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Strawberry buttercream question
Posted: 20 March 2009 11:03 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi everyone, first post here!

I’m trying to bake a cake for a friend’s baby shower and I’ve chosen the Strawberry Silk Meringue Buttercream as the frosting.  When I did a trial run the buttercream looked more “dirty” than a pale pink and also had gummy bits of the conserve running through.  Let’s just say it won’t be winning any beauty pageants.  Looking back on the recipe I forgot to puree the conserve before adding it to the buttercream.  Would this have made a significant difference?  Also, would the Strawberry neoclassic buttercream work better because it uses a puree?  The Strawberry Silk Meringue Buttercream is really tasty so I will be using it as the filling, but I need a “prettier” frosting that has a nice pale pink colour (she’s having a girl!).

Any input would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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Posted: 20 March 2009 11:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome!  If you need to stick with buttercream for your cake, the palest base (allowing a more true color) is mousseline buttercream, making sure to follow the step of beating the butter first (makes the base frosting paler).  You may still need to add a few drops of red food coloring both to achieve a pretty pink and to keep it from fading if you are making the cake ahead of time.  If you don’t want any lumps of fruit or seeds, you will need to both puree the fruit and strain it.

There is also the option of a strawberry cloud cream, which uses whipped cream as a base.  This is whiter than mousseline, and so gives an even truer color, though you still may need a drop or two of red food coloring to prevent fading.  However, any whipped-cream frosting needs to be refrigerated until an hour or so before eating, and therefore isn’t the best choice with a butter cake, which tastes best fully warmed to room temperature.  If you go this route, consider a genoise or biscuit for the cake.

Good Luck, and consider posting a picture!

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Posted: 20 March 2009 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Julie - 20 March 2009 02:23 PM

Welcome!  If you need to stick with buttercream for your cake, the palest base (allowing a more true color) is mousseline buttercream, making sure to follow the step of beating the butter first (makes the base frosting paler).  You may still need to add a few drops of red food coloring both to achieve a pretty pink and to keep it from fading if you are making the cake ahead of time.  If you don’t want any lumps of fruit or seeds, you will need to both puree the fruit and strain it.

There is also the option of a strawberry cloud cream, which uses whipped cream as a base.  This is whiter than mousseline, and so gives an even truer color, though you still may need a drop or two of red food coloring to prevent fading.  However, any whipped-cream frosting needs to be refrigerated until an hour or so before eating, and therefore isn’t the best choice with a butter cake, which tastes best fully warmed to room temperature.  If you go this route, consider a genoise or biscuit for the cake.

Good Luck, and consider posting a picture!

Hi Julie, wow, thanks for the quick reply and advice!  I think I’m going to use a meringue frosting and just add food colouring to make it pink.  I’m using the Golden Butter Cream Cake and I don’t think I want to make it too heavy.

I think I have to re-make the filling again because I didn’t use pasteurized egg whites and I’m worried about getting the mom-to-be sick.  And now thinking about it, the recipe uses a creme anglaise so I don’t know if that’s okay to serve because it has uncooked egg (although it’s warmed until 170F).  Any advice?

I will work on getting the picture up later on today.  I also took a picture of the strawberry buttercream that was made.

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Posted: 20 March 2009 01:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hi nervouschef. Welcome to the forum.

you’re right about the weird color. i add just a touch of red FC too.

if you have time, try experimenting with different flavorings to come up with a taste and appearance you like.

my approach is about “all natural” so I don’t use any conserve. I literally mash some strawberries, fresh or frozen (thawed)with a potato masher, and beat them into Mousseline BC.  I like the way the chunks of strawberry look in the buttercream and people tell me it tastes like ice cream.

if i don’t want ANY fruit i use strawberry extract or essence, although i personally don’t like the bitter aftertaste. you could also use a strawberry liquer (sp?) which would probably taste devine.

FYI any of the buttercreams will be delicious with the butter cake. it won’t taste heavy at all. i prefer the mousseline for adding fruit to the classic or neoclassic because the classics are just a bit too soft with too much addition IMO.

jen

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Posted: 20 March 2009 02:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi NC - DO NOT use the neo-classic buttercream - you will end up with a peach colored buttercream (my first cake bible blunder).  Mousseline Buttercream is indeed the whitest of Rose’s buttercreams (see my avatar photo).  I’ve made the Mousseline variation with Rose’s Strawberry Puree many times and it is gorgeous - perfectly pink!  The great thing about using her puree is 1) it’s very smooth, 2) it incorporates fully (no lumps), and 3) the flavor and aroma of the strawberries is greatly intensified.  I’ve received so many compliments when I’ve served it.  I highly recommend you give it a try!

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Posted: 20 March 2009 04:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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NC, regarding the eggs, salmonella is killed at 160F instantly, or by being held at 140F for three minutes.  So the custard is fine, having been heated to 170F.  The meringue carries a very low risk of salmonella (occurrence is low and whites are less likely to carry it than yolks), because the hot sugar syrup doesn’t keep it at 140F for at least three minutes.  Same would be true for your meringue frosting, if it is made the same way. 

I have never heard of anyone having a problem with italian meringue, but if you need 100% certainty than use pasteurized whites or look for a recipe that heats the eggs to 160F, I think there are some swiss-type buttercreams that do this.

Your meringue frosting will likely be pretty sweet, personally I prefer this type of frosting paired with a less-sweet cake, like devil’s food or bittersweet chocolate.  If your recipe doesn’t call for flavoring, consider adding either lemon juice (if paired with yellow cake) or vanilla extract.  Patrincia’s comments about the strawberry mousseline make it sound awfully good…

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Posted: 20 March 2009 05:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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I buy pasteurized egg whites at Whole Foods Market. Sometimes, you can find pasteurized egg white powder there, or in a supermarket. You reconstitute the egg white powder with water according to the directions on the label. You may have to strain the reconstituted whites because sometimes the powder lumps together.

Another option I’ve done time and time again is I’ve done an ample taste-test of whatever it is I’m serving several hours in advance. If I don’t get sick, I figure the stuff is okay to serve to other people. I am also a raw-batter lover. I have never gotten sick from eating raw cookie dough or cake batter. I buy organic free range eggs. Don’t know if this makes a difference or not, from a salmonella point of view.

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Posted: 20 March 2009 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks everyone for the advice!  Here is a picture of my test run.  They won’t be in cupcake format, I just made them that way for my fiance’s pot luck.  I also found out the Golden Butter Cream cake doesn’t make for nice cupcakes, it really shrinks away from the papers! 

I was wondering if I can reduce the amount of sugar in the Golden Butter Cream cake as I think it’ll be too sweet if I do the meringue and the strawberry filling.  I’m a bit scared to try the mousseline because the last time I did (not from the book) it ended up melting into a puddle because I think the butter was too warm.  I still have a whole bunch of conserve leftover, would pureeing the conserve work, or do I need to make the puree?

Thanks for the welcome, everyone!  I’ve been working my way through Rose’s books.  Started with Rose’s Christmas cookies, then the Bread Bible, and now the Cake Bible.  I never thought I’d be interested in cakes, but that’s all I think about now!

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Posted: 23 March 2009 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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NC, your test run looks tasty! 

Let’s see if I can help on some of your questions. 

About making any butter cake into cupcakes, I try to fill them somewhat full, a little over 2/3, so that the cake rises up and over the top edge of the paper, allowing it to “grab on”.  I’ve only had separation from the wrapper when they were less full, (batter half full before baking).  If you want a more peaked top, you can increase beating time a little OR reduce baking powder slightly, and make sure the oven’s well-preheated.  Also, be sure not to overbake, that can contribute to excess shrinking.

I do not recommend reducing the sugar in the Golden Butter Cream cake, you will end up with a dry, tough cake.  It is well balanced, not overly sweet. 

As for the frosting, I would go for the strawberry mousseline and add a drop or two of red food color.  You can use either the conserve (if you search the blog you will find a post by Hector where he uses Cordon Rose strawberry conserve for both the fruit puree and the liqueur) or the puree.  You do not need to puree the conserve if you don’t mind lumps of fruit (sounds good to me!).  I also have to point out that I don’t mind the color of your test run, and the silk meringue is my absolute favorite base, so tasty.  The meringue route should be OK, too, I’m just a “not-too-sweet” person. Do you have another test run in you?

Good Luck!

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Posted: 23 March 2009 03:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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Thanks for the tips, Julie!  I’m most scared about trying mousseline again!  I’m worried it will melt into a puddle and be unusable.  Any ideas on what to use failed buttercream on if it does happen? LOL.

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Posted: 23 March 2009 03:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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You can actually incorporate failed buttercream into a good batch…. just add it a little at a time while the buttercream is beating.  Everything should be room temp of course.  You can also use it as a dessert sauce.

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Posted: 23 March 2009 04:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Oooh…I didn’t know I could add it to a good batch.  I’d hate to waste all that butter!

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Posted: 23 March 2009 05:53 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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nervouschef - 23 March 2009 07:03 PM

Oooh…I didn’t know I could add it to a good batch.  I’d hate to waste all that butter!

If you’re sure you heated the sugar syrup to the correct temp, then you sure can.  Just add a little at a time, beating well after each addition.  You can try to beat it on it’s own once it comes to room temperature too (I’m thinking it might not be an actual “failed” batch).  Either way, don’t throw it out - you can find lots of uses for it.

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Posted: 23 March 2009 06:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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i used some of my failed batch of buttercream as a filler. It wasn’t right consistency to frost a cake or pipe, but it still tasted good so i put it between the layers of the cakes. No one had any idea haha

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Posted: 24 March 2009 11:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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skiweaver9 - 23 March 2009 09:59 PM

i used some of my failed batch of buttercream as a filler. It wasn’t right consistency to frost a cake or pipe, but it still tasted good so i put it between the layers of the cakes. No one had any idea haha

I couldn’t even do that with my failed batch.  It’d just melt into a puddle even if I froze it first.  I’m pretty sure it was the butter temperature and my impatientness that led its demise.

I think I may be willing to try the mousseline again.  If it works, then I can just freeze it and then rebeat when it’s time to make the cake.

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Posted: 24 March 2009 11:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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If your failed buttercream is super liquid-y, warm it gently at serving time and use it as a sauce to cover the plates before setting the slices of cake on top.  Be sure to flavor it.

I don’t blame you for being worried about making mousseline, it is a nervewracking buttercream!  Please read all our comments on the other mousseline thread, then see if you feel up to trying again.

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