The New Bakers Dozen
Italian meringue Buttercream

The The Bakers Dozen: Italian meringue Buttercream
By Erica Bentson on Thursday, January 06, 2000 - 01:26 am: Edit

Why is it the Italian Meringue Buttercream I make sometimes gets grainy, like the sugar is not all dissolved? I cook the sugar to 240 and then pour it in. Does it have to do with the cooking of the sugar or the sugar that I add to the egg whites in the first beating stage? Any suggestions???

By d. on Thursday, January 06, 2000 - 07:21 pm: Edit

It's probably your sugar syrup. But what do you mean about the sugar you add to the first beating stage? In an Italian meringue buttercream, all your sugar should be in the form of a softball sugar syrup(240) which you add slowly into beaten eggwhites. Make sure you stir the sugar into the water and dissolve it before turning on your flame, and wash down the sides of your pot to prevent those little sugar crystals that have not dissolved from seeding your batch of syrup.

By hendersm on Friday, January 07, 2000 - 04:14 pm: Edit

If you are relying on a thermometer to test for soft ball stage then that might be a problem. Depending on the altitude, humidity, water content of the sugar, and probably a few other factors, the softball stage can occur within several degrees of 240. A better test is to drop a teaspoon of the sugar syrup into ice water, take it out and roll it between your hand to rewarm it and then see if it forms a soft ball.

I started out using a thermometer and after it broke I never bought a new one, the drop test is much better.

Cheers, Mike

By Doucefrance (Doucefrance) on Sunday, January 09, 2000 - 09:28 am: Edit

You are not supposed to add sugar to the egg whites, only the syrup. That's probably what makes it grainy.

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