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BUTTERCREAM-----FROSTING


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WebFoodPros.com: The Bakers Dozen: BUTTERCREAM-----FROSTING
By Panini (Panini) on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 06:30 pm: Edit

I'm very interested in getting peoples opinions on different methods of preparing buttercream icing. I have seen many different posts on how criticle the egg white heating is.
If interested please post your method and why you prefer that method over others.

For example, we mix our egg whites right in the bowl over the candy stove till blood temp, whip and add soft butter. We use this for most of our wedding and stock cakes. It seems to hold up to temp. fluctuation better than boiled.

Ambient temperature also dictates that we use frosting on some wedding cakes,
Panini

By Mikeh (Mikeh) on Saturday, June 10, 2000 - 11:33 pm: Edit

In school we learned four different buttercreams. French buttercream made using yolks and soft ball sugar to whole eggs and firm ball sugar. Swiss buttercream made with a Swiss meringue. Italian buttercream made with Italian meringue. German buttercream which is actually pastry cream and butter.

We used the Swiss meringue the most by either whipping pasteurized egg whites with sugar to 110degF or fresh egg whites with sugar to 141degF to pasteurize them. The sugar moistens the proteins in the egg white and protects them from the heat. The fresh egg whites provide significantly better volume and fluffiness than pasteurized.

By W.DeBord on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 09:53 am: Edit

I think the method of cooking your whites or yolks has little to do with flavor (which is the reason why I'd choose one recipe over another).

If I had a standard recipe where I just added flavoring I'd probably use your method because it's quick and easy. Although when I use your method I take my eggs hotter than blood temp. so I guess I have some fear of undercooking with this method.

On wedding cakes and other items that will sit out for along time period I use frostings that do not contain eggs. Not so much for fear, but these types of frostings aren't as heat sensitve.

All but the German are quick to make with experience.

By Raine on Sunday, June 11, 2000 - 10:14 pm: Edit

Being the cautious person that I am, I use meringue powder instead of egg whites.
Most people here prefer stablized whipped topping during the hotter months.
I use frosting for weddings mostly by customer request.

By W.DeBord on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 07:45 am: Edit

I use meringue powder also....but alot of the time it's because it's such a pain to pour hot syrup (then clean) thru the saftey shield on my hobart.

Or my favorite reason to use meringue powder...our smaller pans tip off the burner, if you turn your back on the pot it's spilled all over!

Actually that's how I started using meringue powder then I realized how well it holds in the cooler and freezer, poor real eggs can't compete.

By Panini (Panini) on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 03:11 pm: Edit

What do you mix the meringue powder with? water?
Is it chemicals or dehy7drated eggwhites?

I guess my original question should have been, why do you prefer one method over the next.
DeBord, when you say it holds up in the cooler and in the freezer,the buttercream or the eggwhite?

What is stablized whipped topping?
Mikeh, I have found less consistancy problems with the pasturized whites. It never seems to be the same twice. Refering to consistancy, air etc. I also do not have the use for so many yolks for the volume of buttercrteam we use.

By d. on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 05:12 pm: Edit

Hi Panini. Good question. Do I understand correctly that you are making a Swiss meringue buttercream using pasteurized eggwhites? Are you having problems or inconsistencies with frozen whites? Just 2 days ago I tried making a Swiss meringue buttercream with frozen past. whites and both batches did not come out. I had to toss the meringue.

By d. on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 05:13 pm: Edit

I usually do an Italian meringue buttercream(frozen whites and 240 sugar syrup, 75% butter and 25% Sweetex)for the outside of my wedding cakes), for a whiter colored buttercream I go up to 50% Sweetex. After the buttercream is all whipped up I switch to a paddle and let it go at the slowest speed to remove big air bubbles and make it smoother. That's the biggest problem I've encountered, when your smoothing the buttercream on the cake and you have all these little air pockets that don't give you a nice smooth finish.
And the little hairline cracks that sometimes develop at stress points(particularly noticeable if the cakes are very heavy ones, have not found a remedy for this as of yet).

By d. on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 05:33 pm: Edit

For buttercream fillings I like to use a whole egg French buttercream(firm ball syrup, all butter or sometimes if it is too hot I replace butter with 25% Sweetex). For kosher parve wedding cakes I use Rich's non-dairy topping, which I think is similar to what Raine mentioned. It's sort of like Cool whip, stable in hot weather, but I think it tastes terrible.
I have tried the Wilton style of buttercream(creaming butter/shortening with 10x sugar and adding vanilla/milk), it's very stable in hot conditions, but it doesn't ice as smooth as a real buttercream, it has a tendency to drag the spatula.But maybe that's just my experience.
Question for Panini: what do you mean by "frosting"? Is that different than buttercream frosting?
Question for W.DeBord: What kind of eggless frostings do you use on wedding cakes and how do you use your powdered meringue?

By Raine on Monday, June 12, 2000 - 08:03 pm: Edit

I also have that gastly safty guard. I hate that damn thing.(Grrrrr)
I mix meringue powder with water.
Trick to removing large air bubbles is to make sure the icing covers the top of the paddle(important) and mix on lowest speed until smooth.
The only time I get cracks, is if I ice the cake when it is too cold or frozen. The cake expands as it thaws and cracks the icing, or maybe your boards aren't thick enough, so they bend when lifted, which will leave tiny cracks. Even the slightest bending will leave marks.
I didn't care for Rich's either. It had a bad after taste and it smells funny.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 11:54 am: Edit

I mix meringue powder with H2O and use it exactly/in place of Italian or Swiss Meringue in my buttercream frostings or in mousses. If I frost a torte or top a pie with real meringue it's texture holds for a couple hours in my heavy moisture walk-in at the most. With the instant stuff, it holds for a couple days staying firm and cutting nicely. I think items texture remains best after freezing with meringue powder than real egg whites.

The wilton frosting was what my mother used to use. She would add some unwhipped egg whites to her xxx sugar which makes it very smooth to frost. At times I still use it.

I have a white choc. buttercream I like, it's basicly melted choc., butter, xxx sugar. Sometimes I'll mix that 50/50 with wiltons recipe. It improves the taste and spreading of wiltons recipe with-out using raw egg white.

Mousses really hold nicely with meringues powder. It's like adding gelatin as far as strength goes.

By W.DeBord on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 12:04 pm: Edit

Some brands taste better then others, same with whip cream stablizers. I have never read what it's made of.

My method for removing air bubbles is...I mix it then set it aside (usually in the cooler if it's soft), then I mix it again with the paddle (cooler/firmer frostings seem to remove air pockets easier).

By d. on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 09:27 pm: Edit

If Client insists on whipped cream, I use a Stabilizer in powder form called Sami 10. Just dry mix with the sugar and add to the cream as it whips.

By Raine on Tuesday, June 13, 2000 - 11:14 pm: Edit

d. Just a few questions, please. I've never heard of it. Is it like a geliten powder? Who is your supplier? Does it hold well in hot/humid weather. Do you know an approximate price? Does it alter the taste any?

By vbean on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 03:35 am: Edit

I have worked in Belgium, France, Oahu, Maui, the big island (and San Francisco). The biggest problem I had this week was shhoowing the (organic ladybugs off our berries. I have never needed gelatin powderers or stabalizers. I am pretty much happy that I have never needed to use crap in my career.
I bake 300 loaves of bread per day. 1000 in pastry sales per day.
I have done many, many, wedding cakes and birthday cakes etc...
The hotel that I work at is very busy. The pastry dept does over 2 million in sales per year.
(before I got there they did not make money in pastry)
I transported a five layer cake down a 2 mile dirt road in 92 degree weather (on Maui). No stabalizers, no chemicals- you can do it!

By vbean on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 03:42 am: Edit

I have worked in Belgium, France, Oahu, Maui, the big island (and San Francisco). The biggest problem I had this week was shhoowing the (organic ladybugs off our berries. I have never needed gelatin powderers or stabalizers. I am pretty much happy that I have never needed to use crap in my career.
I bake 300 loaves of bread per day. 1000 in pastry sales per day.
I have done many, many, wedding cakes and birthday cakes etc...
The hotel that I work at is very busy. The pastry dept does over 2 million in sales per year.
(before I got there they did not make money in pastry)
I transported a five layer cake down a 2 mile dirt road in 92 degree weather (on Maui). No stabalizers, no chemicals- you can do it!

By Raine on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 08:12 am: Edit

Okay, You know I'm not gonna let you get away with that statement without asking how you make your whipped cream icing ( stressing the REAL cream part) without stabilizers. I've never been to the places you mentioned, but can your icing hold in 100 degree weather with a daily 99% humidity (typical summer day in Florida).

My worst delivery...only 5 miles from shop, 105 degrees with 99% humidity, and the a/c broken in vehicle. Cake was all buttercream. When I got their flowers were a puddle of butter and so was the extra icing for repairs.

By Panini (Panini) on Wednesday, June 14, 2000 - 09:43 pm: Edit

vbean,
You charge 14.93 for a loaf of bread?

By W.DeBord on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 08:41 am: Edit

vbean never used gelatin powders ... and how is that different then using gelatin sheets???

I missed the rule book that tells pastry chefs they'll be ruining their product and slowing down their sales by using gelatin in anything other than the following list. What was on the list?

By vbean on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 03:23 pm: Edit

OK, I should have been more specific. I mean all the artifical stuff, the whipped toppings, the shortenings addeded to buttercreams.
No, I,m not going to finish a wedding cake in whipped cream during that kind of heat unless I do it right there. I get upset with bitting into something made with "puff pastry" that is made with no butter, or icings/ cakes that taste like chemicals. I get frustrated with training pastry cooks that just know mixes and bags and fast shortcuts.
If it is really hot and humid, I add gelatin to buttercream.
I am not trying to offend anyone- I have really enjoyed reading this forum. Our pastry world is so small, it is nice when you find others.

By vbean on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 03:28 pm: Edit

PANINI, I MEANT 1000 PIECES IN PASTRY SALES! I sell loaves of bread for $2-$4. I have been typing my entries very late at night for me- maybe they aren't so clear.

By Panini (Panini) on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 05:47 pm: Edit

vbean
No need to yell, just a question. If you can, please tell me about geletin in buttercream. No offending intended, I've just have not come across that.

My posts to this thread don't seem to be making it, anybody else having that problem.

By d. on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:06 pm: Edit

Raine, the stabilizer ingredients are wheat flour, stabilizer E450(have no idea????)and lactose. Comes in powder form and you use 1.5 oz. for every gallon of cream. I have not noticed any change in taste, but you do have to dry mix it with the sugar before incorporating it into the cream. Comes in 22lb. box for about $72. They also have a liquid form but I have not tried it and it's a couple dollars more expensive.

By d. on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 10:09 pm: Edit

To all of you a question: Would you say a good buttercream consists of equal proportions of meringue(Italian or Swiss) and butter?

By Hans (Hans) on Thursday, June 15, 2000 - 11:02 pm: Edit

Hi d.

E 450 is Diphosphate, not known as a stabilizer.

If you ever need to look up European E ingredients:

http://132.187.96.115/projekte/biotech/food/lz/lz7/lz7a.htm

The explanations are in German, but even without knowledge of the language, it gives you a pretty good idea.
They might even have a listing in English, just haven't looked for it.

BTW, I would not say that a good buttercreme has to be meringue based.

The French type, based on a sabayon of yolks, or the German type, based on a custard are much tastier.

But I guess you guys were raised on marshmallows, so who is to say.

Sincerely.
--
C=-) Hartmut W. Kuntze, CMC, S.g.K.
" Die einfachsten Dinge sind sehr kompliziert " Morgenroete
For Chefs Only --

By vbean on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 01:59 am: Edit

Hans, Actually marshmallow is not a meringue to be offended by, with vanilla bean it is very good. I am sorry that you can not appreciate it. Tastier, your buttercream is, certainly it is with the addition of extra fat; where I live this isn't nescessary with the abundance of great fruit. 90% of all the fruit is totally organic,actually California is the #1 food producer in the world (if you didn't know that)Diophosphate is chalk, I don't really want to eat that.
aloha,

By d. on Friday, June 16, 2000 - 06:30 pm: Edit

Correction on my question: What would be more or less the proportions of buttercream made with butter and eggyolk/eggwhites or whole egg? Hans, I do agree French buttercream is tastier.

By W.DeBord on Saturday, June 17, 2000 - 08:25 am: Edit

D. I'm not sure if I follow your new question. Meaning anyone of those three egg options?

I know you work with proportions...where as I'm not there yet. I admit I work from recipes so I can't answer your question exactly. Every recipe varies depending on what your using to flavor (like melted choc. or just extract).

I think with egg yolk recipes it's maybe 65% or more butter to egg. With meringue more like 50/50. Whole egg (meaning a custard first) less butter.... Is that what you mean?

By d. on Sunday, June 18, 2000 - 01:14 pm: Edit

Yes. For example, my Italian meringue buttercream recipe is 50% meringue(combined weight of sugar and eggwhites) and 50% butter. Meaning equal parts meringue and butter. Just wondering if most proportions for buttercream are made with a higher percentage of an egg base or more butter. My buttercreams made with either whole egg or yolks have more butter in them, since the whipped egg or eggyolks with sugar syrup mixture is a little less stable than a meringue.


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