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What's Up With My Swiss Meringue Buttercream

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I was baking two cakes this weekend, and decided to whip up a double batch of SMBC. But this time, a funny thing happened that I've never seen before. I always make my large batches of SMBC from the recipe on smittenkitchen.com, which calls for:

2 cups of egg whites (approx 12-16, depending on the egg size)
3 cups sugar
5 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 pounds, 10 sticks)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

I heated the eggs & sugar in a double boiler as usual, transferred to my mixer and whipped for 10 minutes until nice & peaky. Then, I added the butter, 1 stick at a time, as usual. But this time, the buttercream never broke, that is it never curdled, and then came back together in the gloriously silky way it always had. Instead, it stayed very "meringu-ey" (is that a word?) and light. It's still silky smooth, but definitely more meringue-like rather than the buttercream I am used to. It also tastes more of egg, and less like buttercream.

Any advice? Can my BC be fixed? I can always make another batch, but I sure hate to waste $10 of ingredients if I don't have to.

Thanks for your advice!
post #2 of 11
I've never tried SMBC, but in the past I've experimented with IMBC and I've struggled with it and have thrown away many batches. However, this past weekend I almost (yeah almost!) had the perfect consistency and used it in my latest cake. The flavor was fabulous and everyone (my family) raved about it.

Btw, I loved it too and it's unusual for me to like my own 'stuff' icon_biggrin.gif so, I recommend it. Good luck!
"Life is short...eat cake!"
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post #3 of 11
I use FromScratchSF's recipe and never had an issue. It's fantastic!
The proportions seem a little off for yours. It seems like a lot of sugar for the egg whites. And based on how you're describing it, it actually sounds like not enough butter for the proportions, and I'd definitely use more vanilla.

http://fromscratchsf.wordpress.com/2011/03/08/tutorial-swiss-meringue-buttercream/
post #4 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prima



2 cups of egg whites (approx 12-16, depending on the egg size)
3 cups sugar
5 cups butter, softened (2 1/2 pounds, 10 sticks)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
!



Looks like too many eggs given the amount of sugar. The ratio I use is 1 to 2 to 3 (eggs, sugar, butter). When I make a batch (enough to frost a pair of 8 inch rounds or 2 dozen cup cakes) the ratio is this 4 oz of egg whites to 8 ounces of sugar to 12 oz of butter (I do mine by weight). I am not sure what 4 oz of egg whites is by volume (no more than half a cup) but I use 3-4 eggs depending on the size to get 4 oz. For the sugar that is a little over 1 cup of sugar (one 8oz cup of sugar is 7oz by weight) to 3 sticks of butter.

Given that your recipe contains 3 cups of sugar (21 oz by weight) I would have used about 10 oz of egg whites or roughly 8-10 eggs and then 32 oz of butter or 8 sticks. While the butter is close there is a quite a difference in the amount of egg whites which would explain why it is more meringuey and eggy.

Not sure much can be done with the texture at this point as the sugar egg ratio is off and you already have it as buttercream.
post #5 of 11
Agree with gatorcake, too much egg. I use 4 egg whites to 1 1/4 cup sugar to 1 1/2 cup butter
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone, for your advice. I suspected it was too many eggs, but it's always great to get confirmation and to learn from the experts here on CC. I love FromScratchSF's blog, so I think I will try her buttercream recipe next. Oh yes, and invest in a scale so I can do this properly (I've needed one for a while, but have been hesitant to buy. But having to throw out 3lbs of buttercream just sealed the deal for me!). icon_smile.gif
post #7 of 11
Let's see, mine is generally quadrupled in a 6kt KA:

21 egg whites
4.5 cups sugar
3 lbs butter
However much vanilla paste I feel like adding
Well, all good things must come to an end sometimes. Hey, is that a cake?
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Well, all good things must come to an end sometimes. Hey, is that a cake?
Birthday Cakes
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Birthday Cakes
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post #8 of 11
I'm new at baking and decorating but I followed Sweetapolita's tutorial and it came out great!!!! She has the weights listed too.

http://sweetapolita.com/2011/04/swiss-meringue-buttercream-demystified/
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZCouture

Let's see, mine is generally quadrupled in a 6kt KA:

21 egg whites
4.5 cups sugar
3 lbs butter
However much vanilla paste I feel like adding



How do you keep the merginge from going over the top of the whisk and getting into the connector area? I have a 5kt KA and tried a recipe that was 10 egg whites and ended up with it overflowing the bowl when it fluffed up.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildHoney

I'm new at baking and decorating but I followed Sweetapolita's tutorial and it came out great!!!! She has the weights listed too.

http://sweetapolita.com/2011/04/swiss-meringue-buttercream-demystified/

I also used sweetapolita's recipe and it come out perfect!!
"Life is short...eat cake!"
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"Life is short...eat cake!"
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post #11 of 11
Another idea... if this recipe worked in the past, check your thermometer for accuracy. I check mine often. Digitals can be off with no notice and usually can't be fixed. The Taylor's, like I use, can slip.

Monthly, I mark mine with a sharpie at 212 (100), and duct tape the top. I do tons of sugar work and all seem to come loose over time.
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