Trying To Understand Smbc From A Decorating Standpoint

Decorating By crpchristian Updated 6 Feb 2010 , 9:37am by moscakes5

crpchristian Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 6:46pm
post #1 of 57

So I'm really new to cake decorating and am still trying to figure out the 'chemistry' of it all.

I really struggled with my first batch of SMBC, it was in the curdled/soup state forever until I did the long chill/microwave/rewhip thing. Once it was good I iced the whole cake with it, it was good at first but I noticed it had next to no structural integrity. It was fine on it's own but there was no way it was going to hold any decorations aside from them just sitting on top of the cake. I did chill it, it set up nice but after being in the room an hour or two it was super soft again.

So, is it supposed to be REALLY soft and kinda wet. I tried to research it and it seems that it's quite temperamental. How do you store the cake once it's on it? Can you chill it? Will it break down? Cover it? Leave it open to the air? I'm just trying to not make 12 batches before I figure it out hah.

to note I also used butter and some 'smart balance' which I guess is kind of a no no.

Any tips on how you store/handle it would be much appreciated
thanks c:

56 replies
cakesbycathy Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 6:57pm
post #2 of 57

I usually make 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening frosting, but I would guess that part of your problem was that you need to use all butter. I'm sure the SMBC experts on here will be able to help you more.

Kellbella Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 6:57pm
post #3 of 57

Absolutely no smart balance!! Only use pure butter.

Mike1394 Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 7:55pm
post #4 of 57

Try an IMBC. My thoughts are since your taking the sugar to a softball stage it gives a lil more stability. SMBC your only taking the sugar to approx. 160, or so.

You also might have to try a different recipe. Yeah lose the smart balance.

Mike

maidofcake Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 8:24pm
post #5 of 57

The reason why you should NOT use Smart Balance is because it is basically an oil and butter emulsion. Combine the slightly warm meringue with the mixing process, and that emulsion is probably getting broken, leaving you with a goopy mess

Using part butter and part high-ratio shortening is great if you are using the buttercream for piping or in warmer conditions. However, using all butter (unsalted, of course) will give you exceptional flavor. Just make sure your butter is not too soft; you want it to have some body.

Because the syrup as well as the egg white proteins are brought to a higher temp in IMBC, it is much more sturdier than SMBC. It is trickier to make, though. What temp are you bringing your egg whites to in your SMBC recipe?

crpchristian Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 8:34pm
post #6 of 57

Thanks for the responses, I suspected after watching some Alton Brown spiel that good high fat butter was the way to go.

So what would you experienced minds say is the consistency of Meringue Buttercream (ideally), does it hold up at room temp, and is it okay to chill it say, overnight? (my bowl of it needed rewhipped after a night of chilling, it completely seperated). Do you find it is strong enough to hold decorations on the side of a cake? I tried some royal icing and it was sort or working... sort of.

SMBC tastes great and is fabulous as a filling so I want to keep using it, but I'm just wondering how flexible it is for decorating. Since I've never had anyone else's I'm not sure what the 'ideal consistency' is.

Mike1394 Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 8:34pm
post #7 of 57

The reason to lose the Smart Balance is taste LOLOL. If someone is worried about thier heart, let them eat a rice cake. icon_biggrin.gif

Mike

sadsmile Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 8:44pm
post #8 of 57

I made some SMBC and it was light and delish but temperamental temperature wise. It was almost soupy at room temp which is generally 75° in my house. So that cake stayed int he fridge. It was a dream to smooth.

I am going to try IMBC next to see if the sugar at softball stage does it for me.


Any ideas on adding per say a modified food starch made for whipped icing stabilization...?

Mike1394 Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 8:48pm
post #9 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

I made some SMBC and it was light and delish but temperamental temperature wise. It was almost soupy at room temp which is generally 75° in my house. So that cake stayed int he fridge. It was a dream to smooth.

I am going to try IMBC next to see if the sugar at softball stage does it for me.


Any ideas on adding per say a modified food starch made for whipped icing stabilization...?




I don't think so, because it's not going to stop the butter from getting soft.

Mike

julzs71 Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 9:06pm
post #10 of 57

I've never had a problem with it. Did you whip it up enough? Sometimes if you don't whip it enough it gets really soft. Otherwise it works very well. I like it. Tip....only use unsalted

crpchristian Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 9:25pm
post #11 of 57

Yeah, it was a nice consistency when I put it outside (it's cold here in NE Ohio c: ) but I would worry that if I put anything on the cake that wasn't sitting on the top that it would fall off after being in room temp air fairly quickly.

When i first got it in a good state (I swear I was going to whip it into oblivion) it was well whipped and stable, it just seemed to break down a bit (hence while I chilled it). It's been sitting covered, inside for about a day now and it's holding up okay, it's really soft but it's at least staying-put on the cake and not 'melting off'.

Maybe I'll just absorb this info and remember which icings are best for what in regards to what I'm trying to accomplish. SMBC is certainly my favorite to eat so far c;

sadsmile Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 9:28pm
post #12 of 57

Someone told me to try using some hi-rat instead of all butter... i may just try that.

I was thinking the stabilizer would work because butter is pretty close to the fat that is in whipping cream, I thought the protein from the eggs might make it not work though. Scientifically or chemically I can't figure it out because I don't have that kind of training. So if you guys don't know then maybe one day I will experiment with it.

littlejewel Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 9:33pm
post #13 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by crpchristian

So I'm really new to cake decorating and am still trying to figure out the 'chemistry' of it all.

I really struggled with my first batch of SMBC, it was in the curdled/soup state forever until I did the long chill/microwave/rewhip thing. Once it was good I iced the whole cake with it, it was good at first but I noticed it had next to no structural integrity. It was fine on it's own but there was no way it was going to hold any decorations aside from them just sitting on top of the cake. I did chill it, it set up nice but after being in the room an hour or two it was super soft again.

So, is it supposed to be REALLY soft and kinda wet. I tried to research it and it seems that it's quite temperamental. How do you store the cake once it's on it? Can you chill it? Will it break down? Cover it? Leave it open to the air? I'm just trying to not make 12 batches before I figure it out hah.

to note I also used butter and some 'smart balance' which I guess is kind of a no no.

Any tips on how you store/handle it would be much appreciated
thanks c:





The same thing happened to me. I tried SMBC twice and the samething happened. I remembered hearing about IMBC here on CC, so I decided I would try it. First, I went on youtube and watched a cakelove clip( I used His recipe). The man explains it well. I had sucess the first time I tried it. I had a feeling it would turned out better for a first-timer than the SMBC. I love how smooth and creamy the buttercream is.

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 9:46pm
post #14 of 57

I think y'all adding Smart Balance, margarine, powdered sugar, or shortening of any kind to a good classic SMBC recipe, need to come up with a new name for it. icon_wink.gif Like: "sort of SMBC" or, "not really SMBC anymore" or "SMBC with all the good stuff covered up with a grease slick"...I dunno. But it ain't SMBC anymore. icon_biggrin.gif

For those with issues with SMBC, try the Well Dressed Cake recipe found within this site....it's great. Also, pay attention to your bowl temp, your butter temp, and really get to know what the stages look like, and what to expect your SMBC to do in X,Y, and Z situations.

sadsmile Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 10:00pm
post #15 of 57

Image

@ you Jamie! icon_wink.gif

At least my vegan butter is better then Smart Balance. But it does make issues. Thus my continued quest to find something that works to make the ever sough after SMBC or IMBC, because ABC just isn't cutting it anymore.

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 10:04pm
post #16 of 57

Nyah! Lol....DON'T agitate a wet kitty!! icon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gificon_lol.gificon_cry.gif

Seriously though...next time, put butter straight from the fridge in, chunked real small. I started doing this awhile back, takes longer to incorporate, but it does eventually, and it's super stiff throughout the icing and smoothing process.
LL

sadsmile Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 10:17pm
post #17 of 57

I did use cold "ehem" butter, but if the cake sat out longer then 20 minutes the icing started to slide right down off the cake ad bunch up around the base. Not stable at all. Delicious and nice to use till it was out to long.

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 10:27pm
post #18 of 57

So this vegan butter...doesn't contain milk fat, right?

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 10:34pm
post #19 of 57

icon_confused.gif These are the ingredients I find for a popular vegan butter:

ingredients: expeller pressed natural oil blend (soybean palm fruit, canola and olive), filtered water, pure salt, natural flavor (derived from corn, no MSG, no alcohol, no gluten), soy protein, soy lecithin, lactic acid (non-dairy, derived from sugar beets), and beta-carotene color (from natural source).

I can't imagine this possibly making a good meringue icing.

antonia74 Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 10:34pm
post #20 of 57

I only use IMBC and my partner uses SMBC.....but our cakes both stay out at room temp at weddings for up to 12 hours, summer or winter, no problems.

Both chill really well in the fridge/freezer on cakes. Yes, either will need to be brought to room temp/re-whipped before you use them again.

If it's actually falling off your cake, I think something went wrong with the icing during production. icon_confused.gif That just shouldn't happen....and yes, margarine is a no-no for these two recipes.


Have you seen these step-by-step photo articles?

http://www.cakescanada.com/HowTo/IMBC2.pdf
http://www.cakescanada.com/HowTo/how-to-SMBC.pdf


IMBC should be the consistency of whipped cream as you ice a cake. It's glorious! You should easily be able to pipe detailing, borders, flowers, etc with it too.

sadsmile Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:02pm
post #21 of 57

Yeah Jamie that's the stuff.

But I promise it tastes so good! It cooks and works in every other recipe just like real butter. We are in love with the flavor if the SMBC I made. If it was more soupy and we had to we prolly would have spooned it up- it was that yummy.
It has 11g Fat per 1TBSP So it has fat just not as much as butter, but then what else does. LOL
I am thinking I am going to have to experiment first with IMBC and doing part Hi-rat and then maybe adding in some modified food starch stabilizer(the kind that instantly works)

Image

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:03pm
post #22 of 57

Oh geez...more cats. Ok, I'll be back. icon_biggrin.gif

littlejewel Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:05pm
post #23 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Jamie_

I think y'all adding Smart Balance, margarine, powdered sugar, or shortening of any kind to a good classic SMBC recipe, need to come up with a new name for it. icon_wink.gif Like: "sort of SMBC" or, "not really SMBC anymore" or "SMBC with all the good stuff covered up with a grease slick"...I dunno. But it ain't SMBC anymore. icon_biggrin.gif

For those with issues with SMBC, try the Well Dressed Cake recipe found within this site....it's great. Also, pay attention to your bowl temp, your butter temp, and really get to know what the stages look like, and what to expect your SMBC to do in X,Y, and Z situations.





I used real butter. I know I got mixed up when it came to the bowl and the temps ,scary. I will take a look at that well dressed cake recipe. I would thinkk that SMBC and IMBC taste the same, just one gets me confused.

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:08pm
post #24 of 57

icon_twisted.gif
LL

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:10pm
post #25 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by littlejewel




icon_lol.gif Psychotic felines aside, yeah, give that a shot, and check out the links Antonia posted, they are a great help!!

sadsmile Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:17pm
post #26 of 57

Yeah whipping won't be an issue any more now that I have mez a KA!

_Jamie_ Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:22pm
post #27 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sadsmile

Yeah whipping won't be an issue any more now that I have mez a KA!




icon_lol.gificon_lol.gif Yes you do, quite an amazing KA!! icon_cool.gif

sadsmile Posted 12 Jan 2010 , 11:57pm
post #28 of 57

It doesn't say what size the bowl is but I am guesing it's a 6...?

Jenn2179 Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 12:06am
post #29 of 57

I like Colette Peters recipe for SMBC.

littlejewel Posted 13 Jan 2010 , 12:20am
post #30 of 57

jamie, you are crazy. I love my little cat snowball, she is afraid to get on the internet. I'm going to try the suggest SMBC recipes

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