That darned flour frosting!
Posted: 06 March 2011 06:37 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hello, everyone.  First I want to thank you for guiding me on the eggless frosting issue for my sons’ birthday cakes.  Everyone was very impressed with the outcome.

I have a question about the flour frosting I used, as suggested here.  I made a white version and a chocolate version.  Both tasted great.  But it’s really crazy in that after sitting in the bowl for a while, or in the piping bag, the icing had a tendecy to curdle.  I whipped the frosting for a good 10 minutes before using it and it looked wonderfully creamy as I started to spread it on the cakes.  However, within a half hour, it’d curdle.  I did a buttercream transfer and you could definitely see the curdles in the final product.  Nobody cared, but it just didn’t look as I had hoped.

Did I do something wrong?  I made three separate batches and they all turned out the same. 

Thoughts?

Thank you!

Molly

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Posted: 06 March 2011 11:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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How strange!  I’ve never had that happen, but I’ve always added thickened milk to other “existing” frostings, sometimes with eggs, sometimes not.

Can you post the exact recipe you used?  Can’t say I can figure it out, but I’m sure glad to look at it!!

The only thing I can think of offhand—without seeing anything—is was the flour mixture completely, COMPLETELY cooled before adding it to the butter?

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Posted: 07 March 2011 11:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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This is the chocolate frosting recipe I used, minus the final addition of chocolate. I didn’t want it to be too dark.

http://www.ourbestbites.com/2010/05/chocolate-frosting/

This is the white frosting recipe I used, as is.

http://www.ourbestbites.com/2008/09/perfect-cupcake-frosting-and-filling/

The site author said not to put the frosting in the fridge or it’ll separate so I did not.  I can’t imagine that my kitchen was too cold…it was always 60-65 degrees.  Could that have caused separation?  Is it possible that I overbeat the frosting?

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Posted: 07 March 2011 12:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I can’t figure it out, but I’ve never made this recipe, either. 

For the chocolate ones, it says that the melted chocolate stabilizes [binds] it, and that that is the key

I found [the melted chocolate] to be the key to having the frosting remain stable- the melted chocolate seems to bind it.

But the vanilla doesn’t mention any special anything, except to use ‘a good name brand butter—cheap butter does weird things.’

So, if only the chocolate acted weirdly, I’d say it’s because you didn’t use the melted, but if both acted weirdly, I’m at a loss (unless you used an off-brand or store-brand butter).

Maybe post a question in the comments on the site?

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Posted: 07 March 2011 12:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Oops, missed the part about the chocolate stabilizing the frosting.  Even then, the chocolate seemed to behave better than the white.  I used the 365 Whole Foods store brand for both.  I’ve had great luck with this brand of butter for Rose’s mousseline frostings so didn’t think it would have been ill advised to use this. 

Lots of people really liked this frosting so I’m driven to get this right.  It’s so weird.

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Posted: 07 March 2011 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I wish I had a solution!!!  Or even a proposed solution!  I assume no issues with the brand/fat content of the milk?

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Posted: 07 March 2011 01:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The recipe author said whole is preferable but she’s used nonfat and had no problems.  I used whole milk for two batches and 1% for a third batch.  All the same results.  I made sure I whipped the butter really well to start.  Using the paddle seemed to work better than the whisk.  I wonder if the butter needs to be super super soft.  I think it was about 60-65 degrees when I used it.  I actually checked with an instant thermometer.

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Posted: 15 March 2011 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Its funny, but I just made icing the other day, with the exception doubling the recipe and using icing sugar in place of granulated sugar.  In the past, I’ve had the same trouble and to avoid the curdled look, this time I added additional icing sugar (2 cups) at the end.  It was sweeter, but easier to work with and piped beautifully.  It didn’t take too long before the heat of my hands against the piping bag caused the icing to soften too much, so next time I’m going to work with smaller amounts of icing in the bag or substitute a small amount of the butter for shortening.

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