Ambc Impossible! Imbc More Stable?

Decorating By kiwigal81 Updated 20 Jan 2010 , 7:06am by kiwigal81

kiwigal81 Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 7:28pm
post #1 of 16

Hi all,
I made a cake yesterday, 8 inch, 4 layer white cake. I filled and crumb coated, chilled, but I couldn't ice. It was HOT! (The weather, not the cake). I was cooking a chicken. Our kitchen is tiny. It is the middle of summer. I made a standard buttercream but by the time I'd finished piping a rose, the middle was a melted blob. I chilled the cake, but by the time I'd got the MMF on it was melting...I know what you mean by 'bulges' and 'sag' and 'stretching' now lol.

But, I noticed some IMBC I'd made to try was still firm in the bowl. Is it more stable in heat than regular buttercream? I didn't use it as I assumed, with all that butter, that it would melt easier. What is others experience?

I'm also thinking it might be better for the wedding cake I am due to do.

15 replies
kiwigal81 Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 7:32pm
post #2 of 16

Forgot to say, I did use some meringue powder in the BC and also thickened it right up with more icing sugar to pipe some on the top, result was that it was too thick to pipe smoothly and I got the rough edges on my piping...and it STILL melted.

TexasSugar Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 7:38pm
post #3 of 16

Kiwigal, I'm in Texas and have learned that I can't bake and ice/decorate cakes on the same night. My kitchen gets way to hot and I have icing issues.

Did you use butter or shortening in your buttercream? Butter has a lower melting point and will soften up in the heat.

I don't have experience with IMBC so I cna't help you with that one.

prterrell Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 7:38pm
post #4 of 16

By AMBC do you mean the powdered sugar plus fat (butter or shortening or a combination)?

If so, then, no, IMBC is not more stable.

Remember, shortening is solid at room temp, butter is not!

Also, meringue powder has absolutely no effect on stabilization. The ONLY reason Wilton has people adding that to BC is so they can sell more of it.

There are any number of reasons the IMBC was not melty, not the least because it was sitting there undisturbed (stirring, using frosting causes friction, which causes heat, which causes melty).

The best advice I can give you is to never ever try to do a cake while cooking something else in the oven. A cool kitchen is icing's best friend!

kiwigal81 Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 7:40pm
post #5 of 16

Ahh, I did use all butter, we don't really have shortening in the town I use. We have one brand, and it's horrendously expensive, about twice the cost of butter.

I did say 'Ahhh, I see now why people bake one day and ice the next'.
Thanks for the idea. I'll split the tasks next time and try to add some shortening.

cupcakemkr Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 7:47pm
post #6 of 16

the hotter and more humid it is the more shortening you should use. Typical recipe is 1/2 butter 1/2 shortening - more humid/hot use less butter and more shortening.


TexasSugar Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 8:01pm
post #7 of 16
Originally Posted by prterrell

Also, meringue powder has absolutely no effect on stabilization. The ONLY reason Wilton has people adding that to BC is so they can sell more of it.

I have to disagree with this. I will agree that MP does not aid in crusting in any way, but from my experince it helps or seems to anyway my icing come out better in the really humid, summer months. I stopped using it for a while but then started back when I had several icing issues.

Kiwi, I think the biggest issue was the over all heat in the kitchen. I have had to plan ahead and make sure that my oven isn't on for a while before I do cakes. I also have a small box fan I use in the kitchen in the summer to help cool it off.

prterrell Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 8:03pm
post #8 of 16

Really? Okay I'll take your word for it. Wilton only added it to their recipe after I'd sworn to never use their recipe again (hate the taste) and switched to IMBC. Since Wilton's recipe hadn't had it in there for decades and their icing worked just fine all that time, I figured it was all about the $$$$.

TexasSugar Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 8:15pm
post #9 of 16

It could be in my head, but I did notice a difference when I use it when it comes to the hot and humidity.

icer101 Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 9:05pm
post #10 of 16

prterrell.. i am a little confused. is the recipe that you have on your site.. is this what you are calling imbc.. you are using meringue powder. butter.. crisco.. etc.. i printed it some months ago. but haven,t made it yet... it is different than any imbc recipes that i have see.. if this is it.. so . the one on your also call it promises buttercream .. so this is not the imbc you use. right. just need to get this straight.. before i make it.. thank you

prterrell Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 10:33pm
post #11 of 16

Yup, that is a variation on IMBC I developed to be shelf-stable in the hot humid summers (springs and falls, too actually) we have here in GA. Basically you are using the meringue powder and reconstituting it to make the meringue portion of the buttercream instead of using fresh egg whites. I do this because it's pasturized so I know it's safe and so I don't have a bunch of extra yolks sitting around and I've never had meringue fail on me made with meringue powder, but egg whites are sometimes finicky. The tiny bit of shortening (so far have only used regular shortening, but hi-ratio would work even better, I need to order some for a wedding I have this May) really helps it hold up to the heat and humidity. In the winter I use all butter, but in the summer it just doesn't hold up as well if it's all butter.

prterrell Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 10:39pm
post #12 of 16

In general, though, icer101, when I say IMBC, I mean the standard version that most are familiar with. I don't assume that everyone is familiar with, let alone using, the variation I posted.

ThreeDGirlie Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 10:52pm
post #13 of 16

Random comment, off the original topic: Wilton recommended adding meringue powder to icing when the shortening manufacturers in the US went trans-fat free. People started having more issues with thier icing being too loose, and getting an oily separation without the hydrogenated fat... it's supposed to help with that, though I don't kow if it does, because I don't use it!

Texas_Rose Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 11:24pm
post #14 of 16

The meringue powder is supposed to act as an emulsifier. It's probably the gum arabic in it that makes it work, if it does.

Wilton's recipe has never worked for me, whether I bake the same day I decorate, or bake the next day or a month later. Indydebi's recipe works (no gum arabic in dream whip, but there are other emulsifiers in it) even during the summer.

icer101 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 3:01am
post #15 of 16

ok prterrell.... just got back on here.. i understand what you are saying. i make imbc and smbc a lot of times... it is the other method... with all butter.. and toba's recipe and wbh recipe. dede wilsons recipe. love them... anyway.. i am going to try your meringue based buttercream soon.. thanks

kiwigal81 Posted 20 Jan 2010 , 7:06am
post #16 of 16

Thanks for the info guys. Here, our government (and people) are really down on transfats. So all our ingredients are preferred low. But I got the brand of shortening we have and I will have another go (in the cool kitchen). I've heard so much about IndyDebs recipe for BC, but we dont' have that whip stuff, or any substitute, or for that matter, coffee creamers. But I'll try the shortening and I'm sure it will be bettericon_smile.gif
I appreciate the explanations, if I can see the reason behind it, it's really helpful for working out other things.

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