APCakes Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 1:39pm
post #1 of

I thought I knew how to make thick icing for roses, but lately, every time I've tried, they just droop over!! I can't get the rose base to stay put. And the one time I got the icing thick enough, the petals split on the edges.

I've been using the wilton buttercream recipe with half butter and half shortening, with flavorings that I love, but could the butter be messing it up? I hate the idea of all-shortening frosting, but it seems to hold up better.

Any magic tricks? I'm so frustrated!!

25 replies
Mchelle Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 1:47pm
post #2 of

Try adding more sugar or use all shortening recipe for the flowers.

AnnieT Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 1:48pm
post #3 of

Hi: Why not try putting the base in the fridge for a little before completing the rose? That might help. You can also add a little more sugar to improve the consistency.

Let me know. icon_wink.gif

APCakes Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 1:53pm
post #4 of

Good ideas! I'll try both of those - it's okay I guess to use all shortening just for the roses, and I'll add a little more sugar and put the bases in the fridge! I'm sure those will work.

Now that I think of it, I think I've heard that you can add some ingredient that will help make the petals more pliable - is it the wilton gel?

SquirrellyCakes Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 2:07pm
post #5 of

APCakes,
Yes some folks add piping gel, others add corn syrup. A lot of folks make a batch of the all shortening class recipe for their roses and leaves and use the half butter, half shortening recipe for everything else. Many people cannot make roses from the half shortening, half butter recipe.
Hugs Squirrelly

APCakes Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 2:11pm
post #6 of

Oh good! I thought I was turning into a failure! I swore I used to be able to do them, but that was with the class recipe. Any idea how much corn syrup/piping gel to use for a single batch of wilton class icing? Maybe it's in the course books. I'll go take a look.
Thanks for your help!

And if you have any other tricks on how to make great roses, please let me know! icon_smile.gif

SquirrellyCakes Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 2:42pm
post #7 of

I believe it is 1-3 tsp. of either.
Lots of folks use a Hershey's Kiss as the centre bud.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

PolishMommy Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 3:15pm
post #8 of

Do you have your AC on? icon_smile.gif

It's been so hot and humid lately! With the humidity it can take considerably less water. Start with 1/2 the recipe amount and add from there...

SquirrellyCakes Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 3:21pm
post #9 of

Heehee, good point PolishMommy, the butter would start to melt at 83F, even lower with a high humidex reading. Shortening, at between 89 and 99F.
It has been so awfully hot and humid here, I forget that not everyone has air-conditioning and not everyone sets it at 70F because they can't stand the heat, haha!
But you are so right, the heat and humidity make, making icing a real challenge!
Hugs Squirrelly

TheCakeWizard Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 3:26pm

The corn syrup/piping gel idea will THIN your icing, not thicken it.
If you stick to all shortening and add some butter flavoring, that will make them taste more like the 50/50 recipe. Also, if you are coloring your icing and don't mind the yellow tint, you might try the butter flavor shortening by Crisco.
Your problem is most likely the fact that you are using part butter. A rule of thumb: If you lay a stick of butter and a block of Crisco out on the kitchen counter for a while, the shortening will hold its shape and the stick of butter will soften/melt, even at room temp. Even the heat of your hand holding a decorator bag for a while will make it softer if you use butter. Chilling your base will only help while you pipe your petals. It will eventually flatten out as the base warms up again unless you keep the whole cake refrigerated right away.
If you are using any dairy in your frosting, you will need to keep it refrigerated anyway.
Another rule of thumb: Icing made with dairy products should only be left at room temp as long as you would normally leave that dairy product out by itself: ie if you use milk instead of water, how long would you leave a glass of milk out before you wouldn't drink it anymore; how long would you leave a stick of butter out before you wouldn't want to eat it anymore.
Hope this helps: I recommend using shortening and butter flavor, at least for the roses.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 3:56pm

Cake Wizard,
The piping gel or corn syrup used in icing are to make it hold its shape better specifically for petals and roses. The piping gel or corn syrup make leaves that tend to have better pointier tips and tends to give the icing a more elastic quality. It wasn't being suggested to make the icing less thin, it was being suggested to make the petals of roses not have cracked edges and such. It is fairly common for folks to have problems specifically with roses and leaves when using the half butter half shortening icing.
Regarding the refridgeration of icings using dairy products, when the icings contain butter or milk or cream, when the milk or cream is used in small amounts, as in buttercream icings with only a few tablespoons of milk or cream added, they can indeed be kept on the counter at a room temperature below 75F for 2-3 days. In fact Wilton recommends the same timeframe for both the all-shortening and water icings as they do for the half butter and cream or milk icing. Only in the commercial industry where kitchens can have much more intense heat, is it recommended and indeed, law, to keep these icings refridgerated. This is because many commercial kitchens do not have air-conditioning and with the amount of baking going on, the temperatures are extremely high.
Sugar is a preservative and indeed using a salted butter, also contributes to the preservation of the icing.
This is a common misconception regarding icings using milk or cream and butter..
Regarding the use of the Crisco butter flavoured shortening, actually this is not recommended because it has a higher moisture content that regular Crisco and makes for an icing that is sloppier to work with particularly when using it for roses and items that require stiffer consistency of icing.
Butter has a melting temperature of 83F, shortening has a melting temperature of between 89 and 99F.
Salted butter can be kept at a room temperature of below 75F for a week to two weeks. The salt preserves the butter, whereas unsalted butter has a much shorter shelf life both at room temperature and refridgerated temperature.
It is true that the heat of your hands can cause melting of butter. To counter that, adding a bit more icing sugar and using a ratio of 4-5 cups of icing sugar for every combination of 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup shortening helps.
Icings made with butter and cream and/or milk can be made up ahead, up to 2 weeks in advance and refridgerated. It is important to insure that the expiry dates of these products are within this 2 week period.
You cannot compare a glass of milk left on the counter to an icing with a dairy product in it, due to the other ingredients that act as preservatives. What you can compare it to is whipped cream icing. Actually that has the shortest life at room temperature because it is actually the nature of whipped, whipping cream to separate at room temperature. Where this will vary is in the case of a ganache which is equal amounts of scaleded cream and chocolate. Bear in mind that scalding the cream creates a condition where all bacteria is killed and this enables you to keep this icing at room temperature for a period of 2-3 days.
Generally the rule of thumb regarding the use of milk or cream in icing is, if it is a main ingredient, the icing or filling must be refridgerated, as in a pudding, a whipped cream topping, a mousse. If it is strictly a binding agent, one to add enough moisture to bind the mixture together, it does not require refridgeration as long as room temperature is below 75F and the period of counter time is below 3 days. Actually these icings hold up 4-5 days for most people but 2-3 days is used as extra precaution.
The way that shortening and butter react at room temperature has more to do with the moisture content of these two items than it does to the way the fats themselves react to the temperature. When the temperature rises above 83F, it comes into play. It also comes into play at oven temperatures as the effect on these two fats in baking is totally different.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

aunt-judy Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 10:15pm

you could try adding more icing sugar to stiffen your icing, but this will result in "drier", less elastic icing, which, as SquirrellyCakes describes, will result in raggedy-torn edges on your petals (which i happen to like, but you may not).

one suggestion: i know that you believe the problem is just too-soft icing, but perhaps you may also want to try building a bigger base for your roses? i could never get the height and fullness i wanted using the Wilton directions for making roses. instead, i use the rose tip to pipe a kind of layered cone (squeeze and move the bag in a circular motion and up as you build). the result is a taller, fuller base onto which to pipe the petals. this is also the method i had to use when working in bakeries, since there was simply never time to pipe a kiss-shaped base with a round tip and then switch back to the rose tip to do the petals.

tcturtleshell Posted 30 Jun 2005 , 10:35pm

Just forget about the base of the rose & use a lolipop stick. Ntertayneme taught us those at the DOS. They are wonderful!
Use the stick as your base
Then start w/ the one part that goes over the base Then add your 3 petals
Then add 5 petals
Then add 7 petals

I like a rose w/ 5 petals better then 7 & I like the feathery rose look too. I would like to get the smooth perfect though!!

The base of the rose that Wilton taught isn't sturdy enough for me. I like the stick method!!

Thanks Ntertayneme for teaching it to me!!

APCakes Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 1:52am

WOW!! Thanks everyone. You are all amazing! Tcturtleshell, what kind of popsicle sticks are you referring to? I can't picture what you mean - the flat ones that look like tongue depressors?

SweetCreations Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 4:08am
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

I believe it is 1-3 tsp. of either.
Lots of folks use a Hershey's Kiss as the centre bud.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes




Omg, What A Great Idea to use a Hershey's Kiss! you can even get them in the Mini's now too! Sounds Good To Me! Chocolate YUMMMMMMMM,, Omg, now I am starting to sound like a Furby,, YUMMMMMMMMM!
~Sweet~ icon_rolleyes.gif

bigcatz Posted 1 Jul 2005 , 4:47am

[quote="tcturtleshell"]Just forget about the base of the rose & use a lolipop stick. Ntertayneme taught us those at the DOS. They are wonderful!
Use the stick as your base
Then start w/ the one part that goes over the base Then add your 3 petals
Then add 5 petals
Then add 7 petals

Do you just put the popsicle stick with the rose on it down into your cake?? What kind of stick do use? I wonder if you could use a dowel rod the same way? Either way you would have to make sure your customers were aware of them being in the cake.

nlh Posted 19 Jul 2005 , 4:24pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcturtleshell


Do you just put the popsicle stick with the rose on it down into your cake?? What kind of stick do use? I wonder if you could use a dowel rod the same way? Either way you would have to make sure your customers were aware of them being in the cake.




Not quite.... You take a scissors and gently pull the rose off the stick and place it on the cake.

bigcatz Posted 20 Jul 2005 , 4:11am

I'm definitely going to have to try that. Thanks for the tip!

Cake_Princess Posted 20 Jul 2005 , 5:06am
Quote:
Quote:

If you are using any dairy in your frosting, you will need to keep it refrigerated anyway.
Another rule of thumb: Icing made with dairy products should only be left at room temp as long as you would normally leave that dairy product out by itself: ie if you use milk instead of water, how long would you leave a glass of milk out before you wouldn't drink it anymore; how long would you leave a stick of butter out before you wouldn't want to eat it anymore.




Salt and sugar actually have preservative properties. Sugar molecules will actually bind to water molecules in the dairy products and inhibit the sort of bacterial growth you Are refering to by leaving milk out. The ratio of sugar to dairy is such that the degree of bacterial growth not to the level you are refering. The cake will probably spoil before the icing.

Jam and jellies are actually a good example of this. Load up the fruit with sugar and the shelf like is dramatically extended.


Princess

Sugar Posted 20 Jul 2005 , 12:53pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by SquirrellyCakes

APCakes,
Yes some folks add piping gel, others add corn syrup. A lot of folks make a batch of the all shortening class recipe for their roses and leaves and use the half butter, half shortening recipe for everything else. Many people cannot make roses from the half shortening, half butter recipe.
Hugs Squirrelly




I tried this last night and you're right, the corn syrup does help with those frayed edges. Thank you so much for your help!

Misdawn Posted 20 Jul 2005 , 1:15pm

For the roses on a stick, you don't use a flat popsicle stick. You would use a lollipop stick. IT's round, not flat, so it would work much easier.

Sugar Posted 20 Jul 2005 , 1:36pm

I still can't decide which way I prefer.

However my wilton teacher gave us a stick to use. It's what they use for mock chicken legs. She gets them at the butchers. They are indeed, perfect for roses!

tcturtleshell Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 5:50am

APcakes,

Sorry I haven't had time to get on CC lately. I use the white lollipop sticks that Wilton has. They are thin round ones. I also use a wooden dowel rod. Either works fine. Hope that helps.

tcturtleshell Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 5:55am

As for sticking the dowel rod & rose into the cake, I don't do that. I have the metal tool that you put on your finger. I'M SORRY I DON'T KNOW WHAT IT'S CALLED. I put it under the rose, then place the rose where I want it on the cake. Then I slowly push the rose off onto the cake w/ a spatula. Or I put the rose on wax paper for later. You can pick it up later w/ that metal tool & add to your cake then.


If anyone knows what that tool is called please tell us. It's driving me crazy not knowing what it's called!!!! All I know it by is a metal finger tool thingy!! LOL!!

Misdawn Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 12:41pm

Hey turtleshell...that's the best name I could come up with too! : )

ntertayneme Posted 21 Jul 2005 , 12:44pm

Hey tc, did I leave mine at your house from the DOS? I haven't been able to find mine.. I have to go buy another one! I'm totally lost without mine .. I've been using a pair of scissors that I keep in the kitchen to lift the roses off the dowel stick.. it works ok, but gosh I miss my rose finger lifter thingy! lol

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