Cake Decorating

Food Hygiene IBC vs SBC

Just curious as to what your opinions are as to IBC vs SMC
regarding possible food poisoning as SMC only really goes up 140F or 60C , to kill most pathogens you must go to 75C or 167F, , to me this makes it a little dangerous if you cake is sitting at room temp for a few hours, room temp is usually the most dangerous temperature for growing nasties, especially when I see postings as to best way of removing pieces of shell is with the rest of shell which can be covered with so many things like campylobacter, salmonella etc
Then there is IBC (no harder to make) that pasteurises the egg as you pour on sugar at 115C or 239F, I always use IBC over SBC for this very reason, not a likely to grow bacteria sitting at room temp…..I know sugar helps prevent bacteria growing but is it worth the risk… I have grown up in a household that food poisoning could kill my father, so abet a little paranoid, or weird things can happen with food poisoning , recently my mother was in a wheelchair for a couple of months due to reactive arthritis from getting food poisoning from a chicken burger at a well known fast food place…1 year later she is still struggling with physio to get her leg working properly again…I only tell you this to highlight some of the ramifications of food poisoning.

Now Please I am not having a go at anyone… I just want your opinions… I believe this is a topic that warrants discussion

Jo, NZ,


I was very concerned about this too when I started making SMBC (I do not like American buttercream). Since I didn’t want to make my family & friends sick from one of my cakes, I researched & researched before I started using it. I do heat my egg whites to 150-160F. I also keep my cakes refrigerated until the time I deliver it to the family party. This way it is sitting out just long enough to bring it to room temperature. I’ve never had an issue but it is always in the back of my mind to be honest with you. I have never made IBC but want to try it one of these days.

Thanks Goreti I can’t refrigerate mine once fondant on, so I have decorating time included in time it spends out

Jo, NZ,

Almost totally agree. I think Italian meringue brings it to a better temperature, plus I think it’s more stable than the Swiss version. The only thinks I disagree on is I actually think (with a good thermometer) Italian is actually easier!

I’ve got to give Italian a try. For some reason, I’m afraid to try it & mess it up. I’ve had great luck with the Swiss. Will have to try on my next cake. Do you have a favorite recipe for it that you are willing to share?

I would just google any old recipe. That is how I started, then started adjusting the proportions to my liking – personally that is more meringue, less butter, some pudding, curd or creme anglaise added for flavour etc. just DON’T let the sugar get over 248F!!! If you do, remake the sugar it cannot be rescued. It will (no question) ruin the egg to a grainy mess!
Good luck! Once mastered it is actually much easier and less directly time consuming.

Goreti I Use the following proportions
460g Caster Sugar in pot with 1/2 cup water
8 Egg whites (size 7 eggs)
800g Butter Soft
bring water with sugar to boil brush down sides so you don’t get crystallisation & heat until 115C or 239F whist you are boiling you sugar have your egg white whisking in beater (whisk to medium peak), then as soon as your sugar is at temp slowly but steadily pour onto egg white whilst continuing to beat, beat 1 minute scrap down sides & beat until room temp, then add soft butter & beat, until smooth, you will go through a stage where it looks like it has split but keep beating it will come together, then add flavourings & use…I hope this helps once you have made it once you will see it’s so easy

Jo, NZ,

I’m going to give it a try. I think I will make a cake for my niece’s 18th bday next week so she can have it with her friends and will try it. Thanks.

Let us know how you get on, I love IBC…a little too much teehee I usually only add vanilla or a little of the essences you can buy from brewing shops that you make the fake liquors with

Jo, NZ,

Hi Jo and everyone, For SBC, I actually cook my egg whites/sugar to 160 F while stirring constantly and don’t have a problem with them curdling or scrambling. I also keep my cakes refrigerated when I’m not working on them or up until I deliver too- just to be safe. And I have a tip for IBC – when your sugar/water comes to a boil, stop stirring of course and put a lid on it for about 30-45 seconds – the condensation will wash down the crystals on the side and you don’t have to worry about using a brush to wash them – works great for me so try it out. Plus I heat my sugar to 245 F without a problem too (Learned this from Warren Brown’s you tube video).
Good luck!

Maria @ or

This is a nice tutorial of IMBC from Cakejournal — although I use only 1 pound (2 cups) butter

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