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Buttercream Tutorial
Posted: 23 January 2009 03:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Hi MP,

It sounds to me like you made the buttercream just fine. To get an correct piping consistency, all you need to do is play with the temperature after you make it.  In the summer, I chill it, and periodically the bag too because I have “hot hands,” but in the winter it is usually about right, although if it is very cold then I warm it slightly. Butter is very responsive to temperature changes, so watch carefully—i.e., pop it in the fridge for 5 minutes, and then beat to evenly distribute the temperature—or microwave for 5-10 seconds, etc.

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Posted: 23 January 2009 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Matthew - 23 January 2009 07:55 PM

Hi MP,

It sounds to me like you made the buttercream just fine. To get an correct piping consistency, all you need to do is play with the temperature after you make it.  In the summer, I chill it, and periodically the bag too because I have “hot hands,” but in the winter it is usually about right, although if it is very cold then I warm it slightly. Butter is very responsive to temperature changes, so watch carefully—i.e., pop it in the fridge for 5 minutes, and then beat to evenly distribute the temperature—or microwave for 5-10 seconds, etc.

Cool. Thanks for the tip, Matthew.

~MP smile

PS - You have an awesome name.

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Posted: 01 February 2009 02:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Oh c’mon, I had to learn most of these the hard and expensive way (trial and throw away), had I only known sooner you guys were around!! Really happy to have found you all.

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Posted: 05 March 2009 09:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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I did the CBC last night. i’m a bit confuse with the sugar syrup. i follow the instruction in the recipe.  when i pour the sugar syrup in to the yolk, the sugar syrup became hard and i don’t think it incorporate well with the yolk. also, the sugar syrup get hard very quick. does the color of the sugar syrup suppose to be clear or a little bit brownish? because my one is a bit brownish. my guess is that i over heated it. what do you guys think?

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Posted: 05 March 2009 10:18 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Hello, and welcome!  I’m assuming you are making classic buttercream from the Cake Bible, is that right? 

Did you use organic or raw sugar?  If so, those have a little molases left on them and can give a slight brownish tint to the syrup.  If this is the cause of your brownish color, and your thermometer was accurate (test it in boiling water), then the hardening of the syrup came from working too slowly and allowing the syrup to cool too much.  As soon as it comes to temperature, pour it into the eggs in a steady stream, with the beater running.

If you used refined white sugar, then your temperature must have been way, way too high, up somewhere around 325-340 for it to start caramelizing and take on a brownish color (that’s a full 100 degrees above where it should have been!!).  If you don’t have an accurate candy thermometer, try the neoclassic, which uses corn syrup and reaches the correct temp upon reaching a full boil.

Good Luck!

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Posted: 14 March 2009 09:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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When using the Mousseline Buttercream for cakes sold to others, is it necessary to advise the customer that there are raw egg whites in the frosting? Or, do the eggs reach 160 degrees when adding the 250 degree sugar syrup and thus eliminate the salmonella risk? Have any of you taken the temp of the egg whites just after adding the syrup?

Thanks in advance!

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Posted: 14 March 2009 10:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Welcome AnneH! I use pasteurized egg whites so there is no risk of salmonella. I don’t know if the egg whites reach 160 degrees but it would be better to let the customers know. Better safe than sorry.

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Posted: 14 March 2009 10:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Rozanne - 15 March 2009 01:36 AM

Welcome AnneH! I use pasteurized egg whites so there is no risk of salmonella. I don’t know if the egg whites reach 160 degrees but it would be better to let the customers know. Better safe than sorry.

Hi Anne - somewhere on the blog, Rose said the egg white temp did not get hot enough to eliminate any salmonella risk, so I would use pasteurized eggs like Rozanne suggested.

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Posted: 15 March 2009 12:13 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Thanks for the help! I forgot about pasteurized egg whites. My grocery store used to carry them, but stopped. I’ll need to track them down at another store!

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Posted: 16 March 2009 09:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Hi everybody,

    I’ve made the mousseline buttercream twice now and I’m not sure if I’m doing things right when it comes to the egg whites. In the end it tasted fine, but maybe I could make it better. In TCB it says to beat the egg whites until foamy. How foamy are they supposed to be? Should they be nothing but foam, or should there still be a fair amount of egg white left in the liquid form? I had some still left in liquid form. Then it says to add the cream of tartar and beat until soft peaks form, then add sugar until stiff peaks form. I was so worried about over beating the egg whites (that’s possible, right?) that I may not have beaten them enough. Before I added the butter the egg whites seemed stiff, but that’s a subjective term so I’m not sure if they were stiff enough. Like I said, in the end the frosting tasted fine, but it also seemed a little thin. It was still thick enough to practice my piping with the left over frosting, but it just seems like when it’s in my mouth it should be a little thicker. It had the consistency of really soft butter just before it begins to separate. Is this the right consistency or should it be thicker?

Thanks,
Matthew smile

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Posted: 17 March 2009 01:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Good afternoon!

I’ve got another buttercream question to throw in the ring. I love my frosting to have a pinch of salt in it. Would adding salt to the Mousseline Buttercream throw its consistency out of balance? I’m not trained in the science of baking and want to be sure I don’t skew the quality or make it harder to work with. Has anyone tried adding salt?

Thanks in advance!

Anne
http://www.theeggheadbaker.blogspot.com

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Posted: 17 March 2009 05:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Matthew,
any amount of foamy is fine. in fact, alton brown says not to wait, put the cream of tartar in immediately. I’ve done it both ways and the only problem i’ve ever had with not waiting for the foam is that the tartar can clump on the bottom so you have to be sure to scrape the bowl.

hector suggests that you cannot over beat whites with tartar in them, and i never have, so it must be true!

your consistency sounds right. remember that butter melts just under body temp so as soon as the butter cream hits your mouth it’s going to melt, which is why it tastes so good. in colder days you may find that it’s firmer and on warmer days, softer.

Anne H: adding salt to your butter cream is usually a big risk. those who have mistakenly made the recipe with salted butter find that all they can taste is the butter.  it’s as if there is no sugar, at all.
it won’t change the consistency, just the flavor.

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Posted: 17 March 2009 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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jen68 - 17 March 2009 08:26 PM

Matthew,
any amount of foamy is fine. in fact, alton brown says not to wait, put the cream of tartar in immediately. I’ve done it both ways and the only problem i’ve ever had with not waiting for the foam is that the tartar can clump on the bottom so you have to be sure to scrape the bowl.

I would add the cream of tartar after the whites foam, b/c as Jen pointed out it clumps and you have to make sure you scrap the bowl well. It has happened to me.  grrr

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Posted: 17 March 2009 06:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Thanks, Jen68! I will experiment at home and see how little I can add without tasting only the butter. I’ll scrap the idea if it’s no good.

AnneH
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Posted: 17 March 2009 07:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Hi AnneH - I have been known to throw in a pinch of salt, but just a pinch… enough just to accent the flavors.  You definitely don’t want to simulate salted butter… that’s too much salt.

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