I'm new to cake decorating and was looking for suggestions on a buttercream recipe that will give a close-to-fondant look on a cake. (i.e fully smooth out the top and side of a basic 9", 2 layer cake)
The cake guru at my local kitchen store suggested using any basic buttercream recipe and just add 1/2 shortening to the amount of butter the recipe calls for: ie, if there is 2 cups of butter, add 1 cup of shortening.
I was wondering if this was a good idea and/or if anyone out there has any other ideas.
..moving to Recipe Requests forum.
Hi and Welcome to CC, kevinmcc.
I don't think adding an additional 50% of fat to the recipe would be helpful. Perhaps he meant to say, substitute/replace 50% of the butter with shortening...
Everything you need to know to make, decorate and assemble tiered/stacked/layer cakes:
Above super thread has popular CC recipes for crusting American buttercreams (using Crisco or hi-ratio), several types of fondant and doctored cake mix (WASC and other flavor variations) - and so much more!
My icing recipe: http://cakecentral.com/recipes/author/indydebi It crusts well, holds up in extreme heat, and smooths out great, especially with the Melvira method.
Melvira's Smoothing Method: http://cakecentral.com/articles/126/quick-easy-smooth-icing-using-a-roller-melvira-method This is my #1 preferred method. I never make a cake that doesn't get Melvira'd.
Viva Smoothing Method: http://cakecentral.com/articles/71/how-to-create-faux-fondant-the-paper-smoothing-towel-method-viva Many CC'ers swear by this method, also.
both of the above require an icing that crusts well.
FYI: Crusting is a result of the fat/sugar ratio. The more sugar, the more crusting. The more fat, the less crusting. So adding more fat will prevent the icing from crusting as well, so the icing wont' work with with a paper towel or paint roller.
I think it as less to do with the recipe you use and more with your skill level. If you don't practice, it won't matter what recipe you use. There is no recipe that will magically make your icing smooth.
NOW... I have heard great stuff about Debi's icing so I'm sure it will work great for you.