What Defines 'stiff' Buttercream?

Baking By zespri Updated 9 Nov 2010 , 1:03am by julesh268

zespri Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 8:50am
post #1 of 9

I'm just reading some instructions that say I must use a 'stiff' buttercream as a dam. What defines a stiff buttercream? How do I know if the buttercream I currently use is stiff or not?

8 replies
indydebi Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 10:58am
post #2 of 9

You know, I kept re-reading your question and thinking, "That's a good question!" icon_eek.gif It probably differs from person to person, but I'll share what I consider stiff: When I can poke my finger against the icing that on the beater and none sticks to my finger.

Evoir Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 11:10am
post #3 of 9

Hi Zespri... For a BC dam, I reckon you can sort of ball up a lump of BC in your hand and it doesn't stick everywhere on your skin, but keeps it shape.

Hmm, its hard to explain but maybe the consistency of a soft fondant icon_smile.gif

bluejeannes Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 11:55am
post #4 of 9

we learned in our decorating classes that stiff buttercream is when you put your cake knife in the middle and it stands there,doesn't move at all. Medium consistency is when it starts falling a bit and soft (or whatever it's called) is when the knife falls over right away, nothing at all holding it up

leily Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 12:12pm
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by indydebi

You know, I kept re-reading your question and thinking, "That's a good question!" icon_eek.gif It probably differs from person to person, but I'll share what I consider stiff: When I can poke my finger against the icing that on the beater and none sticks to my finger.




this would be the closest to a description i could come up with too. Stiff buttercream is harder to pipe out of a bag, but it's not impossible. If you tried to ice an entire cake with stiff buttercream, when you tried to smooth it out it would most likely pull the cake up and around instead of smoothing out and giving it a nice even coat.

zespri Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 5:48pm
post #6 of 9

those are all excellent descriptions, thanks guys!

It has prompted another question though, do I make it that stiff with more icing sugar?

CrescentMoon Posted 25 Oct 2010 , 6:04pm
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by zespri

those are all excellent descriptions, thanks guys!

It has prompted another question though, do I make it that stiff with more icing sugar?




Yes, just add a little at a time until you reach the appropriate consistancy

zespri Posted 8 Nov 2010 , 11:33pm
post #8 of 9

I just saw a snippet of sharon zambito's definition of stiff buttercream, it's almost like fondant it's so stiff! I guess that explains why my buttercream dam didn't hold the caramel in... lol

julesh268 Posted 9 Nov 2010 , 1:03am
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluejeannes

we learned in our decorating classes that stiff buttercream is when you put your cake knife in the middle and it stands there,doesn't move at all. Medium consistency is when it starts falling a bit and soft (or whatever it's called) is when the knife falls over right away, nothing at all holding it up




Yes this! I was taught the same thing!

And if you are making icing it usually starts as stiff and as you add more fluid you will get medium and then thin. Too thin, add more ps.

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