Cooking For Engineers Forum Index Cooking For Engineers
Analytical cooking discussed.
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Recipe File: Buttercream Frosting (American)
Goto page 1, 2, 3 ... 9, 10, 11  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Comments Forum
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Cooking For Engineers



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 16776766

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 7:37 am    Post subject: Recipe File: Buttercream Frosting (American) Reply with quote


Article Digest:
Although, essentially just butter, sugar, and egg, there are many ways to prepare buttercream. Italian buttercream begins with a simple syrup heated to the soft-ball stage and then whipped into an egg white foam before adding butter. A French buttercream is prepared by whipping a solution of heated egg yolks and sugar into a thick foam followed by the incorporation of butter. This recipe is one of many recipes that can be considered American buttercream.


To prepare enough buttercream to frost a two layer 9-in. round cake (or a three layer 8-in. round cake), you'll need one pound (450 g) unsalted butter, four large eggs, 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, 1/2 teaspoon (3 g) table salt, and 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract.
[IMG]

Start by cracking all four eggs into the metal bowl of a stand mixer. Add the sugar and vanilla extract to the bowl.
[IMG]

Whisk until the eggs, sugar, and extract are evenly combined.
[IMG]

Find a pot that the mixing bowl can sit on without touching the bottom of the pan. Pour about 1/2-in. (about 1 cm) water into the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and place the mixing bowl over the water pot to form a double boiler. This will allow us to heat the eggs slowly, minimizing the chances that the egg proteins will tighten up (forming scrambled eggs). Whisk continuously over the steaming water until the eggs reach 160°F as measured by an instant read thermometer.
[IMG]

Once the mixture reaches 160°F, take it off the heat and beat on medium-high with the flat beater attachment for five minutes. The egg mixture will turn light yellow and fluffy. The mixture should have cooled by this time. Touch the side of the mixing bowl to check the temperature. If the mixture is too warm, it will melt the butter while you add it and the buttercream might not come together.

Reduce the mixer's speed to low and begin cutting pieces of butter into the mixer, waiting for ten to fifteen seconds before adding the next piece. One pound of butter should be cut into about 16 to 20 pieces (about 2 Tbs. per piece). During this process, the mixture will become lumpy, but don't worry about it, continue to cut pieces of butter into the mix until all the butter has been incorporated.
[IMG]

After all the butter has mixed in, continue to run the mixer until the mixture turns smooth and silky.

[IMG]

The final buttercream should be easy to spread onto the cake and should taste distinctly of sweet butter without any lumps or grittiness.[IMG]


Buttercream frosting (yields frosting for a two layer 9-in. round cake)
4 large (200 g) eggswhiskwhisk over double boiler until 160°Fbeat on medium-high speed 5 min.beat butter in on low speedbeat until smooth and silky
1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
2 tsp. (10 mL) vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. (3 g) table salt
1 lb. (450 g) unsalted buttercut into 16 to 20 pieces

Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 7:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had some trouble with this last weekend when I made a batch of buttercream in the San Francisco Bay Area, refrigerated it, and brought it up to Lake Tahoe (an alpine lake at the California and Nevada border) to frost a birthday cake I would make up there. Typically, buttercream refrigerates well - only requiring a return to room temperature and brief beating with the flat beater to return to a smooth, silky, and spreadable consistency. This time, however, parts of the buttercream never softened up and after a bit of beating with the stand mixer, the buttercream began to weep what seemed to be a mixture of simple syrup and egg. I gave up on that batch of buttercream and made another batch. This batch never came together as smoothly as buttercream should. The buttercream had a tendency to slip and slide over itself as I worked with it. Because of this, it was very difficult to produce a uniform surface on the final cake, and I ended up sprinkling chocolate shavings over the surface to mask the imperfect frosting. Those who ate the cake loved the frosting, so the taste and final texture were pleasing to the mouth - but the buttercream was very difficult to work with.

I still don't know the reason why this happened - but it could be a combination of the high altitude (over 6000 ft. above sea level) and fairly warm temperature in the house (a bit above 75°F). I'd be interested in hearing if anyone else has trouble with this buttercream - especially since it always comes together perfectly when I'm at home. Even if the buttercream comes together funny (like it did for my in Tahoe), I guarantee the taste will be great.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Nick



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 2
Location: NY, US

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you've got weepy buttercream, it will normally come back if you just keep on mixing and add a bit of heat. Remember that if you beat butter enough, it can be soft while still being cold. Coming right of a refrigerator, I break it up into a Kitchen Aid bowl, dunk the bowl in hot water to melt a bit of it, and start beating slowly. It normally takes another dunk or two, and then I warm the bottom and sides of the bowl with my hands while the mixer is on. Then just beat until it's ready.

If you're getting pieces that don't incorporate, it's probably too cold.

Buttercream is a lot like chocolate in that you're completely on its time--trying to rush it before it's ready doesn't really pays off. I've never had buttercream that didn't come back with the right amount of heat and mixing (assuming it was made right in the first place, no broken meringue), even with lots of excess water from fruits and purees, so stay with it!

HTH
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
spacial_k
Guest





PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: American Buttercream Reply with quote

Just so you know, the above recipe is totally WRONG. I graduated from culinary school so I know how to make buttercream. First off, buttercream frosting NEVER contains egg yolks. The intro at the beginning mentions French buttercream being a heated mixture of yolks and sugar, and I have seen a few recipes calling for whole eggs, but that isn't traditional. Buttercream is defined by the type of meringue used to make it. There are three types of meringue (egg white) buttercreams -- Italian where a simple syrup is beaten into the whites -- the most stable buttercream, Swiss where whites and sugar are heated together which is mid-level stable, and French where no heat is applied and egg whites are whipped up with the sugar and butter is just added in. French is the least stable variety and is considered raw as far as the eggs go. Now I have seen some French buttercream recipes that called for whole eggs, but this wasn't what they taught us in school, so I'm sticking to the above information, since I know it works every time. For frosting, I recommend the Swiss or Italian version since they are more stable and will hold their shape on the cake longer. They are also safer from a health standpoint.
Back to top
cinco de mayo
Guest





PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

are you sure that tastes ok? all the frostings ive made at home tasted HORRIBLE... too buttery.
and this has eggs so I'm guessing it'll taste worse.
Am I wrong?
Back to top
Guest






PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 6:07 pm    Post subject: Buttercream frosting has eggs? Reply with quote

I do not claim to be an expert...but buttercream frosting has been a family favorite for years. Mom & I have since given up on using a recipe but I believe our method originated from either the Better Crocker cookbook or Better Homes and Gardens...one of those standards. Anyway, our recipe has always been simply powdered (confectioner's) sugar, butter (I believe 2:1 sugar to butter but it's been a while) and enough vanilla (or other flavoring) and milk to make it a nice frosting consistancy. Neither Mom nor I has ever heated nor added eggs to the recipe...nor have a seen a buttercream frosting recipe that requires it...odd...
*shrug*
Back to top
Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cinco de mayo wrote:
are you sure that tastes ok? all the frostings ive made at home tasted HORRIBLE... too buttery.
and this has eggs so I'm guessing it'll taste worse.

Usually when people buy cakes with a buttercream frosting serve it at a party, all the plates left over have lumps of buttercream pushed to one side because no one wants to eat it. I am always surprised to find that no one leaves buttercream on the plate from one of my cakes and I routinely get compliments about the flavor and consistency of this buttercream. Give it a try, if it doesn't taste good to you, let us know and tell us what you dislike - I've got more buttercream recipes that yeild different flavors and textures. Smile

spacial_k wrote:
Just so you know, the above recipe is totally WRONG. I graduated from culinary school so I know how to make buttercream. First off, buttercream frosting NEVER contains egg yolks. The intro at the beginning mentions French buttercream being a heated mixture of yolks and sugar, and I have seen a few recipes calling for whole eggs, but that isn't traditional.

spacial_k sounded so certain that I did a sanity check and looked up several buttercream recipes - this time from culinary school texts - and I stand by the statements I made in this article.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
McDee



Joined: 17 Sep 2005
Posts: 25

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 7:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm in a pastry course at culinary school now (just got home from my pastry mid-term) and our most commonly used buttercream is a whole egg mixture like above except:

sugar and water (4:1) are brought to soft ball stage
whole eggs are whipped to ribbon stage
sugar mixture is drizzled into the eggs (down the side of the bowl while mixer is running) which cooks the eggs
mixture is kept moving while it cools (we've been using an ice-bath under the 20qt mixer to cool it more quickly)
chunked butter is added

Proceed as above.

Having hated cake frostings my whole life, I can honestly say that I enjoy this frosting. It's not too sweet, nor too buttery.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Alexandra



Joined: 26 Apr 2006
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2006 9:25 pm    Post subject: Too buttery? Reply with quote

Umm, buttercream is supposed to taste buttery. That's they joy of it! Don't eat real buttercream and expect it to taste like the frostings from cheaper bakeries that taste of only shortening and sugar. Real buttercream tastes buttery and not too sweet. Another problem is overapplication- I find that a relatively thin layer of buttercream suffices b/c it's so rich.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Patrick
Guest





PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Special_k,

If you think buttercreams are never made with yolks only, you apparently didn't learn much about buttercreams in culinary school. Just do the teeniest, tiniest little bit of research, and you'll see that French buttercream is made with yolks. Also, as a general piece of advice, its a good idea to check your facts before you accuse someone of getting them wrong - otherwise you make yourself look foolish.
Back to top
rittaknapp
Guest





PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 4:00 pm    Post subject: Buttercream question Reply with quote

I love buttercream but I stopped making it more than 10 years ago with my fear of salmonella. There are just too many children and grandparents around when we have cake. So the question. Can you make a decent buttercream with powdered egg whites (meringue powder)?
Back to top
Michael Chu



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 1622
Location: Austin, TX (USA)

PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:33 pm    Post subject: Re: Buttercream question Reply with quote

rittaknapp wrote:
I love buttercream but I stopped making it more than 10 years ago with my fear of salmonella. There are just too many children and grandparents around when we have cake. So the question. Can you make a decent buttercream with powdered egg whites (meringue powder)?

This buttercream recipe cooks the eggs - salmonella risk is greatly reduced.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Patrick
Guest





PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rittaknapp,

As Michael says, the eggs in this recipe are pasteurized (bringing the eggs to 160F for 15 seconds reduced the number of microbes to like 0.0001 of that originally present). However, I don't see why you couldn't make an Italian meringue buttercream with powdered egg whites -- I've made just about everything with them, and never had a problem.
Back to top
Nick



Joined: 10 May 2006
Posts: 2
Location: NY, US

PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
First off, buttercream frosting NEVER contains egg yolks.

That's simply not true. Pate a bombe, which is whipped egg yolks and soft ball sugar, is a traditional base as well as the various meringues.

(I hate to do the whip out and compare thing, but in this case I feel I should back my statement up: I apprenticed growing up in the kitchen of a classic French/Danish restaurant, have a degree in pastry from the French Culinary Institute, and have worked as a pastry chef (chef, not cook).)


Quote:
Usually when people buy cakes with a buttercream frosting serve it at a party, all the plates left over have lumps of buttercream pushed to one side because no one wants to eat it.

I think that's because whipped Crisco + caster sugar does not in any way equal buttercream, even though that what most supermarket and standard-issue bakeries use.[/quote]
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kayenne
Guest





PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2006 5:07 pm    Post subject: culinary school snobs Reply with quote

hmm.. just a thought, just because someone came from a culinary school doesn't mean that he is better than those who didn't. or that his method is correct and other(non-culinary school) methods are not. a school should be there to guide and inspire creativity, not to make haughty robots out of graduates. following escoffier's methods down to the last pinch is no longer the epitome of fine dining. new trends are in! even escoffier can learn a thing or two.

-kayenne
Back to top
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Cooking For Engineers Forum Index -> Comments Forum All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2, 3 ... 9, 10, 11  Next
Page 1 of 11

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You can reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You can delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2005 phpBB Group