SMBC turns to soup when I add fruit

7
10
Joined Feb 16, 2017
I can't find any troubleshooting information online for this so I'm hoping someone can help me here! I love making Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, but recently tried making a blackberry flavored batch with fresh blackberry purée. The first time, it turned to soup and no matter how long I kept the mixer running it wouldn't come back. I thought that perhaps it was because I had added the liquid all at once. In the second batch, I drizzled the purée into the meringue slowly, but this also turned to soup. There was a slight cream cheese flavor to it as well, did I curdle it somehow?

Any and all help is appreciated. I'm supposed to make cupcakes for my friends wedding in a couple months and really want to get this dialed in. Thank you!!
 

norcalbaker59

Banned
164
21
Joined Feb 16, 2017
Purées are problematic for two reasons: 1. The added moisture will break the emulsion; 2. They don't have enough flavor to actually flavor the buttercream.

You will probably have better luck using a combination of blackberry extract and just a tad bit of blackberry purée. Add the extract first, then add purée a tablespoon at a time. For a standard batch made in a home stand mixer bowl, best not to add more than 1/2 cup of purée. If you're going to use purée, best to have extra SMBC at the ready to add to the mixing bowl if you break the buttercream while adding purée.

I really think you will get a much better result with a combination of extract and purée. For blackberry extract, you will probably have to buy online, unless you have a restaurant/food service supply company in your area.
 
5,509
947
Joined Oct 10, 2005
This recipie doesn't tolerate much water. Can you give us an example of the amounts of ingredients used?
 
5,192
296
Joined Jul 28, 2001
Your adding a pretty significant amount of an acidic liquid. Puree's and extracts are hard to use in Swiss BC.

A good compound/paste is probably your best bet. Then accent with the fresh berries.

Amoretti is usually available.

I prefer the Dreidoppel paste for BC

just me though,

If you're against the processed and want to stick with fresh then I would certainly go the reduction route.
 
7
10
Joined Feb 16, 2017
This recipie doesn't tolerate much water. Can you give us an example of the amounts of ingredients used?
Absolutely. Here's what I'm using:
130g egg whites
225g sugar
285g butter
Then I tried adding 1/4 cup strained blackberry purée.
 
612
76
Joined Sep 9, 2012
I used to frequent a website called cakecentral.com where a lot of people use SMBC and IMBC. I'm sure you'll find a lot of troubleshooting and advice there.
 
Last edited:
92
41
Joined Oct 28, 2005
I've used purées before, but it's usually hard to get the flavor to be strong enough to come through without adding to much liquid. You can use fruit powders. I have both strawberry and raspberry, and I have seen blackberry online. You take a small amount of buttercream and melt it down, then mix the powder into that so it's hydrated. Then mix into the buttercream. Since the powders are pure fruit, it adds a lot of flavor and color. Or, you may need to use an extract to boost the flavor along with a small amount of purée. Make sure it's close to the same temp as the buttercream before adding it though.
 
446
141
Joined Feb 18, 2007
I make blackberry Italian Meringue buttercream all the time, using Boiron purees.  I don't have a problem with the emulsion breaking and there's sufficient flavor.  Italian Meringue is our house buttercream so you might want to try it in place of the swiss meringue. 

Also, if you're making your own puree, you want to reduce the juices and run the fruit pulp through a strainer to remove seeds. The technique in The Cake Bible (for raspberry and strawberry puree) is basically - you freeze the berries then thaw them in a strainer to get the most juice from them.  You reduce the juice in a microwave (better to prevent scorching), then push the fruit pulp through a strainer, add the strained pulp to the reduced juices, with a little bit of sugar and lemon juice.
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
Fresh fruit juice is kinda worthless in baking (re the cake and/or icing) unless you are willing to spend the time making a jam (or curd for filling).

To get a decent flavor/color you have to add way more than the recipe will tolerate.

Pastes, powders, emulsions and concentrated oils are my go to additives....

Another vote here for IMBC....but like @panini  always says that's just me.

mimi

OBTW...welcome to Chef Talk.

/img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif

m.
 
Last edited:
7
10
Joined Feb 16, 2017
Thank you so much! I will give IMBC a try today and I'll look into some of the other flavor options you guys have suggested. I can't tell you how helpful this is, thank you!
 
7
10
Joined Feb 16, 2017
Thank you for the direction on how to reduce the juices, I'll try that today with an IMBC. I have the pie and pastry Bible, it sounds like the Cake Bible is also a must have ?
 
7
10
Joined Feb 16, 2017
Thank you! I thought I had replied but I'm still figuring out how to use this site so forgive me if this is a duplicate. Can you recommend a store or a website where I can buy for powders?
 
4,474
421
Joined Jun 27, 2012
You are in San Diego...try googling for the locations of cake decorating/bakery supply stores in your area...should be at least one.

Set a budget tho as those places can be like a candy store.

You can blow the bank on gadgets and flavorings and pans and colorants if you are not careful lol.

mimi
 
Last edited:
92
41
Joined Oct 28, 2005
Albert Uster has some, not sure about blackberry. Do an online search for them, I don't know the sites I saw before. I just looked at a bunch of random ones.
 

norcalbaker59

Banned
164
21
Joined Feb 16, 2017
Thank you! I thought I had replied but I'm still figuring out how to use this site so forgive me if this is a duplicate. Can you recommend a store or a website where I can buy for powders?

Sorry if this is a duplicate, but I don't see my reply posted.

TWO SITES THAT CARRY POWDERED FLAVORINGS
Best flavors
Natures flavors

TWO SITES THAT CARRY ARRAY OF FLAVORINGS, BUT NOT SURE IF THEY CARRY POWDERED FLAVORING
Candyland Cradts
Olive Nation
 
5,192
296
Joined Jul 28, 2001
@blizzardbakes  ,

 Off topic. Do you know what the ambient temperature will be when you display your cupcakes? Just making sure they are not planned for outside, hot and sunny.

Personally, I prefer to impart more flavor with the fresh product itself when possible. Flavoring the buttercream is fine, but I feel the problem is getting the flavor to break through the

sweetness. This is why for me personally,when I'm required to flavor a buttercream, I prefer a Swiss over Italian. Most formulas for Swiss call for much less sugar than Italian.

  If you are not doing a specific design for decoration, a nice fresh blackberry garnish adds a punch. You can even take the berry up a notch by vaporing or injecting a flavor compliment.

I would just make sure the berry is easily removed for those who are worried about staining or seeds. 

Just some unsolicited thoughts.

PS If you decide to use powder, make sure it is 100%. There are some imported powders that are basically oil flavored inert ingredients. The result is so artificial it's off putting. Don't know if you've ever had a blueberry cake doughnut (from mix) that seems to be overpowered with a quasi blueberry flavor, that's what is used.
 
Last edited:
446
141
Joined Feb 18, 2007
Since you're in CA, as @panini says you might want to look into Amoretti; they have just revamped their web site and have a lot to offer (they now make smaller sizes of their compounds and flavorings specifically for the retail consumer market).  Their stuff isn't cheap - you'd be able to buy a lot of blackberries for what they want for a small bottle of compound but I have had good luck with their products over the years.  The advantage for Amoretti is they are now selling to the retail market where some of the other manufacturers (e.g., Hero, Dreidoppel, Seiben, etc)  only sell through distributor channels, and if you are not in the trade, it might be hard for you to buy direct.
 
7
10
Joined Feb 16, 2017
The cupcakes are for a party that will be outside, by the ocean, in the middle of April. This year, it's really difficult to predict what the temperature will be; could be anywhere from 65 to 80 degrees... The plan is for the cupcakes to be placed on a tables outside but in the shade. Do you have advice for ingredients or a type of frosting based on that? Thank you so much in advance!
 

norcalbaker59

Banned
164
21
Joined Feb 16, 2017
The cupcakes are for a party that will be outside, by the ocean, in the middle of April. This year, it's really difficult to predict what the temperature will be; could be anywhere from 65 to 80 degrees... The plan is for the cupcakes to be placed on a tables outside but in the shade. Do you have advice for ingredients or a type of frosting based on that? Thank you so much in advance!

Cupcakes themselves should be fine. I'd chill after decorating. Place in air tight container. If stored in boxes, then wrap the box with plastic wrap, Long refrigeration can dry a cake out, but overnight shouldn't be an issue is in air tight containers.

Regarding buttercream, You'll need to use either a Italian meringue buttercream or Rose Levy Beranbaum's mousseline buttercream. They are stabilized with boiled sugar. I've used both.

Rose Levy Beranbaum's claims her mousseline buttercream is stable In ambient temperature up to 90°. I've used it in temperatures in the low 80s without issue. I lived in Orange County at the time. She has both recipe and video on her website.

If the weather forecast for the week of the event is both high heat and humidity, you may want to consider using an Italian meringue buttercream with a blend of butter and shortening. Gretchen's Bakery website has a recipe and video. Her recipe calls for 1 cup of shortening, but you can probably reduce that to 1/2 a cup, and increase the butter. While I'm not a fan in the least of shortening based icings, an all butter buttercream is not an option where there's a combination of high heat and humidity.

If you use shortening, then Sweetex brand if you can buy it. It's a commercial high ratio shortening that is superior to supermarket shortening. It's produced for the trade so it can be difficult to purchase in small quantities. But I've seen it offered in 3 lbs tubs (re-packaged by the retailer). Amazon, Kitchen Kraft, or Global Sugar Arts would be a couple of places to look for it. You could call Surfas Culinary District in Costa Mesa. They are a restaurant supply company; since they offer a lot of classes for the home cook, they re-package bulk ingredients that are produced to the trade.
 
Top Bottom