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post #16 of 25
If the recipe says cook it to 250 degrees, then do just that. icon_biggrin.gif

I was saying that if a recipe said to bring it up to 238, it wouldn't be a good idea to bring it up to 250, because that would probably give you different results.

From my experience and from what I've heard others say, that using and substitute for the eggs gives such an unusual flavor you're better off just using basic buttercream. If it works for you that's great, but for me I just don't like using substitutes. You can't beat organic, free range eggs. It's just not the same.
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naty

I have been looking at several Merengue Buttercream recipes from several professional cake decorators such as Colette Peters, Dede Wilson, Toba Garett, etc. and they all boil their sugar syrop to different temperatures, the range I've seen is from 238 to 250 degrees. I'm assuming the "safest" is 250?
Has anyone done any of these and any comments. I'll be serving kids so I really want something that is "safe" for them.

Thank you,
Naty



I heat to 250. We ate the cake, and actually one person that ate my cake with this icing has a verys sensitive stomach, and she was okay. So, the kids will be fine.
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post #18 of 25
Squirrelly Cakes,

I too remember the days when no one worried about raw egg whties. We made the most amazing mousses in those days!

Maybe you know this-- I've been wondeirng. I was under the impression that getting the sugar syrup to a specific temperature had to do with the consistency of the finished buttercream. I didn't think it had anything to do with the safety of the eggwhites. Do you know if this is the case?

It just occurred to me that for small batches of royal, made by hand for stirngwork, pastueurized egg whites might be adequate. Earlene did say that royal made with real raw egg white and stirred slowly with a fork instead of beaters is better for string work, but she also said that the lemon juice and the fact that it gets dry should be sufficient protection from salmonella. I'd still rather not chance it with regular raw egg white. What do you think?

By the way, I do use that famous decorator's gumpaste recipe. Guess what? I use dried egg whites. I do find the recipe a little dry and so I like to mix 2/3 of that recipe with 1/3 of Bakels Pettinice Gumpaste. Pettinice won't dry for anything, so the combination of the two works well for me. I would think that it might have something to do with the dried whites, but when an instructor I had made the recipe in class, she used eggs from the shell and I found it even dryer, so I don't think that's it.
post #19 of 25
That's exactly my point. If you bring the syrup to a higher or lower temp than the recipe says, you may or may not get good results. It has nothing to do with safety. (Even at 250, there still is a risk with Italian style frostings.)

My main concern is that everyone is going to do their frostings at 250 instead of 240, and wonder why their icing is hard as a rock. icon_lol.gif
post #20 of 25
Niki027,

I have been doing 250 degrees for a year and my icing has been just fine. I've found over the last 40 years of cooking and baking that usually there is a some leeway in any recipe. Remember when these things were developed people didn't have all the fancy kitchenware we do today and they all managed.

Rose Levy Beranbaum does have 238 degrees as the temperature for Classic buttercream and calls that soft ball stage. She says 248 to 250 degrees for Mousseline and calls that firm ball. In the ingredients part of the book she says 250 to 266 is hard ball-- so she herself isn't consistent. !

I'd venture to say that even today our thermometers aren't perfectly exact, and there are always other factors, like altitude that can have an effect. Everyone needs to see what works for them and their equipment. Cooking and baking are, after all, more art than science--though chemistry and physics are certainly important components.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Sorry if I opened a can of worms icon_redface.gif , but I'm too new at Merengue BC and I didn't know where to start ...........I will certainly try it out as the recipe says (the 250 one to start) if I don't find pasteurized egg whites.

I have received so many replies that I can't thank each of you individually so, here is a BIG THANK YOU TO EACH OF YOU!!!!

You have been so helpful....thank you so much for all the information!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

Regards, Naty
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post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by itsacake

Squirrelly Cakes,

I too remember the days when no one worried about raw egg whties. We made the most amazing mousses in those days!

Maybe you know this-- I've been wondeirng. I was under the impression that getting the sugar syrup to a specific temperature had to do with the consistency of the finished buttercream. I didn't think it had anything to do with the safety of the eggwhites. Do you know if this is the case?

It just occurred to me that for small batches of royal, made by hand for stirngwork, pastueurized egg whites might be adequate. Earlene did say that royal made with real raw egg white and stirred slowly with a fork instead of beaters is better for string work, but she also said that the lemon juice and the fact that it gets dry should be sufficient protection from salmonella. I'd still rather not chance it with regular raw egg white. What do you think?

By the way, I do use that famous decorator's gumpaste recipe. Guess what? I use dried egg whites. I do find the recipe a little dry and so I like to mix 2/3 of that recipe with 1/3 of Bakels Pettinice Gumpaste. Pettinice won't dry for anything, so the combination of the two works well for me. I would think that it might have something to do with the dried whites, but when an instructor I had made the recipe in class, she used eggs from the shell and I found it even dryer, so I don't think that's it.


Haha, well first of all, the temperature of 160F is strictly the temperature that the egg itself must reach to kill off the salmonella bacteria, nothing to do at all with how the egg whites will or won't react when making these kinds of icings. And if the syrup is a gazillion degrees high, haha, it doesn't matter to the egg whites unless the egg whites reach 160F to kill off the salmonella and that was the point I was making. If you are pouring a small amount of really hot syrup gradually over egg whites, a lot of the heat is dissipated into the bowl itself and other ingredients and such so that it doesn't mean necessarily that the egg whites themselves will actually reach 160F. The only way to know that for sure is when they are cooked in a pot and the temperature of the mixture they are in reaches that temperature.
So that is one concern and that is what folks have been misinformed about.
Yes, the temperature of the sugar syrup and whether it is at soft ball stage or higher etc, really has to do with how the meringue will turn out, about how the syrup will be of a certain consistency that is compatible with the egg whites and will effect the right reaction and change and consistency. Very similar to candy making and such.
Well, everything I have read from egg producers and food safety experts appears to dispute Earlene's theory, at present time, but she is not alone in her beliefs. I greatly admire her and I find that she does normally give wonderful information, but in this case, I am not so sure she is correct.
I think you can experiment with the egg beaters, pasteurized egg white or dried eggs or meringue powder and I think that each product produces different results. I even find that egg whites themselves are not consistent at all. I find that every recipe whether it is Royal Icing or any of the meringue type icings, or even meringue topping for a pie, varies slightly every time you make it. I find of all of the things we work with, anything with egg whites is the least consistent. I find Royal Icing absolutely the worst thing for not being consistent, the weather has such a huge effect on it. I have my temperature fixed at 70F and I control the humidity in the house and still, if it has been really humid or raining or snowing outside for several days, I will have trouble with my egg white based icings.
My understanding of these other meringue icings is that as long as you reach a temperature of at least 230F you should obtain the correct consistency. I don't venture to say much more specific than that as all of the recipes vary somewhat and every other day there is yet another expert with yet another, "best meringue type icing" These recipes or variations of them have been around for many moons longer than any of us have been alive. There is nothing original about them, just slight variations on the same old theme.
Haha, I guess I am not one to be impressed by who is recommending which recipe or which book or which decorator a recipe comes from. I find that you can usually get excellent recipes from sources that you trust and I don't find that just because someone is an "in decorator" that they necessarily know what they are talking about.
Haha, Itsacake, I sort of figure you wouldn't be using the egg whites called for in that gumpaste recipe!
I would have to say that for my own home use, I have absolutely no qualms about using raw egg whites in things like these. But I would really be concerned with liability issues especially if I lived in the U.S., so I avoid sending anything like these recipes outside of the home unless the eggs are actually cooked. Better safe than sorry.
One last thing, your eggs should be at least 3-4 days old before you consider using the whites for meringues as anything before that and they are too fresh to get the volume and consistency you need.
Hugs Squirrely Cakes
post #23 of 25
Hhmn, after re-reading that, I just wanted to clarify that I would include Rose Levy in the trusted sources, didn't mean to imply otherwise, haha! I guess I feel that Pillsbury and Betty Crocker and Culinary Arts Institute and Better Homes and such, have been around along time and have tested recipes and home economists and chefs and such researching their books.
I find that every other day someone puts out yet another cookbook, like, I don't know, Cupcakes - a million and one recipes and such. I think there is a lot of flash but not much substance.
You are quite right about tools being available and about them not being consistent, which is why the terms soft ball and hard ball and such were developed. Thermometers are not consistently accurate either, doesn't matter what type they are.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niki027

That's exactly my point. If you bring the syrup to a higher or lower temp than the recipe says, you may or may not get good results. It has nothing to do with safety. (Even at 250, there still is a risk with Italian style frostings.)

My main concern is that everyone is going to do their frostings at 250 instead of 240, and wonder why their icing is hard as a rock. icon_lol.gif



I will say that it is safe to follow the recipe that you have been given. I always follow it to what it calls for. It is says 238, then I heat the syrup to 238 and it says 240 or 250 then I do that. The recipe as given has been tested at that temp and you will get the right results at those specified specs.

Oh, and I use pasteurized eggs and the taste of the icing is superb. It was really good. Pasteurized eggs are said to be safer because of the process they have been put through. So, its up to you.

Try them all and see what you like best!! icon_smile.gif
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post #25 of 25
Thread Starter 
Maria and all,

Thank you again for the information!!!

Regards, Naty
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