How to Rescue Swiss Buttercream, No Matter the Problem

If you start with a recipe for Swiss meringue buttercream like mine—one that includes some target temperatures for guidance—it ‘s easy to get perfective results. But when recipes assume “ room-temperature ” butter means the same thing to everyone, perfection becomes a matter of experience or casual, therefore the permeant belief that Swiss meringue buttercream is a erratic thing that takes years of rehearse to get correct. That ‘s a myth I ‘d like to debunk once and for all .


swiss meringue buttercream ‘s behavior is laughably predictable and easy to master. All you need to know is this : As the frost ‘s temperature climbs above 75°F ( 24°C ), its butter contented will start thaw, becoming softer and soupier with every excrete degree. When the frost ‘s temperature drops below 69°F ( 21°C ), its butter message will stiffen, bit by bit, until the frosting breaks into a curdle mess. But between those extremes, when the butter is ductile but cool, the frost will be satiny and light—perfect for spreading over your favored cake .

even when the frost ‘s temperature swings one way or another, there ‘s no cause for alarm. swiss meringue buttercream is a uncompromising animal. freeze it, melt it, over-mix it, break it ; whatever happens, it ‘ll always bounce back from calamity if you give it a little TLC. here ‘s how .

Soupy Swiss Meringue Buttercream

possibly it ‘s because the meringue was made in a glass or ceramic mix bowl that retained estrus from the urine bath. Maybe it ‘s because the meringue was n’t cooled to 90°F ( 32°C ). possibly there ‘s a summer heat beckon and your bantam apartment kitchen does n’t have A/C. There are a million reasons why a swiss buttercream may be besides gentle, and they all relate to heat. so, whether your buttercream is a authentic soup or just a touch fluid, the solution is to cool it down .

If the buttercream is flimsy enough to run off a spoon, refrigerate the whole bowl for 20 minutes, barely until the frost begins to harden around the edges. The middle will still be soupy, but that ‘s approve : The two will balance out in about four minutes as you whip them together on high focal ratio. If the buttercream is merely loose or soft, like whipped cream, pop it in the electric refrigerator for just 10 minutes before re-whipping .

Remember, the goal is a soft and satiny buttercream at about 73°F ( 23°C ), move over or take a degree .

coagulate Swiss Meringue Buttercream

possibly it ‘s winter and the heat went out. possibly the meringue whipped besides long, cooling to well below 75°F. possibly the butter came straight from the electric refrigerator. possibly your buttercream was even freeze in advance, but did n’t amply thaw. Does n’t matter why—if your swiss meringue buttercream looks dense and greasy ( or even tastes that way ), it ‘s plainly excessively cold .

If the buttercream is chunky or curdled, place the roll over a steam water bathtub .

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Leave it there until the frost has melted all around the edges, though most of it will placid be a cold and solid mass in the center. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, and start on depleted travel rapidly to prevent splash ; gradually increase to gamey and whisk until homogeneous, about four minutes. The buttercream will turn glossy and light as it reaches 72°F ( 22°C ) .

If it distillery feels besotted and intemperate, quick it over the water bathtub, just until you notice the beginning signs of fade, then whip until creamy and smooth .

That ‘s … it. Everything you need to know about fixing a break swiss meringue buttercream .

hypothetically, trouble could come from other causes ( improperly measured ingredients, using a ill formulated recipe, miscalculating a half or double batch, going overboard with watery mix-ins like curious or fruit purée, et cetera ), but nine times out of 10, the problem is temperature and nothing more .

thus do n’t ever throw out a soupy or curdled batch of Swiss meringue buttercream. Just grab a digital thermometer, and you ‘ll have the trouble fixed in no time bland .

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