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to expect my buttercream not to curdle

(83 Posts)
farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:31:35

I'm trying to cut costs by using marj instead of ridiculously expensive butter, but the icing just turns to a wet curdled mess and looks utterly gross and unusable. My sister says she has never made butter icing with butter and always uses marj. Why won't it work? I've tried the soft stuff, and also the hard baking fat stuff, but both failed. Yuck. Any advice?

squeakytoy Thu 16-May-13 13:33:38

How are you mixing it? And in what proportions? And what type of sugar are you using?

SanityClause Thu 16-May-13 13:35:42

Very interested in this, as two of my DC are dairy intollerant. I never seem to manage to get butter cream right. It tastes good, but doesn't look amazing.

farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:35:51

Half fat to icing sugar so 2oz of fat, 4oz of sugar. Just normal icing sugar. I use a stand mixer. When I use butter it works just fine. Apparently butter is going up by 30p soon! Help.

farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:36:59

Apparently you can use Trex but that sounds a bit gross. I tried Tesco baking fat (hard block like butter) and baking spread (in a tub like ice cream). Both failed sad

squeakytoy Thu 16-May-13 13:39:06

baking fat is for pastry, as is trex... you cant use it to make buttercream..

the clue is in the name.. BUTTERcream.

awkwardsis Thu 16-May-13 13:39:17

Butter icing made with marg is never going to be nice. You can but basic stuff from somewhere like aldi for about a pound. I believe you can freeze it if you have any left over too. I never use butter to make the cake though, I use vitalite as I too have dc with dairy issues.

BaronessBomburst Thu 16-May-13 13:39:30

But it will taste horrible with margarine! And butter is only 90 cents where I live and the UK is cheaper for food. Surely you can get butter for about 80p?

squeakytoy Thu 16-May-13 13:40:12

A pack of butter is about £1.50 here Baroness.

BaronessBomburst Thu 16-May-13 13:40:45

I've frozen buttercream and it's always been fine. Just defrost and give it a good beat before you use it.

farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:42:49

Surely someone out there has had success with marj? How come my sister has managed for 30 years and I can't? Weird. Hm, I was a butter purist too but it's just so expensive so I thought I'd experiment.

I too thought the Trex thing sounded gross. Apparently people use it for wedding cakes as the icing ends up whaiter then whaite. Yuck.

LaraCroftInDisguise Thu 16-May-13 13:43:15

I use Tesco Value butter for mine. It tastes just as yummy and costs less than a quid.

Kasterborous Thu 16-May-13 13:43:24

I use stork margarine for my butter icing and it's nice. You just need to use loads of icing sugar. You know it's right when the buttercream starts to go quite stiff.

Kasterborous Thu 16-May-13 13:43:49

I beat it by hand, it's a good workout.

farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:44:14

98p is the cheapest. Tesco value. I rang Dairy Crest (thought I'd try and get it from the source) and they offered it to me for 95p, but said it's going to go up very soon.

Forgetfulmog Thu 16-May-13 13:44:30

Lidl sell unsalted butter for about 80p. I use the following recipe - enough for about 24 cupcakes so you might want to fiddle with the quantities:

200g butter softened
200g full fat cream cheese
500g icing sugar

Beat sugar & butter together until fluffy.

Beat cheese separately & then gradually add to sugar & butter, beating all the time.

If you don't want to use butter then you could try the Pure dairy free spreads, but you would still have the issue of using cheese though...

squeakytoy Thu 16-May-13 13:44:47

You could try using Stork, as that comes in blocks almost the same texture as butter.

The problem with margarine is possibly that it is too soft.. could you add more sugar perhaps?

I would also be put off by the fact that margarines contain transfats and would rather pay the extra for decent butter or do without.

farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:45:00

Do you use the Stork that comes in a tub Kasterborous?

farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:45:41

Ooh Lidl for 80p sounds promising.

Smellslikecatspee Thu 16-May-13 13:45:43

I'm all for saving money but thats a step too far for me. .

Saying that I would guess that you need a higher ratio of sugar if using marg and the marg is softer already, maybe?

Kasterborous Thu 16-May-13 13:49:33

Yes I use the one that comes in a tub. It's useful because I can use it in the cake mixture then also use it for buttercream.

I soften it a bit in a bowl first just using a spoon then keep putting icing sugar in until it goes stiff. It does need quite a lot of icing sugar but I put a bit in at a time.

mintyneb Thu 16-May-13 13:51:34

Have you tried the stork in the gold foil wrapper? (Think its already been mentioned by someone else). It costs 69p a packet

gordyslovesheep Thu 16-May-13 13:52:05

Butter cream is the crown on the cake - you don't scrimp on it - ever grin

farewellfigure Thu 16-May-13 13:55:49

yes mintyneb I tried the gold packet one. It curdled. I think I am just unlucky. Maybe it was something to do with the temperature.

Gubbins Thu 16-May-13 13:59:51

I use sunflower margarine for buttercream because my daughter has a dairy allergy. It's never curdled on me, but food colouring separates out with it, which is annoying.

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