Thursday, September 11, 2014

Swiss Meringue Buttercream with Shortening

A few months ago, I bought a big tub of hi-ratio shortening with the intention of practicing piping buttercream flowers.  At the same time, I also wanted to learn a few other buttercream techniques that I knew could only be done with a crusting buttercream.  After making two batches of American-style buttercream, however, I confirmed what I already knew all along - I didn't like it!

And so my tub of shortening got shelved and forgotten until recently when I remembered to check it and realized that it was already nearing its "best before date".  The tub was still about 3/4 full so rather than having it all go to waste, I had to think of something to do with it.

Below is a recipe for Swiss meringue buttercream that uses some shortening.  While I have yet to test it in warm conditions, the shortening is supposed to make it more hot weather-friendly than one with pure butter.  I have always been hesitant to make frosting with shortening but I must admit that this has converted me.  It does taste wonderful plus it spreads really easily and smoothly.  Using hi-ratio shortening results in no greasy mouth feel that is typical of regular vegetable shortening.  The icing sugar adds some stability to the buttercream too and because it's just a small amount, it doesn't make the buttercream too sweet nor does it make it have that powdery, sugary texture.  While this version is a little bit heavier than normal swiss meringue buttercream, its stiffness makes it more ideal for piping.  I found that my roses came out a lot better!

The procedure is basically the same as normal SMBC.  If you haven't made that, just refer to this post as it has step by step photos.

SWISS MERINGUE BUTTERCREAM with SHORTENING

3 eggwhites, room temperature
¾ cup granulated white sugar
1/2 cup sifted pure icing sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, very soft
6 tablespoons hi-ratio or all vegetable shortening (~85g)
pinch of salt
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the eggwhites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the eggwhite mixture until it is fluffy, cooled to room temperature, and holds stiff peaks.  Add in the icing sugar then beat until well incorporated.

With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the butter and the shortening, about a tablespoon at a time. Beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy. Add salt and vanilla extract and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Before using, beat using the paddle attachment to knock off any excess air.

Here are two cakes I've made using this buttercream:

A mocha caramel cake -



Numeral cakes for a 40th birthday -






I loved how these cakes turned out so until my hi-ratio shortening runs out and most likely in the summer months too, I will be using this buttercream recipe.  Try it!

43 comments:

  1. Hi Corinne, will the amount of the buttercream recipe above enough to cover a 9 x 2" layered cake plus some for decorations? Thanks.

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    1. Maybe 1 1/2 recipe? Better more than less.

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  2. Hi Corinne,

    Interesting post. Does the SMBC made with hi-ratio shortening smooth out like your stable whipped cream frosting? Or just fewer swipes with a heated spatula? The reason I ask is that, I've always wanted to experiment will this stuff, but its sale is illegal in the state I live in. California, banned its a few years ago, along with foie gras, after the obesity scare in the U.S. because of its high trans-fat content. (Consumption of trans-fat is considered to cause heart disease.) It's why all of the vegetable shortening companies had to make special zero trans-fat products for distribution only in California. I may try to get my hands on it through when I go out of state.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You can try using shortening with zero trans fat instead of hi-ratio. Maybe it will just be less creamy? I don't really know.

      I'm not really advocating the use of shortening. Just like you, I simply wanted to try it. If there is a need, however, this is the recipe I will use. As you can see, there isn't even much shortening here. What I would never do is use all-shortening. That would taste disgusting. I don't know why bakers even do that.

      To answer your question, yes, this SMBC smooths out really well for me, in the same way as the all-butter one does.

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  3. may i asked what is high-ratio shortening ms. corinne.

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    1. High ratio shortening contains emulsifiers that help make the buttercream to be more temperature stable, break down less quickly and hold more air, increasing volume.

      Shortening is 100% fat so while it will make a creamier and more stable buttercream, it is not very good for you so use sparingly.

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  4. I wonder where you get the number baking tins.

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    1. I didn't use number tins. I just carved the cakes. The "4" cake was originally square while the "0" cake was round. Made my own templates. The cakes were chiffon so yes, you can carve them too! :)

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  5. Hi corinne im just new here.. I saw ur caramel cake and i think this is the perfect cake for my nephew bday this oct. Thanks a lot for posting and sharing all ur recipes and ur skilled n baking.. Btw corinne is it ok if i will use the caramel frosting for fillingn chocolate chiffon and frost with ur smbc? And can i color the smbc with gel color?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Yes you can use the caramel icing for filling your chocolate chiffon. On a caramel cake, I would normally put a thin layer of caramel only but if you want a thicker layer, you might want to use the original caramel icing recipe (the first one I posted, not the updated version) as it is more spreadable.

      Yes, you can colour SMBC with gel paste.

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  6. Can I add 3/4 cup of caramel sauce in the mixture? Will it affect the consistency? Thinking of using this as frosting for my salted caramel cupcakes. Also, approximately how many cupcakes can it frost?

    By the way I'm a fan of your blog. I've tried your caramel cake and strawberry shortcake recipes and both are a hit. ��

    ReplyDelete
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    1. This recipe will yield approximately 3 cups of buttercream. How many cupcakes you will be able to frost with depends on how much you will use for each cupcake.

      I believe it is ok to add the caramel sauce without compromising the consistency of the buttercream. Hi-ratio shortening allows the mixture to absorb more liquid and sugar. Be conscious though that adding caramel sauce will also add sweetness.

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  7. Be making 2 dozen cupcakes.

    Also, can I add 4 oz of cream cheese? (Without the caramel syrup now of course ;)

    Thanks!

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    1. I suggest you google for a tested cream cheese SMBC recipe instead of using this one. I have not tried that and don't want to make assumptions.

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  8. Hi ms. Corinne :)
    Can i use this smbc under fondant??

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  9. Oh thank you! :)
    Is this the recipe your using under your fondant cakes??

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't cover my cakes with fondant.

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  10. How many cups does this recipe make? Is it enough to cover a 6" x 4" cake? How many cupcakes? Thank you for sharing!!!

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    1. I'm not sure about how many cups - maybe around 3-4 cups. Yes, it's enough for a 6" cake and 15-20 cupcakes.

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  11. Hi. Can i add other flavorings to the buttercream? If yes will this replace the vanilla or just an addition? What will be the measurement?

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    1. Yes, of course, you can use other flavourings! If you are using extracts, just replace the vanilla with the same amount of another flavour.

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  12. how many cups does this full recipe make? im making an 8" flower wreath cake and would like to know how many batches i need before hand.

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    1. I'm sorry I dontt exactly know how many cups the recipe yields. I find that it is enough to frost and fill a two-layered 8"cake. Double the recipe should be enough to make your decorations.

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  13. also, does it need to be unsalted butter? I have so much salted butter I want to get rid of. Is it much of a difference?

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    1. The reason unsalted butter is preferred is because it will give you more control in adjusting the taste. If you use salted butter outright and later find that your buttercream tastes too salty, then you can no longer do anything about it. It's up to you what you want to use.

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  14. Ms. Corine can I make this a day before using it? If yes how do I store it and is there any special procedure to do before applying it on the cake? Ty

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    1. Yes you can. Just keep it in a covered container. Rebeat before using.

      If you choose to keep it in the fridge, let it come to room temperature first before rebeating.

      Delete
  15. Hi, Corrine! This is Yvette from Philippines. :) For how long can I store this buttercream? And do I have to put the leftover buttercream in the freezer then just thaw it before use? :) I first tried American Buttercream for my flower cakes but that is just too sweet! I didn't like it. :( And also, how do I color this type of smbc?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Store in fridge in an airtight container for about a week and in the freezer for about a month. Bring to room temperature, then re-beat before using.

      To colour it, follow same procedure as with any buttercream. Gel paste is best.

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    2. Thank you for answering, Corrine! :) Such a great help! Will definitely try this one. I'm receiving a lot of inquiries for cake this summer and as much as possible, I still want to use SMBC. :) Thanks a lot!

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  16. Hi ms corrine, paano po ba gumawa ng fondant?

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    1. Hindi ako gumagawa ng fondant, sorry!

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  17. Hi,
    Would the shortening work with Italian Merigune buttercream as well?
    Thanks.

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    1. I've seen IMBC recipes with shortening. I don't use it though.

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  18. Hi Corinne. I tried this recipe but it didnt hold out.. what cud i have done wrong? Are they supposed to harden like the candy flowers?

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    1. Buttercream hardens in the fridge and softens at room temperature.

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  19. Hi Corinne. Veg shortening is thicker than butter, shall I whip the shortening first, before adding it into the meringue?

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    1. I use shortening that is at the same softness as the butter. I don't find beating it separately necessary.

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  20. can i use crisco miss corrine?

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    1. I have not used Crisco but I don't see why not.

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