I’m quite intimidated with buttercream frosting or cake recipes that call for egg whites to be stiff or cooked. Why? I tend to overcook and over beat them and also it doesn’t help that I don’t have the patience.
Time came when I finally decided to face my fears and make a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream (SMBC), like any other self taught baker I searched for tutorials online and found the post of Whisk-Kid and Sweetapolita to be very helpful in understanding the right procedure to make a perfect SMBC.
My first batch of SMBC was perfect! Everything went well I didn’t experience the soupy or curdled mess and had a smooth perfect oh so yummy frosting. I instantly fell in love with the frosting.
I had my mind set to use peanut butter flavored SMBC to frost the wedding cake and so as the cake’s were cooling off inside the fridge there I was mixing 2 batches of frosting at 11pm and then the dreaded thing happened, one minute the mixture was in its perfect shape but as soon as I added all the butter it turned into a soup like mixture!
Not giving up I re-read both Rosie (Sweetapolita) & Kaitlin’s (Whisk-Kid) post on buttercream good thing they had a solution for the stage I was in. Pop in the mixture inside the fridge for 20 minutes take it out, whip it for a couple of minutes and viola should be back to its awesome buttery goodness.
20 minutes past and with high spirits I started whipping, then the mixture separated! I also didn’t have enough eggs to make another batch it was almost 12 midnight and I had no choice but to make a different frosting. Sadly I had to throw the SMBC batch I made that night and said a prayer to the butter gods asking for forgiveness.
Last week a friend asked me to make a Strawberry Shortcake themed cake for her god daughter, once again I had the opportunity to make SMBC (strawberry flavored). As I was adding strawberry puree, the mixture was at it’s worst – it curdled.
I didn’t want to waste the eggs and butter that I re-read all SMBC post I had bookmarked and watched videos on how to make them but I didn’t find one on my list that had experienced this curdled stage. To finish the cake that was due that day I had to make my staple vanilla and mocha cream frosting. This time I didn’t throw my failed batch of curdled (cottage cheese like) SMBC, instead transferred it to a container and into the fridge.
The next day with a fresh mind I sat in front of the computer and googled “the worst thing that could happen to swiss meringue” which led me to Confections of a Foodie Wife’s post on fixing Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I quickly scanned the post and saw a photo of the SMBC stage I was in!
Solution: Take 1/4 of your curdled SMBC mixture and heat it in your microwave for 20 seconds (they suggested 10-15 but that didn’t work for me) and slowly add the heated mixture into your bowl while on low speed as soon as you’ve added heated smbc increase the speed and viola you will see the magic happen.
SMBC back to it’s smooth fluffy goodness!
Once again I thank my SMBC angels for helping me from across the globe via their descriptive posts about this lovely frosting.
Sweetapolita – Swiss Meringue Buttercream Demystified
Whisk Kid – How to make Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Confections of a Foodie Wife – How to fix Swiss Meringue Buttercream
Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you! The recipe I was following said if you experience a curdle just pop the mixing bowl in the fridge as the butter was not cold enough …. so 15 minutes in and I mix, curdled mess … so I do 25 minutes … same thing …argh! I do a full hour and by this time my cake needs to get frosted ASAP and again curdled mess. I googled SMBC curdled what to do and found you … did your microwave trick and VOILA fluffy magic in a bowl! Amazing trick, thanks again!
Glad I could help! We should spread this buttercream microwave trick and save a lot. Ohh the amount of failed icing before this trick breaks my heart.