I went to the store to buy a role of VIVA papertowels and was shocked to see one role was almost $2. I have parchment paper in the house and was wonder if I can use this until I run out and then buy VIVA or is the effect not the same and I should just bite the bullet on the cost of VIVA and make sure they are stored away and not used for 'regular paper towel use'.
I've never tried the method, but I do use viva towels and they are wonderful!!!! You can wipe something up and then rinse the towel like 3 times before you need to get a new towel! Sometimes you can even get more use out of it! Just thought I"d let you know that they are worth the price. Where did you look for them? I got mine at walmart for .99 a roll.
I like the Viva towels because they are more flexible and will wrap over the edges of the cake to help get it smooth there.
$2 is pretty expensive, I've never paid more than a dollar either, wonder why they were so high where you were? In my mind the parchment was more costly, but it has been a while since I bought it, how much is it these days?
Thank you for the feedback. I was shopping at Targets when I saw the $2 roll. I thought I did a good 2nd and 3rd look to make sure I wasn't see things, but next time I'm there, I'll scan it under one of the price scanner thingys to be sure. Plus it makes sense that the paper towel being more flexable to use.
As for parchment, I think it's up to $3/roll and even $4 at Michael's / AC More. I only buy when I have my 50% off coupons.
I've used regular copy/printer paper instead of paper towel or in addition to paper towel and it works great. You just have to be careful not to get a wrinkle in it.
I bet you could probably use the parchment paper with a fondant smoother or little wooden roller and as mentioned, watch for wrinkles in it.
Go with the computer/typing paper!
you will never regret buying viva paper towels to smooth your cakes..... it is the best thing i have used in 12 years to smooth my cakes..... many decorators will tell you the same..... i use it along with the fondant smoother.... in my case ..... this is the best for me.... others do different things.... and that is good too.... we are all different, and what works for us , is what we shoud do .
When is the best time to use the paper towels to get the smoothness factor. I'm having a heck of a time getting my icing smooth. I have air pockets like crazy and it drives me nuts! I have never tried the paper towel because I was scared the frosting would stick to it. I need some advice! Thanks!
If you use a really good crusting buttercream, you can use the Viva almost right away. If it's on the soft side, give it a few minutes to rest. You can always wait a few more minutes if the icing is still sticking to the paper towel. I go behind the paper towel with computer paper to get a really great smoothing effect. (technique learned from SugarShack and Boween)
They are $2 here in Pittsburgh also. I hide them from my family because of that.
I just started using the paper towel method and love it. The roll of Viva that I bought has small "sections" (for lack of the right word) and anyway it only takes about 5 of these sections to smooth a cake, so a roll should last a really long time. I also do the computer paper method. I learned all this from Sugarshack's method. I would highly recommend this method.
shwee17- before I started making Sugarshacks icing, I had air pockets like crazy. Her recipe makes the icing so creamy and smooth there is very little smoothing needed
I live in Georgia and the Viva paper towels are 2.00 also but I love them so I buy them any way.
Where can I find Sugarshacks recipie? I'd like to try it.
It's in the recipe section. sorry I'm to dumb to put a link for you. I would also search sugarshack on the how to forum-once again I wish I knew how to put in the link for you. sorry!
A really good thread is: 6qt kitchen Aid and Sugarshack icing Sorry I can't send you right to it.
Mamaof3 - not sure *exactly* where you can find Sugarshack recipe (other than doing a search on CC), but Sharon of Sugarshack does have a video on you tube that demonstrates how she makes her icing, here's the link:
Also, WOW! and thank you to everyone who posted here. I love seeing so much shared feedback. Because I'm making a 3 tiered cake I may try a different method on each tier (paper towel one tier, parchment another tier, etc.) and see what happens.
One question though: for those who mention computer paper, can I please get some clarity on this. Are you talking about the green/white lined with the pin holes on both sides that feeds through a printer like the old days or 8 1/2 x 11 copy paper that used to print on these days? And if there is a difference, what would that be? I'm so curious!
It is the plain 8 1/2 by 11 copy paper, the ink in the lined paper probably wouldn't be recommended for cakes.
Also, without having read all of the posts here, Viva does make a plain towel (which most of us prefer) and one with a raised design on it. Sometimes I use the raised design, but usually like the plain one better.
Try the parchment and see how it works for you. There are many items that can be used to smooth a cake it is all about finding the one that does the best for you.
I like the viva paper towels because I can fill where bumps and lumps are. Plus I can smooth over and down the sides easily.
I do buy the Viva to just use on cakes. I use one to two paper towels per cake so a roll can last me 6-12 months depending on how many cakes I do. If I see a paper towel that has a cool pattern on it I will buy a roll of it and put it aside in a box with the viva and those are used on cakes. I use Bounty for everything else.
I tried parchment and Viva and like Viva. the problem I had with the parchment is that it seemed to keep moisture in and rewetted my icing so it wasn't crusted anymore and came off on the parchment. Because the paper towel is absorbent it doesn't pull the icing off. That's my experience anyway HTH.