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Raspberry buttercream cake (problem)
Posted: 16 January 2013 03:24 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I was planning to make a cake look like Hectors cake (the strawberry vanilla cake he recently made) I love the striped pattern in the buttercream. I thought it was so beautifull so I wanted to make something similar…
But the mousseline buttercream I made, with raspberrysauce, did not work out. I think it was on the point of splitting, and I couldn’t make any pattern in it, or it would look grainy. I used Rose’s recipee of Mousseline Buttercream with raspberrysauce.

I always am a little clumsy in the kitchen (I will never be a pro because of this) This time I melted my sieve in the oven, (don’t ask me why…)Therefore I couldn’t sieve the juice from the raspberries. I asumed there now was too much liquid, so I compensated that by putting a little less liqueur and sauce in the buttercream.
It first looked fine, but when I wanted too make these patterns with my spatula it just did not work. The moment the spatula touched the buttercream it became grainy… Why??
I ended up just make it smooth with a hot spatula, which did work.

Could the problem have been that I still had put too much liquid in the MBC? Or was there an other problem? Something with temperatures?

The cake is biscuit de savoie, filled with lime yoghurt bavarian cream and raspberry sauce with lime zest. Covered with raspberry mousseline (no food colouring added, just raspberries). Decorated with some gumpaste fantasy flowers.
By the way, the taste of the raspberry mousseline was devine. My first try on Rose’s fruit mousseline, but defenitely a stayer.

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Posted: 17 January 2013 10:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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That is a beautiful cake!  I love the variegated flowers, and the slices are simply gorgeous!  The flavors sound amazing together!  Yum lime zest, raspberry and yogurt combo!!!

Julie will probably be able to give a complete answer on the mousseline, but here is my offhand opinion:

If you had more juice, it is, obviously, more “watery,” and more water = fussier mousseline.
The sauce is thicker, so cutting down on a thick thing and adding a watery thing didn’t work to your advantage in this case.
Alcohol helps things emulsify, so cutting down on the alcohol might have been counter-productive, although I understand why it would seem like a good idea.

However ... there are others who know much more than I, so if they contradict the above, believe them!!!!!

Nonetheless, gorgeous—and no doubt amazingly delicious—cake.

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Posted: 17 January 2013 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I’ll chime in with Anne, your cake looks beautiful and delicious- love the flavors!

re: the mousseline, two thoughts:

Is it possible there was too much liquid in the buttercream?  The photo of the outside of the cake has the raspberry mousseline looking darker than I remember it- might just be the photo.  With the fruit purees, you don’t have to add the alcohol, though you can and it sometimes makes a wonderful combination- like strawberry with grand marnier or raspberry with limoncello or chocolate liqueur.  If there was too much, the buttercream would have broken in the bowl when you added the liquid, becoming lumpy and curdled-looking (voice of experience).  It might have come together with high-speed whipping, but would not have been stable and would have always been on verge of breaking again. 

However, you mention that the buttercream was OK on the cake, until you went to form a pattern on the sides, is that right?  This sounds like you let it sit too long before trying to make the pattern on the sides.  Buttercreams get “spongy/soft” when they sit around for a while, which actually is a good thing for eating because they are soft and luscious in the mouth.  But it means you have a window in which it remains thick and workable- you can’t, for instance, frost several tiers of a cake and then go back later and try to re-work the frosting.  After storing a buttercream or letting it sit for a while, it will need to be re-beaten to restore the texture and make it workable again.

Editing to add:  when you try to re-work buttercream that has already turned spongy, it darkens- that could be the cause of the darker color of the mousseline on the finished cake.

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Posted: 17 January 2013 10:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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It looks pretty anyway!

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Posted: 17 January 2013 12:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thank you, Julie! It sounds, from your post, like her buttercream actually worked out fine, she just should have done her designs right away.  Is that correct?  If so, that’s good news!!!

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Posted: 17 January 2013 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Looks good to me….. and the slice looks delicious.

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Posted: 17 January 2013 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Thank you so much for your comments. I wish I would have that much cake experience to come up with a diagnose about my cake. I feel privileged to have some good cake doctors around here to help me!

I think it might be both.
I remember putting some extra raspberryliqueur in the BC on the end; looking fluffy.. TBS more.. looking fluffy.. TBS more, suddenly the BC started to pull back from the bowl. I don’t know how to explain that in English (not my native language). As if you could see it was about splitting. Maybe it would have come back fluffy with more beating.
But your other explanation looked relevant as well. Because I worked with bavarian cream I put it back in the fridge after crumbcoating. The remaining BC was on the counter. For more than half an hour/ an hour after putting it on. So maybe it was too long on the counter, so became spongy, or getting too cold for the cold crumbcoatlayer underneath..?

What would you say the window of time would be after putting the BC on?

I remember the colour was lighter in the night I made the cake, and a touch darker the next morning I made the picture.

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Posted: 17 January 2013 10:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Your cake is very elegant, simple and beautiful. I’m sure it is as good as it looks.

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Posted: 18 January 2013 08:15 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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hieperdepiep - 17 January 2013 10:14 PM

What would you say the window of time would be after putting the BC on?

I don’t know, but I think it can change a little from batch to batch, and depends on what you add to the buttercream for flavoring.  I think room temp also affects the length of the window.  And the more stuff you add to the buttercream (like too much liquid), the faster it happens.  The solution, for the bowl sitting on your counter, is to just take a whisk and re-beat for a half minute or so (longer is fine) to restore the emulsion and firmer working texture.  For the buttercream on a cake, you have to work on it within that window.  For a buttercream that is very soft and has more than the recommended amount of liquid, it might be that it only lasts half an hour or so before turning spongy, while a mousseline with chocolate added might last for several hours before softening.

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Posted: 18 January 2013 09:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Julie - 18 January 2013 12:15 PM
hieperdepiep - 17 January 2013 10:14 PM

What would you say the window of time would be after putting the BC on?

I don’t know, but I think it can change a little from batch to batch, and depends on what you add to the buttercream for flavoring.  I think room temp also affects the length of the window.  And the more stuff you add to the buttercream (like too much liquid), the faster it happens.  The solution, for the bowl sitting on your counter, is to just take a whisk and re-beat for a half minute or so (longer is fine) to restore the emulsion and firmer working texture.  For the buttercream on a cake, you have to work on it within that window.  For a buttercream that is very soft and has more than the recommended amount of liquid, it might be that it only lasts half an hour or so before turning spongy, while a mousseline with chocolate added might last for several hours before softening.

Thanks! I didn’t know this before. My buttercream experience is not that far.  It is very helpful.

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Posted: 18 January 2013 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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I remember putting some extra raspberryliqueur in the BC on the end; looking fluffy.. TBS more.. looking fluffy.. TBS more, suddenly the BC started to pull back from the bowl. I don?t know how to explain that in English (not my native language). As if you could see it was about splitting. Maybe it would have come back fluffy with more beating.

I cannot say for sure, because this hasn’t happened to me (yet), but I do know several members have said that when it seemed it might break, continued beating brought it back together.

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Posted: 18 January 2013 12:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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You cake looks good. It is making me want a piece.

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Posted: 21 January 2013 04:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Anne in NC - 18 January 2013 02:35 PM

I remember putting some extra raspberryliqueur in the BC on the end; looking fluffy.. TBS more.. looking fluffy.. TBS more, suddenly the BC started to pull back from the bowl. I don?t know how to explain that in English (not my native language). As if you could see it was about splitting. Maybe it would have come back fluffy with more beating.

I cannot say for sure, because this hasn’t happened to me (yet), but I do know several members have said that when it seemed it might break, continued beating brought it back together.

I am just thinking: beating does help when the meringue and butter are not the same temperature when you add them together. It can become soupy (butter too hot), of it gets lumpy, but that comes together with more whipping usually. But when it starts to split because of too much liquid, more whipping might not be the solution.

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Posted: 22 January 2013 06:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I love your cake, hieperdepiep! It’s really beautiful. Nicely done.

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Posted: 08 April 2014 03:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I’ve read this thread with interest. I’ve tried making the raspberry MBC yesterday and failed miserably smile I had some trouble with the buttercream when adding the butter, the mixture was just a little too hot and was beginning to curdle. Cooling the mix and then beating again (as per the advice in the cake bible) saved the day, even though I think the intended fluffiness of the MBC was somewhat diminished by this. However, the real problem came in when adding the raspberry puree. It just won’t mix, it splits and makes a horrible mess. Does anyone have any idea on what I did wrong here?

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Posted: 08 April 2014 05:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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What was the temperature of your raspberry puree? Was it roomtemperature? That is important to not brake the emulsion. Its quite a sensitive guy..
Temperatures are really important when you make MBC. Preferably the butter and the mereniguemixture as well as the added stuff should be the same roomtemperature.

Extra fluids make it more vulnerable to splitting as well, when the mixture is not stable enough. Beating a long period helps very well to stabilize.

But maybe the pro’s have a better answer?

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