Is it just me, or are the Wilton icing consistencies "off"? I taught a couple Wilton courses before I wasn't able to do it anymore....and the way they teach you to do it seems WAY too stiff.
Not only do I think the "stiff" is like wayyyy to dry to squeeze out of the tubes, but I usually just like to use the same consistency for everything...icing, roses, whatever. Unless I'm using royal icing to make daisies or whatever but then that's not buttercream.
I just thought of it because I've seen several photos lately of really pretty buttercream roses but I'm seeing alot of jagged rough edges and wondering if its because the Wilton classes are teaching people to make roses out of icing that's WAY too stiff....???
I told my students not to worry about the consistency and just make it to where it is comfortable to squeeze yet still holds a decent shape. Once we thinned the icing down just a bit, their roses started coming out so much better.
Why does Wilton do that?
Most of the Wilton books were written with "old Crisco" in mind. IE: they had transfats, and different creaminess.
You certainly need to have different consistencies when it comes to shortening-based icings. It is different now that Crisco has omitted the trans-fat that made it easier to work with...if not a bit harder on the health.
Certainly...you need a nice, soft consistency to ice a cake. Borders....I can do with IMCB out of the bowl....
A lot of it you control not only with powdered sugar, but with temperature. I used to advise my students that at some point...with lots of practice...you could find a "happy medium" that works for everything.
I think the same thing! Also in the bc recipe it says 1 cup shorting, I dont like it like that, I use half shorting and half butter.
Once you get used to how to do a rose, you can even do it with a remarkably soft icing. I have a whipped icing recipe I got from where I worked, and initially I could not make roses with it but now I can (see Dora cake in recent pix, made with soft whipped icing). Its so much faster and easier to squeeze a rose out of soft icing than to force it through using stiff.
It has been some 8 yrs since I taught Wilton but I never had trouble w/the consistencies back then......and most of my students didn't either.
I agree w/the other poster that it takes lots of practice to be able to use one consistency......that 'happy medium'
Hmm ok. I know the students I had, had SO much trouble until I just basically told them to do it however they wanted and then they were relieved and relaxed and were able to squeeze out nicer roses.
I know people blame the trans fat being removed for icing issues, but I don't think that is always the case, since some people, like me, haven't had any issues with it.
I don't think it is Wilton's recipe either. I think it is students and what they do in their kitchens that causes icing problems. I've been a WMI for 5 years, and I can say every month I have had people come in with too stiff, but also too thin icing.
Of my 4 students last night, two were a great consistency, one had too thin icing for every consistency and the other had too thick medium.
If a student only has a hand mixer and splits a 2lb bag of powder sugar the first batch will be thicker than the second batch. Because chances are they are going to measure out 4 cups in the first then dump what is left (which is never 4 cups) into the second with out measuring.
I do agree you don't have the exact right consistency for most things. But when it comes to learning the roses I think it does help to have a good consistency to work with. I've watched many a students try to make roses with too soft icing and have issues with the base wiggling around and the petals laying flat. I think once you learn it you can probably do it in almost anything, but while learning the less other issues you have to deal with the better.
Alot of times the icing isn't too stiff but usually too dry. That can be easily fixed by adding a little more crisco or by adding piping gel to the stiff icing. If one of my students consistencies was off, then I fixed it so they had a better icing to work with.
Another reason people get the split edges has nothing to do with the icing but how they are piping and turning the nail. If they are piping slow and turning the nail fast it will pull the icing and create the rough edges. When I am talking and showing my students I usually pipe slower and I end up with the broken edges, but if I took the same icing and just did a rose how I would normally do it, it comes out fine.