And only yall will understand!! LOL!
I work a full time job while I am trying to build a client base for my cakes. It's going pretty good. I have had a minimum of 4 cakes a week for over 2 months now. Needless to say I work on cakes at night and last night was a LONG ONE! Got in bed at 3 a.m and back up at 6 a.m. for my full time job. All because of buttercream!
I use Sugarshack's recipe with a mild variation, I add 1 cup of room temp butter to 4 cups of hi-ratio shortening, and have always used this variation with success so I don't know if that contributed to my headaches last night.
With the first batch I couldn't even get all 5 pds of sugar in the mixer it was completely overflowing and no matter how long I mixed it or how much I scraped the sides of the bowl it was FULL of air pockets. It looked like I had beat it with a whisk! And because all the sugar wouldn't fit it was a lot softer than it should have been. So I iced the smaller cake first and was able to get it halfway decent looking with the paper towel method. Thankfully it was covered with polka dots that it hid a lot of flaws.
So now that the mixer wasn't so full I decided to add the rest of the sugar and beat it again to try to get rid of the air bubbles. MADE IT WORSE!!! I slap it on the biggest cake now, 10in square for a 3 tier cake. NIGHTMARE!!
DH (dear husband) comes home (from oldest son's basketball game that I missed FOR CAKE) sees me in tears and decides to make another batch of buttercream for me (he is awesome). SAME PROBLEM!! I finsihed the cake and it looks awful! Thank God that it had a pretty wide ribbon around the center and the venue will be a dark hotel ballroom. I will share a picture when we take it ths afternoon.
If you got this far listening to me whine BLESS YOU! And ifyou have any advise I would love it!!
Well, I can tell you that from experience that room temperature is a subjective term. I am not sure where you live, but in my house the house temperature varies. In the summer it is hotter in the house and in the winter it is colder. Along with the temperature the humidity plays a role as well.
So room temperature in the summer is different than in the fall. Alton Brown (love that man) says that room temperature should always be about 70 degrees. He encourages people to take their butter's temperature before assuming that just because it has been sitting on the counter for an hour that it is the right temperature.
I'm sorry you had such a night and I have no explanation for you as for why your icing was being so difficult. I don't use that recipe.
I was right there with you last night though! I work full-time as well and this is a very busy time for me at work. On top of that I drew the night shift this time and my sleep is all screwed up. I had last night off and I had two cakes to do so I was up late. I made a batch of M.F. fondant and covered a heart-shaped cake with it. It worked beautifully and I was happily decorating along and loving how this cake was looking. Fast-forward to the finish and the clean up and somewhere out of the blue I realize that I totally and completely forgot that the customer had asked for pineapple filling !! OMGosh I was mortified ! The cake was totally complete by this point! I contemplated taking the fondant off and redoing it, but then I just decided to beg forgiveness with the customer and claim that I didn't know that my kids had eaten the pineapple that I had reserved for the cake. You see, where I live there are NO stores open late. The latest is 9pm, so it's totally plausible that I didn't have pineapple and the stores were closed. I've made cakes for this customer before and I think she'll take it well. My husband delivered the cake this morning and I haven't heard a word about it.
I hope my commiserating with your misery has helped .
I can so sympathize with you! I'm in the same situation and so glad I have NO cakes to do this weekend because I am exhausted and need a break! But, I did want to share that I'm not sure what's going on but my icing has not been itself lately either. For some reason, night before last, I was making buttercream and as always, turned the mixer on high to cream the butter/crisco and I turned around to wash dishes and felt this wet feeling on my ankle. I turned around and the mixture in the bowl had worked it's way to the sides and then top of the mixing bowl and was literally splattering in waves like a helicopter blade. I could have died. What a MESS!!! Hope your day goes well and you get some rest soon!!!
6 AM sure comes fast on a bad cake night. Even a good cake night! Hang in there!
Thank yall so much. It does make me feel better!LOL
As far as the butter, I'm wondering if it was too soft? Would that make a difference?
I dont use that recipe, but since the mixing bowl was so full, perhaps you didn't have room to really beat the fat (I call it pulverizing the fat!). If you have large particles of fat .... pieces of shortening or butter that didnt' get beat into oblivion, it will result in icing like you've described.
I know you were under a time constraint (I remember working a full time job and doing full time cakes/catering. No idea how I did it ... not sure I could go back and do it! ) but I find if I make the icing at least a day ahead of time and let it "settle", then use a big spoon to whip it up a little (or if it's a big batch, I dump it back in the mixer), then it turns out even silkier than normal. Really helps.j
I find if I make the icing at least a day ahead of time and let it "settle", then use a big spoon to whip it up a little (or if it's a big batch, I dump it back in the mixer), then it turns out even silkier than normal. Really helps.j
I agree. I invested in the lids for my KA bowls and I try to make icing the day before, then just snap on the lid. The icing is smoother and creamier than when it's used freshly made. I've also invested in several beaters so I leave the beater in the mixing bowl as well, then when I'm ready to use the icing I just put the bowl on the stand and reattached the beater, mix it for a minute or so and then it's ready to go.
PS: I use Indydebi's icing recipe, it's the bomb !
Tracy, I've had this happen to and I don't know why, but I don't use the butter, just the Sweetex. I had it happen with 1 batch when I didn't clean the bowl between batches. But, I also had it happen about 6 weeks ago. I was making quite a few batches for a wedding cake and one batch screwed up. I can only imagine that it was something with a particular bag of ps, but I always sift my ps and never saw anything.
I'm in the same boat. My name is Tracy and I'm working my full-time job during the day and making cakes at night. However, I don't have 4 cakes a week - yet. I did have 3 last week and all during the week, not on the weekend.
For me, I cannot do it all in one night. I work 6:30 - 5:00 Mon - Fri. I cannot function on 3 hours a night of sleep - too old. I save my fondant buckets and when I have a lot coming up, I make up my icing, put it into the buckets and store in the fridge. It will keep for weeks. Maybe doing something like that could help you out during those busy weeks.
so sorry this happend to you! it's the weirdest thing but that actually happened to me one time. making sugarshack's bc, just like i have done a 100 times and this one time it was like i put in an extra cup of hi ratio even tho i would swear that i didn't and could not for anything get all the ps into the mixing bowl. (((((((hugs))))))) and those sure are some great tips from the other posters