A while ago I started using IMBC and absolutely love it! The problem comes when I want to use a filling. I can't just add sugar to stiffen up my dam so I've been using normal IMBC and have had a couple minor blow-outs. Is there any way I can prevent this? I had unsightly seam marks on my last cake but don't want to give up on IMBC quite yet.
I'd appreciate any ideas you've got!
Hmmm, the only thing I can think to tell you is to use a little less filling, make sure to let the cake settle overnight after filling and crumbcoating (so if there is slight bulging you can smooth it out before finishing the cake), and make sure to pipe your dam slightly inside the edge of the cake. I use IMBC and I don't use anything to stiffen up the dam... I just pipe the IMBC in as-is, and I've never had issues with bulging or blow-outs.
Before you put your filling in are you crumb coating and chilling the cake? If you put the IMBC in the fridge for a couple of hours it will harden up and is much easier to put the top coat on. Your filling shouldn't run out and maybe you're using a little too much filling. I've found less is best in most cases and fan it out on the edges so it's a little thinner. IMBC smoothes out like a dream but it has to chill in between. Make sure your filling is cold or room temp. when you put it on the chilled buttercream.
Thanks so much for the tips!
I've been letting my cakes settle overnight, then the next day I put my dam (well inside the edge) and filling on, top it off with the next layer of cake, do a thin layer of IMBC and then put it in the freezer for a bit for it to firm up before putting on my fondant. I think my filling has been room-temp, maybe even cold. Maybe I'm using too much filling, I don't know. It just seems like such a thin layer when cut and I don't want to skimp on it too much.
The blowouts tend to happen when I'm spreading the BC (although I've also had post-blowout blowouts under the fondant, too) so maybe I should chill right after filling and before I do anything else?
healingforce1: Doesn't the IMBC get rock-hard after a couple hours in the fridge? Or is there a magic point where you get a firmer consistency but still keep IMBC's awesome spreadability?
I'll try playing around with it a bit.
If you can, get DeDe Wilson's book, Wedding Cakes You Can Make, and she uses and explains in detail how to use IMBC or Rose Levy Berenbaum, The Cake Bible for lots of tips. The reasons you chill it is to get it hard and it prepares a better surface for the filling; less leakage. DeDe says filling should only be about 1/4 inch thick. You want people to taste the cake and the filling compliments the cake and buttercream. I know it looks stingy, been there, but it's better in the end product. Try looking on Rose's website in her forums for this problem. I don't use fondant, no one seems to want it and like the taste of the buttercream overall. IMBC will hold up pretty well in high humidity.
You can make your IMBC a month ahead of time! It freezes and refrigerates well. I put small amounts in the microwave for a few seconds, stir and whip it all again when I get enough.
Thanks so much for the tips!
I've been letting my cakes settle overnight, then the next day I put my dam (well inside the edge) and filling on, top it off with the next layer of cake, do a thin layer of IMBC...
You should be letting your cakes settle overnight AFTER filling and crumbcoating.
I thought I had always heard to do it the other way around! That would explain a lot! Although the way my schedule is, by the time they've cooled down enough I'm ready (and anxiously waiting) to go to bed. May have to rethink my starting times...
I've got another cake coming up in 2 weeks - I'll try it your way and see how it goes! Thanks for the help!