Monday, April 15, 2013

4 Buttercream Frosting Recipes put to the test!

Buttercream Frosting!
Silky, smooth, rich, and mmm buttery.

But what's the difference between Italian Meringue and Swiss Meringue Buttercream? And is a meringue buttercream frosting with only egg whites better than the classic egg yolk buttercream??

 To find out I put three traditional buttercream frostings and my Quick 'Buttercream' recipe to the test to see what the differences were.
Here's the recipes I tested:
( Click the links above for printer friendly recipes)
Just want the results? Scroll to the bottom for my findings!

I started with the 2 meringue buttercreams.  I usually use the classic version with egg yolks but was intrigued to see if there was a noticeable difference that I might be missing out on with a meringue frosting.  Meringue frostings use only egg whites. The difference between French , Italian, and Swiss meringues is all in how the egg whites are cooked.  

Start by heating egg whites and sugar in a mixing bowl over a double boiler.  

Heat for just a few minutes until the mixture is warm to the touch and 
no granules of sugar can be felt if a small amount is rubbed between your fingers.

Once the sugar is melted whip the egg whites until stiff peaks.

Here you have a Swiss Meringue which can
be used for fillings or pie toppings.

Add butter and shortening
For three of the recipes I used the same amount of butter and shortening.
3/4 lb butter (3 sticks) and 1/2 cup shortening.
Mix until fluffy, about 3 minutes.

For Italian Buttercream start by heating sugar and
 corn syrup until it comes to a roiling boil.

Whisk the hot sugar into room temperature egg whites
 that have been whipped until fluffy.

Continue whipping until completely cool. 
Add butter and shortening and whip again until fluffy about 3 minutes.

(Same as Italian butter cream but use egg yolks instead)
Start by heat sugar and corn syrup until it comes to a roiling boil.

While the sugar is heating whip egg yolks 
until light in color, about 2 minutes.

Pour the hot sugar into the egg yolks and beat until cool.

Add butter and shortening and mix until fluffy!

I call this one quick buttercream because no cooking required. 
Cream together butter, shortening, and cream cheese until smooth.

If you have a mixer shield you may want to use it here.
Add a bag of powdered sugar and blend. 

Mix until frosting comes together. 
Thin out to desired consistency with heavy cream or sour cream.
This frosting tends to be on the sweet side, 
adding sour cream cuts through the sweetness a bit.

French Meringue isn't cooked at all. Instead it uses raw egg whites that are beaten until light and fluffy with sugar and flavoring.  French meringue is very light but not as stable as it's cooked counterparts. Great for pies or desserts that are eaten quickly, not so great for cakes that may need to sit out for an hour or two.

The Results:
I tested each for flavor, rose making, writing, and scroll design.  

Taste Winner:

Swiss Buttercream!  It had a very smooth semi sweet taste, still very decadent but the egg whites lightened up the buttercream. 
The rest: Classic was overly buttery in comparison.
 Italian has a definite lack of sweetness, 
and although it was made with the same amount of butter 
and shortening the shortening made the buttercream very oily.
Quick buttercream (frosting in these pics) was too sweet.  
Don't get me wrong my go to recipe is still quick buttercream frosting for its ease of preparation and great taste.  Although compared to the decadent cooked buttercreams, quick buttercream lacks in the special occasion luster.
Rose/Design/Writing Winners:
Swiss and Italian were much easier to pipe and make roses with.  Notice the Italian rose has no tears and is very 'sturdy' looking. 
 I also loved the white color of these two opposed to the egg yolk rich classic buttercream.  
Italian was my favorite to use, but as I said before the taste is lacking.  
If these were my only four choices to use my favorite would be Swiss Meringue Buttercream.. but that is why I love caking. A litte tweaking and the perfect buttercream is most likely right around the corner!

The Rest: Quick Buttercream Frosting and Classic Buttercream were good for roses and writing.  Notice the roses both have slight tears  in the petals, may have been due to a few things: my technique, or the temperature of the frosting's  Although  after a few pipings the classic started to almost melt in the bag.
( one of my biggest annoyances with buttercreams, butter melts very easily)

Hope this helps!

1 comment:

  1. I'm not quite sure I believe you.... I'm going to have to Taste test alll the listed things JUST to be sure... Mmmmmmm...