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Meringue Buttercreams ...

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
I have made SMB and IMB for some taste testings for approx. 20 people, and the answer is the same... love the texture but not the taste. I use all ABC for my decorating and was looking to the MB to expand my options for people. I have done all butter. all shortening, 1/2 butter & 1/2 shortening. I have added more flavorings - Am I totally missing something in the recipes or does anyone else have the same responses?

Thanks for your time!
post #2 of 27
What is it about the taste that they don't like? The main difference in taste is that it is far less sweet than ABC (allowing the butteriness to shine through). You can up the sugar content in your MBC or I have heard that some people mix it half and half with ABC, though I haven't tried that myself.
post #3 of 27
I had the same thing happen, people liked how it looked and how light and smooth it was but they didn't like how buttery it was. Neither did I actually, and like you - I was thinking I messed up the amount of butter or something, but that wasn't it. It's just A LOT of butter.
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post #4 of 27
I find that SMBC needs a lot of flavoring and tastes better if you use unsalted butter. I have added melted chocolate, strawberry puree, orange juice & zest. I add at least 1/4 cup of fruit puree. Those who have tasted it like it better than ABC because it is not as sweet.
post #5 of 27
I've added half a cup of melted white chocolate to a batch of SMBC, which is delicious. I don't think there's such a thing as too much vanilla in this case, either.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
The first batch I made people told me it was like eating a stick of butter with sugar sprinkled on it - the second batch was no flavor (I had added 6 T of flavorings; butter, almond and vanilla because I didn't like the flavor until that much was in it) - the third batch was more of the same - no flavor from some - to much butter flavor from others. "but if you can make it taste good, Andi, this would be divine!"

I may try the fruit puree and the 1/2 ABC with it - Thanks ladies
post #7 of 27
Not all recipes are the same. Some ratios are different, yielding a different taste.

Also, and this is a huge factor... using cheap butter will make an unpleasant butter flavor.

All store butters, including Plugra at $10.00/lb, and Land O' Lakes, have natural ingredients added. If you research this, it's a controversial practice in many foods, with manufacturers coming under attack.

Natural flavor means that the compound is made up of things found in nature, but chemically changed and used as a food additive. In butter, for example, it may be ingredients not even remotely related to the dairy industry. These additives are flavor enhancers. They are bolder in cheaper butters because they are substandard ingredients to begin with.

These cheap off-brand butters, because of the additives, will make a buttercream too buttery, just like the salt will bring out a more buttery taste.

I had a wonderful IMBC, but have honed it into an even more neutral taste for flavors from vanilla to Absinthe. The SMBC is the same. FBC still has a bold flavor because the yolks are so rich. GBC is the most neutral.

Another option is to get fresh churned butter from your local dairy or farm market. The ingredient label will only read, "cream", or "milk". But you still must have a balanced arsenal of Eurpean buttercream recipes.

Another issue: The flavor quality you use flavor the buttercream will have a substantial impact on the final flavor. European buttercreams with cheap or artificial extracts or flavorings will have a less-than-optimal taste.
post #8 of 27
I completely forgot to mention that I actually experimented with a popular off-brand butter.

For the past few weeks, I have been more busy than I wanted to be. But I decided to try Sam's butter in IMBC. I made a double batch and tasted it. No amount of vanilla could cover up the butter taste. I now had this approx 4 quart batch of useless IMBC. So I took some of my regular IMBC and added the off-brand in about a 75/25 ratio, LOL/Sam's. I was still too buttery.

For the experiment, I tasted the two butters alone. Butter by itself is not too pleasant, but with the tiny amount I tasted, there was very little difference in taste. So I think it starts to overwhelm in over-taste in a higher quantity. I think using it on a dinner roll or adding it to a potato with sour cream would be ok, but in the buttercream, the added unnatural "natural flavor" is just too much and maybe the culprit behind the butter taste.
post #9 of 27
Last week I researched making butter at home and it seems pretty stinkin' easy to do with a standing mixer! at some point i'm going to have a taste test myself with IMBC using homemade butter vs. the store brand I usually get. Love to hear if anyone has tried this!
post #10 of 27
metria, just be sure to get the moisture level correct. This will be your only issue. You will need to get the moisture out of the butter. I haven't done it, but I have seen posts from people who have done it. I think they used cheesecloth. I'm sure the correct method will come up on a google search. Good luck with that and let us know the results.
post #11 of 27
I make my SMBC using Sam's Club butter and it's delicious. Recently, I've done vanilla, mint, strawberry and peanut butter. They've all been excellent. Which recipe have you tried? I really like the ratio in this recipe. I use it as my base for all of my SMBC's except for the peanut butter which I use a brown sugar SMBC as the base.

http://cakecentral.com/recipe/basic-vanilla-swiss-meringue-buttercream
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by metria

Last week I researched making butter at home and it seems pretty stinkin' easy to do with a standing mixer! at some point i'm going to have a taste test myself with IMBC using homemade butter vs. the store brand I usually get. Love to hear if anyone has tried this!



I made my own butter this weekend because I had some leftover cream. It was super easy. I'm not sure how to insure you get all the moisture out, but the method I used was to add ice cold water to my bowl of freshly beaten butter and then to scoop it into my hands and squeeze. I just kept scooping more butter into my hands and squeezing. I read online and that was the first method I found so I went with it. I don't have any way to measure how much moisture was left in the butter, but it was quite firm when I was done.
post #13 of 27
I really don't like IMBC or SMBC either. And yes, I know how to make them correctly and have.

I use Charlotte's Whipped Cream Buttercream. It's a hybrid of ABC and a meringue based bc. There's no butter in it, it will hold up in long, high heat weather, has a similar consistency to any other meringue bc (if you don't incorporate too much air) and is semi-crusting. (Only crusts very lightly. You have to be able to smooth it with a bench scraper.) It uses powdered sugar and no sugar syrup. You can multiply the recipe to make as big a batch as you have a mixer to hold it. And it keeps on the counter for weeks.

Google it or look through the recipe section here.
Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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Answers to the most often asked questions re: SPS. SPS instructions are on Page 15 of the Sticky at the top of the Cake Decorating Forum. Supplies can be ordered from Oasis Supply, Global or BakeryCrafts.
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post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by coleslawcat

I made my own butter this weekend because I had some leftover cream. It was super easy. I'm not sure how to insure you get all the moisture out, but the method I used was to add ice cold water to my bowl of freshly beaten butter and then to scoop it into my hands and squeeze. I just kept scooping more butter into my hands and squeezing. I read online and that was the first method I found so I went with it. I don't have any way to measure how much moisture was left in the butter, but it was quite firm when I was done.



One website I saw said from 32 oz of cream, they get 14 oz of butter, 14 oz of buttermilk, and presumed the missing 4 oz was buttermilk that had been rinsed away. I'll try your method of squeezing the butter. Thanks for sharing! How did it taste??
post #15 of 27
Homemade butter will only taste as good as the cream that it's made from. Store-bought heavy cream has whip-stabilizing additives, that are going to carry over into the butter. I don't think that homemade butter made from commercial whipping cream would be as good as a decent commercial butter that contains "cream" as the only ingredient.

You have to read the fine print on the labels, and be prepared to buy a bunch of butter when you find a good brand. My experience of regional brands like Sweet Life is that they sometimes taste very "cheesy" which is also not good for baking.

To increase the butterfat content of commercial butter is very simple. Melt a cup of butter in a 1-cup measuring cup. Pour the clear top 3/4 cup of pure butterfat into 3 pounds of butter that you want to upgrade, and cream together at low speed without any other ingredients. This can then be chilled in blocks or sheets or as you wish.

And I use a lower proportion of butter to meringue for SBC or IMBC. That provides the wonderful texture without tasting like butter.
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