Reheating Buttercream
Posted: 12 April 2009 01:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1363
Joined  2008-09-27

I made some of Rose’s Milk Chocolate Buttercream yesterday and it turned out wonderfully….it was shiny and smooth hours afterward.  When I wanted to use some leftover icing later, however, even though it was shiny, it was a bit too stiff to spread.  So I reheated it in a double boiler and then applied the icing once it was cooled.  Within minutes, it had turned dull, rather than shiny in appearance.

Obviously, I had botched the reheating by letting the icing melt.  The question is, what caused the failure?  Was it an emulsion failure or did I allow the sugar to crystallize at too high a temperature?  The latter sounds more likely, given the change in appearance.  But when originally making the frosting, the chocolate melted, too, without affecting its later appearance.  However, there was some unmelted chocolate in the original batch when taken off the heat, and I understand that mixing tempered chocolate into melted chocolate can help create small crystals.

Basically, I want to know what I did right the first time that I didn’t do when reheating.  I’d also like to know how I could have fixed the icing once messed up.

Thanks

 Signature 

If error is corrected whenever it is recognized as such, the path of error is the path of truth.

—Hans Reichenbach

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2009 10:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1076
Joined  2007-11-15

Had you refrigerated the icing, or did it get stiff at room temperature?  I think melting it was the problem, specifically the butter, which isn’t melted in the original. If your room temp is too cool, then I would do short bursts in the microwave just until it starts to soften.  I think I’ve also heard of people running remelted ganache through a strainer to make it shiny again.  Not sure why that works (or if it does, never tried it), but I remember reading that somewhere.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 12 April 2009 11:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1363
Joined  2008-09-27
Matthew - 13 April 2009 01:37 AM

Had you refrigerated the icing, or did it get stiff at room temperature?  I think melting it was the problem, specifically the butter, which isn’t melted in the original. If your room temp is too cool, then I would do short bursts in the microwave just until it starts to soften.  I think I’ve also heard of people running remelted ganache through a strainer to make it shiny again.  Not sure why that works (or if it does, never tried it), but I remember reading that somewhere.

Hi Matthew:  The icing was still at room temperature.  I agree that melting it was the problem, although I’m not sure why.  Clearly the technique of making the icing is intended to avoid melting the softened butter, but I’m not sure why this is so.  It could have been true that it was a mere expedient to make the icing usable without a lengthy cooling period, but realistically, I suspect we’re creating a chocolate in solid fat emulsion.  Perhaps melting the buttercream creates a butter in chocolate emulsion?

I read somewhere of passing the butter cream through a strainer, too, and then reincorporating it, but I recall that as being for a broken emulsion, perhaps due to mixing the ingredients at unlike temperatures.  I really didn’t have any solid chunks, so I’m not sure this would have done much for me.

In retrospect, I probably should have initially just tried to beat the icing for a while to see if it returned to spreading consistency.  Once I had melted the stuff, I think my next best bet would have been to beat it until it cooled, treating it as if it were fudge.  But overall, I’m not terribly disappointed I ruined the icing….the initial batched worked well and I was willing to experiment with this remainder in the name of science.

Thanks

 Signature 

If error is corrected whenever it is recognized as such, the path of error is the path of truth.

—Hans Reichenbach

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 April 2009 08:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4797
Joined  2008-04-16

I had a funny experience with the milk chocolate buttercream.  When first made it was lovely and shiny, I frosted the cupcakes and put the leftover in the fridge.  Next day, the surface was still smooth and shiny but the entire interior was choc full of lumps, which melted in my mouth so I assume they were cocoa butter.  I remelted in the microwave and put it back in the fridge.  It was no longer shiny (like Charles’ version) but also no longer had any graininess. 

How would I prevent the graininess from forming in the fridge?  I should mention that I also sometimes get this result with dark ganache left overnight in the fridge.

 Signature 

Brød & Taylor Test Kitchen:  Greek-style yogurt recipe

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top
 
‹‹ Trying Genoise...      Trial with Mousseline ››