I've watched Sugarshack's Buttercream DVD repeatedly, read the recipe, watched the youtube video, and read that entire 40-some page thread on this forum. Thought I had it down.
When I made my first batch ever of Sugarshack's buttercream yesterday, it was flawless - just beautifully smooth. I used a few spoonsful to thicken for the icing dam, covered the rest and set aside on the counter for use today. When I uncovered it today - GASP - it is FULL of air bubbles!!
Well, I've searched the forums and there is just too much information on this topic and I need help soon! I did remember reading somewhere that it could be caused by the icing being too thick, so I reheated the creamer mixture and added a little while rewhipping in the KA. BTW, I'm using the recipe adapted for the 6-qt KA.
When I made the icing yesterday, I did not get that sucking/kissing sound, but today I did. I continually scraped the sides while beating as Sharon does in the youtube video. The icing is just a pocked mess.
I did heat a spatula, dry it, and ran it through the icing, and it smoothed out fairly nicely, so I am going to use it anyway. Too expensive to toss!
Any suggestions on what went wrong? Can this batch be fixed?
Better to have all those bubbles on TOP, eh? Scrape all of the bubbles out and keep for piping. To remove bubbles before piping just stir in a clockwise (or counter clockwise...the idea is to not WHIP) fashion. Don't throw it out! If anything add jam and call it filling.
I think there was a spot in the video where she said you should just re mix it. I haven't had that problem yet. I know when there is air bubbles due to the dry climate here I usually can just smooth it out. I love her recipe and won't use anything else now. I have now substituted cream cheese for 1 cup of the shortening for the 5 qt recipe and now I have cream cheese flavored butter cream **that came out smooth I am so happy**. Good luck with it I know it took me a couple tries before I got it right.
I too have this problem, after it sits or if I have frozen and thawed. All I do is get what I need and take an angled spatula and "smash/smack" it against the side of the bowl a few times before using. I do it for the whole batch and then the little amount I take out to apply to the cake. Do Not stir!
Hope this helps and makes sense
I kind of do what dandelion56602 does...but I do like a folding type stir, like when you have to fold in whipped egg whites or whipped topping.
After doing that a little then I will stir kind of slow, not real slow. Had my daughter one time to mix a color up for me and she was stir like a mad woman, and I had lots of air bubbles I had to tell her to slow down, your not whipping egg whites girl
It also does help if I take what I need at that time and stir it with the spatula (I use the flat spatula), but that is what works for me when re-stirring.
Hope this can help,
Thanks for your help and encouragement! I was able to whack out some of the air, so I proceeded applying the stuff to the cake. But what a mess I've made of things! Remember I said I thinned it a little thinking the thickness might be the problem? Uh-oh. The stuff kept sliding and slumping down the sides. I would push it up, turn around for a minute, then there it was in a puddle again.
I was getting really cranked up about it, when my DH came in (heard the shrill tone of my swearing from the basement, I presume) and asked if I had enough ingredients to just start over. I said I did, but so much money...! He said to just make another batch, scrape the runny stuff off the cake, and hopefully find something else to do with the remainder of the first batch. So I am. What a guy!
Guess I'll keep the first batch for filling. I wonder if I can thicken it (who cares if the filling isn't bubble-free?) with more PS and flavor it?
Back to the kitchen...
what brand of shortening?
If I use sweetex, I can cover a batch and let it sit for weeks or freeze it and not have to re-whip it to use it. still smooth as glass. other brands of shortening will cause me to develop some air bubbles the next day.
It could also be that you need just a tad more liquid at the time of making it, ( not the next day.) Don't ask me why that is a factor, cuz I have no idea, LOL
I do not mean to insult but just to be sure:
1) you creamed the shortening and liquids first till it got all incorporated anf fluffy?
2) creamer liquid was really hot?
3) that bowl was totally a vacuum for the beater while it was mixing at speed 6? no way any air was coming into the under surface of the icing?
HTH and let me know!
one more thought:
1) to save an airy batch; fill a smaller mixer bowl so that the bowl is totally full and paddle is covered and rebeat without adding liquid. or add 1-2 tsp super hot creamer mixture while doing this.
PS. you can do the above with a hand mixer but it MUST have a super powerful motor or you will burn it out. or 2. or 3. like me.
2) freeze and save it for filling and piping
3) freeze partial batches and then combine them later to fill your bowl and remix.
What a day! I'm not the least bit insulted! I truly appreciate your help, Sharon.
I did use Sweetex (at least The Bakers Kitchen said it was!).
The creamer mixture was quite hot, made it with water 5 minutes in the MW, then used immediately.
I did mix the Sweetex/creamer/flavorings until homogenous. (I did go higher than Speed 1 for this part - could that be it?)
I felt sure there were no air pockets, all I saw was one big blob filling the whole bowl and the paddle was submerged.
The end result day one was perfectly smooth icing. But not on day two. The rewhip made it worse, and I got it way too thin.
So, I made another batch, using the same method. It was perfectly creamy and smooth, but I can't wait to check the leftovers tomorrow to see how it looks.
I'll save the first batch for something! Too tasty and expensive to pitch!
Sharon, I had an awful time icing the cake - you must have sold your soul to the devil to get as good as you are!
I just could not get the icing to stay put on the sides. Although it seemed quite stiff and not at all runny, it kept sliding ever so gently down so that the sides are a little wider at the bottom. I kept pulling icing off and trying to hitch it back north, but in the end, I have a slightly A-shaped cake. The icing is rather thin at the top of the sides, and thicker at the bottom. I'm disappointed in that, but I'll keep trying. I'm wondering if my kitchen just got too hot. I don't have much counter space and my hot pot was within a couple of feet. I will also use a little less liquid next batch.
Thanks again for coming to my rescue! I'm a little star struck!
Geez, I'm a white sticky mess... I need a shower and some cake!!
The running down the side should not happen. that sounds like the icing was way too thin consistency wise.
can you write out for me the exact amounts of each thing you used?
Your process seems correct; no error there I can see.
Sharon, I used the recipe modified for the 6-qt, found here on this forum. Here's what I used:
45.5 oz hi-ratio shortening
5 tbsp flavoring
20 tbsp creamer mixture
6 lb powdered sugar
I don't know how many cups of shortening that is, I just went by the weight listed in the recipe.
I won't say it actually ran down the sides, it slowly skulked! I would have it perfectly vertical, then in a few minutes it was sagging again!
We just had a piece of the cake. The icing just went perfectly with the WASC with raspberry filling!! Yum!
Thanks again for taking an interest!
3 lbs sweetex ( 16 oz = one pound so 16x3 = 48 ounces)
6.5 lbs powdered sugar (use a 4 cup measuing cup, 4 cups=1 lb)
9 tbsp wedding bouquet
11 tbsp hot coffe mate liquid
the above is my Wendy's 6 quart recipe.
so she uses a bit more shortening and ps in hers
she uses 20 total TBs liquid and you used 25. So your icing is prob too thin; might explain the sliding but maybe not the air. maybe you just need the little bit more volume in your mixer bowl.
try wendy's recipe and see if it works. make sure your total liquid is the same as hers.
Well, I guess that much excess liquid would make it run! I will try Wendy's ratios next time. Gotta order more Sweetex now, so it will be a few days before I can share the results.
I've been wondering, who is Wendy? I've seen you mention her name before.
Thanks so much for your help, Sharon. Can't wait to try again.
I have a 6 qt & this is the recipe I use. Personally I would like it a little thicker. It just seems too soft when I go to try to build up the top edge--pushes around.
3 lb hi-ratio
20 T liquid
6 1/2 lbs PS
I have normally used 14 T Hot Creamer & 6T Flavoring
Since it has seemed soft I cut the shortening back to 2 lb 13 oz w/ the rest the same & last batch I cut back to 2 lb 10 oz shortening & 5T Flavoring instead of 6 T w/ the rest of the recipe the same.
It doesn't seem too soft in the bowl, just when I go to build up the icing on the top edge (where you take it off). I just don't know if I should keep everthing in the original recipe & cut back on the liquids or cut back on shortening or what I should do. Any clues? If you guys would rather me pm Sharon & keep it off this topic I will.
Seems on topic to me! Your recipe is the exact same as the one Sharon told me to use. Maybe you need less liquid rather than less shortening?
I use the 2 lb. 13 oz hi ratio, 6 lb. 10X, 1 and 1/4 c. liquid creamer, and only 3 Tablespoons of flavoring (since I use a flavored liquid creamer) and it works like a dream for me. I have a 6 qt. I have also tripled this recipe in my 20 qt. Hobart with no trouble too.
I measured out the Tablespoons of creamer in a liquid measure and it came to 1 and 1/4 cups so I use that measure instead of trying to keep count of all the tablespoons!
I've been using this BC ever since the "Perfecting the Art of Buttercream" first came out. I am embarrassed to say I still have not mastered it!
grandmom- I have the same problem as you, in that the icing looks perfect when first made, but after it sits for a day it seems to be full of air. I just can't figure out what I'm doing wrong. I use a 5 qt. mixer and follow the recipe to a tee! I use sweetex, very hot creamer, make sure bowl filled, etc. The only thing that might be a little different is that I don't always use as much "Wedding Bouquet", but I add other liquid to compensate for that. When I'm ready to ice a cake, I usually put some of the icing in a bowl and mix it on slow with a hand mixer. That seems to smooth it back out some, but I just wish I knew how to get it perfect.
I still love the icing! Usually I can work with it and using the paper towel and printer paper can get my icing fairly smooth.
I am not about to give up! I've had one or two times that it has come out perfect and it was a dream to work with. (Can't figure out what was different those two times. ) Is there a chance that my Sweetex was not as fresh as it should be and that makes a difference? As soon as the weather gets cooler and I can get it shipped, I will be ordering some more Sweetex. It will be interesting to see if that changes anything.
what is wedding bouquet, and what does it do?
Wedding bouquet is a flavoring.
1) yes old shortening can cause a lot of air, but shortening lasts pretty long before that happens
2) if you find it too thin, I would add more PS or cut back on the liquid in your recipe. the stiffer it is the sharper your edges will be.
sorry you guys are having trouble!
you know what else.. I am convinced the brands of PS make a difference too. When I use walmart ps, it comes out like crap. i only use dominoes now.
When I made my first batch ever of Sugarshack's buttercream yesterday, When I uncovered it today - GASP - it is FULL of air bubbles!!
Any suggestions on what went wrong? Can this batch be fixed?
Most any buttercream will sponge on standing for a while. The best way to restore flawless texture is to use an old fashioned stand mixer with two beater. Mix a bowl full on low speed, scraping the bowl frequently, until the icing becomes silky smooth again. I have a Subeam Mixmaster dedicated soley to this purpose....but even a hand held mixer will work!
Yes, thats so true.....I sometimes buy my ps from a local farm store, and they package there own, omg everytime I have to work and work to get the ps to blend into my mmf and it always plays weird with butter cream, so I think Domino is the way to go too
I think it's just me. Something I'm not doing quite right. There are tons of people on here who have no problem. Maybe I'm trying too hard! lol. Can't wait until I can get the fresh Sweetex to see if it makes a difference. I'm not giving up!
Edited to add: Forgot to say I always use Domino. I buy it in 4 lb. bags at BJs.
WILL you be at the Va show? bring all your stuff ans we will make some in the hotel room!
PS guys: Wendy is my BFF and right arm. She assists me with all the DVD shoots and all kind of SugarEd stuff. She works her butt off for no pay; we back each other up with cake stuff. Just best friends who met thru caking. She is a great decorator and a cake maching I tell you! www.sweetideasbywendy.com
Good golly!! Wendy IS a cake machine! And a talented one at that!
Match made in heaven!
Is there a show in Va. this fall? You won't believe this one. I just finished a cake tonight. I used some SS BC that I had in the freezer. By the time I had mixed in the gel color, the icing was full of air and seemed a bit thinner than I would have liked it to be. It didn't go on that easily, but by the time I was done with the paper towel and Printer paper. It was nice and smooth, and looked pretty good, if I do say so myself! Go Figure!
I love Sugarshack's recipe - it's the only one I use and everyone loves it. But I also find that I get air bubbles in it. I make it in advance because I thought that it was supposed to sit and let the bubbles rise to the top. Maybe I should make it right before I want to ice my cake. Usually it just takes me a bit longer to get it smooth. Although it's extra work, I wouldn't dream of using another recipe. SHARON, WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO NY TO DO A CLASS???
I love that I can make a huge batch & freeze & can't imagine ever using another recipe since I've found Sharon's. Even w/ all the airbubbles I get after freezing & thawing it's still worth it. I'll eventually find ratios that work for me to get the consistency I like. The weather is sooooo tempermental here & humidity is terrible through Oct & then dry as a bone all winter! I'm wondering if that's affecting my consistency & if a dehumidifier would work.
I'm wondering when there'll be a class in KY, TN, or N GA b/c I'd be making it to one of those!
The recipe is flawless when you make it fresh. I have air bubbles if I let it set a day or so. It is very easy to get it perfectly smooth again though - just put it back in the mixer bowl, I use the paddle attachment, and mix it on low again for a couple of minutes.....waalaaa - perfectly smooth wonderful buttercream once again! I LOVE this recipe. I love the fact that it doesn't get a "hard" crust on it - thank you Sharon for sharing it with us!!!