Smooth Smbc Took A Ridiculously Long Time

Decorating By tsal Updated 14 Nov 2010 , 3:53pm by AnnieCahill

tsal Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 8:22pm
post #1 of 15

So I have read and re-read Antonia74's instructions and I wish it took me only a couple of spins on my turntable with my scraper to result in a smooth cake.

I just did an SMBC cake (in my profile - with the blue flowers). Smoothing took *forever*. Oh my aching back!

I seemed to have lots of bubbles in my SMBC despite letting it mix on low-speed with the paddle attachment.

Also, even a slightly warm spatula still results in discoloration - I don't understand how anyone uses this method.

I'm going to take a hot bath - I have an SMBC back-ache.

Any words of wisdom welcome. I know that it has to be easier than this!

14 replies
snowshoe1 Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 9:32pm
post #2 of 15

I haven't read the instructions you refer to (assume they are on this site?) - but to get a smooth swiss, start with an even coat of icing on the cake (I use a pastry bag and icer tip), a bench scraper (I twirl the cake stand and hold the scraper at a 90 deg. angle to the cake side) smooth the top with the scraper, and if needed, use a piece of flexible acetate to make it flawless (especially on top). I don't know why anyone uses a warm spatula? All you are doing is melting an icing laden with butter - its going to resolidfy.

cabecakes Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 9:48pm
post #3 of 15

Snowshoe1, when you say flexible acetate, are you referring to like one of those clear thin plastic cutting/chopping boards, or is it something different.

cupcake_cutie Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 9:57pm
post #4 of 15

Snoeshoe1, I have the same question that cabecakes has.

cabecakes Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 9:58pm
post #5 of 15

Or is it more like the thin plastic used as windows on a cake box.

tsal Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 10:04pm
post #6 of 15

Snowshoe: thanks for the response. I did exactly as you said, but had lots of little 'holes' in the icing - bubbles I imagine. Perhaps it's my recipe?

brincess_b Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 10:19pm
post #7 of 15

for air bubbles, i belieive it can help to get rid of them if you use a spatula and make figure of 8 motions in the bc.
xx

snowshoe1 Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 10:51pm
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabecakes

Or is it more like the thin plastic used as windows on a cake box.




It's the stuff used for wrapping little pastries; like an entremet you would get at a fancy bakery. You could use stencil material -just make sure its flexible and thin - but not too thin (hard to describe!)

tsal Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 11:08pm
post #9 of 15

Forgot to ask: how exactly do you use the acetate?

snowshoe1 Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 11:24pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsal

Forgot to ask: how exactly do you use the acetate?




I like to cut a small strip (maybe 3" x 5" or smaller), hold it between my thumb and fingers, it will create a slight 'cup', and scrape away any flaws from my meringue icings. It works nicely to get rid of the mark your spatula leaves when you pull it off the cake.

LindaF144a Posted 13 Nov 2010 , 11:28pm
post #11 of 15

Your smoothness is awesome!

For SMBC I use the hot knife method. Any discoloration will go away once the icing returns to normal temperature after being heated.

cakelady2266 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 6:44am
post #12 of 15

I'm not real sure on what SMBC is, but I'm guessing you are trying to get buttercream icing to look like rolled fondant. Maybe I can help......freeze your cake layers and ice them frozen, (DON'T use a hot knife, hot water) then using a regular cake knife/spatula spread the icing on, go over and smooth it you knife while spinning your turntable with your free hand. Okay now here is the best thing you can use to smooth your icing....a 6 inch stainless steel putty knife (mine is Kobolt from Lowe's about $icon_cool.gif hold it at about a 45 degree angle and turn your turntable with your free hand. When the sides are smooth take the putty knife and gently pull the icing in on top. Now this is the top secret part...while you are at Lowe's, Walmart or hardware store pick up a high density foam paint roller with handle (4 inch and 6 inch foam roller that fit the same handle). Now that you have smoothed your cake with the putty knife hold your foam roller about the same way and spin that turn table, in just a few spins it will be smooth as silk. While turning ease the the roller over the top to round off the edge and keep spinning till it rolls over to look like fondant. Smooth off the top without rolling your rounded edges flat. It will take you a few cakes to get the hang of it. Oh and this is important.....the air bubbles are from over beating your icing. I also use Hi Ratio shortening....it is a God send. I found a brand called Super Quik Blend by Wesson and it is $60 for a 50lb. box and it works better that Sweetex.

I hope this helped. Check out my cakes and see what you think.

CAKELADIE1 Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 7:21am
post #13 of 15

I have been having pretty good results by making my SMBC batches big enough that the paddle is immersed to the very top of the beater bar after whipping my meringue. Once it gets to about 1/2 inch from the top of the bowl, I switch from the whip to the paddle and add my cold butter cut in small pieces. At this stage it look like it might spill over the bowl, but it doesn't. I just add the butter slowly and once it is all added I keep beating for 10 - 15 minutes at the slowest speed. I don't have any trouble with air bubbles since the paddle is immersed to the top of the paddle. Not letting your butter get too soft is important too. I learned that the hard way. I hope this helps. I love this site. I have picked up so many great tips and techniques from everyone on this site.

LindaF144a Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 3:02pm
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by cakelady2266

I'm not real sure on what SMBC is, but I'm guessing you are trying to get buttercream icing to look like rolled fondant. Maybe I can help......freeze your cake layers and ice them frozen, (DON'T use a hot knife, hot water) then using a regular cake knife/spatula spread the icing on, go over and smooth it you knife while spinning your turntable with your free hand. Okay now here is the best thing you can use to smooth your icing....a 6 inch stainless steel putty knife (mine is Kobolt from Lowe's about $icon_cool.gif hold it at about a 45 degree angle and turn your turntable with your free hand. When the sides are smooth take the putty knife and gently pull the icing in on top. Now this is the top secret part...while you are at Lowe's, Walmart or hardware store pick up a high density foam paint roller with handle (4 inch and 6 inch foam roller that fit the same handle). Now that you have smoothed your cake with the putty knife hold your foam roller about the same way and spin that turn table, in just a few spins it will be smooth as silk. While turning ease the the roller over the top to round off the edge and keep spinning till it rolls over to look like fondant. Smooth off the top without rolling your rounded edges flat. It will take you a few cakes to get the hang of it. Oh and this is important.....the air bubbles are from over beating your icing. I also use Hi Ratio shortening....it is a God send. I found a brand called Super Quik Blend by Wesson and it is $60 for a 50lb. box and it works better that Sweetex.

I hope this helped. Check out my cakes and see what you think.




I agree with parts of this. And I disagree with parts of this. You can use the hot knife to get SMBC to look like fondant. We get people in our shop all the time that refer to the fondant covered cake on our website only to find out it is BC.

For SMBC, what we use in the shop I work at, our cakes our frozen when we ice. This mean the crumb coat goes on quickly or else the BC hardens too much to work well. The cake the goes into the cooler for the next layer. I doubt the cake has thawed any more by then. The second layer goes on, the much thicker layer and back it goes. There may or may not be a third layer, most of the time there isn't. But if there is, the icing is cold enough that it makes the third layer cold too. At this point, the hot knife method is used to smooth. We do not use a scrapper to take off, though I do use it at home.

I and we in the store have no success with the Melvira method of using a roller and Viva to smooth. The butter makes it difficult and the coldness of the icing makes it easier to use the hot knife. At home I have no success with the roller on SMBC even straight from my fridge after an hour, but have success with other non butter icings using a roller. Any discoloration that happens with the hot knife disappears once the icing reaches the same temp all over the cake, just like I said earlier. I see this happen on every cake we make at the shop. We do use a combination of butter and Sweetex also to make the icing more stable. But at home I use pure butter and it needs the hot knife to smooth. Anything else sticks to the icing.

The cakes then stay in the cooler until the customer picks up the cake, Including fondant covered cakes. We then instruct the customer to leave the cake out to get to room temperature.

Our cakes get mistaken for fondant covered cakes all the time, even though 95% of our cakes are BC only. That is because they are so smooth that in the photo you can't tell.

Go to Vanillaswirl dot com and click through to the photos. You will over a thousand cakes using this method. The cakes I show here are made using all butter, with the exception of the Notre Dame cake which I used Whimsicial Bakehouse icing and the Melvira method to smooth the cake. That one used Spectrum shortening, a transfat free shortening. All other are butter based frostings, including the ones that are fondant covered. You have to get icing just as smooth under fondant or every little bump will show.

Most of all it is what works with the icing you use. They are not all alike.

AnnieCahill Posted 14 Nov 2010 , 3:53pm
post #15 of 15

I agree with what Linda said. The roller and Viva won't work with IMBC or SMBC because they are meringue buttercreams and don't crust. The crusting on a non-meringue icing is what allows you to move a roller or paper towel over the surface without pulling back icing. With a meringue buttercream, the icing stays soft and never develops a dry crust. So the only way you can get it smooth is by over icing so to speak, and then removing the excess with a scraper.

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