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Italian Meringue ?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Sorry all! I know this has probably been covered many, many times, but would you mind going over it one more time? Pleeeeeeese?

I have always been using butter cream 1/2 butter and 1/2 shortening. I was thinking about trying an Italian butter cream for the first time. I have several questions.
1. Does it smooth nicely?

2. I'm assuming it doesn't crust? Can I decorate with it?

3. If I can decorate, can I do the gel transfer or do I need a crusting butter cream for that.

4. If I can't do the gel transfer can I do a FBCT, and does Italian work for a FBCT?

As you can tell I have a lot to learn, but I'm trying! lol. icon_smile.gif

You all are great and this forum has been a huge help to me. Thanks
post #2 of 11
1. absolutely! There is another thread that discusses smoothing meringue buttercreams... using either a very hot spatula or an ice cold one...

2. Nope, no crust, but if you pop it in the fridge, it hardens like butter. Decorate away ... the texture is very smooth and quite delightful to work with (however, you may find it more temperature sensitive thatn the crusting BC...)

3. I don't know.. never tried it.

4. YES!

I only use the italian meringue BC... the taste is very rich and buttery (use unsalted butter, and never shortening!) It's not as sweet as a crusting BC and very smooth on the tongue (no graineyness at all!)
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much. Sounds wonderful. I think I'll try it. Do you mind 1 more question? Can I make the IBC in advance and keep if for a few days before icing the cake with it?
post #4 of 11
You can refrigerate or freeze it, BUT... it is a bit of a pain because you have to get the whole thing back to nearly room temp before working with it. If anything is still too cold (lump in the middle) the butter can separate out adn the texture just never gets right again. If I freeze left-overs, I always put it in a freezer bag and flatten it so it's not too thick.

I never bother to make it ahead anymore ... too much hassle!
The recipe I use takes about an hour or more to do (about 15 minutes of beating & heating, then 45-60 minutes of beating & cooling, then 2 minutes of mixing in the butter ... gotta have a stand mixer for this one! LOL), so I mix and bake the cake, and start the BC while the cake is in the oven. By the time the cake is cooling, the icing is ready to go too!
post #5 of 11
i used "nick m's" smbc almost exclusivly. i've tried different recipes for IMBC but it gave me too much trouble! my uncle is a chef and told me they were basically the same thing but that smbc was much easier to work with so i gave it a try. anyways, i substitute 1 cup of shortening for 1 cup of butter (recipe calls for 2 cups of butter) to cut down on the "buttery" flavor and also it makes this icing very stable, though it is quite stable with all butter as well. it smooths like a dream, i make many batches and keep them in the freezer. let it thaw on the counter for an hour or two or pop it in the micro for a few seconds. then beat it with your hand mixer. it comes out perfect and i even think "melting" it a bit in the microwave helps me smooth my cakes easier.

it doesn't crust and i'm not sure about the transfer since i've never done one before. it is stable enough to decorate with, though. another bonus is it is so easy to make, a big plus for me!
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post #6 of 11
Dailey,
Where can we find the recipe you use for SMBC?
I didn't see it in the recipes on this site.
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post #7 of 11
I've TRIED to make this stuff twice and both times it was just a lumpy seperated mess. I ended up salvaging my work by adding shortening and 10X sugar and was able to use it as icing but not the way it was intended.

I have basically decided it's because it's Florida, it's hot, it's humid and I can't get it to work.
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post #8 of 11
Italian Merigue is my go-to buttercream (unless its a kids cake, then I use the one with the confectioner's sugar). There are a few tricks to making it - and I can give you the recipe I use (at least 1000 times by now) if you want it.

1. It smoothes like a dream - just refrigerate after icing - 10 mins - then take your metal spatula and some hot water. Dip spatula in hot water and smooth to a shiny finish (I have a pic on this site with swiss dots on the cake - but it's Italian M. buttercream).

2. it doesn't crust - but you can pipe (easily) with it. Hard to do flowers with it though. And I have "HOT HAND" (the curse suffered by many decorators) so I do a little at a time and keep re-cooling in the fridge.

3. i haven't tried a tranfer in it yet (weird - I had to think about it) but it should work. Just do it after putting the iced and smoothed cake has been in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. It'll get hard and should give you the right surface.

Hope this helps!
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post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickledPink

I've TRIED to make this stuff twice and both times it was just a lumpy seperated mess. I ended up salvaging my work by adding shortening and 10X sugar and was able to use it as icing but not the way it was intended.



Tickled ... temperature is a big factor with IMBC ... if it's lumpy, your butter was too cold (it should feel cool and firm, but not rock hard! I always take mine out of the fridge when I start the frosting and it's about right. If you don't take it out soon enough, just squish it with your hands to soften it a bit). Also, you should cut it into about 1-2 tbsp size chinks before adding it ... gradually (one piece at a time!)

Just keep beating (can take a while!) and it does eventually come together as the butter warms up!

If, on the other hand, it's soupy, pop the whole thing in the fridge for a few minutes, then try again. The texture isn't always right if you've actually melted your butter, so make sure it has cooled enough before adding the butter!

I also find that it looks soupy until I add the last stick (1/2 cup) of butter, then it suddenly all comes together!

HTH!
post #10 of 11
maybe my butter was too warm, it said to have it "room temp" and around here that is high 70's.... so maybe I will not let it get so soft next time.

After I added some shortening and 10x to it, it smoothed out to the prettiest shiniest smoothest tasting frosting and I loved it.
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post #11 of 11
Room temp is WAY too warm (even at 72!) Your butter should be the consistency of a cheese like mozza or cheddar... some give (not rock hard) but still firm enough not to distort much when you cut it! Any softer and you'll definately have trouble!

I use the recipe in Dede Wilson's Wedding Cakes book and it's just fabulous.

MelC
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