Help Please With Imbc!!!!!!!! Need Help Now

Decorating By debster Updated 23 Feb 2009 , 7:55pm by antonia74

debster Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 1:30am
post #1 of 19

Ok I made it about two months ago and wasn't that impressed too buttery for me, anyway I thought I need to have it down if someone asks for it. Well someone wants to try it this Saturday. I made it and it seemed to be fine not grainy or anything until it cooled then it was grainy feeling. What did I do wrong?

I have to try it again tomorrow and it's got to be good. Also does it crust and can you put a cloth bow or fondant ribbon on it?

Last question, how do you smooth this type of frosting? Thanks for any and all help it's appreciated!!!!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

18 replies
antonia74 Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:04am
post #2 of 19

If yours is grainy, you've either whipped the eggs to the dry stage before adding the boiling sugar syrup and it has cooked the eggs into teeny tiny egg white bits OR you've taken the sugar too far (too hot) and it's gone to the hard ball stage, leaving behind balls of rock hard sugar in the whipped mixture.

As for the buttery taste...make sure you are only using unsalted butter and you can add any flavouring you'd like; vanilla, lemon/lime/orange zest, cocoa, melted chocolate, pureed fruits, jams/jellies, alcohol, extracts, flavourings, etc, etc...

No, it's not a crusting icing...but you can put a fondant/gumpaste bow on it, sure. As for fabric, you can slip a strip of waxed paper beneath it or behind it. Otherwise, it's going to stain it with the butter content. icon_sad.gif

Invest in a thermometer for accuracy and use liquid egg whites from the carton, much easier and smoother! thumbs_up.gif

How to make it....

How to smooth it. (I just copied my reply from a thread last year)...

Here's my 3 biggest tips that I use every time for getting buttercream really smooth. (I use Italian Meringue Buttercream, but the technique can be used on any type really):

1) use it when it's freshly made and room temp, that's when the consistency is perfect. After the last bit of butter & flavouring are added in the recipe, whisk it on top speed for 3 minutes then turn the mixer off and walk away for 30 minutes. Come back, switch the whisk for the paddle attachment and give it 2 more minutes on medium speed to get rid of the air bubbles and make it super smooth. It should be the consistency of soft whipped cream or soft-serve ice cream. If you have leftover cold buttercream that you want to re-use, let it come to room temperature naturally on your counter until it is soft...and whip it again to the same soft consistency. If you're using IMBC or SMBC and it's a bit cold when you start to mix it again, you'll notice that it seems to split and look curdled (like cottage cheese). DON'T PANIC and don't throw it out and don't add anything like icing sugar! The butter in the icing is just too cold and it needs a good mix to return to the right temperature. Just keep the mixer running and walk away for 5 minutes. When you return, it will be smooth and uniform once again, ready to use.

2) ice really cold firm cakes, semi-frozen if need be...but not 100% frozen solid. Torte, fill & thinly crumbcoat your cake and put it in the freezer for an hour. Take it out and immediately plaster it roughly with about twice as much buttercream as you'll really need. Huge tip here....SMOOTHING CAKES IS ALL ABOUT THE REMOVAL OF EXCESS ICING AND NOT AT ALL ABOUT BUILDING IT UP AND PATCHING!! I wish someone had explained this to me when I first started in the biz. It would have saved me years of frustration at trying to get my cakes perfectly smooth. Take your plastering knife (see point #3 for this & photo attached) and run it around the cake, digging in about 1/4 inch (5 millimeters) to get off the excess icing in one or two spins of the cake turntable. Now, take your offset palette knife and draw the icing in on top of the cake from the edges, about 4-5 times all the way around. The last step is to take your straight palette knife and draw it right across the top only once or twice to remove any lines. Done! Back in the fridge.

3) Toss those cheap white pastry scrapers, they truly aren't the best. Go to the hardware store and in the plastering section you'll see cheap, stiff plastic plastering tools with handles for a buck or two (see photo attached here.) Get a few widths, like 3", 6", etc. These are awesome!! They give you super sharp sides because they don't bend at all and they are the height of your cakes, so no lines appearing as you try to ice a 5" cake with a 3" smoother by going around twice on the top or bottom. These tools do it in one stroke! Fantastic.

debster Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 2:46am
post #3 of 19

Thanks sp much for ALL the information, I will try tomorrow and let you know how it goes. I have a feeling I over cooked it. I'll use the thermometer tomorrow. How hot is it to get? Thanks again!!!!

debster Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 7:14pm
post #4 of 19

Ok I just made it and it's not grainy but is it done when stiff peaks form? Now if I put it in the fridge for the night can i rewhip tommorow? Thanks

prterrell Posted 20 Feb 2009 , 11:06pm
post #5 of 19

Just leave it on the counter (covered, of course). It doesn't need to be refrigerated.

Davina_Alloway Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 1:20am
post #6 of 19

Does the Italian Meringue Buttercream taste better than regular buttercream? I've never heard of IMBC

didi5 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 2:20am
post #7 of 19

It's the only BC I use and most of my customers love it because it is not too sweet. The other reason I like it because it's all natural - the main ingredients are eggwhites, sugar and butter. Simple as that. It's really a matter of personal taste - some people love it while others don't.

I discovered Antonia's original post years ago, and using that plastering tool is the best thing for smoothing IMBC. Thanks again Antonia!

debster Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 2:35am
post #8 of 19

This is my first batch that turned out good. It's a light buttery taste. I would like to try it with some type of fruit filling. I still prefer buttercream for me, but this person wants it for a wedding cake.

For those of you who use it all the time can you stack and use it the same as regular buttercream? I would imagine it won't take heat with the high butter content, another thing since one batch has a pound of butter do you all charge more for this icing? It doesn't seem like a batch of this goes as far as a batch of buttercream. Thanks

didi5 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 2:43am
post #9 of 19

My most requested is raspberry IMBC for filling. I just mash some defrosted raspberries with sugar and a bit of lemon juice then add it to the bc. Really good...

What recipe do you use? I use the whimsical bakehouse recipe which uses a 1 1/2 pounds of butter. It's enough to fill and frost a 9'' cake.

debster Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 3:26am
post #10 of 19

The one above that Anatonia just gave me , it turned out well with the talking you through it . It's in PDF form. The first time I did it I think I overcooked the sugar because it was grainy. SMOOTH today. Try it.

didi5 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 3:52am
post #11 of 19

I'm glad it worked for you this time. thumbs_up.gif
Yes, I have tried that recipe already. That's what I first used until I discovered the WBH one. Tastes the same but it just yields more.

debster Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 3:56am
post #12 of 19

Feel like sharing the WBH recipe?

didi5 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 4:01am
post #13 of 19



2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup water
1 cup eggwhites
1 tsp. cream of tartar (optional)
1 1/2 lbs. or 6 sticks butter cut up into small pieces
1 tsp. pure vanilla


In a saucepan, combine 2 cups of sugar and water and heat until bubbly.

Beat the eggwhites until soft peak have formed and slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat until stiff peaks have formed.

Back to the syrup, bring it to a boil until a candy thermometer registers 248 degrees F (firm ball stage). At this stage, bigger bubbles are formed while boiling.

With the mixer on high speed, pour the syrup on to the sides of the bowl, careful not to pour it on the beaters. When all the syrup has been added, lower the speed and let it beat until cool.

Add the butter a piece or two at a time. It will sometimes come to a point where it looks curdled, just increase the speed slightly and continue beating until smooth.

Lastly, add the vanilla.


Flavoured Liquor: Adding Liquor is a great way to flavour the buttercream. My favorite is Grand Marnier. Slowly add up to 1/2 cup of liquor while mixer is on.

Chocolate Buttercream: Add about 10 oz of melted bittersweet or white chocolate. Add more to taste.

Fruit Flavour: Add up to 1- 1 1/2 cups of strawberry or raspberry puree that has been slightly sweetend with sugar. I prefer to use frozen berries that been defrosted. You can also use lemon, orange or lime curd to flavour the buttercream. Use the same amounts as the purees.

kbak37 Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 4:15am
post #14 of 19

I have a written tutorial with pictures from baking 911 and the Cake Bible. If you would like it, PM me and I will send it to you ASAP.

brandywinecakes Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 4:25am
post #15 of 19

I am also wondering if decorators charge more for this icing? It is more expensive to make, so it would make sense.

brandywinecakes Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 4:31am
post #16 of 19

I am also wondering if decorators charge more for this icing? It is more expensive to make, so it would make sense.

stephaniescakenj Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 4:42am
post #17 of 19

I don't charge any extra for it. Probably should have when butter cost a fortune but now I can get 4 lbs of butter at sam's club for $5.39. Besides the butter, it's only 6 or 7 eggs and some sugar. It's really not too expensive to make plus I find it so much easier to make and work with than the powdered sugar icings.

Just remembered, I figured out the cost once, it costs me 3.29 to make a batch using the whimsical bakehouse recipe.

debster Posted 21 Feb 2009 , 1:21pm
post #18 of 19

Thanks I'll try that as well but it will be awhile no one here much orders that, maybe I'll start a new trend. Who knows? Thanks

antonia74 Posted 23 Feb 2009 , 7:55pm
post #19 of 19
Originally Posted by debster

For those of you who use it all the time can you stack and use it the same as regular buttercream? I would imagine it won't take heat with the high butter content

I use it in the summer, no problem. I don't put it outdoors in heat/humidity, but it's stable indoors with light a/c on.

Yes, it stacks perfectly. (See my photos....nearly all my cakes are stacked and IMBC.)

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