Rudimentary Icing Questions

Decorating By MustXcape Updated 3 Mar 2010 , 11:06pm by tonedna

MustXcape Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 12:11pm
post #1 of 12

These may be fundamental questions, but please indulge a newbie.

My collection old but serviceable small jars of food coloring paste is drying out. Should I add a few drops of water or an oil to prevent this? If so what type?

I have occasional crumbcoat problems with BC for a variety of reasons:
1). No matter how thin (or thick) it is, it never seems to harden fully enough to prevent crumbs from surfacing in the final coat.
2).If I have to produce a cake on short notice, or cover for a failed cake, the crumbcoat never hardens in time.
3). It has been suggested that I simply increase the amount of BC applied to avoid this but I do not like thick layers of BC and I don't make what I don't like.

So my question is:

Can I modify or enhance a small portion of my existing buttercream stock to produce a quick drying and/or hardshell finish icing? Or is there an existing icing recipe with these qualities that can be produced in small quantities for this purpose?

11 replies
minicuppie Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 2:10pm
post #2 of 12

Search for and read all the ganache under fondant posts. Might just be what you are ISO.

Sagebrush Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 2:55pm
post #3 of 12

Re: the hardness of your crumb coat... are you chilling it, or just waiting for it to dry?

SpecialtyCakesbyKelli Posted 1 Mar 2010 , 4:18pm
post #4 of 12

What recipe are you using? I have found that some crust harder than others. I use 1 cup butter, 1 cup shorening, and 8 cups powdered sugar... it will get hard as a rock if you leave it in the fridge for a while! Makes for really sharp edges icon_biggrin.gif
oh, and don't forget the vanilla

MustXcape Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 5:03am
post #5 of 12

The Butter Cream recipe I use for icing is as follows:

1# butter
1# Crisco
3# sifted powdered sugar
2 tsp.vanilla
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup water + 4 Tbsp. meringue powder (substitue for 4 egg whites)

This recipe makes a very creamy texture that I find difficult to work with at room temperature (hard to produce a smooth, seamless finish).
The crumb coat is applied thinly and allowed to air dry.
Typically, when I run into workability problems when applying the finish coat I will (eventually, depending on level of frustration) refrigerate the cake, BC, or both.

Optional to this recipe is the addition of 1/4 cup cornstarch. Would this give me a thicker consistency and the harder quicker drying crust I seek?
There has got to be a way around the crumb coat problem!

denetteb Posted 2 Mar 2010 , 5:26am
post #6 of 12

I think I have read you can add a drop of glycerin to re-moisten coloring. As far as your crumbcoat problem, I think you should try another recipe for BC. I compared the fat to powdered sugar of yours to Wiltons, the other posted and another bc I have not tried yet but has great reviews. The recipe you are using has more fat to sugar than the 3 others. They all have a fat to sugar ratio of 1:2. Yours is 2:3. Not sure if that is the problem but would be easier to try a different bc that you can use for all your needs than having to use 2 recipes, especially since you don't really like how yours performs for smoothing and workability. Why don't you just try the Wilton BC for a change.
You may need to adjust the amount of liquid to make it a nice smoothing consistency. There are a ton of bc recipes but this is a nice basic one that has been around for years.
edited...I hope I did those calculations correctly.

CakeEvolution Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 6:50am
post #7 of 12

If you are in search for a basic/simple BC icing check out Edna's ..... it may solve your problem, PLUS she offers some more advice to your problem..

tonedna Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 7:11am
post #8 of 12

Your buttercream might be too soft. Is best to put the cake in the fridge after the crumbcoat.
If you are seeing crumbs in your second coat, it only means that you are playing with your crumbcoat.
To learn to not play with the crumbcoat, do the crumbcoat white and then the second coat in a color. If you see white, that means you are playing with it.
Edna icon_smile.gif

PS: thanks cake evolution icon_smile.gif

JaeRodriguez Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 4:23pm
post #9 of 12

Oh Edna, That is a great way to know if you're playing with the crumb coat! I've watched your youtube videos and I always try not to play with my crumb coat and I always end up doing it anyway! I will practice with white and color now! TY!

tonedna Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 6:16pm
post #10 of 12
Originally Posted by JaeRodriguez

Oh Edna, That is a great way to know if you're playing with the crumb coat! I've watched your youtube videos and I always try not to play with my crumb coat and I always end up doing it anyway! I will practice with white and color now! TY!

You will see a huge difference!. Because as soon as you see white you will know you are playing with the crumbcoat!

JaeRodriguez Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 10:30pm
post #11 of 12

Which makes total sense, every time I ice a cake and realize that I'm playing with crumbcoat I always wonder how I keep doing it but now I will be able to see it happening! yay I want to make a cake right now and try it! icon_razz.gif

tonedna Posted 3 Mar 2010 , 11:06pm
post #12 of 12

Good luck with it!
Edna icon_smile.gif

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