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FINALLY conquered the cooked sugar buttercream!!
Posted: 21 May 2008 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]
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shock I can barely believe it, but I have finally, after many, many tries, executed the buttercream found in TCB properly.

For years, I have made cakes with powdered sugar buttercream (uncooked) or cream cheese based frostings with great success. And Rose’s ganache? Well, that’s my go-to frosting for chocolate cakes and I seriously think I could bathe in it.  Nothing could be more foolproof.

But now that I am making more wedding cakes, I need something more refined and less temperature sensitive in my repetoire.

In short, I knew I needed to master the cooked sugar buttercreams in TCB. I had major trouble with them from the start and have thrown away countless batches in frustration. I suspected that I just had an unreliable thermometer, but had replaced them several times to no avail. I could tell they weren’t registering the right temperature because of the shallow amount of liquid. I tried gauging whether I was at the soft-ball stage the old-fashioned way in addition to the thermometer, but I almost always overcooked the sugar and ended up with a huge mess.

Well, I was determined to get it right this time. Since I knew I was overcooking the sugar, I found Rose’s post on CDN Pro Accurate? Quick Tip? Digital Cooking Thermometer and ordered one.  I made sure I had my mis en place perfect and started the classic buttercream in the TCB. I am thrilled to report that this thermometer worked like a charm - easy to read, extremely fast at recording chages in temperature. As soon as it hit 248, into the glass meaure it went.

TA DA! I made the White Chocolate Whisper Cake with Raspberry Buttercream Filling and Lemon Buttercream frosting. I haven’t tasted the finished product yet, but I am sure it’s great.

I hope it’s not too buttery….Giada Di Laurentis described a baker’s mousseline buttercream she tasted on a recent TV show tasting as “shoving a stick of butter in your mouth”...I hope it’s not sacrelige on this board, but I prefer a cream-cheese based frosting based on taste alone.

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Posted: 21 May 2008 07:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Congratulations, and I am so happy for you.  I know it is a challenge, that when conquered becomes a dream so possibly true and easy.

Italians, like Giada, prefer a less buttery flavor buttercream, if buttercream at all!!!!!!!!!!!  Buttercream is primarily and USA staple, and I have huge fans of the full buttery taste buttercream.

I find that adding liquor (the recommended amount) balances the taste/feel of butter.  In fact, I never serve a mousseline w/o liquor and plain.  If I have to make a mousseline w/o liquor, it is always flavored with chocolate or with fruit curd or conserve, never plain. 

I’ve just made the most fantastic “double strawberry fruit mousseline” by replacing by volume the amount of liquor with Cordon Rose Strawberry Conserve, and still adding more conserve as indicated in the fruit variation.  The taste was so strawberry intense, in fact I no longer enjoy eating fresh strawberries!

The silk meringue is a mousseline with the additional creme anglaise, so tasty like vanilla sauce, not buttery.

Also, always serve your mousseline at room temperature.  When cold, it will be a stick (of butter).

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Posted: 21 May 2008 09:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Congratualtions!  Those buttercreams are really tricky, but they are worthwhile to master.  Now that you’ve got the hang of the classic, by all means try the silk meringue, which blends a custard-y taste with whatever you flavor it with (the caramel version is like frosting your cake with whipped flan), and the mousseline, which has the lightest flavor and texture. 

And I agree with Hector, the more you add flavor (and liquor) to these, the less you get that “stick of butter” taste.  The only thing I would add, is that you have to be careful if your liquors are very high in sugar, I sometimes reduce the sugar added to the soft-peak whites to compensate for a very sweet liqueur. 

Happy cooking!
Julie

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Posted: 22 May 2008 12:24 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Congratulations!

TCB describes one of these buttercreams as ‘thrilling’. I’ve always felt it was more like ‘heart stopping’. For me, they all seem to go through stages when they look like a total wreck of ingredients. Then you get what one sampler called “butter flavored air” to play with. While we’re on variations, the chocolate truffle silk meringue is delicious. I found it easier to get it smooth if you use the slow method for the light whipped ganache and add the buttercream just as beater marks show when the beaters are on. You can also combine white ganache and buttercream this way.

Cathy

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Posted: 22 May 2008 02:27 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Oh boy. So I tasted the cake last night.

My test cake was the White Chocolate Whisper Cake with Classic Buttercream used to fill and frost the cake. I flavored the buttercream used for the filling with about 1/3 cup of fresh raspberry preserves and that was far and above the best tasting part of the cake.

I only used a small amount of lemon oil and juice for the main frosting, because I didn’t have any eau-de-vie /liqueur on hand and because I failed to go on this board and find out that I could have used lemon juice at the end (in place of the eau-de-vie /liqueur). Of course, I could have made the variation of the buttercream (Classic Lemon) using fresh lemon juice for part of the water and sugar in TCB, and that might have had more flavor. And that’s certainly what I will do when I make it again.

The plain recipe (with just the vanilla called for and a small amount of lemon oil & juice) truly did taste like eating a stick of butter. I didn’t care for it. (I used a thin layer.)

I am happy that I conquered the recipe, but I don’t think I would ever serve it plain (i.e. without at least the liqueur, but preferably one of the more strongly flavored variations like raspberry, chocolate, etc.)

Maybe my personal taste just leans away from buttery frosting.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 05:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Congrats!!!  I’m not a fan of it “plain” either, but flavored with vanilla is divine!  I’ve posted my non-alcohol version either on here or the blog somewhere.  Sadly, my home computer died a few days ago and I’m using the library computer at the moment, but I don’t have time to search for it myself.  I should be up and running again in a few days - If you haven’t found it then, I’ll find it for you.

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Posted: 22 May 2008 05:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I wonder—what happens if you just put less butter in the buttercream? Never had the nerve to try it…

Congratulations on conquering the Italian Meringue technique—even if you don’t end up using for buttercream you may well find it useful for some other cooking project! That also is on my “try it someday” list.

Happy cooking!

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Posted: 24 May 2008 03:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Didn’t Rose mention that in TCB - I think it was Shirley O’Corriher who reported that she reduced the butter in one of Rose’s buttercream recipes, didn’t she?

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Posted: 24 May 2008 10:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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She reduced the butter in Rose’s White Choc. Cream Cheese Buttercream to 2 ozs. The recipe calls for 6ozs.

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Posted: 24 May 2008 11:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks Rozanne!
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Posted: 01 July 2008 09:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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StartfromScratch - 22 May 2008 05:27 PM

Oh boy. So I tasted the cake last night.

The plain recipe (with just the vanilla called for and a small amount of lemon oil & juice) truly did taste like eating a stick of butter. I didn’t care for it. (I used a thin layer.)

I got the same complaints from people who tried the practice cakes for a (read: “the only”) wedding cake I made.  I’ve adjusted Rose’s Mousseline buttercream recipe to use 25% or 33% more sugar than the “standard” recipe.  33% more seems to result in a more universally liked (and “less buttery”) buttercream.

For +25% (50g more sugar than Rose’s recipe) use 175g sugar and 70g water for the syrup and add 75g sugar to the egg whites while making the meringue.

For +33% (70g more sugar than Rose’s recipe) use 185g sugar and 75g water for the syrup and add 85g sugar to the egg whites while making the meringue.

Apart from that, follow the recipe for Mousseline buttercream as found in The Cake Bible.  The additional syrup will make your meringue much warmer than the standard amount, and will require a bit more beating afterwards to allow it to cool down before the addition of the butter.

——-
PS I just had to run up and grab my copy of The Cake Bible to check, but the correct temperature for the syrup is 248F, not 238!

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Posted: 10 June 2009 09:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Quick question about the more sugary mousseline….does it affect the consistency of the mousseline with 33% more sugar?? Is it still stiff enough to pipe roses etc?

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Posted: 10 June 2009 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I sometimes add more sugar…and it works just fine.  I increase the sugar by 25%.  I use one cup of sugar in the pot with a little more water, I still beat 1/4 cup sugar into the eggwhites…it works perfectly and the consistency of the buttercream is the same.  I don’t usually use this butter cream for roses (I usually use confectioners sugar and butter…I like the consistency better for decoration) but it does feel the same…so I would think it would work fine - I do use it for piping borders with no problems at all.

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Posted: 10 June 2009 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Good idea, I am going to use regular frosting for roses I think- so I can make them prior and freeze them.

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Posted: 10 June 2009 01:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Bill - 10 June 2009 03:28 PM

I sometimes add more sugar…and it works just fine.  I increase the sugar by 25%.  I use one cup of sugar in the pot with a little more water, I still beat 1/4 cup sugar into the eggwhites…it works perfectly and the consistency of the buttercream is the same.

Ski, I agree with Bill the consistency is the same. I accidentally added all the sugar into the water and that’s how I ended up with more sugar in the buttercream. Fortunately, it worked and it was a happy ending.  LOL

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Posted: 10 June 2009 08:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I think both Martha Stewart’s and Cake Love’s version of Mousseline have 25% more sugar, they use 1 1/4 cups total. So that amount definitely works. For me though, the sweetness level in Rose’s version is just right.

Rozanne, sometimes I’ve dumped all the sugar in the water too, happened more often than I would like to admit. But I don’t add extra to the egg whites - it still worked.

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