ok, this is the second time I have made this and it is curdling again. I am not sure what I am doing wrong but it is like a soupy mess. It almost looks like it is separating. It hasn’t been in the fridge or frozen, I just made it. I just threw it in the fridge to see if it will help because it is definitely way to soft . Anyone else have problems making this buttercream. I have not once had a problem making the mousseline buttercream. I think I am ready to give up on this buttercream recipe.. grr!!!!
...and yes, I think it seems very soft at the point you can make it smooth, after which then chill it for appropriate piping/spreading texture. But as I mentioned, some people have had luck with chilling. Just hasn’t ever worked for me.
I am just making the plain silk meringue buttercream. It seems to be right at the end when I add the meringue. I have tried everything, warming, cooling, whipping and whipping. Nothing as worked. I had some mouseline buttercream in the freezer and I am going to use that for my cake. I’ve given up on the silk meringue buttercream. Too bad Rose didn’t have a video showing how to make it. I just seem to be cursed when I attempt to make it. Too bad, I love love love the taste.
Liza, your post made me think of a question I’ve had about the silk meringue buttercream. I’ve made it a couple of times and got lucky, but have always wondered what the temperature of the creme anglaise should be when it is beaten into the butter. It is one of the rare instances where RHB is imprecise…it says only to cool until “warm”...given that the creme anglaise can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated, it made me wonder how “warm” it had to be exactly. And if coming out of the refrigerator, would it be okay at room temp (65-70), or would it actually have to be “warmed”?
It is almost certainly a temperature thing. When I make this, I always make the custard the night before and refrigerate, but then set it out to come to room temp while I’m making the meringue.
My suggestion would be to set the completed custard, the beaten butter, and the completed meringue (all covered, of course) in a place in your home that is as close to 70F as possible, and leave them there until they are all the same temp (70F). Then proceed to combine them as directed.
It says in the recipe that if it curdles it is probably too cool, so (as Matthew says) I’m guessing that’s why chilling it didn’t work. Do you still have the curdled buttercream? You could try bringing it to 70F (this will take hours if it has been in the fridge) and then whipping on high speed, and see if it emulsifies.
Liza, I just wanted to send my best wishes for you and your husband to enjoy his birthday. This cake sounds like it had a lot of issues, with your scale breaking and the buttercream curdling, I’m so sorry!
I’m hoping to make the caramel version of the silk meringue this week, I’ll try to veryify temps and details for you.
I’ve had curdling problems also in making the SMBC. Each time it’s happened to me, I whip the buttercream in high speed with a flat beater. It’s worked for me every time. I know the book says mix just until it incorporated but I’ve never been able to get it smooth without using the flat beater in high speed.
I use the same technique whenever I have curdling after taking buttercream out of the fridge. Sometimes, I don’t get my buttercream warm enough and it starts to break when I mix it. Whenever I beat in high speed with the flat beater, it always re-emusifies. The friction of the beater also warms up the butter. (in school we were taught to fix broken ganache by using a robo-coup; the agitation forces chocolate and cream to re-emulsify, so I figured same techinique may work for buttercream).
Liza, just wanted to report that I made the caramel silk meringue bc yesterday, and I followed my own suggestion- put out the custard, the Italian meringue, and the butter for something like four or five hours, until they all were the same temp in the middle, 70F. Then I went through the final steps, beating the butter, gradually adding the custard, then beating in the meringue all at once.
I may have whipped a little too much, as the final buttercream was so full of air that it almost appeared lumpy- but it was just the bubbles.
After storing it in the fridge for a day, allowing seven hours to come to room temp, and then whisking for half a minute or so by hand, the texture was abosolutely perfect, smooth and creamy. I don’t know what it is about this buttercream, but after storing and re-whisking it, a lot of the excess bubbles come out and it is much smoother. A bonus if you like that texture!
I must say that this is the best-tasting buttercream ever. People were diving in with their fingers to eat bits of it left on the serving plate
Another update on the silk meringue buttercream- over the weekend, I whisked some of this at 66F and it curdled completely into water and lumps. Figuring there was nothing more to loose, I warmed it to 70F and tried again, and it miraculously re-emulsified into a perfectly smooth, dreamy buttercream. I was amazed that it could still be saved after what looked like a complete mess.
Another update on the silk meringue buttercream- over the weekend, I whisked some of this at 66F and it curdled completely into water and lumps. Figuring there was nothing more to loose, I warmed it to 70F and tried again, and it miraculously re-emulsified into a perfectly smooth, dreamy buttercream.
I did the same thing last week. I had allowed it to sit a room temperature for about 4 hours, after being in the fridge for two days. The center of the mass hadn’t reached room temperature yet, so when I started beating it, it fell apart just as you described. I left it for an hour and then started again. It took several minutes for it to regain its consistency. I’m sure that if I hadn’t used way too much orange oil in the buttercream, it would have tasted wonderful.