BUTTER AND SUGAR CURDLING

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by kimmit, May 8, 2013.

  1. kimmit

    kimmit

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    It's been a while since I was on here, and I've enjoyed the last hour reading through all sorts of threads.  I have a fruit cake/christmas cake in the oven, and wonder why, when you cream together sugar and butter and then add eggs, it curdles?  How well do you have to "cream"?  Some recipes say be careful of over creaming...how do you know? I have never noticed that curdling changes the end result, but just intrigued as to why this happens. 
     
  2. petalsandcoco

    petalsandcoco

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    Have you tried putting it in the fridge for a few minutes and then re-whisk ?

    The sugar and butter should be whipped till its very light in color, then gently mix the egg mixture.

    If you still have a problem, sift in a bit of flour while whisking, it should come together.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2013
  3. kimmit

    kimmit

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    aah, thanks petals...
     
  4. berndy

    berndy

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    This curdling happens less if you mix in your eggs one at a time after the creaming of your butter and sugar.

    It is also important that your eggs are at room temperature.
     
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  5. foodnfoto

    foodnfoto

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    This happens for on of two reasons, or both.

    Sugar and butter are a fat based mixture, when you add eggs, which are mostly water, and beat it, the watery eggs surround globules of fat. Adding flour, a starch, helps to pull it all back together. You'll notice that if you only add egg yolks, which are mostly fat, this does not happen as much. 

    The other possible reason could be that once the butter and sugar are creamy and soft, the mixture has warmed up somewhat from the beating process. The butter will also tighten up into fat globules if your eggs are colder than the mixture you add them to. Hence, the instruction in many recipes to allow your ingredients to come to room temperature.
     
  6. kimmit

    kimmit

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    Thanks foodnfoto...that is a great explanation.  I don't always understand the scientifics behind food structure etc, but your explanation makes sense.  Thanks! 
     
  7. siduri

    siduri

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    Some recipes tell you to expect curdling, and in fact when it happens it's always come out ok in my experience.  I think it happens when the proportions are not usual, like my guess is less sugar to butter and egg, or more butter to egg and sugar. 
     
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