okay, i now realize why i don't do cakes from home. i worked in a bakery with a set recipe for icing (25 lb batches) and another store that had the icing shipped in in large buckets. thursday night i was preparing to make the b-day cake for one co-worker and a wedding cake for my boss when i discovered a I CAN'T MAKE ICING!!! i made a batch of icing sunday as a trial run and it was okay so i told them i'd make their cakes, what a nightmare! i've tried it before a couple times and it never thickens up right, always to fluffy and won't hold it's form when i try to make roses. i've used a recipe off this site, a wilton recipe, and this time i tried one from country kitchens and i'm ready to cry. can anyone PLEASE tell me what the devil i'm doing wrong?????? i follow the directions to the letter (even going so far as to say them out loud to my hubby as i'm adding things) and am still having trouble. sometimes the single batch turns out semi-okay but double batches are outta the question. i just don't understand what's happening and am so frustrated by it all that i want to cry
don't cry sounds like your are just mixing to long.
It'll also help if you make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature. I assume you're working with a buttercream recipe? Beat together your shortening and/or butter with the flavorings and any necessary salt at high speed until the shortening is "loose"- you'll know it when you see it, then add your sugar in small amounts. I usually stir in a cup or so of sugar at a time to make sure the mixer doesn't knock it out of my bowl, and at this point, I usually mix at about a speed of 6 (out of 10) on my hand mixer, just enough so that all the sugar is mixed in, and then I add the next bit.
If you're using the butter-flavored crisco, that could be a problem, too. Apparently it has a much higher moisture content than the regular white stuff. I also find it unnecessary to add any more than a teaspoon or two of liquid if it's stiff... and these are just general observations from my "searching for the perfect buttercream" phase.
Another possible cause of the "too fluffy" if you're working with a Wilton recipe could be the meringue powder. It's not necessary, it just helps it crust over, which will happen with a shortening buttercream anyway.
thanks for the input! i really appreciate the replys!!!
blessBeckysbaking ... actually my recipe calls to mix for 10 minutes but i knew about half way into that it wasn't right, it was just to late to fix it. we kept at it hoping that adding sugar in would correct it enough that it wasn't a total loss, which worked to the extent that i iced the cake with it but that's it.
ilithiya ... yes, it's buttercream and we put the sugar in first ... could that have been the main problem?? as i said, i've been decorating for 6 years but always in an environment that was pretty controlled and this is terribly frustrating to me!!! next time i'll try it your way and see how that goes. thanks again!!