Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Italian meringue buttercream in hot humid weather


Lovely rose isn't it? Thanks to my very stable Italian meringue buttercream. The buttercream held it's form for entire day in my 30deg hot kitchen. That's the stability I require from a buttercream in this very hot and humid climate in tropical Singapore. 

For us living in Singapore or Philippines or any other parts of the world with a tropical humid climate, Italian buttercream is always a challenge to make as most recipes were designed to work in cool weather or perhaps when your kitchen is airconditioned.

What is the secret to perfect it? Simple! A stone-cold butter! One that you just take out from the fridge, cut into cubes and throw straight into the mixer.

I hate those recipes that calls for room temperature soft butter coz I wasted loads of sticks of butter and they just don't work. Sure, it incorporates more air into the mixture but this isn't true when you are in a very hot kitchen as your butter will just melt and become watery!

Any recipe will do as long as you substitute a room temperature butter with a stone cold one.

Let me debunk some other myths about ingredients and technique used for Italian meringue buttercream:

1. Use only french butter with more fat content.
Not true. I tried to use the cheapest Australian butter I can find in the grocery and it worked just as well as the french butter counterpart. However, your buttercream may weep due to more water content in Australian butters.

2. Do not use whisk when mixing the butter with the meringue.
Not true. You can use whatever attachment as long as it does the work of incorporating the butter. For me, as the butter is stone cold I used the Paddle attachment first and when I started to see my mixture curdles, I changed to whisk attachment. Im using a Kitchenaid by the way. :)

3. Use whatever food coloring.
Not true. Only gel coloring (Americolor) worked best for me. Wilton works great as well but other coloring I find in Bake king doesn't work well. 

4. Cook syrup until 148deg.
Not true. My syrup tried to smell when it reached this point. Again, this could be due to my already hot kitchen so 130deg is just nice for the syrup to reach that soft-ball stage.

5. When your mixture curdles, you failed. 
Not true. It's actually a signed of success that your butter didn't melt into a watery stage. Just keep your mixer running for another 5 mins on a high and eventually, you will see a glorious , luffy and glossy buttercream.


Here's my curdled mixture after i incorporate my stone cold butter.

Close-up of the curdled butter.


Glossy and fluffy buttercream

Chrysanthemum

Primrose. We can do better.

Sunflower

Pretty nice things we created today.



Thanks guys. More debunking soon!