Hello! Okay so I'm making a cake for my brother's wedding reception. His wife, though, is south Korean. When we went to visit her family they said they found western food too sweet. Obviously cake is meant to be sweet but I can understand what they mean.
So my dilemma is that I need a crusting buttercream frosting because I want to smooth it to look like fondant right? But If I use too much icing sugar it will be too sweet! So I was wondering if there was anything I could replace some of the icing sugar with that's going to keep it crusting but make it a little less sweet? Like flour or something?
I know it's a little strange. If worst comes to worst I will just make the cake less sweet and use normal buttercream frosting.
If you add a little salt when you are making buttercream it cuts the sweetness quite a bit. If you have access to popcorn salt it disolves easily. If buttercream is to be coloured the salt needs to be totally dissolved in the icing or you might get "spots". You can warm up the liquid and melt it in that if you are having trouble with it.
Add a little salt to some of your liquid - I use just hot water for this part - wait for it to dissolve and add in to your buttercream. I use a 50-50 mix of regular (all butter) buttercream and SMBC to cut down on the sweetness, but then add in 1 - 2 TBSP of flour.... crusts nicely, a little slowly, but nicely. You can put it in the fridge too, to help speed up the crusting.
I used to work for a Japanese company and I loved it when we had a pitch in, because I'd ask my Japanese co-workers to "educate me, guys! Which foods should I try first!" I got to sample some great and not-so-great foods that I'd never think of ordering in a restaurant.
Anyway ..... The Asian culture definitely has a different view of desserts than we Americans do! While I grew to love many of the foods they brought in, I just couldn't wrap my arms around what they called a dessert. It's not just "less" sweet .... it's NOT sweet! Blecky to me!
The point behind my rambling is that I'm not sure you can make a buttercream icing that's going to be "not sweet" enough for their taste palette. In my limited experience, it's just flat out two different tastes.
I once had this dessert at a chinese restaurant and it was the most nastiest thing i ever had. Was not dessert sweet if you get my meaning, but that experience has given me an idea for you. The dessert was topped with merengue and it was not so sweet. There is this frosting used in the Dominican Republic called "Suspiro It is made out of a merengue base but nothing like SMBC or IMBC if I had to describe it it would be more like a 7 minute fluff frosting. I am sorry but I don't have a recipe but maybe it would lead you on the right track.
Good luck and happy caking,