Making cream safe at room temp.

Discussion in 'Professional Pastry Chefs' started by Harry Batten, Feb 11, 2019.

  1. Harry Batten

    Harry Batten

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    I’m working on a new pastry filling, consisting of cream, butter and sugar - but I’d like it to not perish if sat at room temp for several hours.

    I’m wondering if there’s a golden rule or ideally a formula for working out what ratio of sugar and fat to cream I need to keep it from spoiling while out of the fridge.

    I know a 1:1 ganache is fine, which I geuss is roughly 2 parts cream to 1 part sugar and 1 part fat. I’d like to keep the sugar at about 1/3 of the overall proportions, I find that’s optimal sweetness.

    Ideally it should be sent to a lab but I’m not at that stage yet.
     
  2. Transglutaminase

    Transglutaminase

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    Cobalt 60? ;-)
    Read a few years back, they had old cobalt 60 sterilization units kicking around/abandoned in remote farms/areas of the Soviet Union.
    Took a long time to transport fresh farm dairy products to central processing without spoiling, hence the local radiation/ sterilization stations.
    Obviously no longer used.
    Nifty idea, but scary process.
     
  3. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Whoa there, big difference between ganache and whipped cream.

    Chocolate has 0% water, so when you mix it 50/50 with 33-36% cream, you have something like a 16-18% water content ganache, which can be o.k. at room temp for a few hours.

    So if whipping cream is 33-36% butterfat, that means the rest of it is 67-64% water, and no matter how much sugar you throw in there, it won’t be stable at room temp for any length of time.

    Make sense?
     
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  4. Harry Batten

    Harry Batten

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    Thanks for the info - I have one query there, 2 hours for ganache? is that right I've always understood 2 days is fine?

    OK, so I’m working with cocoa butter, hypothetically 25% cocoa butter, 25% sugar and 50% cream should be fine since that’s effectively a 1:1 ganache? (unless I’m oversimplifying this)

    Based on that, if the water content is the controlling factor, presumably I can fiddle around with the amount of cocoa butter and sugar so I end up with the right sweetness/consistency, as long as I keep that water content at around 16%?
     
  5. chefross

    chefross

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    If you are cooking the cream, butter, and sugar for a pastry creme filling.....it will be just fine at room temp for several hours
     
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  6. foodpump

    foodpump

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    Eh...no. A 1:1 ganache is one part by weight cream to one part by weight of chocolate.

    You’re right, water content is the controlling factor. Confectioners measure this in aW, or water content.

    Think of it like this:

    Water IS life.

    On the other hand, mold, bacteria, and viruses are all forms of life TOO, and in order for them to survive (and thrive) they need water.

    Show me any nation, any culture in the world, and they have at least one dried food in their diet, be it fish, meat, fruit, vegetable, etc. Remove about 88% of water from a grape, and you have a raisin—shelf stable for years, the grape will go moldy in a few days.

    I don’t know why you want a pastry filling that can stay at room temp for several hours. You can have r3frigerated display cases, you can make a nice cream and keep it in the fridge and fill pastries in small batches, you can make an Italian meringue and keep it out at room temp for hours. But a whipped cream filling? Not without a ton of preservatives and a plethora of “ funny sugars” that all end in “ol”— sorbitol, malitol, gylcerol, etc.
     
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  7. Harry Batten

    Harry Batten

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    When I say ganache I mean white chocolate ganache, considering white chocolate is 60% cocoa butter, 30% sugar and 10% whatever. Doing 50/50 cococa butter/sugar is affectively white chocolate. So a 1:1 that and cream is a ganache, minus a bit of milk powder and vanilla.

    I see what your saying about what’s the point, we do cream filled pastries in the fridge. Thing is when customers come in asking for wedding cakes but don’t want buttercream, it would be good to offer something, other than whipped cream so the cake can sit out all day.

    I know I can get the right consistancy by increasing the cream on my 25/25/50 mix but it’s obviously going to make the water content too high, so back to the drawing board...

    Thanks for the advice tho, understanding more about what causes things to perish is certainly useful.

    Ps, the reason for not just doing ganache is that I can buy in cocoa butter for a lot less than white chocolate, and it gives me greater control over the sweetness.
    Ps, the reason for not just doing ganache is that I can buy in cocoa butter for a lot less than white chocolate, and it gives me greater control over the sweetness.
     
  8. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    I've been in the wedding cake business for a really long time. In all the shops I worked in, we offered whipped cream and mousse fillings. They are FINE sitting inside of a wedding cake that is sitting in a reception area for a few hours. Whether the inside of a wedding cake is filled with whipped cream, mousse, or buttercream, nobody wants a wedding cake to "sit out all day". And they generally don't, as wedding receptions only last a few hours. We always delivered our cakes to the venues as close to the beginning of the reception time as possible; within a half hour. There was never any danger of a filling turning bad in that short of a time.

    Not to mention letting a wedding cake get too warm (especially in the summer) is bad news in terms of stability (construction-wise). In all my 25 years, there has never been a need for me to figure out some sort of shelf-stable filling that would last for days and days. Ever.

    However, there is a shelf stable whipped type buttercream that's kind of a cross between buttercream and whipped cream. It comes in cartons and it's called Rich's Bettercreme. Bakery suppliers carry it, and a lot of grocery stores use it because many of their cake cases are unrefrigerated.
     
  9. Harry Batten

    Harry Batten

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    I don’t live in the United States and our customs are a little different. We frequently cater for weddings where the cake is expected to sit out for 6 or 7 hours. I supplied a wedding recently where the ceremony and reception were in the same place and the cake wasn’t cut until after dinner, that one must have sat out for at least 9 hours (buttercream of course).

    A lot of the venues that my bakery supply to are in old buildings, no air con, and in the summer months, it’s hotter inside than out - and buttercream definitely doesn’t survive unless it’s stabilised.
     
  10. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    Apologies. My bad for assuming you were in the U.S. I shouldn't have been so narrow minded.

    OK, truth. Assuming your cream is pasteurized or ultra pasteurized, and it's fresh, and the cake is well chilled before you
    deliver it, it's STILL not going to turn even after 6 or 7 hours. Whenever it's come to heat, humidity and the amount of time
    a cake sits out before cutting, I'm always more concerned about how the cake itself is going to hold up rather than the
    ingredients inside turning bad.

    If you're trying to mess with a filling that will supposedly hold up for days without turning, then, like foodpump says, you're gonna get into the "funny sugars" and "preservatives" department. I don't know about brides over where you are but brides in the US are not into funny sugars and preservatives.

    I think your efforts are better directed at educating your clients about the cakes you make and making sure they know they
    are dealing with a perishable item, rather than to try to make something naturally delicious into a shelf stable frankenstein. I remember one time a bride wanted me to make a really tall 8 tier cake, all separated by pillars. Generally, that's no problem....except her reception was on a BOAT. I gently told her that was a disaster waiting to happen and she had no idea why. I had to explain it. I know that example has no relation to ingredients turning bad in warm temperatures; it's just an example
    how clueless some people can be about this stuff. Clients appreciate honesty and knowing you are looking out for them (not to mention your own reputation).
     
  11. jcakes

    jcakes

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    I'd be more worried about the cake falling over after 6 hours in that kind of heat.... regardless of your internal structure I'm thinking the cake will fall apart before the filling turns....
     
  12. Transglutaminase

    Transglutaminase

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  13. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    Stabilising whipped cream vs. trying to come up with a shelf stable whipped cream are two different things my friend.
     
  14. fatcook

    fatcook

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    Chefpeon - the OP is looking for several hours, not days - they are not looking for shelf stable.

    We have done both cakes and small bite set up for weddings that are not cut for several hours. Luckily we are in an area where venues are are conditioned so the heat is generally not an issue - outdoor weddings require special arrangements and are addressed from day one.

    For us, confectioners sugar works well for holding sweetened whipped cream needs. We do a sightly higher amount of confectioners sugar if needed to help with stability.

    One nail biting situation did occur when a venue had a broken AC and we had a three tier cake covered in Italian Buttercream. Both the cake and I were sweating!
     
  15. chefpeon

    chefpeon Kitchen Dork

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    If you re-read my replies you’ll see I mentioned that a whipped cream or mousse type filling is not in any danger of turning even after several hours. This is assuming of course that the cream is fresh, pasteurized, and the cake is well chilled before delivery.

    Again I’ll say I would be far more concerned about the outside of the cake in warm temps than I ever would be about the cream filling inside turning bad.

    Also, if one is still concerned about a cake being left out for a long period of time, I’d rather go the rout of educating the client and finding a way in which the cake won’t sit out so long or is in a more temperature controlled area.

    Basically the OP is looking to solve a problem that really doesn’t exist.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019 at 1:25 AM