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PLEASE HELP!! Swiss Meringue NOT coming together! - Page 2

post #16 of 54
Hi to Fromscratch -- it's Toba Garrett's recipe I use and I learned to make SMBC in her class. She recommends that the butter be soft enough to dent with one's finger, but not soft all the way through. She cuts it into 2-inch pieces and adds half of it, pulses the mixer, and adds the other half. Her recipe is the one I use -- it's in her book, The Well-Decorated Cake. Usually by the time the eggwhites are at the stiff peak stage, the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, but sometimes I wrap the base of the bowl in a cold towel to speed the cooling a little. Maybe the coolish butter helps cool the meringue the rest of the way...?
post #17 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by luddroth

Hi to Fromscratch -- it's Toba Garrett's recipe I use and I learned to make SMBC in her class. She recommends that the butter be soft enough to dent with one's finger, but not soft all the way through. She cuts it into 2-inch pieces and adds half of it, pulses the mixer, and adds the other half. Her recipe is the one I use -- it's in her book, The Well-Decorated Cake. Usually by the time the eggwhites are at the stiff peak stage, the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, but sometimes I wrap the base of the bowl in a cold towel to speed the cooling a little. Maybe the coolish butter helps cool the meringue the rest of the way...?



This has been my finding also. when I say I use cold butter, it is probably best described this way. Straight from the fridge may not work, however with a meringue at a temp above the melting point of the butter,it just might because the butter seems to cool the meringue down before the meringue can heat up the butter.
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post #18 of 54
I'm wondering - have either of you stuck a thermometer in your butter before you use it in your SMBC? If so, what temperature do you think is the best?

I know that Linda is an experienced baker, and if you are lucky (LUCKY!!!) enough to have taken a class with Toba herownself, then not only do you rule! But you probably have some skills. My advice is geared more for the foolproof recipe seeker that does not have as much experience in the kitchen, or is unable to look at a recipe and see that 2 sticks of butter is not enough fat to sugar/eggs and is struggling to make her recipe work. "Room temperature", "cold", "warm", "slightly warm" are all subjective terms. Room temperature in my condo right now is about 64 degrees - in June. It's overcast and jacket weather out, and will be until about late August. That's why I say butter should be at 72 degrees or warmer because none of those terms work for me.

At 72 degrees you can still pick up your butter and easily put in a dent. Many consider that "slightly cold" or "slightly warm", so I'm curious how close to that temperature you use your butter after measuring the temperature... I venture to guess it's very close to that. I prefer to use butter warmer in my SMBC, but I also have a different ratio then you both are using. It works for me. Anyway, although I am saying different words then Toba, I'm really only trying to give a qualifiable measurement that leaves very little for interpretation.

Jen
post #19 of 54
I wish I would have found this thread last night, I could have saved a 4 quart soupy mess. I tried Ron Ben Israel's White Chocolate SMBC recipe and I don't think it was the recipe itself, it was me. But again this was my first time making SMBC. His recipe called for:

6 oz White Chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
9 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
1+1/2 cups Sugar
1+1/2 LB Unsweetened Butter (6 sticks), softened

I still don't know what I did wrong, as I used the egg whites from the carton with that amount of sugar and heated up over the stove using the double boil method. I started getting a little cooked egg around the sides, but nothing too scary. I then whipped the egg/sugar mix for a long while and it never formed peaks, just got a little frothy. I then added room temp butter. End result: SOUP

So, I tried again, but this time using InspiredbyMichelle Cakes buttercream recipe (sub w/white choco):

1 cup (220g) caster sugar
3 egg whites
300g unsalted butter, room temperature and chopped
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
200g dark chocolate, melted

It worked, BUT it was really soft and whipped icing and I wanted it American Buttercream thick. So I added about 1/2 cup of Sweetex and a bag of PS. It thickened up and became really really smooth no air bubbles, clumps or anything. Maybe because I blended two types of BC's together?

The only problem I found was that once the cake was cut (after being in the freezer overnight and then thawed out this afternoon), the icing started to slide from the cake a bit. My first time every experiencing this...I mean I have seen other peoples cakes do this, but never mine. It is and was very humid today in Germany at about 49%, so I can only think of that as the culprit to the icing sliding down.

Overall, I will try SMBC again, but I need something that crust or something that will firm up so I can smooth it. The texture was awesome and the flavor with the white chocolate was unbelievably good.
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post #20 of 54
Jen - I have taken the temp of my butter just because I am anal like that . icon_biggrin.gif

It is about any where from 63-68 depending on how long it sits out before I get to it. At 72 my butter cannot get a dent because my finger will go through it. I take the butter out of the fridge, cut it into about 8 cubes. By the time I get to it about oh probably 20-30 minutes later it is at the temp range I mentioned.

Whatever works for you is what one should do. If I let the butter sit to 72 and very soft, I have to put the bowl in the fridge to cool for a bit. That won't work once imopen my store so cool butter it is.

To 1cakatatime - I believe the problem you had was you did not get good stiff peaks before you added the butter. And you might not have gotten stiff peaks because of the kind of egg whites you used. Some, but not all, pastaurized egg whites will not whip up. At my store it says that in the carton. It is hit or miss if it works, so I use fresh. Being you are in Germany and I am in the states, I will not say definitively this is the issue.

Also if it is humid and you have no AC this could be issue too. Just stick the bowl in the fridge if it doesn't set up and see if that helps. Once I had let it set overnight to get a good set up. But it is summer here and now the AC is on all the time, so I have not had that same problem.

Forgive any typos please. I am on my IPad and it takes longer to correct, so I am skipping then proof reading today.
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post #21 of 54
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Cake-At-ATime

I wish I would have found this thread last night, I could have saved a 4 quart soupy mess. I tried Ron Ben Israel's White Chocolate SMBC recipe and I don't think it was the recipe itself, it was me. But again this was my first time making SMBC. His recipe called for:

6 oz White Chocolate, melted and cooled to room temperature
9 Large Egg Whites, room temperature
1+1/2 cups Sugar
1+1/2 LB Unsweetened Butter (6 sticks), softened

I still don't know what I did wrong, as I used the egg whites from the carton with that amount of sugar and heated up over the stove using the double boil method. I started getting a little cooked egg around the sides, but nothing too scary. I then whipped the egg/sugar mix for a long while and it never formed peaks, just got a little frothy. I then added room temp butter. End result: SOUP



I saw his blog post too, and it was a head-scratcher for me that one of his tips was to use egg whites out of the carton. Maybe he gets a different product in New York, but every egg white carton I've picked up at the grocery store here says "not suitable for meringues". However, I CAN buy egg whites from my restaurant distributor in gallon buckets that are OK for meringues, I've been told it's because there are "stabelizers" in them to make them work. Check your carton and see what it says because it sounds like you might have the unsuitable kind. And without stiff peaks, your SMBC will fail no matter the recipe.

Jen
post #22 of 54
yeah I looked at the box this morning and sure enough it said "not good for meringue". For the second batch I used regular eggs and just disposed of the yokes, but I hate to do that every time. Maybe when we get return to the states (in 2 weeks YAY!) there will be other brands of egg whites.
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post #23 of 54
Egg whites out of a carton do not act, taste or resemble real egg whites in any way except for making rubbery omelets!! I did a deliberate almond cookie experiment with them and the deflated the second they hit the oven heat! Real egg whites never did that in this recipe. Definitely not good for meringue or any type of real baking application.
Sue

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Sue

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11
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post #24 of 54
I make IMBC with egg whites out of a carton. All the time. I only made it with real egg whites twice. Then because people are always afraid I decided to start using carton egg whites.

It works.

I do start whipping the egg whites long before I put my sugar/water to boil. And I do always add cream of tartar.

Now, at the end, the only thing I'm doing differently from all the recipes out there is add the butter all at once at low speed. (I read everywhere medium and high speed, until I saw FromScratchSF tutorial.) Ron Ben Israel's recipe (from his manager's blog) also advises low speed when you add the butter.

Maybe it is the cream of tartar, but the carton egg whites do work. I've read about other people here at CC who use them in IMBC and SMBC. Those other people also have used the powdered egg whites...which I'm going to try next when I have some time.

I have to check though if my egg whites say "not good for meringue" 'cause that would be crazy if they are still whipping for me!

Like they whipped for the poster here?

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post #25 of 54
Just want to make sure people don't use Egg Beaters! I think that's something else. lol
post #26 of 54
icon_eek.gif @ imagenthatnj - I DID USE Egg Beaters!!! The Egg Beater Egg whites! Oh man, no wonder I was having issues. icon_lol.gif

I have had no problems using them for baking though.
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post #27 of 54
Oh, that's why. That's not egg whites. And if you ever want to use powdered egg whites, that's not the same as meringue powder.

Edited to say that I didn't mean to say that egg beaters are not egg whites. They are, but I think they have more stuff added to them. I just know not to use them for meringues, and that's all I care to know.
post #28 of 54
Oh wait, no I just checked...they are AllWhites Egg Whites. But it does say not good for meringue.
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post #29 of 54
Hey! Those are the ones I use all the time! That's crazy. I've never read the not good for meringue line. And I've been using them for 4 years already.

And this is what's on their website (see the word "frostings" there?)

AllWhites® 100% Liquid Egg Whites are delicious scrambled, as a white omelet or as a tasty protein fruit drink! They are also great for French toast, quiche, meatloaf, cakes, frostings, cookies and batters and coatings for baking!

I'm going back home tonight to check for that line.

But they do work. Trust me. Maybe you have to whip longer before you add the butter.
post #30 of 54
Weird. On the side my carton, the green and white box with blue "All Whites" lettering says:

"AllWhites 100% Liquid Egg Whites are heated during the pasteurization process and therefore not recommended for meringues or angel food cake"

Its the AllWhites carton with the veggie omelet on the front.

This is the reason why I cannot wait to return to the States because being overseas for six years has me out of touch with certain food products. I didn't even know this stuff existed until our commissary started carrying them about two months ago. icon_sad.gif
There is more than one way to cut a cake, thus, there are more ways to achieve one goal. The only thing I can do is provide information based upon my experience and if you ask, I will do so with respect and professionalism.
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There is more than one way to cut a cake, thus, there are more ways to achieve one goal. The only thing I can do is provide information based upon my experience and if you ask, I will do so with respect and professionalism.
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