Help!! Can't Get Bc Smooth W/viva Method...what's Wrong?

Decorating By djs328 Updated 28 Jun 2009 , 8:53pm by djs328

djs328 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:08am
post #1 of 21

I'm icing a 3 tier square wedding cake for tomorrow...have not done the Viva method before and don't know if it's my icing, or what...I'm letting it crust slightly (in the fridge) and then my towel keeps sticking in spots, and my little lumps are not going away when I smooth with the fondant smoother...any ideas?? Am I not pressing hard enough?
Help, please!!! icon_cry.gificon_cry.gificon_cry.gif

20 replies
djs328 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:14am
post #2 of 21

Nobody? icon_sad.gif Cakes in fridge right now...would really appreciate any tips! Thanks!

ncox Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:14am
post #3 of 21

I do not let my cakes crust in the fridge. Try letting it crust on the counter. I have a feeling that is the culprit. Smooth with your hand first to get the small 'bumps' out then use the fondant smoother. HTH!

djs328 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:15am
post #4 of 21

Thanks ncox! icon_smile.gif Will do that!

dorie67 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:16am
post #5 of 21

I use the Viva method all the time, is the icing dry to the touch before you are attempting to smooth it? The icing needs to be dry before you put the viva to it or it will continue to stick. I know you are pressed for time with the event being tomorrow, but just take a few minutes, take a breath, and let the icing set up and give it another try icon_smile.gif, hope it works out for you. princess.gif

butternut Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:18am
post #6 of 21

If your icing is sticking in spots to the paper towel, I don't believe that your icing has crusted long enough. I do not put my cakes in the fridge prior to smoothing the icing. I let it crust on the counter for about 15 minutes and then place the paper towel on top first and start smoothing. I always just use my fingers to smooth. It the lumps aren't going away, try pressing just a bit harder. With practice, you will be able to get it super smooth. Good luck...

sweetcravings Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:19am
post #7 of 21

The key is to make sure it is really crusted well. I know some say they just wait ten minutes or so and they are good to go, but with my icing i have to wait more like an half and hour or more. Perhaps your icing needs longer to crust. Then place the viva on the cake and i first smooth ever so gently with my hand, then follow with the fondant smoother. You want to press hard enough to smooth it, but not so hard it displaces the icing. I generally only need maybe one or two peices of viva to smooth a whole cake. It is wonderful to work with and doesn't pick up the grease from the buttercream like some paper towels do. I don't think the refrigeration is the problem, as i have put mine in the fridge to crust and it works just fine. My opinion...let it sit longer so that it forms a really good crust...good luck.

2girliesmama Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:22am
post #8 of 21

When you put a cake in the fridge to crust this method is hit or miss because you can get some condensation. Let crust on a counter in a cool place. Also I have had this problem and I find adding a bit more PS to my buttercream gives a better crust and can help as well. You could also try the melvira high density roller method. Good luck! thumbs_up.gif

djs328 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 2:30am
post #9 of 21

Thanks so much folks! Appreciate all the quick responses. We'll see how it goes.

djs328 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 5:29am
post #10 of 21

WHEW!!! It's DONE! icon_smile.gif My first wedding cake is complete and ready to go for tomorrow. THANK YOU all so much - not just for the tips but for the encouragement!! Just needed someone to tell me to breathe & be worked! icon_smile.gif Now - for sleep! Will post pics tomorrow. icon_smile.gif

Valgal820 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 8:03am
post #11 of 21

Yeah! Glad it works. I never put mine in the fridge. I live in 85% humidity, year round. Last night I ended up pulling out the fan to help crust a little helped.

dhccster Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 8:43am
post #12 of 21

Congratulations on your first wedding cake. I am looking forward to seeing pictures! thumbs_up.gif

djs328 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 3:13pm
post #13 of 21

Ok, it is...I learned QUITE a bit on this...especially about being PATIENT with buttercream! LOL! It's what she requested - I'm not thrilled with it, but I am hoping she likes it! Thanks again for helping me through my meltdown! haha!

indydebi Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 3:48pm
post #14 of 21

What were you worried about? That cake is awesome! Crisp edges and very smooth icing!

Just to add my 2 cents worth, I also let the icing air dry. It only takes about 5 minutes or less with my icing. crusted icing is dry to the touch and air-drying removes the moisture from the icing. Moisture in the icing is what causes your viva to stick.

It just confuses me when people on here think getting icing cold is the same as "drying" it.

I dont' put my laundry in the refrigerator to dry, although my underwear would appear to be a bit stiff if I put a wet bra in the 'frig or the freezer for awhile! icon_lol.gif

Stiff icing is not the same as crusted or air dried.

djs328 Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 3:51pm
post #15 of 21

Thanks, Indy...that means a lot coming from the Queen of Cakes!!! icon_smile.gif (That is your title, right? at least it is in my head!) icon_smile.gif
Thinking back - I think maybe less real butter next time, and I'll be using HR Shortening, too...and that makes total sense - your laundry are a great teacher! You can tell I don't work w/BC very much, huh!?! More practice...that's the ticket...more cakes, please!! hehe!

2girliesmama Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 4:21pm
post #16 of 21

love your cake! I can get mine smooth, but I never get the edges so crisp! How'd you do it? icon_biggrin.gif

LittleLinda Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 4:35pm
post #17 of 21

The cake came out lovely. I bet you watch Cake Boss. He always says he's putting the cake in the fridge to crust ... I have always questioned that in my head. I always let them crust on the counter.

dhccster Posted 27 Jun 2009 , 7:34pm
post #18 of 21

Your cake looks beautiful. I cannot believe that is your first wedding cake. You should be VERY proud of yourself. Congratulations!

djs328 Posted 28 Jun 2009 , 1:41am
post #19 of 21

Thanks everyone! icon_smile.gif I feel proud - just got home from the wedding - she loved it! And after smashing their pieces in each others' mouths, they proceeded to eat it off their hands, forgoing the paper towels I offered to clean off their hands! Then ate 2 more pieces each! I am so happy, and so relieved! icon_smile.gif

Incidently...I thought I'd mention - I was putting the cake in the fridge not only to try to crust the icing (which now I know is SOOO not the way to do it!) but also b/c my fillings were cream based...they held up fine, though...I fridged it overnight when it was done, and it was perfect today!! YAY!!!

2girliesmama: the corners were NOT easy...I spent a lot of time trying to get them perfect (which didn't happen!) but using the Viva method and a fondant smoother and my fingers to sort of form that edge seemed to work well...I love the look of the square cakes...not the work of them though! They are TOUGH! But I'm pretty happy with it overall!

JGMB Posted 28 Jun 2009 , 2:52am
post #20 of 21

Wow!!!!! That is one gorgeous cake! It must've been delicious as well, considering that the happy couple ate 2 1/2 pieces each. What flavor was it?

djs328 Posted 28 Jun 2009 , 8:53pm
post #21 of 21
Originally Posted by JGMB

Wow!!!!! That is one gorgeous cake! It must've been delicious as well, considering that the happy couple ate 2 1/2 pieces each. What flavor was it?

Believe it or not - she picked vanilla w/vanilla cream filling...and vanilla w/white choc'd never think I offered MANY MANY other (more interesting!) flavors!! Oh well! icon_smile.gif

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