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Help with Swiss meringue buttercream

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Hi all!
Wondering if anyone can give me some pointers...been struggling trying to make Swiss meringue buttercream, even when following picture tutorials! Everything is fine with my meringue..... As soon as I add the butter, it ruins the stuff every time! It's been lumpy and runny. I've tried putting it in the fridge for 10-15 minutes as directed, then re-whipping. After about 20 minutes of whipping ( the tutorial swears to keep whipping) it looks the same. Is there a special type of butter I should be using? That's what seems to be the problem!

Thanks in advance!
Amy
post #2 of 19
SMBC is such a delicate, yet simple thing to create.

First off, make sure your bowl is absolutely free, clean, and clear of anything.

Are you using egg whites from an actual egg or carton egg whites? I find if I use carton egg whites, I MUST use a thermometer and bring the sugar/eggs to 160 degrees. If I do not do this, the meringue never reaches stiff peaks. Some people using carton egg whites just cook the egg/sugar until the sugar is dissolved since the eggs are already pasteurized. This causes problems for my SMBC.

Are you mixing the meringue to stiff peaks? And is your bowl cooled down at this point? One time I reached stiff peaks but my bowl was still warm. It was too warm for the already room temperature butter and it never came together.

These are just my trouble shooting tips. I am sure others may chime in as well.

Good luck!

There are times when I think I can help. Other times I think, given an already shallow gene pool, I am doing more for humanity by just letting go...

 

www.brendabakes.com

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There are times when I think I can help. Other times I think, given an already shallow gene pool, I am doing more for humanity by just letting go...

 

www.brendabakes.com

Reply
post #3 of 19
Sometimes the butter can be too cold when you add it to your meringue, rather than too warm. If your buttercream looks curdled, and the curds feel kind of firm like cold butter (they clump up), then you need to warm it up a little bit. If the bowl feels cool, that's a definite sign that the butter was too cold. I just transfer to a microwave safe bowl and then do 10 second intervals until it loosens up and then whip, whip, whip. You could do this over a pot of simmering water too. The trick is that you can't overdo it - too warm and you'll have to put it in the fridge.

Also, if you're not already doing this, add your butter slowly and the butter should be at room temp or slightly warmer. Before adding it, you can beat it a little bit for some extra insurance.

Hope that helps!
post #4 of 19
DO NOT keep putting your bowl in the fridge. By doing this keep breaking your emulsion over and over. Perfect emulsion happens (meaning, your buttercream comes together) when your ingredients are at 70-75 degrees or warmer. Meringue buttercreams do not work cold.

What you have is probably not savable. If it does come together it will taste and have the consistency of butter and will have a weird opaque quality.

Try my recipe/tutorial, lots of people have great success using it...
http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/
post #5 of 19
Follow FromscratchSFs tutorial to the T (recipe and method) and you can't go wrong, personally I prefer the IMBC method but FromscratchSF knows her stuff!
post #6 of 19
FromScratchSF's recipe and method is the only one I use for SMBC and it's fantastic!
post #7 of 19
disastrophe is completely right. You can also use a blow torch on the outside of the bowl while it is mixing to heat it.
post #8 of 19
Delicate my arse! I heavily abuse my IMBC and it turns out great every time!

If it's runny, I rub a bag of frozen veggies around the outside of the bowl. If it's too clumpy, I get a kitchen towel and run it under hot water and then wrap that around the bowl until it all comes together.

Annie
post #9 of 19
Once your cake is iced with SMB do you have to keep it in the fridge or is it ok to be on the countertop like regular buttercream
Make each day count!!!
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Make each day count!!!
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post #10 of 19
It is safe at room temp for at least one week
post #11 of 19
Just wondering if you were to keep it out for a week do you have a problem covering with Fondant. Also can you refrigerate and then cover??? Sorry trying to work out a few ideas any help would be great..

Thx icon_biggrin.gif
post #12 of 19
I always chill it before covering in fondant.
post #13 of 19
I always refrigerate mine before covering with fondant.
post #14 of 19
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU From Scratch, I followed your tutorial on Swiss Merigune Buttercream exactly and OMG!!! I have NEVER made it before, and it was perfect, I did exactly as you said, I even set my timer on each part where you said may take 5 minutes or this step may take 10 minutes, and I walked away from it each time so as not to sit and stare at it. It is awesome! This may be my go to frosting from now on. I really appreciate all you well experienced, very talented cake designers who take to time to help and teach all of us, this is just a hobby of mine but I do love it so much, and I live in a rural area, but I wish there was some of you close by that I could actually take classes from. Thank you again for sharing your talents.
SWISS MERIGUNE BUTTERCREAM IS AWESOME!
Make each day count!!!
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Make each day count!!!
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post #15 of 19
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU From Scratch, I followed your tutorial on Swiss Merigune Buttercream exactly and OMG!!! I have NEVER made it before, and it was perfect, I did exactly as you said, I even set my timer on each part where you said may take 5 minutes or this step may take 10 minutes, and I walked away from it each time so as not to sit and stare at it. It is awesome! This may be my go to frosting from now on. I really appreciate all you well experienced, very talented cake designers who take to time to help and teach all of us, this is just a hobby of mine but I do love it so much, and I live in a rural area, but I wish there was some of you close by that I could actually take classes from. Thank you again for sharing your talents.
SWISS MERIGUNE BUTTERCREAM IS AWESOME!
Make each day count!!!
Reply
Make each day count!!!
Reply
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