Coconut Silk Meringue Buttercream too Runny
Posted: 14 June 2012 07:22 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Ah…the Silk Meringue has my number.  I never have issues with Italian Meringue BC, but this Silk Meringue is a different story.  I usually have the too cold issue, so I gradually warmed it up to 74 F and it never thickened (but did emulsify).  SO, instead I cooled it…I think it was around 67F (and warmed up to 70 F during beating)—did get thicker and mostly emulsified, but only about 90% of the way there and then as it warmed started thinning again—never got that ultra stable consistency.  Any suggestions?  I’m going to cool to about 65F or a little less and see if I’m missing the temperature “sweet spot.”  I am contemplating adding some whipped cream, but am concerned to as the cake will be refrigerated overnight and I hope it is stable.  I had a nice stable meringue, cooked the creme anglaise to 170F & took the mass of the yolks.

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Posted: 15 June 2012 12:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Interesting…so I added a wee bit of whipped cream (with no success), some roux made with coconut milk (about 1/2 a cup), and about 1/3 of a pound butter and in all cases the buttercream didn’t stabilize.  I let it cool to about 63F and still no luck.  I chucked it in the fridge and walked away for the evening.  I decided to try whipping one last time and pulled it out of the fridge and mixed.  AT 58.8 F it came together like a buttercream should (I can tell by the sound the mixer makes!!) and it’s stable…however, I’ve lost a wee bit of the coconut taste.  Tomorrow I will bake the cake and maybe make more coconut creme anglaise…not sure if I can handle meringue too, but I need to get more coconut into the frosting.  It’s STIFF!!!  I will also add the coconut too, but it’s almost more like a mouselline now, and I want to get back the silk meringue character.  None the less another save and perhaps it needs to be cooler to get this BC to come together!  I think the thermometer is ok…my meringue was especially nice, so I don’t think it’s off…but I will check calibration to be sure!!

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Posted: 15 June 2012 04:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I don’t think by chilling/heating/beating repeatedly you will make it more stable!!!!!  this just makes it smoother (more emulsified).  2 factors make the SMBC stable at room temp:  correct temp of the sugar syrup when making the Italian meringue, and correct temp when making the creme anglaise.  The first is 248 oF or hard ball stage, the second is 170 oF or till just before it scrambles.

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Posted: 15 June 2012 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Yes to what Hector said. smile  And if your mousseline is great, I would suspect the temp of the custard.

Also, I wonder if your experience has something to do with the coconut oil getting cool enough to solidify.  Unlike butter, it has a sudden change from liquid to hard as it cools, and this may be what helped your frosting come together.  As long as you don’t get it hot enough for the coconut oil to melt, I imagine it will remain stable.

I haven’t made this frosting, but my experiences with cocoa butter (and I think cocoa butter may have similar qualities to coconut oil) have been that while it’s liquid it thins out a buttercream, and when it’s a solid it firms it up.  It’s that sharp melting point effect- no creamy, dreamy soft-but-not-too-soft stage that butter gets.

If you try it again (or anytime you make something with cocoa butter or coconut oil), consider making the buttercream as directed, and then if still too runny chill it, then allow it to come back to room temp before beating again.  That way the sharp melting point fats will be solid instead of liquid. 

I wonder if your coconut cream has the same water/fat content as the brand Rose used in the recipe?

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Posted: 15 June 2012 12:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I should clarify, I don’t think my buttercream was ever emulsified 100%...I think it was very close, but it was just a tad curdly—similar to how a Mouselline is right before it comes together.  I didn’t add anything until I thought it was a lost cause and would just run off the cake anyway.  My buttercream was about 90% there, but never finished.  Next time, I am for sure going to cool prior to any repair attempts.  With Mouselline,  my kitchen is almost always too cool and I find I need to warm it up to emulsify…I can’t really explain this one.

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Posted: 15 June 2012 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Sherrie - 15 June 2012 03:36 PM

I should clarify, I don’t think my buttercream was ever emulsified 100%...

If you’re looking for a mousseline-style, obvious emulsification where the texture suddenly goes from lumpy to smooth, it doesn’t happen that way with silk meringue.  The butter is smooth from being whipped, then it continues to be smooth after adding the custard, and the meringue really just gets folded in, it doesn’t curdle and emulsify the way mousseline does.

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Posted: 15 June 2012 09:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Does it appear sort of grainy?  When I’ve made successful silk meringue it’s always had a form of chocolate in it, which I do believe firms up the buttercream.  How would you describe the silk meringue?  Maybe I’m making it fine and I just have incorrect expectations.  Without the chocolate, it’s very loose and almost greasy looking and some slight “curdling” at the edges.

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Posted: 15 June 2012 10:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sherrie - 16 June 2012 12:38 AM

Does it appear sort of grainy?

No, not grainy, and no curdling.  Smooth, but softer than mousseline.  It has a lighter, fluffier texture when first made and the meringue is gently beaten in.  Then, if you store it and bring it back to room temp, when you beat it it gets a little more dense, with fewer air bubbles.  In my experience re-beating is more of a requirement than with mousseline, which can sometimes last quite a while without re-beating.

I know you’re very skilled, but just trying to figure out what could be going on- is it possible that your custard didn’t get hot enough?

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Posted: 15 June 2012 10:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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My thermometer was at 170F —I checked in boiling water and was fine.  Is it possible to overbeat?  It’s just really soupy and I has similar issues with the caramel—but I chalked it up to making a double batch and not having enough evaporation when milk was added to the caramel.  I don’t think either would have stayed on a cake if I tried using them. 

I suppose there is little harm in “pushing” the creme anglaise and if need be I can strain out egg chunks : ) or redo… I plan to do a chocolate version of the SMBC for my dad’s 65th cake and will test it out again!!

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Posted: 16 June 2012 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I’m stumped- it sounds like you’re doing everything just right, 170F should be fine and you weighed the yolks.  Maybe you’re right about overbeating, I don’t think I’ve ever let it whip extensively the way I do with mousseline, because the meringue just gets beaten in gently, it isn’t necessary to whip it enough to cause emulsification like with mousseline.

I make a double batch of the caramel whenever I make it, because it is such a labor-intensive bc and the caramel is a base for many of my favorites- burnt orange, coffee-caramel and choc praline (instead of praline paste I add hazelnut paste and choc).  I have some in the freezer now, just waiting for some cupcakes…

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Posted: 26 June 2012 04:19 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Hi, I’m new to this site, and I’m here out of desperation! I love living in Spain, but I love making cakes too, and at this time of the year the two don’t really go together. I desperately and urgently need a recipe I can use in the heat which is not buttercream, both the mousseline and coconut silk recipes sound great, but I am making the cake this weekend, where can I find the recipe please?
The cake is a large one for the local Lions Club, so it’s a freebie, but I have my reputation to think of, so I want something really yummy for these guys. They do so much good in the local International community.
Can anyone help me please?
Many thanks
Ann

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