I don't know if this is more of a rant or a question. I feel like I have read every major thread on SMBC and I still am having trouble. I REALLY want to like it. A few times I have made it in the past it has turned out beautifully and was easy to smooth. But recently I just can't get it! I don't know what I did before that I am not doing now. Maybe by chance I have missed something in trying to figure out how to make this. I really could use one of those "lightning bolt" moments.
1st problem: Having trouble with bubbles. I have tried making bigger and smaller batches, beating it longer/shorter, faster/slower! Ack! Seemed to help when I ran it on the lowest speed for a few minutes after it was completed. But then they were back by the time I put it on the cake!
2nd problem: smoothing. I have tried smoothing with a warm bench scraper, not warmed, wet, dry. I have tried putting it in the freezer for a bit and scraping off. It looks like my cake has cellulite! sort of bumpy and with airpockets.
3rd problem: It seems like after I have worked the buttercream (maybe over worked it) either by beating it or smoothing it, the consistency changes more from fluffy to like soft butter. It still tastes the same but the texture seems wrong. It this my imagination?
4th: I just made a cake yesterday with smbc and fondant accents. The lady isnt going to eat it until saturday. I told her I would leave it out of the fridge. But now I am worrying. (so it would be out for 3 days). Should I have told her to put it in the fridge?
Any encouragement or help is appreciated!
Have you read this thread? http://www.cakecentral.com/modules.php?name=Forums&file=viewtopic&t=404613&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=imbc&&start=15
Scroll down to find all the posts by ShirleyW and Antonia74
It's about IMBC, but I think you could use the same techniques with SMBC.
Hey there... sorry you are having such a hard time with it. It can be tricky to get use to that's for sure.
For smoothing I have found, that the best way to do it is to put the SMBC on right after you whip it up and smooth it right then. If you wait and it gets cold, then smoothing it will be a real PITA. You will get little clumps of SMBC coming up on your spatula and it will ruin the finish. Bubbles can be smoothed easily (for me at least) and it usually only takes a few go arounds to get it pretty much smoothed. Then take your bench scraper or putty knife and warm it under the faucet and smooth the sides to a satin finish.
If you are over working the icing it will go really soft on you. Step away for a bit and re-whip it and it will come back to normal. You can even put an ice pack on the outside of the mixer bowl to speed it up. If your icing is going soft on the cake then leave it be for a bit too. If you are using a warmed spatula then it could be over warming it.
You will find as you keep using it, you get used to how it behaves. It's different in the summer than it is in the winter too. What's your recipe? There could be a way to tweak it to make it behave better for you too.
hmmm.... maybe that's it! Maybe it is getting too firm before I apply it. Yesterday I did wait awhile. In my mind it was "freshly" made, but it was probably an hour or two after I had whipped it up. Okay I am excited to try it again.
I use confetti cakes recipe.
10 ounces egg whites
20 ounces sugar
5 sticks butter
You could put more butter in there... that might make it easier to use. The recipe I use is this...
5 egg whites (about 1/2 a cup)
1 cup sugar
3 sticks of unsalted butter
and 1/2 - 1 TBSP of vanilla
But defintiely don't use it unless you have whipped it up first... especially in the cooler months.
I will try and add another stick of butter then! Thanks
Jeanne: Thank you, I am eternally grateful! I think you helped me crack my problem! I did add an extra stick of butter, but I think really it was using it right after I finished whipping it up. I guess I was considering freshly made buttercream as still at room temp. It totally makes sense as to why sometimes I was successful and sometimes not. OMG! I had tried every other variable! Thanks!
I am so glad Merissa!! Here's to less stressful SMBC from here on out!!
Jeanne's SMBC is to die for! It's the only kind I use! Everyone loves it!!
Again, thank you! I am so excited now that I don't have to worry next time I have to make it! I guess it was just too cold before, wow! I am glad it is an easy fix.
I am so glad you have renewed confidence with it. In the summertime you have more play time between when you make it and when you can use it since it's warmer, but when it's cool you really must whip it before you use it... whip it good.
Here was my cake...just a quick one for Easter. (okay well the bow DID take a little time!) Just 2 or 3 swipes with the scraper and nice and smooth!