling whipped cream. Switch to the paddle attachment and beat in 8 oz. (2 sticks) softened unsalted butter on low speed.

                  This can now be flavored with 2 or 3 oz. melted unsweetened chocolate, orange liqueur, Frangelico, coffee syrup (plain coffee adds too much water) or whatever you like, and will spread easily; it hardens in the fridge.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: rootlesscosmo
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                    Susanbnyc RE: rootlesscosmo Aug 10, 2006 04:11 PM

                    mmmmm...that sounds good...I may try another batch for one of the other cakes... we can all compare and contrast! The idea of 238f sugar syrup slowly going into something beating while the baby lingers below is kind of scarey, though....

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: Susanbnyc
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                      rootlesscosmo RE: Susanbnyc Aug 10, 2006 04:54 PM

                      You're thinking scalding hot spatters? Probably not a worry--in my experience there's a little spattering inside the bowl but none on the counter until late in the pprocess, by which time the egg mixture has cooled down. So at worst you've got a sweet, sticky baby (not necessarily a bad thing), not a scalded one.

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