Caramel or Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream
Posted: 19 April 2014 02:40 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I think I probably posted this in the wrong category so here it is again:
Desperately in need of help! This is the 2nd time I am making the Caramel Silk Meringue. The same thing has happened both times. Only this time I am visiting relatives, away from my RLB books, and working from a scribbled recipe that hubby dictated to me on the phone. Problem: every time I make the caramelized sugar the milk boils furiously when added to the syrup - which I know is to be expected. However, even after it’s all added and the syrup is dissolved, the whole thing has turned into a horrid nasty looking curdled mess! Even after tempering the yolks with it, and reheating to 170 it is still curdled! Am I supposed to still include the 1/2 c sugar from the original Crème Anglaise recipe added to the Yolks, as WELL as the 1/2 c used to make the caramel? Is there anything I can do to rescue this disgusting looking custard? I already sieved it. I remember that happening last time and I think I just blended the bejeebers out of it with the immersible blender to get it to smooth out before adding it to the butter. I do use whole milk. (1 c as it says I need 2x the amount to compensate for evaporation). If someone has any suggestions I would greatly appreciate input as I need to finish this buttercream on Sunday! Thanks!

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Posted: 20 April 2014 10:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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When the milk curdles it is likely to be because your mixture is too acidic.  Milk + acid + heat will always curdle (ricotta cheese).  The source of the acid could be that your milk is approaching its use by date, or your caramel is darker than usual, or your sugar has some residual molasses (organic, etc.).  I’ve also found that pasteurized (rather than ultra pasteurized) milk is much more likely to curdle. 

Regardless of the source, here’s a trick that works for me:  add some baking soda, about 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp, to the milk while it is heating (before it’s poured into the caramel). Works like a charm.

So you can either remake the caramel with baking soda, or you can blitz it in the blender and smooth it out that way.  I don’t know if the blender method will give you a perfectly smooth buttercream or not, but it might be good enough and help you to move forward and not have to remake it.

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Posted: 22 April 2014 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thanks so much Julie! Probably the milk was at the end of its life as it was stored in the fridge door :(, also - I did add a teche of brown sugar to the yolks because I like a more “caramelley” taste. That may have been a factor. As it was I did the beating with the immersible blender again - but found nevertheless that this batch was more unstable, curdling easily, and only coming together properly at exactly the right temp. and then separating shortly thereafter. Oh well, it worked out ok, not perfect but passable. My Moist Choc Genoise wasn’t perfect either - maybe cuz I thought I’d “improve” the recipe by warming the eggs a little bit - the batter seemed very unstable also and solids sunk to the bottom causing a rubbery lower part on each layer, little clumps of flour in it (ARGHH!!!) and not as nice a fluffy texture overall. Going back home to 3000 Ft to try it again asap! smile The flavour combo of the Chocolate and Burnt Orange (with a bit of Grand Marnier;) was very good though!

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Posted: 22 April 2014 08:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Wow, the flavors and components sound absolutely dreamy.  Glad it worked out well even if not up to your usual standards.  Bet everyone loved it. smile

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Posted: 10 September 2014 11:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Oh believe us - it surely is out of this world!! smile

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