BakeClub Blog

Technique Tuesday: Troubleshooting Swiss Meringue Buttercream

Technique Tuesday: Troubleshooting Swiss Meringue Buttercream

01 Nov 2023 - Anneka Manning

Swiss Meringue Buttercream can be temperamental and can easily curdle or go 'soupy'. But with a little knowledge and some handy tips you will always know how to get it back on track. This masterclass is all about troubleshooting SMBC when it goes off track.

Things you will learn in this masterclass:

Key points when making and toubleshooting Swiss meringue buttercream

  • SMBC is an emulsion
  • Temperature is key – problems arise when it gets too hot or too cold
  • The 4 main issues with SMBC
    • Doesn’t come together initially
    • Curdled (too cold)
    • Soupy (too hot)
    • Foamy consistency
  • Solutions to all of the above issues

Useful things to know when making Swiss meringue buttercream

  • The best butter to use
  • Using pasteurised egg whites
  • Use concentrated vanilla
  • Always add salt
  • Always beat before using to remove excess air
  • Use cocoa powder instead of melted chocolate when for chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream
  • Best to use freeze-dried fruit powders or pure extracts as pureed fruits will split the emulsion
  • Why egg whites and sugar are heated before whisking to create the Swiss meringue – to make a more stable foam through
    • Starting the coagulation and denaturation of the egg white proteins
    • Dissolving the sugar completely
    • Concentrating the sugar/water ratio – makes for a thicker meringue