22 January 2005

Meringue , sticky yet firm...Mousseline buttercream.

Adapted from one of my favorite books, The Cake Bible

Mousseline Buttercream

Formula :

Makes 4 1/2 cups - enough to fill and frost 2 9-inch x 1 1/2 layers or 3 9 x 1-inch layers]
Recipe starts out thin and lumpy looking and about three-fourths of the
way through, it starts to come together or emulsify and turn into a
luxurious cream.

Temperature of the butter is important - use butter that is 65 degrees
F. If it is too soft or the room too hot, the buttercream turns thin or
into a grainy, hopeless puddle.

If the mixture does not feel cool, refrigerate it until it reaches 65 to 70 degrees F. If the butter is
too cold, then suspend the bowl over a pan of simmering water and heat very briefly, stirring vigorously when the mixture just starts to melt slightly at the edges. Dip the bottom of the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water for a few seconds to cool it. Remove and beat by hand until

Place in an airtight bowl. Rebeat lightly from time to time to maintain silky texture.
Buttercream becomes spongy on standing.

Will keep 10 days
refrigerated, 8 months frozen. Allow to come to room temperature
completely before rebeating to restore texture or it will break down

    (454 grams) unsalted butter (65 degrees F - softened but cool - not runny and greasy)

    1/4 cup (60 grams) water

    5 large (150 grams) egg whites

    1/2 + 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

    2 to 3 teaspoons liquor of choice or optional flavorings below


**Chocolate :Beat in 5 ounces of melted and cooled bittersweet chocolate

**White Chocolate: Beat in 6 ounces of melted and cooled white chocolate

**Fruit: Beat in up to 3/4 cup lightly sweetened fruit puree (strawberry or raspberry) or orange, passion, lemon or lime curd.

Procedure :

1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy and set aside in a cool place.

2. Have ready a heatproof glass measure near the range. In a small heavy saucepan (preferably with a non stick lining) heat 3/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling.

3.Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low. (If using an electric range remove from the heat.)

first bubbles in the sugar syrup appear - signaling a temperature rise

HardBall stage[248*F]

4. Boil the syrup until the thermometer registers 248°F to 250°F (the firm ball stage). Immediately transfer the syrup to the glass measure to stop the cooking.

5. In another another mixing bowl beat the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of
tatar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.

6. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.

stiff peaks form
Stiff peaks

7. **If using a hand held mixer, beat the syrup into the whites in a steady stream. Don't allow the syrup to fall on the beaters or they will spin it onto the sides of the bowl.

**If using a stand mixer, pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds. Continue with the remaining

8. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the glass measure. Lower speed to medium and continue beating up to 2 minutes or until cool. If not completely cool, continue beating on lowest speed.

9. Beat in the butter at medium speed 1 tablespoon at a time. At first the mixture will seem thinner but will thicken beautifully by the time all the butter is added.

If at any time the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed slightly and
beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.

10.Lower the speed slightly and drizzle in the liquor.

When I made this buttercream the steps I followed were :

While I started a sugar syrup {sugar & water} on the stove in a sauce
pan, stiring until the first signs of bubbling. I then set the temp on low and started the egg whites.

There are several key steps when dealing with egg whites. You must never over beat, have them in a clean mixing bowl and must temper the whites when adding syrup. But you've
got to work quickly witht the syrup or you'll end up with "pulled sugar" all over your beaters.

The beating should only continue until stiff peaks form when beater is slowly pulled away.

I must say I do well with meringue, it is easy to ruin the meringue - over beating causes it to become "foamy" in texture. The opposite of beautiful "stiff" peaks.

Once the meringue is done I added butter, slowly 1 TB at a time. After a lot
of beating the buttercream was very velvety. I must say I will use this
recipe again -- the buttercream holds flavor well and is great for
piping designs .

Once the buttercream was mixed enough, I added some berry puree - delicious! And it makes for a beautiful coloring. {just be sure to have some plain on hand before adding puree
- for decorating} I had to make one more batch.


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