3 of 3
3
Making icing with butter that works and does not separate - Help
Posted: 03 March 2010 04:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  500
Joined  2007-11-24

Dear Hage9a, I love your term “blob” for the mixture that is added to the butter to make a frosting! (But then I studied physics, where “quark,” “strangeness,” and “charm” are all official terms.)

I’ve been trying to understand the different types of frostings and this is what I’ve come up with so far. Maybe some of you who have gone to chef school can correct my terminology:

Basic American-style “buttercream”—no “blob.” Powdered sugar is mixed directly with shortening (ugh), butter, or a butter/cream cheese mixture. A small amount of liquid is added as needed to thin it out. The large amount of sugar acts as the thickener for the icing. Tends to be very sweet and a bit gritty, because the sugar is not dissolved.

The cream cheese frosting from “The Sweeter Side of Amy’s Bread” is an interesting variation because the sugar has been dissolved in a little water and made into poured fondant before adding it to the cream cheese/butter mixture. This means it is not so gritty.

Rose’s white chocolate cream cheese frosting is another great variation of this theme, because the sugar is all part of the white chocolate and therefore not gritty. The cocoa butter in the white chocolate also provides thickening, since it is solid at room temperature.

All the other buttercreams use some sort of “blob”—a mixture which is beaten into the softened butter (or vice versa). The “blob” contains sugar, liquid (to dissolve the sugar), and some sort of thickener (eggs, starch, or both). It is generally heated to dissolve the sugar and activate the thickener.

Starch-paste or “roux” buttercreams: the “blob” is milk or water, sugar, plus a starch such as flour, cornstarch, etc.

Pastry cream buttercreams: the “blob” is milk (or other liquid), sugar, egg yolks, and starch.

Creme Anglaise buttercreams: similar to the above, but no starch.

Classic egg-yolk buttercream:  again the ingredients are liquid (usually water), egg yolks, and sugar. The cooking method is different. The liquid and sugar make a hot syrup, which is then beaten into the egg yolks.

Italian meringue buttercream: the “blob” is Italian meringue, made with egg whites, sugar and hot sugar syrup.

Swiss meringue buttercream: the “blob” is Swiss meringue, made by heating egg whites and sugar and then beating to a foam.

Whole egg foam buttercream: the “blob” is made with whole eggs, mixed with sugar, heated, and beaten to a fine foam.

There can also be combinations of these. Rose’s “Silk Meringue Buttercream” uses both creme Anglaise and Italian meringue.

Well, that was fun, but I don’t know how much help it will be in solving your frosting problems. Do you have a thermometer? In my brief experience with buttercreams, I have found that they are quite sensitive to temperature. If they are too cold, the butter hardens and they curdle. If they are too hot, the butter begins to melt and they separate and curdle. I like to have two shallow pans standing by, one with cold water and one with hot water, so I can heat or cool the mixture as needed.

I recommend beating the butter until fluffy before adding it to the other ingredients—especially if you are using a hand-held power mixer, as I do. It makes for a lighter frosting and the butter incorporates more easily.

Patience is also important. I don’t know about the flour-paste type of buttercream, but the ones with Italian meringue can look really curdled during the time you are gradually beating in the butter. But if you keep the temperature in the right range, not too hot and not too cold, and keep beating, it all smooths out in the end. It’s like a miracle!

 Signature 

Please visit my blog:
Bungalow Barbara

Profile
 
 
Posted: 03 March 2010 11:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  865
Joined  2008-03-09
Hage9a - 03 March 2010 04:39 PM

No, this recipe… Cream the butter, add sugar, add the flour milk mixture, and ready.  The butter separated…I tried before one with egg yolks… same thing, cook the water with flour, sugar, and yolks, cool off, add to creamed butter.  The butter separated…

Hage9a, when you add your cooked mixture to the creamed butter, do you put it in all at once or gradually? Gradual is the key, mixing each addition until fully incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. And of course, the temperature is crucial, as Jess and others have pointed out. I think you can do this!! Let us know how you get on.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2010 05:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  633
Joined  2008-01-24

Hey remember this topic? So I was browsing my bookshelf the other day and I pulled down a book that I am shamed to admit I have rarely ever opened. Bad. ‘A Passion for Chocolate’ Maurice and Jean-Jacques Brernachon translated and adapted by RLB. Well. There in the back on page 355 under ‘Basics of the Bernachon Kitchen’ is a recipe for buttercream filling that uses the method under discussion in this thread. I don’t want to reproduce the recipe word for word but the gist is that you temper 5 egg yolks/flour with boiled milk. Cook the mixture briefly. Let cool and whisk in the butter.

 Signature 

“This pizza is a symphony of flavors”

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2010 07:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  266
Joined  2007-11-18

My Norwegian great-great Grandmother came to this country w/ this recipe. It has been very popular in the mid-west since the late 19th century, and is traditionally called ?hot milk frosting.? Just as previously described, you cook whole milk and flour together until very thick and pale blond (indicating the flour has cooked sufficiently). You let the mixture cool thoroughly until it reaches about 65-67 degrees (I figured that out on my own some years ago). You then lightly cream butter that is the same temperature as the roux (65-67 degrees), add regular white sugar and beat/cream until light and fluffy; then you add the roux gradually to the butter by the spoonful, and beat until fluffy and creamy; add whatever extracts you like.

It is by far one of my favorites for cupcakes, casual cakes, and kids birthday cakes. The texture is light and airy, smooth and creamy all at once. It is very delightful to eat, and when made properly, it is especially smooth, not gritty at all. It?s always been a family favorite and must have for family gatherings.

Ree Drummond recently posted about this buttercream on her blog, last week I think. She was very impressed w/ it.

 Signature 

Visit my blog: The Mile High Baker at http://www.milehighbaker.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2010 08:11 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  266
Joined  2007-11-18

Here?s the link to Ree Drummond?s post on making this (complete w/ photos!). Also the basic recipe is there, too.

http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen-blog/2010/03/a-tasty-recipe-thats-the-best-frosting-ive-ever-had/

 Signature 

Visit my blog: The Mile High Baker at http://www.milehighbaker.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2010 08:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  223
Joined  2009-11-20

Roxanne,
I always make this cooked icing for my red cakes, however long ago, I used the leftover buttermilk from making the cake for the icing and it was terrific. It gives the frosting a tangy taste that compliments the cake.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2010 08:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  266
Joined  2007-11-18
Darm456 - 29 March 2010 11:47 PM

Roxanne,
I always make this cooked icing for my red cakes, however long ago, I used the leftover buttermilk from making the cake for the icing and it was terrific. It gives the frosting a tangy taste that complements the cake.

That?s sounds really good! I?m gonna have to try that. Thanks grin

 Signature 

Visit my blog: The Mile High Baker at http://www.milehighbaker.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 29 March 2010 09:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  633
Joined  2008-01-24

Bernachon uses egg yolks which would appear to be optional. Perhaps they contribute reliability to the recipe.

 Signature 

“This pizza is a symphony of flavors”

Profile
 
 
   
3 of 3
3
Back to top