Horrid Buttercream!

Baking By JustABite Updated 9 Jun 2010 , 2:06pm by LindaF144a

JustABite Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 1:31am
post #1 of 8

I thought I was soooo excited that tomorrow I start my first ever decorating class. Now I am not sure I should even keep at this.

I tried two kinds of buttercream tonight and I have NEVER had buttercream turn out so bad. They both look grainy. I can not fathom what the heck I am doing wrong. One was Toba Garretts Decorators Butterceam and the other was IndyDebi's. I so want a nice smooth creamy buttercream, is that too much to ask? icon_cry.gif

Thanks for letting me grouse and please give me any advise you can.

7 replies
KayMc Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 1:48am
post #2 of 8

Give more details - what type of fat did you use: shortening (what type of shortening) or butter? What brand of sugar? How long did you beat it? Don't give up - it's just part of the learning curve.

ihavasweet2th Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 1:54am
post #3 of 8

I know years back I used a different brand powdered sugar because it was on sale and my buttercream was super grainy and I could not figure out why. Turns out the powdered sugar that was on sale was made from sugar beets Not sugar cane. You might want to check the bag and see if that is the problem.

Don't give up yet!!

~ihavasweet2th~

JustABite Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 2:23am
post #4 of 8

Decorators buttercream is 2 1/2 c unsalted butter and 1/2 c hi-ratio, IndyDebi's uses crisco. The p.s. is Domino brand. Same I have always used.

To look at the icing, I would almost say that it would have the texture of sand. Now it does not taste as bad as it looks. I did sift the p.s. before using. It has been raining here for most of the afternoon. Do you think that has anything to do with it?

Thanks all!

sweettreat101 Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 9:27am
post #5 of 8

I took my own butter cream to my last cake class and some of the other ladies wanted the recipe. What made me laugh was the teacher even asked for the recipe. I use two pound plastic bags of C&H powdered sugar. I tried Domino and didn't like it. If the bag of sugar has never been opened you do not have to sift. Once you open the bag and if you have any left over the air changes the sugar and you will need to sift. I use two pounds of powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cups hi ratio shortening, 1 stick salted butter, 2 tablespoons clear vanilla and 1/3 cup water. Whip until fluffy. I use butter that does not have extra yellow food color added. Usually store brands, Tillamook or Challenge so I achieve a white frosting. My teacher didn't believe that my frosting contained butter. I personally don't like artificial butter flavoring. Don't give up you will enjoy the end results. Cake decorating is addictive.

LindaF144a Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 1:04pm
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by sweettreat101

I took my own butter cream to my last cake class and some of the other ladies wanted the recipe. What made me laugh was the teacher even asked for the recipe. I use two pound plastic bags of C&H powdered sugar. I tried Domino and didn't like it. If the bag of sugar has never been opened you do not have to sift. Once you open the bag and if you have any left over the air changes the sugar and you will need to sift. I use two pounds of powdered sugar, 1 1/2 cups hi ratio shortening, 1 stick salted butter, 2 tablespoons clear vanilla and 1/3 cup water. Whip until fluffy. I use butter that does not have extra yellow food color added. Usually store brands, Tillamook or Challenge so I achieve a white frosting. My teacher didn't believe that my frosting contained butter. I personally don't like artificial butter flavoring. Don't give up you will enjoy the end results. Cake decorating is addictive.




Your recipe sounds yummy, I'll have to try it. I can't get hi-ratio, so I'm stuck with Crisco though..... icon_sad.gif It has a higher ratio of fat to to the sugar than other shortening recipes I have used. I have a AMBC recipe I use that is higher in all butter than other ones I have seen and it goes over very well.

About the graininess to the OP. I am curious as to how long you beat your shortening before you add the sugar. This may be the cause of your graininess. Also how long do you beat it after you add the sugar.

My DS made a AMBC just like mine and his came out grainy. Come to find out I beat mine longer than he did.

Also where did you get Toba's recipe. I tried one of hers where she said to beat the frosting for 10 minutes after everything was added. It went from smooth and silky to grainy in that time frame. I think 10 minutes is too long. I use something around 5 minutes, but also do it to taste and texture. When it looks creamy enough and I can't feel anything between my fingers, I know it is done.

HTH

JustABite Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 1:48pm
post #7 of 8

Linda:

I have Toba's book. I beat the butter and hi-ratio shortening for 10-15 min before adding anything to it. I also mixed for the 10 min after, I had several other things going and and did not stand and watch it. I typically also do the taste and texture method, but this time the look was just horrible.

I will be trying again on Thursday, as tonight I start my decorating classes. I so hope going tonight gives me a boost, I just feel so discouraged right now. I have made buttercream many times before this, I really thought I knew what I was doing. Well live and learn I guess.

Thanks for the help!

Sweettreat101 Yes this is addictive! I just am so frustrated right now. Maybe I will try your recipe tomorrow. Is it a crusting bc? Thanks for the encouragement. You ladies are wonderful!

Renee

LindaF144a Posted 9 Jun 2010 , 2:06pm
post #8 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by JustABite

Linda:

I have Toba's book. I beat the butter and hi-ratio shortening for 10-15 min before adding anything to it. I also mixed for the 10 min after, I had several other things going and and did not stand and watch it. I typically also do the taste and texture method, but this time the look was just horrible.

I will be trying again on Thursday, as tonight I start my decorating classes. I so hope going tonight gives me a boost, I just feel so discouraged right now. I have made buttercream many times before this, I really thought I knew what I was doing. Well live and learn I guess.

Thanks for the help!

Sweettreat101 Yes this is addictive! I just am so frustrated right now. Maybe I will try your recipe tomorrow. Is it a crusting bc? Thanks for the encouragement. You ladies are wonderful!

Renee




Don't get discouraged. First off the icing you make to learn does not have to be the same you eat. If this is your first class and it is a Wilton class you will not be eating a cake til the last class. Everythine else is done on a practice board. You need to use the icing with shortening for this. First off, it is more stable and not prone to melting. This is very important when first learning. And you never know the temperature of the room where you will be attending class. It could be hotter in there than outside. And then when you try to learn it won't work and you will be even more frustrated. Ask me how I know. icon_razz.gif

In Toba's book, Professional Cake Decorating, she has what she calls something like Decorator's Practice icing. It is exactly like the Wilton icing only she beats the heck out of it after it is all mixed. I followed it to the tee and got a grainy icing. I don't believe she uses the same shortening we can get in our local grocery. Beating the Crisco before adding the powdered sugar works wonders. But for some reason doing the same thing after wards does not help so much. Maybe it is the water that is added or something. I made some just for practice as she says it will keep for months unrefrigerated. For her edible frosting she uses hi-ratio shortening and butter.

For practice try not to beat it so long after it looks creamy. When you are ready to eat the frosting, come back here and try the one the other posted. It sounds yummy. And if you do a search in the recipe section for Indydeb's shortening recipe that one is good too. I used it for one of my Wilton course cakes and DH took it to work. It went over very well.

Good luck and have fun with your first course. That frustration will go away as you are in class, I am sure.

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