Italian Buttercream problems

Discussion in 'Pastries & Baking' started by lennyk, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. lennyk

    lennyk

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    Hello,

    I've made IMBC a few times before with great success, however last few times have been total failure.

    When I add the butter everything turns into a soupy mess which doesn't come together no matter how much more I whip it or even if I add more butter as is often recommended.

    What is even strange is if I put this liquid into the freezer it stays liquid and doesnt solidify.

    I am using a scaled down recipe as I only want to make a smaller quantity.

    3 egg whites + 30g sugar for initial beating, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

    100g sugar for syrup, poured at 235-240f

    8oz butter

    The meringue comes out fine, the problem appears to be upon adding butter.

    I made macarons all the time and am accustomed to making IM.

    I wonder if I should try aging the whites to lose a little moisture from them, other than that I really am at a total loss.

    any suggestions ?

    thanks,

    L
     
  2. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Well, sugar syrup won't freeze soild anyway.  Maybe the ratio of syrup to eggwhite is too high?

    If it turns soupy on you, then the butter has all melted, so either your ital. meringue was too warm,  or your butter too soft.  This has happened to me on occasion as well, and my remedy is to put in the fridge for an hour and whip until fluffy.
     
  3. blueicus

    blueicus

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    3 large egg whites usually add up to about 90g, that and with the sugar at 130g total should not have posed a problem (and according to you it hasn't).  8 oz. of butter (227g) seems like a lot of butter (I'd use around 200g) and would dilute a lot of the sweetness but it shouldn't cause it to be a soupy mess, unless the meringue was too warm.  As foodpump said the most likely culprit is heat, though why it doesn't solidify is beyond me (perhaps you just didn't chill it enough... leave it in there overnight and check again)
     
  4. lennyk

    lennyk

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    I tried twice since my posting here, checking room ambient temp and butter temp not warm, both failed.

    I scaled the recipe back up to 5 egg whites and it worked now.

    Whipped in instant coffee powder and it didn't break, ate a handful.

    Dunno why but I will do another batch at that size (5) again this weekend.
     
  5. chrisc

    chrisc

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    I made my first batch of Italian buttercream a month ago. It turned out beautiful. Today I tried to do it again, double the recipe (10 egg whites), like yours, mine turned into a soupy mess when I added the butter. I whipped and whipped and whipped... still a soupy mess and now it seems to have curdled. As suggested bellow, I am resting the buttercream in the fridge and will try to whip it later. keeping my fingers X that it will 'solidify'.
     
  6. siduri

    siduri

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    did you test that the meringue temperature was not warm??? That's always been the problem for me when it happened like you describe.  Gotta have patience for the meringue to get down to really no more than room temp. 
     
     
  7. boar_d_laze

    boar_d_laze

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    Fat attacks the egg white bubbles (which is what meringue is).  If you make too large an amount, the extra whipping and whipping time allows the butter too much time and encouragement to break the bubbles' structure, causing the meringue to go from an air-filled, semi-solid, to a liquid. 

    There are things you can't scale up without making other changes.

    BDL