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Swiss Meringue BC never forms peaks.

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
I was searching CC to find help on my issue with SMBC never forming these big fluffy soft or stiff peaks. However, I'm finding it hard to search for my specific problem and I'm coming up with nothing so i'll ask in this thread and see what happens icon_smile.gif

I clean down everything that will touch the egg whites and sugar and I use fresh egg whites. I get the mixture to around 150'ish; the sugar is definitely dissolved. Then I use my hand held mixer to whip up the meringue........and I whip.....and I whip......and I whip.....*sigh* . Today I whipped that meringue for probably 25 minutes BY HAND! It gets to the glossy stage just fine, but it never whips UP, it just hangs out at the bottom of the bowl. If you pick some up it just falls back into the bowl making little ribbons. What gives!?! Needless to say, I add my room temperature butter anyway and it comes together, but I'm thinking I'm not getting the volume of icing that everyone else is and that my buttercream is too buttery. I can probably get 2 cups using 3 egg whites and 1 3/4 cups sugar and 2 sticks of butter. Maybe that's the right volume for that much ingredients?

Help! icon_cry.gif
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post #2 of 17
I feel your pain icon_sad.gif I had a struggle with IMBC last weekend and I ended up throwing away 3 batches and the 4th batch I adjusted the measurements so many times that at the end I didn't really know the exact measurements anymore...not sure if I want to try again icon_sad.gif
Good luck, I hope someone helps you.
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post #3 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheSweetTreat

I was searching CC to find help on my issue with SMBC never forming these big fluffy soft or stiff peaks. However, I'm finding it hard to search for my specific problem and I'm coming up with nothing so i'll ask in this thread and see what happens icon_smile.gif

I clean down everything that will touch the egg whites and sugar and I use fresh egg whites. I get the mixture to around 150'ish; the sugar is definitely dissolved. Then I use my hand held mixer to whip up the meringue........and I whip.....and I whip......and I whip.....*sigh* . Today I whipped that meringue for probably 25 minutes BY HAND! It gets to the glossy stage just fine, but it never whips UP, it just hangs out at the bottom of the bowl. If you pick some up it just falls back into the bowl making little ribbons. What gives!?! Needless to say, I add my room temperature butter anyway and it comes together, but I'm thinking I'm not getting the volume of icing that everyone else is and that my buttercream is too buttery. I can probably get 2 cups using 3 egg whites and 1 3/4 cups sugar and 2 sticks of butter. Maybe that's the right volume for that much ingredients?

Help! icon_cry.gif



I think I answered your question on my blog? If you have a hadnmixer, use the whisk attachment (assuming it has one). It should help to get your meringue from soft to stiff peaks. I don't know what recipe this is based on but your volume sounds about right. As for it being too "buttery", that's because it is! I explain it like this - you'd never eat just a stick of butter. But put butter on toast and it's yummy. Same thing here. Put some on a cake, then taste it all together. And add flavorings, it makes all the difference.

Good luck!
post #4 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks FromScratch for helping out! I don't have a whisk attachment for my mixer. Unfortunately, the brand doesn't sell a whisk attachment.

I also remember seeing a post from you where you mentioned over beating maybe and it causing the buttercream to taste too much like butter. I figured that's what I was doing. Is that not the case?
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post #5 of 17
What sort of bowl are you mixing it in? Glass bowls are the worst for meringues because the proteins can't grab to the side and be stretched by the mixer, they just slide off. Perhaps this?
post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 
I am using a stainless steel bowl, a pretty big one, maybe an 8qt. I had actually considered using a plastic bowl to see if there was something weird going on w/ the stainless steel one.
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post #7 of 17
post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 
Kory: It's like the second image of the sunbeam hand mixer. I use a Waring Pro HAND mixer. I will say that I made SMBC using my mom's stand up mixer one day and it seemed to be more fluffy and less like sweet butter in texture, however i've since been able to make it using my hand mixer and at least it's not the texture of a chunk of sweetend butter.

I really don't know the successes that others are having by using a hand mixer to make SMBC, but I can't believe that the results are just as good as using a stand mixer with the whisk and paddle attachment. I really think the whisking of the meringue at the beginning suffers by using a beater from a hand mixer.

I guess I was hoping that it wasn't due to the mixers limitations considering I'm not able to get a stand mixer anytime soon.
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post #9 of 17
I think it will still work (I grew up with the hand type mixer making meringues and it was fine - but I certainly wasn't making SMBC at the time!) but your mixing time will be very long. Can you buy/rig up a sort of stand for the mixer you have? With the bowl sitting securely on some sort of turntable? That way you could at least walk away...
post #10 of 17
Try IMBC .The first time I've made it, used the same type of hand mixer you have as it was a small test batch. To beat the eggwhites tall and narrow plastic bowl works well. Came out great on the first try.
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post #11 of 17
I had problems getting to stiff peaks with my stand mixture, until I started using a candy thermometer and making sure my eggs and sugar reached 160 degrees. Even at 150, I was not getting stiff peaks. Now I do.

I have no idea why this would make a difference, but it did.

Also, until you add flavorings or spread the SMBC onto cake, it will taste buttery. I like to add white chocolate ganache and tons of vanilla to mine. I could eat it straight from the bowl once the additions are in it!

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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

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post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone! I have been getting my egg whites/sugar to 150 degrees, but will try going to 160. I will also try the plastic bowl. Even after adding vanilla I still find the icing buttery. Maybe I'm not adding enough. I LOVE the idea of adding white chocolate ganache since I tried (and failed) to make a Whipped White Chocolate frosting based on GourmetProductions video on YouTube. Let me tell you....big waste of time. I wanted to attempt making it again, but a little differently since it sounded and looked so lovely in the video. Then i thought I could just add white chocolate to my SMBC. Would there be much of a difference to add plain white chocolate as opposed to white chocolate ganache?
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post #13 of 17
I have used melted dark and milk chocolate for SMBC and it is good, too. I don't see how white chocolate wouldn't work. I just had white chocolate ganache made one day for a different project and tried it. It is now my signature SMBC. I just never went back to try the melted white chocolate.

As for flavoring, before I started adding the ganache, I would use a lot of vanilla for flavoring SMBC.

HTH!

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

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post #14 of 17
Thread Starter 
I wanted to come back in and post an update. I made SMBC a week ago and used a plastic bowl. I also heated my FRESH egg whites and sugar to 160 degrees. The meringue never whipped up so much that I could move it to one side and it wouldn't budge. I've never been able to do that for some reason. But, I carried on and added the butter and it came together beautifully. It was light and fluffy and delicious.

Today I decided to experiment using my plastic bowl and heating to 160 degrees using carton egg whites. I've heard of lots others out there successfully using liquid egg whites to make SMBC. Welp, the meringue didn't even come close to fluffing up. I went on for so long with my hand mixer (about 15 minutes at least) and the consistency only got slightly thicker, but it was still pretty liquidy. I moved on w/ adding butter thinking that it would hopefully come together in the end. I guess it did, however, the texture is like softened butter and not a light and fluffy melt in your mouth feel. It's a thicker icing and not as airy as I had with the fresh egg whites. I've posted a photo of the icing using carton egg whites. So, I've decided I won't be using carton egg whites again unless someone has a secret about them that i don't know about icon_smile.gif
LL
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post #15 of 17
For the carton whites, there are only certain brands that work and will usually say something on the container about being good for whipping.
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