Any Photos Of Imbc Or Smbc Wedding Designs?

Decorating By mpetty Updated 17 May 2010 , 7:51pm by luvbuttercream

mpetty Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 3:22am
post #1 of 16

Just found out tonight that we may soon have a wedding in the family, and the bride wants me to make her cake. She's not wild about regular bc so I was thinking about having her sample either IMBC or SMBC. I've never made or tried either of them, (there's a first time for everything!) but I do know, from what I've read here, that they don't crust, so I'm wondering what types of designs would work well with them.

Can anyone direct me to gallery pics of wedding cakes using non-crusting icing?

I've already warned her that she would need to have the cake in a well-air-conditioned venue if she wants to use I/SMBC. Any other tips you may have for me as the decorator would be appreciated.


15 replies
antonia74 Posted 12 Apr 2010 , 3:41pm
post #2 of 16

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. Having the air conditioning on lightly is fine, but it doesn't need to be intense or anything. If you've brought them to the venue right out of your fridge, they will take hours to come up to room temp anyway before they are ready to eat.

Have you seen these any step-by-step articles on making them? This one is great for SMBC, for example.

Both SMBC and 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. thumbs_up.gif Check out my pics. Although my brides usually want cupcakes iced with a swirl of IMBC or wedding cakes iced perfectly smooth with maybe tiny swiss dots, I use it for borders, little flower details, etc too.

I don't have experience with crusting buttercreams, but what I gather from reading online here is that it's a different preparation/recipe/smoothing technique.

I just copied my reply from a thread last year:

Here's my 3 biggest tips that I use every time for getting buttercream really smooth. (I use Italian Meringue Buttercream, but the technique can be used on SMBC too.):

1) use it when it's freshly made and room temp, that's when the consistency is perfect. After the last bit of butter & flavouring are added in the recipe, whisk it on top speed for 3 minutes then turn the mixer off and walk away for 30 minutes. Come back, switch the whisk for the paddle attachment and give it 2 more minutes on medium speed to get rid of the air bubbles and make it super smooth. It should be the consistency of soft whipped cream or soft-serve ice cream. If you have leftover cold buttercream that you want to re-use, let it come to room temperature naturally on your counter until it is soft...and whip it again to the same soft consistency. If you're using IMBC or SMBC and it's a bit cold when you start to mix it again, you'll notice that it seems to split and look curdled (like cottage cheese). DON'T PANIC and don't throw it out and don't add anything like icing sugar! The butter in the icing is just too cold and it needs a good mix to return to the right temperature. Just keep the mixer running and walk away for 5 minutes. When you return, it will be smooth and uniform once again, ready to use.

2) ice really cold firm cakes, semi-frozen if need be...but not 100% frozen solid. Torte, fill & thinly crumbcoat your cake and put it in the freezer for an hour. Take it out and immediately plaster it roughly with about twice as much buttercream as you'll really need. Huge tip here....SMOOTHING CAKES IS ALL ABOUT THE REMOVAL OF EXCESS ICING AND NOT AT ALL ABOUT BUILDING IT UP AND PATCHING!! I wish someone had explained this to me when I first started in the biz. It would have saved me years of frustration at trying to get my cakes perfectly smooth. Take your plastering knife (see point #3 for this & photo attached) and run it around the cake, digging in about 1/4 inch (5 millimeters) to get off the excess icing in one or two spins of the cake turntable. Now, take your offset palette knife and draw the icing in on top of the cake from the edges, about 4-5 times all the way around. The last step is to take your straight palette knife and draw it right across the top only once or twice to remove any lines. Done! Back in the fridge.

3) Toss those cheap white pastry scrapers, they truly aren't the best. Go to the hardware store and in the plastering section you'll see cheap, stiff plastic plastering tools with handles for a buck or two (see photo attached here.) Get a few widths, like 3", 6", etc. These are awesome!! They give you super sharp sides because they don't bend at all and they are the height of your cakes, so no lines appearing as you try to ice a 5" cake with a 3" smoother by going around twice on the top or bottom. These tools do it in one stroke! Fantastic.

mpetty Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 3:14am
post #3 of 16

Thanks so much for the info! It's going to be a huge help. I'll post something as soon as I get the chance to try it.

Lita829 Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 3:37am
post #4 of 16

Thank you for the info, antonia icon_biggrin.gif

NicoleLovins Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 4:37pm
post #5 of 16

I am new to the cake world and I keep seeing all of the abbreviations and don't know what they mean. What is IMBC and SMBC? I'm guessing some kind of buttercream.

mpetty Posted 13 Apr 2010 , 5:15pm
post #6 of 16

They're buttercream icings that use cooked egg whites; they don't crust the way shortening-based buttercream does but they're supposed to smooth much easier. You can do a search in the recipe section for them, or click on the link in Antonia74's post. I love the photo's in that link; they're such a big help.

Regarding the abbreviations, if you cursor over the underlined abbreviations, a pop up window will show you what they stand for. A very cool feature!

Maynard628 Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 1:25am
post #7 of 16

I've been using Swiss Meringue Butter cream lately. I made cupcakes for the theatre and they all loved it' coz I made it with chocolate. One guy said he thought it was chocolate mousse! I use these types only for special occasions since they're so smooth, delicious and not so grainy like the other buttercreams made with shortening and confectioner's sugar.

The Italian Swiss Meringue tastes like you stuck a chunk of butter in your mouth. It is so smooth, but can be so overwhelming with all that butter. It's almost like a Sansrival (Cashew torte)found at Goldilocks bakery. Soooo buttery. Anyway, just thought I'd share that. icon_biggrin.gif

mpetty Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 12:17pm
post #8 of 16
Originally Posted by Maynard628

The Italian Swiss Meringue tastes like you stuck a chunk of butter in your mouth.

Good to know. The Swiss sounds intimidating, with cooking the egg whites over the water bath (have heard it can come out like scrambled eggs), but I've heard others mention the taste issue with the Italian.

I was going to try the SMBC this weekend, but the weather forecast is calling for a very rainy weekend, so I might hold off. Not sure if the humidity can wreak havoc with it or not...

Tellis12 Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 12:20pm
post #9 of 16

I've found that the meringue buttercreams are amazing to smooth. I just pop it in the fridge til it's hard and then take a hot knife and smooth it. It's so easy and gets it even smoother than when I do traditional bc.

ShanB Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 12:23pm
post #10 of 16

I agree with how easy they are to smooth, and I find if you eat IMBC when it is cold yes it tastes like a stick of butter but at room temp its MUCH better.

mpetty Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 12:26pm
post #11 of 16

Any thoughts on whether high humidity will affect making it?

Rose_N_Crantz Posted 22 Apr 2010 , 12:36pm
post #12 of 16

I don't think high humidity would affect making it too much.

I've tried SMBC once, maybe I need to give it another shot, but to me it was pretty difficult. I ended up with scrambled eggs. I like IMBC much better. That one I've made a few times and have always liked the flavor. Yes, when it's cold it tastes like butter, but let it come to room temp and it's soo yummy.

A tip I learned, it can be made ahead of time and chilled, but be sure to let it come to room temp before you work with it. Once it's warm again, pop it in your mixer for a couple minutes and it'll get smooth and creamy again. And you can't speed up the warming process either! Learned that the hard way!

antonia74 Posted 17 May 2010 , 7:05pm
post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

And you can't speed up the warming process either! Learned that the hard way!

Yup, you can! We microwave a pound or two of cold IMBC for about 30 seconds until it is a little soft (not melted/runny!) and then you can put it in the mixer with the whisk or paddle for just a few minutes. Comes out perfectly smooth and soft! thumbs_up.gif

We also circulate a blow-torch against the side of the metal KitchenAid bowl to warm it up while it's mixing if it's still too cold.

PattyT Posted 17 May 2010 , 7:25pm
post #14 of 16
Originally Posted by Rose_N_Crantz

I've tried SMBC once, maybe I need to give it another shot, but to me it was pretty difficult. I ended up with scrambled eggs. I like IMBC much better. That one I've made a few times and have always liked the flavor. Yes, when it's cold it tastes like butter, but let it come to room temp and it's soo yummy.

Rose_N_Crantz - Please try'll like it if you like IMBC.

I think the SMBC process is much easier than IMBC. I can never get that hot sugar syrup in without splattering it everywhere and it crusting on the bowl. SMBC is a labor of love however - you have to stand there with the mixing bowl over the hot water and stir with a spatula constantly. I have an instant thermometer in a glass of warm water next to the stove and I keep the eggs/sugar moving all the time but keep checking till it hits 160 dF. I've never had the eggs scramble.

Antonia74 - THANKS so much for the helpful tips. I love the idea of the 30 minute rest. The idea of more-than-less frosting is huge also. I'll be doing both next time for sure.

Thanks everyone - great thread.

xiswtsawluiix Posted 17 May 2010 , 7:27pm
post #15 of 16

Antonia, thanks for the SMBC tutorial! thumbs_up.gif

luvbuttercream Posted 17 May 2010 , 7:51pm
post #16 of 16

I can't figure out why people say that SMBC is difficult I started doing cakes and cupcakes about 8 months ago before that I don't think I baked anything other than cookies. I made SMBC the 3rd time I ever baked a cake and viola perfect and tasted like a dream. Don't be intimidated it hold up great, smooths great refrigerates very well and softens up perfectly every time I use it. Also please try adding 1 cup of melted and cooled white chocolate at the end you will not regret it!! AMAZING!!

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