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I tried this eclair recipe. I bought a pastry bag with a set of nozzles (never used it) and embarked on it. My nozzles were a bit tiny, it turned out, but the real problem was the filling. Boy, was it a mess! It was incredibly runny, it spilled over the nozzle, the bag, it was all over the place. But I followed the guidelines properly: 200 g of butter and 300 g of condensed milk. My guess is that her butter and/or milk were fattier so it was thicker. I could cool it beforehand, but she insisted on that room-temperature aspect of it. How was I supposed to make it thick enough? You can't just mix in some flour, obviously. Gelatin? I doubt its feasibility in this case (you need to dissolve it in some hot liquid, then you have to cool it...)


(in case you're wondering how this fatty, eggy recipe conforms to my new liver-friendly diet, it doesn't! I had had a plan to try making eclairs before my doctor advised me against that type of food, I wasn't going to cancel it 🙅‍♂️. Sorry, liver, you have to take it on the chin!)

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  • What's the ambient temperature in your kitchen? It might be that you have a much warmer kitchen than the recipe expects.
    – dbmag9
    Oct 12, 2022 at 19:14
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    Are you asking about how to fix the mess or how to prevent it next time? I have an answer for the latter, but am not sure if the current one is fixable.
    – Stephie
    Oct 12, 2022 at 19:23
  • @Stephie feel free to share it Oct 12, 2022 at 20:32
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    Please can you put the recipe in the question? It really isn’t fair to expect people to watch a whole video.
    – Spagirl
    Oct 13, 2022 at 9:34
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    @borkymcfood so, it would be easy enough for the OP to put that pertinent information into their question rather than rely on an ephemeral link.
    – Spagirl
    Oct 14, 2022 at 13:33

2 Answers 2

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This seems to be a mistake in the recipe. I have made a condensed-milk-buttercream a couple of times, and my recipe uses a 3:4 ratio, not 2:3, and I don't even think it was a good pipeable consistency, I used it as a frosting.

So, to repair it, cream more butter (I would go for maybe 100 g more), then add the too-runny filling and continue beating. For next time, use more butter or less condensed milk from the beginning.

The room temperature requirement is indeed correct, especially for the butter.


Update I noticed on another post of yours a picture of the products you are using. You caught your can of condensed milk too on the picture, and its label stated the food standard it fulfuills, the Russian ГОСТ 31688/212. This standard happens to be available online, and it prescribes "no more than 26.5% water, 43.5 to 45.5 sucrose, no less than 8.5% fat, no less than 34% protein in the milk dry mass". The West seems to use a different standard for condensed milk, and I found a FAO standard that describes a sweetened condensed milk with "Minimum milkfat 16% m/m, Minimum milk solids-not-fat(a) 14% m/m, Minimum milk protein in milk solids-not-fat(a) 34% m/m".

This makes me think that you should try making the recipe with condensed cream, which has a minimum of 19% milkfat in the Russian standard. I am not certain that this is the problem, since I haven't seen the condensed-milk-buttercream variant in Western recipes, but it is worth a shot.

Also, make sure to beat the butter fluffy enough before adding the condensed milk or cream. At least 5-6 minutes with a good stand mixer, or longer if your mixer is ancient or does not come from a brand with good reputation. It should be visibly white, fluffy and voluminous, maybe watch some videos on buttercream - some intended to show the technique in detail, not the one with your recipe.

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  • Why does it have to be room-temperature? It's easier to work with when it's cooled a bit Oct 12, 2022 at 20:30
  • Why could that ratio work for her? It's thick in the video. Or did she cheat? Oct 12, 2022 at 20:32
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    @SergeyZolotarev When creaming the butter, that's not true. You need it to be room temperature for it to whip up. If you start it cold, you have to wait until the energy from the beaters has warmed it a bit, and even then, the result is not optimal. It isn't easier either, the mixer really struggles with cold butter, even if you precut it.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 12, 2022 at 20:34
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    @SergeyZolotarev It's unlikely that it was an intentional case of cheating, more likely it was a simple mistake. We cannot know who made it - the presenter, the producer, or somebody else. It's normal for this kind of clickbait video to have low quality recipes anyway.
    – rumtscho
    Oct 12, 2022 at 20:37
  • @SergeyZolotarev actually, when I wrote the answer, I assumed that you got a proper emulsion, just too runny. Can you confirm that, or did the emulsion split?
    – rumtscho
    Oct 12, 2022 at 20:41
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The filling as described in the recipe video requires a combination of solid butterfat and high viscosity in the condensed milk to achieve the desired texture.

There may be 2 scenarios causing the filling to be too runny:

  1. The butter was too warm.

Serious Eats has a good article on the optimal temperature of room temperature butter for creaming and whipping to maintain structure - 18C/65F. Starting the whipping slightly cooler would be better.

  1. The incorrect condensed milk was used.

The video recipe appears to use sweetened condensed milk, which has a significant amount of added sugar that increases the viscosity. Evaporated milk is produced and canned in mostly the same way minus the sugar, and in some markets both sweetened and unsweetened/evaporated milk are referred to as just "condensed milk".

What complicates things further is some markets may have lower viscosity sweetened condensed milk for easier mixing in coffee, or multiple varieties with skim/low-fat/full-fat formulations with lower amounts of total solids that will also lower viscosity - see this Serious Eats article comparing various brands, or look up all the options available for "gezuckerte kondensmilch für kaffee".

The best option for a future batch would be to allow the butter to come up to a cooler temperature, and to use the thickest viscosity sweetened condensed milk you can find, to give a larger buffer for when the filling warms and becomes runnier when handling.

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  • By "the thickest viscosity sweetened condensed milk" you mean the one with the highest fat content, don't you? Oct 15, 2022 at 14:09
  • @SergeyZolotarev Viscosity is affected more by sugar than fat, but both contribute. If you can't sample different brands, choose the one with highest sugar content first, then by fat content if sugar is equal. It's easy enough to dilute with cream/milk or unsweetened condensed milk if it's too thick. Oct 15, 2022 at 17:39

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