My first batch of Mousseline! (Have a question…)
Posted: 20 July 2008 01:47 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Okay, I made my first batch of Mousseline!!! It started to look curdled at the end, so I placed the bowl in the fridge for a few minutes, and then kept beating…...worked wonderfully!

One question though, I frosted, filled and decorated a 9” test cake with it, and set it out at room temp for about 1 1/2 hours before serving (room was about 75 degrees or less). When I served it the mousseline was extremely soft…...made for a very messy cutting job. It held it’s shape well, and looked just like it did when I first frosted it, but when cut/served it was REALLY soft and gooey. Also, some people complained of it feeling/tasting like super soft butter. Is this a normal Mousseline texture? It really was the texture of butter that has been whipped and set on the counter in a warm room for several hours.
  Is there a way to make the MB a bit firmer? Normally I would just keep it refrigerated until 1/2 hour before serving so that it would not be soooo soft…....but at the anniversary party, it is going to have to sit out for several hours.
Can I heat the sugar syrup more? Add more sugar syrup? (I would not mind it being a tad sweeter)
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

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Posted: 20 July 2008 07:17 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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You don’t need to beat the butter before you add it to the buttercream; it helps to aerate the butter making it softer and creamier, but I don’t beat it before and it’s always been fine (we learned this in school).

The butter temp will affect the final outcome, as well as the temp of the beaten meringue.  If the butter is quite soft, so will the finished buttercream be.

Adding the liqueur is optional; I don’t normally add it.  It softens the buttercream too.

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Posted: 20 July 2008 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I made a batch of mousseline once where I accidentally heated the sugar syrup to 253, then cooled it to 249 before adding it to the whites.  The finished buttercream was firmer, but in my opinion, not in a good way.  I must say that I didn’t like it very much and the only way I could eat it at all was at warm room temperature (maybe around 80-85 degrees). 

I think that adding larger amounts of fruit (purees or conserves, see Hector’s comments on his strawberry mousseline) can dilute/offset the buttery feel of mousseline.  If you’re not making a fruit flavor, you might consider the silk meringue BC, which dilutes the butter and meringue with custard.  I know many people on this site love the mousseline best, but my fave is the silk meringue!

Good luck!

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Posted: 20 July 2008 08:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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If the sugar syrup is too hot, or the whites aren’t ready yet, add more water to the boiling sugar.  The temp of the syrup is a measure of the concentration of the syrup which should be between 238-240 for Italian Meringue buttercream.  I’ve done it at 235, but that’s not firm enough, and anything over 240 is, as Julie mentions, isn’t great either.  So if you missed the window of opportunity, just add more water to the syrup and keep boiling until it gets to the right temp again.

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Posted: 20 July 2008 04:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks, Jeanne, that’s so good to know!  The next time I try to make an exacting sugar syrup with kids around, I’ll know how to fix a too-hot syrup.

Julie

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Posted: 20 July 2008 04:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Hi Kristen - one of the beautiful things about Mousseline is it’s ability to hold it’s shape in very warm conditions.  I’ve had a similar experience, but the cake was on display in an 80+ degree room under a spotlight for over 3 hours.  Your bc should not have been that soft if it was sitting at room temperature in a 75F or cooler room for only 90 minutes - unless it was sitting in direct sunlight or under a glass dome with a light shining on it (one of my earliest cake decorating lessons).  When cutting, I always use a clean, hot knife - makes for a very neat and professional presentation.

Yes, you can add a bit more sugar to the sugar syrup, but don’t overheat it.

As for the complaints you received about the bc being too buttery - are you sure you used unsalted butter?  I once made a batch with salted butter and the resulting bc tasted just like a stick of butter (another early lesson).  Did you use the liqueur called for in the recipe?  Hector reports that the liqueur eliminates the buttery-ness from the finished product, however I make it without the liqueur all the time and don’t think it’s too buttery.

Jeanne has given great advice about cooling the sugar syrup temp with a few drops of water, as well as not needing to beat the butter before adding to the mousseline (sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t… depends on how much of a hurry I’m in).

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Posted: 20 July 2008 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thanks for the tips everyone!
Patrincia: I did use salted butter…...I’m going to buy some unsalted butter right now!!!! I did not use liqueur, but I did beat a few ounces of melted/cooled white chocolate in at the end.
I think it was more the REALLY soft texture that turned everyone off….. Hopefully I can figure out how to avoid this.

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Posted: 21 July 2008 06:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Hi Kristen, welcome to the mousseline world!!! 

You bloggers are all geniouses with all your fine answers.  The only thing I can think of is if you heated the sugar to the exact temperature?

My mousseline becomes very soft when displayed at room temperature, but it holds its shape.

And NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO to salted butter, it has a completely different flavor profile and also a different texture.  I am certain your people were turned off because of this.

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Posted: 21 July 2008 08:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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It was def the salted butter that led to the buttery taste. Instead of adding sugar try adding a tsp of vanilla to your finished buttercream. as already said, at that temp your frosting should not have been gooey. You have to bring it up to the firm ball stage 248 to 250 in order to get the full firming benefits of the sugar.

jen

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Posted: 22 July 2008 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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If you are still having problems after correcting the butter, it could be the white chocolate.  Whenever something is even a tad too sweet, I find many people (including my seven year old!) just can’t stomach it.  And white chocolate will produce this effect very, very quickly!!!  Rose talks about this in the Cake Bible, that many people find things too rich, when really they are too sweet. 

I’m not sure how important white chocolate is to your flavoring, but maybe skip the white chocolate and just use vanilla?  Or, if you don’t mind buying special ingredients, you could buy cocoa butter at a chocolate supply house and add that plus vanilla to both firm and flavor without over-sweetening.  It’s a little risky, but you could also try reducing the amount of sugar added to the soft-peak whites to compensate for the sugar in the white chocolate.  The sugar added to the whites helps protect against overbeating, so keep at least a tablespoon or two. 

The buttercream is indeed going to be soft after several hours at room temp, but this is much more objectionable if the quantities are out of proportion - could you have used too thick a layer?  (Another of Rose’s edicts is “the cake should be the main event”.)

And there’s always the possibility that not everyone is going to love buttercream!  It is truly a beautiful way to finish a cake, so smooth and (to my taste) delicious, perfect for piping, but very few things are liked by truly everyone!  Four cups of buttercream contains two cups of butter, and it is going to taste and feel at least a little like butter. 

Personally, I like the fruit flavors for buttercream, because they counteract the richness so beautifully.  I just made a batch of chocolate mini cupcakes, half with caramel silk meringue BC and half with burnt orange silk meringue BC, and everyone who taste-tested both liked the burnt orange better, even the kids!  This really surprised me, I thought the burnt orange would be eaten by the adults (caramel, orange and chocolate is a pretty sophisticated combination) and the caramel by the kids. 

Do report back on your final cake, we’d love to see pics and/or hear about it!
Best,
Julie

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Posted: 06 August 2008 04:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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Rose’s recipes tend to be less sweet than most, so the buttercream is less sweet and more buttery.  Many times I have upped the sugar amount a bit and with good results from those used to the sweeter type(they still find mine less sweet, of course, it’s not the wilton type!).  I think it even helps hold up better (someone correct me if i am wrong).  But id you do this, do it without addinf the white chocolate, especially if it is the imitation one as it is overly swett as mentioned inprevious posts and is simply that, sweet… no real chocolate

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