Correct Cream Anglaise consistency when making Silk Meringue Buttercream?
Posted: 15 October 2012 11:16 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m just hoping someone will be able to confirm if I’m doing this correct - when I make the pastry cream for silk meringue buttercream, I’m cooking it to 170, but when cool, it remains very liquidy.  The consistency is definitely somewhat thickened, but still fluid enough to pour off the spoon.  Is this correct?  I was expecting it to set up more and be more like a pudding consistency (I’ve been chilling it overnight in the fridge). 

I used the silk meringue frosting for a friend who is lactose intolerant, so I subbed shortening in for the butter (yeah, blech, but what can you do? making the bride sick on her wedding day wouldn’t be quite the best wedding present).  My final frosting was unmanageably soft, though ultimately useable.  Of course, with that major sub, I couldn’t be sure if my problems were all due to the shortening or because I did the pastry cream wrong too.  I figured someone on here would know, before I try again with the real recipe. 

Thanks!

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Posted: 16 October 2012 09:40 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The creme anglaise is more the texture of a thick sauce (pourable) than a pudding.  What did you use for milk in the creme anglaise?  If you weighed both the yolks and the milk substitute, it probably wasn’t too far off the mark.

The texture of this buttercream is softer than Mousseline, but still holds it shape when piped, etc.  If you were working on a large cake, there is a window of time in which to work the buttercream (spread, pipe, etc.) before it turns spongy and needs to be re-beaten.  It doesn’t remain workable indefinitely.  Turning spongy is a good thing when you go to eat the cake, because it is soft and delicious.  But for working on the cake, re-beating is the way to go smile

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Posted: 16 October 2012 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Ah, “thick sauce” -  thanks, that’s exactly the answer I was looking for.  Sounds like I’m doing the creme anglaise right then.  I just used lactose-free whole milk, so I expect that really doesn’t change the recipe much.  Still, I don’t think I’d use this type of icing again for a lactose-free person - not for anything other than very simple buttercream designs. 

The cake was covered in fondant, so my problems were mainly that the frosting stayed so very, very soft, no matter what you did.  Since I’m by no means a fondant expert, it was a bit harrowing to try and cover a cake that would squish with my finger even within minutes of being taken out of an overnight stay in the freezer.  I’m used to having a bit of margin of error with my butter frostings - nice and stiff when you take them out of the fridge. 

Fortunately, with all the sugar flowers in the design, I was afforded lots of opportunities to hide flaws.  So, the cake turned out alright, at least to non-cake people’s eyes.  I’ve added a picture, so any constructive criticism from more expert eyes would be welcomed.

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Posted: 16 October 2012 11:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Your cake looks beautiful!

In my experience, silk meringue buttercream is quite firm when chilled in the fridge.  I wonder if your shortening had something to do with it?

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Posted: 17 October 2012 02:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Agreed! Beautiful!

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