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Doubling Down on Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Sugar! Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Italian Meringue Buttercream, Chocolate Lace Wrap and Salted Peanut Brittle

Doubling Down on Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Sugar! Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Italian Meringue Buttercream, Chocolate Lace Wrap and Salted Peanut Brittle
My hands are so hot my IMBC melts in the piping bag - any ideas/suggestions? Chocolate Lace Tutorial from Julia M Usher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-RM7JyToew

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Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

I used P2B instead of jarred peanut butter hoping that the lower fat content of PB powder wouldn't affect the stability of the icing as much as jarred peanut butter. The frosting was super light and airy, which gave it a lovely texture, but maybe that also increased it's sensitivity to temperature and pressure/deflation from piping?

Your IMBC video (https://youtu.be/x0FHADUp7NY  Julia Usher Tutorial Italian Buttercream 101) is excellent. Thank you for such detailed instruction.

Your list of indicators to know when the meringue is actually ready, and, not to panic, when texture changes after adding the butter helped me feel more confident and prepared this go around. 

I wish I had seen your tutorial a month earlier before I made my first batch of IMBC for a batch of cupcakes. My meringue turned to soup after adding the butter. I rescued it with 30 minutes in the fridge and an ice pack on the bowl.

The meringue after adding the butter was noticeably less soupy this time. Is it possible that when mixing the icing, even though the sides of the bowl and the meringue is cool to the touch, the metal on the bottom of the mixing bowl that attaches to the clamping plate is holding residual heat contributing to the soupiness? Does it make a difference to use a metal bowl vs. a glass bowl?

Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

I used P2B instead of jarred peanut butter hoping that the lower fat content of PB powder wouldn't affect the stability of the icing as much as jarred peanut butter. The frosting was super light and airy, which gave it a lovely texture, but maybe that also increased it's sensitivity to temperature and pressure/deflation from piping?

Your IMBC video (https://youtu.be/x0FHADUp7NY  Julia Usher Tutorial Italian Buttercream 101) is excellent. Thank you for such detailed instruction.

Your list of indicators to know when the meringue is actually ready, and, not to panic, when texture changes after adding the butter helped me feel more confident and prepared this go around. 

I wish I had seen your tutorial a month earlier before I made my first batch of IMBC for a batch of cupcakes. My meringue turned to soup after adding the butter. I rescued it with 30 minutes in the fridge and an ice pack on the bowl.

The meringue after adding the butter was noticeably less soupy this time. Is it possible that when mixing the icing, even though the sides of the bowl and the meringue is cool to the touch, the metal on the bottom of the mixing bowl that attaches to the clamping plate is holding residual heat contributing to the soupiness? Does it make a difference to use a metal bowl vs. a glass bowl?

Ahh, your use of powder was smart! Thanks for the kind words about my video too. I always use a metal bowl when making my icing and don't end up with the soupiness you describe. If your bowl and meringue were truly cool (I usually give it 10 minutes of whipping to cool down), then my guess is your butter was too soft going in. The butter should be malleable, but not super squishy. 

Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

I used P2B instead of jarred peanut butter hoping that the lower fat content of PB powder wouldn't affect the stability of the icing as much as jarred peanut butter. The frosting was super light and airy, which gave it a lovely texture, but maybe that also increased it's sensitivity to temperature and pressure/deflation from piping?

Your IMBC video (https://youtu.be/x0FHADUp7NY  Julia Usher Tutorial Italian Buttercream 101) is excellent. Thank you for such detailed instruction.

Your list of indicators to know when the meringue is actually ready, and, not to panic, when texture changes after adding the butter helped me feel more confident and prepared this go around. 

I wish I had seen your tutorial a month earlier before I made my first batch of IMBC for a batch of cupcakes. My meringue turned to soup after adding the butter. I rescued it with 30 minutes in the fridge and an ice pack on the bowl.

The meringue after adding the butter was noticeably less soupy this time. Is it possible that when mixing the icing, even though the sides of the bowl and the meringue is cool to the touch, the metal on the bottom of the mixing bowl that attaches to the clamping plate is holding residual heat contributing to the soupiness? Does it make a difference to use a metal bowl vs. a glass bowl?

Ahh, your use of powder was smart! Thanks for the kind words about my video too. I always use a metal bowl when making my icing and don't end up with the soupiness you describe. If your bowl and meringue were truly cool (I usually give it 10 minutes of whipping to cool down), then my guess is your butter was too soft going in. The butter should be malleable, but not super squishy. 

In the first few batches of IMBC the butter was definitely too warm resulting in icing soup. Beginner error, I thought 'room temp' meant leave the butter out overnight on the counter - in my house this is way to warm.

I've learned now to only leave the butter out for an hour or so, or heat it slightly on the 'butter warm' setting on the microwave. For me, the right temperature feels like you can just bend the stick of butter without it breaking.

Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

I used P2B instead of jarred peanut butter hoping that the lower fat content of PB powder wouldn't affect the stability of the icing as much as jarred peanut butter. The frosting was super light and airy, which gave it a lovely texture, but maybe that also increased it's sensitivity to temperature and pressure/deflation from piping?

Your IMBC video (https://youtu.be/x0FHADUp7NY  Julia Usher Tutorial Italian Buttercream 101) is excellent. Thank you for such detailed instruction.

Your list of indicators to know when the meringue is actually ready, and, not to panic, when texture changes after adding the butter helped me feel more confident and prepared this go around. 

I wish I had seen your tutorial a month earlier before I made my first batch of IMBC for a batch of cupcakes. My meringue turned to soup after adding the butter. I rescued it with 30 minutes in the fridge and an ice pack on the bowl.

The meringue after adding the butter was noticeably less soupy this time. Is it possible that when mixing the icing, even though the sides of the bowl and the meringue is cool to the touch, the metal on the bottom of the mixing bowl that attaches to the clamping plate is holding residual heat contributing to the soupiness? Does it make a difference to use a metal bowl vs. a glass bowl?

Ahh, your use of powder was smart! Thanks for the kind words about my video too. I always use a metal bowl when making my icing and don't end up with the soupiness you describe. If your bowl and meringue were truly cool (I usually give it 10 minutes of whipping to cool down), then my guess is your butter was too soft going in. The butter should be malleable, but not super squishy. 

In the first few batches of IMBC the butter was definitely too warm resulting in icing soup. Beginner error, I thought 'room temp' meant leave the butter out overnight on the counter - in my house this is way to warm.

I've learned now to only leave the butter out for an hour or so, or heat it slightly on the 'butter warm' setting on the microwave. For me, the right temperature feels like you can just bend the stick of butter without it breaking.

Yes, I'd agree with your description of the proper butter consistency, but I wouldn't microwave it. The microwave tends to heat unevenly, so you may get really soft parts and some harder parts. (But that's me - I hate microwaves. I have one but never use it. )

Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

I used P2B instead of jarred peanut butter hoping that the lower fat content of PB powder wouldn't affect the stability of the icing as much as jarred peanut butter. The frosting was super light and airy, which gave it a lovely texture, but maybe that also increased it's sensitivity to temperature and pressure/deflation from piping?

Your IMBC video (https://youtu.be/x0FHADUp7NY  Julia Usher Tutorial Italian Buttercream 101) is excellent. Thank you for such detailed instruction.

Your list of indicators to know when the meringue is actually ready, and, not to panic, when texture changes after adding the butter helped me feel more confident and prepared this go around. 

I wish I had seen your tutorial a month earlier before I made my first batch of IMBC for a batch of cupcakes. My meringue turned to soup after adding the butter. I rescued it with 30 minutes in the fridge and an ice pack on the bowl.

The meringue after adding the butter was noticeably less soupy this time. Is it possible that when mixing the icing, even though the sides of the bowl and the meringue is cool to the touch, the metal on the bottom of the mixing bowl that attaches to the clamping plate is holding residual heat contributing to the soupiness? Does it make a difference to use a metal bowl vs. a glass bowl?

Ahh, your use of powder was smart! Thanks for the kind words about my video too. I always use a metal bowl when making my icing and don't end up with the soupiness you describe. If your bowl and meringue were truly cool (I usually give it 10 minutes of whipping to cool down), then my guess is your butter was too soft going in. The butter should be malleable, but not super squishy. 

In the first few batches of IMBC the butter was definitely too warm resulting in icing soup. Beginner error, I thought 'room temp' meant leave the butter out overnight on the counter - in my house this is way to warm.

I've learned now to only leave the butter out for an hour or so, or heat it slightly on the 'butter warm' setting on the microwave. For me, the right temperature feels like you can just bend the stick of butter without it breaking.

Yes, I'd agree with your description of the proper butter consistency, but I wouldn't microwave it. The microwave tends to heat unevenly, so you may get really soft parts and some harder parts. (But that's me - I hate microwaves. I have one but never use it. )

Our microwave is mostly an expensive popcorn machine, and a nice alternative to the heat of oven on a hot day. I have experienced hot spots making a cold stick of butter look like swiss cheese, but we recently updated our microwave, and honestly, the "soften" button is a game changer. There's like 8 softening options, including butter (# of sticks), ice cream and cream cheese. So far it seems to err on the conservative side of warming, no hot spots yet - fingers crossed.

For the most consistent results I'll start timing how long to set the butter on the counter to get to 'firm yet bendy'. I've already been asked to make 2 more cakes this week. What have I gotten myself into?!? 

Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

I used P2B instead of jarred peanut butter hoping that the lower fat content of PB powder wouldn't affect the stability of the icing as much as jarred peanut butter. The frosting was super light and airy, which gave it a lovely texture, but maybe that also increased it's sensitivity to temperature and pressure/deflation from piping?

Your IMBC video (https://youtu.be/x0FHADUp7NY  Julia Usher Tutorial Italian Buttercream 101) is excellent. Thank you for such detailed instruction.

Your list of indicators to know when the meringue is actually ready, and, not to panic, when texture changes after adding the butter helped me feel more confident and prepared this go around. 

I wish I had seen your tutorial a month earlier before I made my first batch of IMBC for a batch of cupcakes. My meringue turned to soup after adding the butter. I rescued it with 30 minutes in the fridge and an ice pack on the bowl.

The meringue after adding the butter was noticeably less soupy this time. Is it possible that when mixing the icing, even though the sides of the bowl and the meringue is cool to the touch, the metal on the bottom of the mixing bowl that attaches to the clamping plate is holding residual heat contributing to the soupiness? Does it make a difference to use a metal bowl vs. a glass bowl?

Ahh, your use of powder was smart! Thanks for the kind words about my video too. I always use a metal bowl when making my icing and don't end up with the soupiness you describe. If your bowl and meringue were truly cool (I usually give it 10 minutes of whipping to cool down), then my guess is your butter was too soft going in. The butter should be malleable, but not super squishy. 

In the first few batches of IMBC the butter was definitely too warm resulting in icing soup. Beginner error, I thought 'room temp' meant leave the butter out overnight on the counter - in my house this is way to warm.

I've learned now to only leave the butter out for an hour or so, or heat it slightly on the 'butter warm' setting on the microwave. For me, the right temperature feels like you can just bend the stick of butter without it breaking.

Yes, I'd agree with your description of the proper butter consistency, but I wouldn't microwave it. The microwave tends to heat unevenly, so you may get really soft parts and some harder parts. (But that's me - I hate microwaves. I have one but never use it. )

Our microwave is mostly an expensive popcorn machine, and a nice alternative to the heat of oven on a hot day. I have experienced hot spots making a cold stick of butter look like swiss cheese, but we recently updated our microwave, and honestly, the "soften" button is a game changer. There's like 8 softening options, including butter (# of sticks), ice cream and cream cheese. So far it seems to err on the conservative side of warming, no hot spots yet - fingers crossed.

For the most consistent results I'll start timing how long to set the butter on the counter to get to 'firm yet bendy'. I've already been asked to make 2 more cakes this week. What have I gotten myself into?!? 

Yeah, you're far more microwave-savvy than me! I'm remodeling a kitchen now and remodeled the microwave out of it to make way for a second oven!

Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:
Adria posted:
Julia M. Usher posted:

Looks luscious! Regarding the buttercream (BC) melting as you pipe, perhaps your BC was too warm to start? It looks really soft in the photo. If not, then try doubling up your bags and periodically cooling your hands in ice water.

Thank you for the suggestion on doubling up bags, and ice water, I'll definitely give your suggestions a try. The buttercream felt almost too cool when I started piping, and was limp by the end. 

The wrap was really fun, I can't wait to try it again! It was so pretty, my sister-in law felt like a queen on her birthday. 

This was a first attempt at anything chocolate beyond candy melts or ganache. And a good learning experience as I had to apply and seam two wraps (my fridge was not big enough for one continuous). Next go around I'll keep an eye on the line weight consistency. The straight lines were much easier to control than the loops. I'm hoping working on the backside of the chocolate will hide the little line touch-ups. 

Glad your SIL felt queen-like - as it should be! Yeah, your buttercream almost looks broken in a few spots, due to being too warm. Adding a lot of peanut butter can also increase the heat sensitivity/stability of the icing.

I used P2B instead of jarred peanut butter hoping that the lower fat content of PB powder wouldn't affect the stability of the icing as much as jarred peanut butter. The frosting was super light and airy, which gave it a lovely texture, but maybe that also increased it's sensitivity to temperature and pressure/deflation from piping?

Your IMBC video (https://youtu.be/x0FHADUp7NY  Julia Usher Tutorial Italian Buttercream 101) is excellent. Thank you for such detailed instruction.

Your list of indicators to know when the meringue is actually ready, and, not to panic, when texture changes after adding the butter helped me feel more confident and prepared this go around. 

I wish I had seen your tutorial a month earlier before I made my first batch of IMBC for a batch of cupcakes. My meringue turned to soup after adding the butter. I rescued it with 30 minutes in the fridge and an ice pack on the bowl.

The meringue after adding the butter was noticeably less soupy this time. Is it possible that when mixing the icing, even though the sides of the bowl and the meringue is cool to the touch, the metal on the bottom of the mixing bowl that attaches to the clamping plate is holding residual heat contributing to the soupiness? Does it make a difference to use a metal bowl vs. a glass bowl?

Ahh, your use of powder was smart! Thanks for the kind words about my video too. I always use a metal bowl when making my icing and don't end up with the soupiness you describe. If your bowl and meringue were truly cool (I usually give it 10 minutes of whipping to cool down), then my guess is your butter was too soft going in. The butter should be malleable, but not super squishy. 

In the first few batches of IMBC the butter was definitely too warm resulting in icing soup. Beginner error, I thought 'room temp' meant leave the butter out overnight on the counter - in my house this is way to warm.

I've learned now to only leave the butter out for an hour or so, or heat it slightly on the 'butter warm' setting on the microwave. For me, the right temperature feels like you can just bend the stick of butter without it breaking.

Yes, I'd agree with your description of the proper butter consistency, but I wouldn't microwave it. The microwave tends to heat unevenly, so you may get really soft parts and some harder parts. (But that's me - I hate microwaves. I have one but never use it. )

Our microwave is mostly an expensive popcorn machine, and a nice alternative to the heat of oven on a hot day. I have experienced hot spots making a cold stick of butter look like swiss cheese, but we recently updated our microwave, and honestly, the "soften" button is a game changer. There's like 8 softening options, including butter (# of sticks), ice cream and cream cheese. So far it seems to err on the conservative side of warming, no hot spots yet - fingers crossed.

For the most consistent results I'll start timing how long to set the butter on the counter to get to 'firm yet bendy'. I've already been asked to make 2 more cakes this week. What have I gotten myself into?!? 

Yeah, you're far more microwave-savvy than me! I'm remodeling a kitchen now and remodeled the microwave out of it to make way for a second oven!

A second oven, luxury! I'd make the same decision in your shoes. 

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