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Mousline Buttercream failed badly
Posted: 13 October 2009 11:11 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I just tried making 2 batches last night and failed horribly both times

I calculated everything so I could make a batch with the 3 egg quantity

I followed her instructions exactly the first time and the liquid separated
and everything became very lumpy the more butter I added
I tried to beat it on high and it got worst

The second batch I made I stuff my creamed butter back in the fridge and I stuck my egg whites in the freezer for a minute after beating it for a long time with the syrup

The first quarter of the butter went in really nicely

But when I started to get past that, I saw a little bit of liquid so i stuffed it into freezer for another min or 2 for quick cooling

Took it back out and beat in more butter
This time it didn’t separate as fast
But it still started to separate half way through :(
So I put it into fridge again to cool it, then took it out to beat it
but it was a useless puddle :(

help!!! I really don’t know what’s wrong! The Cake bible said to make sure the butter is cool or else it will turn into puddle. I made sure it was cool! Does beating for too long make it to hot? Should I use whisk type of beater or other? I’m using handheld beater.

I thought this was suppose to be easy.
I made sure my butter was cool…
But it was just separating..it was like I made cheese or something.

What a waste of butter :(

I ended up making my mango frosting out of cream instead :(

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Posted: 13 October 2009 11:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I just realized she has a YT video for this cream
But it’s doing the opposite of what her book said to do.
The book said to add in a tablespoon of butter into the whites at a time

She added in all her whites into the butter

How can I check how high in fat is my Butter?

I doubt it’s humidity as my house is around 19 degrees Celsius and outdoors is below 10 degrees celsius :(
(I’m in Toronto…so yes it’s cold already)

I’m so sad that i failed so many times yet she made it look so easy….
Should I go get a thermometer to measure the temp?

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Posted: 14 October 2009 08:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Aggie,  I can relate to how nerve-wracking this buttercream can be,  I wouldn’t call it easy. 

If you still have those “failed” batches lying around, bring them back up to cool room temp (about 68F) and beat them on high until they emulsify.  I assume you are trying the Cake Bible version, is that right?  I think you just need to beat it longer, and on top speed.  I used to make this buttercream with a less-powerful mixer and you get a lot more curdling than with a high speed mixer (Kitchen Aid or similar).  I think you also get more curdling with regular beaters than you do with a whisk.  With a hand held mixer and regular beaters, this will curdle completely and it’s easy to think it’s ruined, but keep on beating at top speed and adding butter (if you haven’t added it all yet), and it will come back together into the most lovely smooth buttercream.  When it does emulsify it may form a small “ball” in your bowl, just keep on adding the butter and beating, until you have added all the butter in the recipe.

It is worth checking the temp of your meringue (to see if it’s cool enough) and butter (should be about 65-68F), but as long as they are correct it really just needs more beating!  With a Kitchen Aid, the directions in the book (to raise the speed and beat until smooth) seem to work, but no matter how long you beat with a lesser mixer and beaters, you will need to go through the curdling stage to get to the wonderful end result.  And don’t worry, even with the curdling, your result will be just as good. 

Rose’s video uses her new technique from her new book, Rose’s Heavenly Cakes.  I don’t have the book in front of me right now, but my understanding is that the RHC version uses less butter than the Cake Bible version, and just folds the meringue into the butter rather than beating the butter into the meringue one spoonful at a time. 

Hope this helps!

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Posted: 14 October 2009 10:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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No i threw out the failed ones :(

Yes I am using the cake bible

it was water….and lumps
like little balls…the way it curdled…but..from your post..it almost sounds like it’s suppose to form the water the little balls….
the problem is it wouldn’t beat back into cream after….it just stayed in the water and little ball stage
i did beat them for couple of mins on the highest speed I have with whisk trying to make it come back together
Never managed to beat it so that it wasn’t lumpy so I didn’t add anymore Butter since her book said to only add when it’s not lumpy
and the moment i stop beating it will separate again

so if I were to add in the rest of my butter it will be ok?

If I change to her new recipe….would I be able to use a hand held mixer? or only those kitchen aid stands? :(
Those are expensive….I really want one but I might wait for boxing day before I get one.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 11:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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On your question about butterfat content, Aggie, I’m in Canada too. So this answer is good for us, not sure how it applies for others. Look at the nutrition info box on your pound of butter. It usually says, “For 10g (2 tsp.) serving. Par portion de 10 g (2 c a the).” Further down the box, the fat content is indicated - for regular butter as “Fat/Lipides 8 g”. This means that the BF is 80%. That is, 8 divided by 10 x 100% = 80%

Julie has given you some very good advice and descriptions of how things should look. I would recommend that you stick with the Cake Bible version until it comes together for you. The new mousseline is built upon the old, but adjustments have been made for the use of high-fat butter and, in some cases, other additions. If you understand the basic mousseline first, you’ll be way ahead of the game.

Don’t worry. It’s not as hard as it looks. You can do this, I promise.

p.s. I’m not sure what kind of mixer you’re working with, but I made my daughter’s whole wedding cake years ago, including bc and creme ivoire, with nothing more than an old hand-held GE mixer. Lusted after a KitchenAid for the longest time! smile

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Posted: 14 October 2009 11:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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So in general…buttercream I should use high fat?
how high should it go? I need to check my butter when i go home

Do cakes require high fat butter as well?

Maybe I’ll take pics of the thing next time I make it
Just to show the amount it….turns into balls and how it looks like

i wonder if I can change it to an 1 egg amount just so i don’t waste alot

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Posted: 14 October 2009 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I wonder also if you cooked the syrup to the correct temperature.  Sometimes, if it isn’t high enough, that can cause problems with the egg whites.  I have never encountered a liquid component while making this—at least I don’t remember any, so I think either the syrup is too cool or your butter might have too much water. I always use a hand mixer, especially if you are only making a 3 egg-white recipe.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 11:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Use regular 80% BF unsalted butter for all Rose’s recipes UNLESS she stipulates high-fat butter in the recipe.

Yes, you can scale back. I understand where you’re coming from. Ingredients are expensive! Especially butter in Canada (almost $5 lb.). However, I notice whenever I scale back that there’s not enough volume in the bowl for my beater to work as happily as it does with the full recipe. And it’s so hard to take the temp of the syrup accurately with a minuscule amount in the pot! How about making the full recipe at least once? Having scaled back already might actually be the source of your problems.

For example, is all the syrup making it into your egg whites? Are you beating them just to the recommended points - foamy, then soft, then stiff but not dry? Etc. All of these visual cues - and especially the syrup temp—would be so much easier to see with the full recipe.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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yeah it is harder to beat with a smaller recipe
I have a tough time with any sort of cream under 1 cup

The syrup was at that full bubble boil that Rose shows in her video for neoclassic buttercream
although I don’t have corn syrup it was hot.

I tilted it to a side and used a meat thermometer (the only one i have) to test the temp and it was above 200F for sure

I use a stainless steel bowl for beating the egg whites…
my bowl and eggs were…very warm…took a long time to cool…i actually had to stick it in the fridge to make sure it’s cool

i’ll go buy a new thermometer…a real baking one

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Posted: 14 October 2009 12:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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The temperature for mousseline is in a very specific range, well above the boiling point.  The syrup for neoclassic works in a different way. I think this was likely the problem.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I would not make a mousseline buttercream without an instant-read thermometer. I have made this holding bags of frozen peas around the bowl as I beat the buttercream to keep it cool enough in a hot kitchen. I also know from experience that it can be too cold to come together. And yes, sometimes you do have to put the bowl in the fridge or freezer for a several minutes. The right temperature range is crucial.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 01:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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If you weren’t using an instant read thermometer for the syrup, it may not have reached the right temp.  248F comes quite a while after the syrup comes to a boil.  You were right to tilt the pan to get a good read, especially when making such a small amount.

As for the curdling, I can tell you that when I used to make this with a sunbeam I would always, no matter how careful I was about temperature, get extensive curdling.  And no amount of beating (I actually tried 20 minutes once) would smooth out the curdling all the way once it started.  However, continuing to add the butter and beating on high always made it come together.  Once I got my KA 6Qt, the curdling was almost non-existent.  The brand of butter, eggs, and thermometer did not change, just the mixer.

It is not necessary to make this with high fat butter.  Some high fat butters are salted, which you definitely don’t want.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Aggie, do not fear, we have all been there.  I think you MUST get an instant-read therometer and bring the syrup and butter up to exactly the specified temps.  I have never made mousseline that has not broken.  Now, when it breaks, I just keep adding the butter as I know it will emulsify again.  I know it takes a huge leap of faith, but there are hundreds of posts on this blog/forum saying the same thing.  We’re all rooting for you - try it again, please.  You will never look back.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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You definitely need to get either a digital instant read thermometer or a deep fry/candy thermometer. The digital thermometers are easier to work with, but you have make sure they are always calibrated correctly. I don’t know what the altitude is in Toronto, but you have to take this into account when cooking sugar syrups: for every 500 ft above see level, you have to subtract 1 degree. I live slightly over 5,000 ft, and always have to take off 10 degrees.

You also don’t need to pour the syrup into the pyrex measuring cup before beating into the whites. Unless you are fast and experienced, this cools down the syrup too much. Just pour it directly from the pot in a thin stream into the beating egg whites.

Once the syrup is beaten into the egg whites, beat the mixture on high speed until the mixture cools down to room temperature (70-75) degrees. Don’t stop beating to put the mixture in the freezer or refrigerator, this could cause water to leak out of the egg whites. Instead, if you want to speed up the cooling process, set the bowl over a larger bowl of ice and continue beating until the egg whites are cool. One the egg whites are cool, remove the bowl from the ice and start beating in your butter a tablespoon at a time. If it curdles, that’s fine, just keep beating at high speed and adding butter, it will eventually emulsify and become creamy; this just takes a hell of a long time with a hand mixer.

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Posted: 14 October 2009 11:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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does anyone have suggestions on thermometer?
not sure where I’ll find the CDN ProAccurate one that is suggested

if i want to try again fast i need something I can pick up rather then order online.

I see accu ones at kitchen stuff plus

hum…

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Posted: 14 October 2009 11:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I got a TruTemp at Target for about $10. I don’t know how accurate it is—I should do the ice water test—but it got us through 12 quarts of mousseline buttercream for the wedding cupcakes without a problem. In fact, it saved the day more than once.

The best thermometers have a nut on the back to allow for adjustment if they are off. You can google or bing to read how to test a thermometer. Basically, you put it in water packed with ice chips. It should read 32 deg. F. Or put it in boiling water. It will read 212 deg. F. The ice water test works at any altitude. If you are not at sea level, the boiling water test is trickier, because you have to know at what temp. water boils at your elevation. If the temp. is off, it is just a matter of turning the nut on the back in small increments until it shows the correct icy water or boiling water temp. Thermometers that don’t have a nut on the back can not be adjusted.

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