What Icing Used On "amazing Cakes" By Merci Beauco

Decorating By forthwife Updated 18 Jun 2009 , 10:02pm by FromScratch

forthwife Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 3:01pm
post #1 of 42

Hey Everyone,

Being a fondant person myself I don't do much buttercream work. Primarily because it looks too "supermarket" cake for me (sorry, I know that sounds super rude). However, when watching the most recent Amazing Wedding Cakes on WeTV I was SUPER impressed with the buttercream flowers done by Merci Beaucoup cakes. The flowers looked soft and creamy, not super stiff like Wilton declares is necessary. What was he piping with? It looked to me like and IMBC or SMBC. Having never used that I know NOTHING about it. Can you indeed pipe flowers in those two icings? Thanks a bunch in advance!!

Arainna Forth

41 replies
CakeMommy3 Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 10:33pm
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When I watched the show before, when those two people still worked for the cake divas, I'm pretty sure they mentioned using IMBC. I remember I was curious because it did look really creamy. Those flowers were amazing, and I totally want to do them!

Cakebelle Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 10:44pm
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You can totally pipe flowers with IMBC or SMBC! You just don't whip the buttercream too much, whip it just until the butter disappears, so it stays a little stiff and super creamy. You can add any color to pipe really beautiful flowers and they look just like the ones on the show.

HTH icon_smile.gif

saberger Posted 16 Jun 2009 , 10:49pm
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Maybe I whipped mine too much, but I couldn't do roses for %^#(& with my SMBC. They flopped over and drooped and stunk. I was SO disappointed.

forthwife Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 3:23pm
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Thanks for the replies! I'd began to think no one was going to respond. I also wondered, living in Florida will these flowers melt in a millisecond? I just HATE shortening based icing, not just for flavor but also for it's consistency. I am avoiding piping because I hate shortening so much. I just want to find a beautiful, delicious alternative and hope IMBC or SMBC will be it!!!

txnonnie Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 4:44pm
post #6 of 42

I have made flowers with BC and they stayed. It is really hot and humid in my part of the country and they do not melt. I don't do them ahead of time and let them dry. I don't like them crunchy, one reason I don't do much RI.

forthwife Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:08pm
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Does SMBC go crunchy like shortening icing?

aswartzw Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:13pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forthwife

Does SMBC go crunchy like shortening icing?




No, it's the same texture as butter.

aswartzw Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:16pm
post #9 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by saberger

Maybe I whipped mine too much, but I couldn't do roses for %^#(& with my SMBC. They flopped over and drooped and stunk. I was SO disappointed.




I have the same issue if my BC is too warm. If I toss it in the refrigerator to firm up, I love using it to pipe.

I'm curious about mixing "just until mixed" though. Is that the period right before SMBC hits that yucky point?

FromScratch Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:17pm
post #10 of 42

No... SMBC doesn't crust up at all. I use SMBC all the time and provided it's not a zillion degrees you can pipe with it just fine. I usually have 2 bags going of the same color so I can put one down when it gets too warm. I have hot hands too though so that doesn't help me.

If you want to do roses, pipe a bunch of the centers and put them in the fridge so they get nice and firm and then do the petals... it helps a lot. icon_smile.gif

FromScratch Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:18pm
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I find I have to whip it up completely for it to firm up nice... if I mix until the butter goes away then it's still a little soupy.

icer101 Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:20pm
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i haven,t seen a cake on this site ... using buttercream.. that even resembles a supermarket cake.. and you can indeed use imbc to pipe beautiful flowers.. right on your cake.. they are amazing.. i haven,t tried it with the smbc.. lots of people don,t like the smbc or imbc.... because they think it taste too much like butter.. then some don,t use fondant.. because.. the clients don,t like the texture of it..no matter the brand they use.. to each he own. don,t you think?lot of decorators on here.. say they use fondant.. because , they can,t smooth buttercream like they would like.. so we all do different.. and that is ok.. the remark , with your opening statement.. as you said.... was rude...

mombabytiger Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:47pm
post #13 of 42

I used to be really uppity about using decorator's bc and felt that the IMBC was the only "true" way to go.

However, it is my experience that people actually prefer the shortening-based bc. Whenever I use the MBC's, people complain that it's not sweet enough and tastes like eating whipped butter. And it's not because I don't know what I'm doing because I most certainly do.

Since I'm in business not to prove what a food snob I am, but to make people happy, I use shortening-based bc exclusively. It's beautiful, if you know what you're doing you can crust it to look almost like fondant and more important - almost everybody loves it! And I've never done a cake that looks like a supermarket cake because I think they're the only ones who have access to those hideous neon colors!

aswartzw Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 7:58pm
post #14 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratch

I find I have to whip it up completely for it to firm up nice... if I mix until the butter goes away then it's still a little soupy.




FromScratch, that's been my experience, too. In fact, from my experience, until it's reached perfection after that super yucky separation, it's not worth anything. So, as long as I remember to keep my BC on ice, I can do perfect piping! icon_lol.gif

txnonnie Posted 17 Jun 2009 , 8:06pm
post #15 of 42

I prefer BC myself with fondant accents. I have not had many people want an entire fondant cake due to the taste. However, I have found some brands of fondant that does taste good. I have never used IMBC or SMBC. I think whatever works for you as an idividual and the customer is happy then all is good.

forthwife Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:36am
post #16 of 42

I think what I'm drawn to with the SMBC or IMBC flowers is that they're shiney looking and soft. I guess where my "supermarket" comment about shortening BC flowers came in is they tend to look dull (matte may be a better word) and hard. However, I have eaten IMBC once and it most definately did taste like a stick of butter. Maybe I just need to find a balance. icon_smile.gif Maybe I'll just continue my love affair with gumpaste and remain blissfully ignorant of all buttercreams...

costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:43am
post #17 of 42

You're supposed to put a flavoring into meringue buttercreams, usually liquers, but you can use pretty much anything. If you eat it with no flavor it's pretty buttery, but my customers usually like it more than crisco buttercream.

playingwithsugar Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:56am
post #18 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by forthwife

I think what I'm drawn to with the SMBC or IMBC flowers is that they're shiney looking and soft. I guess where my "supermarket" comment about shortening BC flowers came in is they tend to look dull (matte may be a better word) and hard. However, I have eaten IMBC once and it most definately did taste like a stick of butter. Maybe I just need to find a balance. icon_smile.gif Maybe I'll just continue my love affair with gumpaste and remain blissfully ignorant of all buttercreams...




Not all meringue-based buttercreams are loaded down with butter. What you should do is experiment with different meringue-based buttercream recipes, take something from this one, something from that one, until you come up with your own recipe.

Theresa icon_smile.gif

soccermom17 Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 1:08am
post #19 of 42

ok, it's been awhile for my abbreviation education. what is smbc, imbc? Is it swiss meringue or italian meringue? just guessing. Please stop laughing at me! I was only trying! LOL Anyway, so glad merci beaucoup started their own shop. I really enjoyed watching Reva and ? So sorry, I can't place his name now! Beautiful work. -Michelle

costumeczar Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 1:20am
post #20 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by soccermom17

ok, it's been awhile for my abbreviation education. what is smbc, imbc? Is it swiss meringue or italian meringue? just guessing. Please stop laughing at me! I was only trying! LOL Anyway, so glad merci beaucoup started their own shop. I really enjoyed watching Reva and ? So sorry, I can't place his name now! Beautiful work. -Michelle




You're right about the icing names!

NikkiDoc Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 2:31am
post #21 of 42

I just tried making IMBC. I was worried for the longest time about trying to make it. I practiced by making meringue for pies. I made sugar syrups for moistening cakes and for making fruit salad and other things to familiarize myself with the different steps. I read and re read the directions for the IMBC recipe I was going to try. I was disappointed to finally taste it. I loved how it magically came together! It was a rush and made me ecstatically happy to see that! I loved the beautiful, silky and shiny-ness of it. It glides on the cake like silk and is so easy to smooth and to pipe. I loved working with it. I had to add way more vanilla than the recipe called for...maybe it was the difference in the brand I used. Adding more vanilla helped a little, but it still tasted so much like butter that I just couldn't eat very much of it. I'm sadly disappointed. Hubby and I both ended up with tummy trouble, I know it was the butter since we don't normally eat that much dairy. I used pasteurized egg whites, all my dates were fresh, and I used a thermometer so I'm certain nothing was bad. I'm let down since I was growing tired of grit from uncooked buttercream and the greasy mouth-feel of Crisco. I use a 1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco recipe normally, so I guess that's what I'll still be using. icon_sad.gif

FromScratch Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 3:28am
post #22 of 42

I never understand when people say that the MBC's taste like butter, because I don't think they do at all... unless you use salted butter. I always use unsalted butter and add tons of vanilla. The recipes that call for a tsp... definitely not enough. I make a batch with ~18 egg whites and 3 pounds of butter and I put 3 TBSP of vanilla in it. icon_biggrin.gif

forthwife Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 3:47am
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Jeanne, just wanted to let you know you're my cake hero. icon_smile.gif

AKA_cupcakeshoppe Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 5:39am
post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratch

I never understand when people say that the MBC's taste like butter, because I don't think they do at all... unless you use salted butter. I always use unsalted butter and add tons of vanilla. The recipes that call for a tsp... definitely not enough. I make a batch with ~18 egg whites and 3 pounds of butter and I put 3 TBSP of vanilla in it. icon_biggrin.gif




ITA!

definitely remember this when making MBC, use UNsalted butter. it really makes a difference. and lotsa flavoring!!! hehe

forthwife, i know what you mean. she rocks right? haha

FromScratch Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 11:57am
post #25 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by forthwife

Jeanne, just wanted to let you know you're my cake hero. icon_smile.gif




icon_redface.gif

you are too kind... icon_biggrin.gif


edited to add.... both of you!! icon_redface.gificon_redface.gificon_redface.gif

NikkiDoc Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:13pm
post #26 of 42

Maybe it was the salted butter that did it. The recipe I used didn't specify. I tried the unsalted in my old standby recipe once (1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco) and subbed a little popcorn salt (a trick I'd heard that would cut the sweetness) and found it horribly bland. My IMBC recipe did not specify one way or the other. The recipe I used was 8 egg whites, 1 1/2 lbs of butter, and it only called for 1 T. of vanilla, I used almost 3 T. Do any of you use any salt at all with the unsalted butter, like maybe a little popcorn salt or something? I really want to try this again to get an accurate picture of what it should taste like. I had a feeling that something just wasn't quite right but wasn't sure. Thanks for the suggestion, BTW! icon_smile.gif

trina0207 Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:36pm
post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by NikkiDoc

Maybe it was the salted butter that did it. The recipe I used didn't specify. I tried the unsalted in my old standby recipe once (1/2 butter and 1/2 Crisco) and subbed a little popcorn salt (a trick I'd heard that would cut the sweetness) and found it horribly bland. My IMBC recipe did not specify one way or the other. The recipe I used was 8 egg whites, 1 1/2 lbs of butter, and it only called for 1 T. of vanilla, I used almost 3 T.




I just had my first success with SMBC and my family really likes it, better than butter/crisco blends. I found the extra flavoring makes all the difference. I was given a recipe for Well Dressed Cake SMBC (used MS before and tasted just like a stick of butter with sugar in it, even though it was unsalted) and it is great. Give that one a try, and taste it to be sure you have enough flavoring. Since you add it last, you can continue to add more to taste.

aswartzw Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 12:37pm
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratch

I never understand when people say that the MBC's taste like butter, because I don't think they do at all... unless you use salted butter. I always use unsalted butter and add tons of vanilla. The recipes that call for a tsp... definitely not enough. I make a batch with ~18 egg whites and 3 pounds of butter and I put 3 TBSP of vanilla in it. icon_biggrin.gif




Definitely!! Salted butter is the death of SMBC. I love SMBC. I used to be crazy about super-sweet BC's but after eating SMBC I will never go back. My coworkers swoon when I use it on my cakes. I don't even like raspberry BC but I can't get enough of raspberry SMBC. Plus, I'll eat choc. SMBC straight from the freezer. It tastes like ice cream!

I've also noticed I'm not a huge fan of plain vanilla BC. If I want plain, I'll do white choc. with vanilla or creme bouquet and it does take like 3 Tbsp. of flavoring.

FromScratch Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 1:34pm
post #29 of 42

Oh yes... if you used salted butter all I can say is ICK!!!! You need the salt in a crisco and powdered sugar icing to cut the sweetness, but SMBC or IMBC has so much less sugar in it than a PS and crisco buttercream so you don't have to have the salt. I used 1/2 and 1/2 once with the butters and it still tasted like butter... I almost gave up on it but decided to try it with all unsalted and VIOLA!!! It was perfect. It is rich and buttery in texture, but not in flavor.

Use unsalted butter and lots of flavoring. The Well Dressed Cake SMBC recipe was posted by me... I have had great success with it. You can use the salted SMBC on a muffin... or add some cinnamon and use it on rolls or toast. You could try adding some unssalted peanut butter to it too... some people say adding bittersweet chocolate helps too, but I haven't tried. I'd think the butter taste would still come through more than I'd like it to.

The recipe is in the recipe section here, but it calls for 5 egg whites, 1 cup of sugar, 3 sticks of unsalted butter and 1-2 T. of real vanilla. You can make it as an IMBC too, just add 1/4c of water to the sugar on the stove and cook to 248 degrees and then add to the beating whites. It tastes like vanilla ice cream to me. Adding fruit purees to it is heavenly too, but I wouldn't try that with your salted SMBC... it'd be a waste of fruit since the salty buttery taste would still come through.

NikkiDoc Posted 18 Jun 2009 , 1:39pm
post #30 of 42

I was wondering if vanilla was the best flavor for IMBC. It didn't seem to do the texture justice. It did cross my mind that more intense, deeper flavors would probably work better. I'm already considering my next project....coconut and lime. I'm foolish over that combination. I think that will convert me if it turns out well! icon_smile.gif

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