If You Have Trouble Using Viva To Smooth Bc--Here's A Tip

Decorating By BlakesCakes Updated 1 Dec 2010 , 2:03pm by tiggy2

BlakesCakes Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 4:10am
post #1 of 29

I use a lightly crusting buttercream recipe and I've always had trouble with trying to smooth it using Viva paper towels or computer paper. No matter what I did, icing always came up on the towel or the paper.

I recently took a cake sculpting and airbrushing class with Janet Brown. We covered our cakes with crusting buttercream (I used the Wilton class recipe) and she mentioned in passing that she preferred to use THE PRINTED SIDE OF THE PRINTED VIVA TOWELS for smoothing. My ears really perked up when I heard that because I'd only ever had the plain white Viva.

I compared the 2 towels side-by-side and I could feel a major difference. The printed side of the printed towels is very flat--almost slick--with no nap. The plain white towels have a nap and are almost "fluffy". The printed towel smoothed the class buttercream beautifully and I wondered if it would do the same with my recipe.....

And....IT DID! I made a speed limit cake for my DH's 55th birthday--an acre of white BC that needed to be very smooth. I used 1 Viva towel, printed side to the cake, to smooth the entire 9x13 cake and not a bit of icing came up on the towel. I can't remember a BC iced cake of mine looking so good with so little effort.

I really need this "tip" because I'd begun to hate doing buttercream only cakes. I had too many go out the door looking "good enough", but not the way I wanted them to look.

So, simply said, when using Viva paper towels to smooth crusting BC, the printed side of the towels seems to work best.

HTH
Rae

28 replies
sillywabbitz Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 4:15am
post #2 of 29

Thanks Rae, every little trick helpsicon_smile.gif

cakegirl1973 Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 4:20am
post #3 of 29

Awesome tip--can't wait to try it! Thanks for sharing!! thumbs_up.gif

icer101 Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 4:41am
post #4 of 29

ok? Rae, you are saying , a viva paper towel with whatever print is on it, the back of it is smooth. That is what i am visualizing. So , not the white , only viva, now, but the one with a print on the front. thanks for this info., will be purchasing me some tomorrow. lol!!!

BlakesCakes Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 4:50am
post #5 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by icer101

ok? Rae, you are saying , a viva paper towel with whatever print is on it, the back of it is smooth. That is what i am visualizing. So , not the white , only viva, now, but the one with a print on the front. thanks for this info., will be purchasing me some tomorrow. lol!!!




Yes, the printed Viva and you use the printed side against the icing when you smooth.

Rae

-K8memphis Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 5:09am
post #6 of 29

Great call--good news there.

Another way to do this--is to use a smooth clean cloth to dab my buttercream smooth.

madgeowens Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 5:46am
post #7 of 29

iand when you used the design viva it didnt leave any imprinted design???

rb822 Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 6:10am
post #8 of 29

k8memphis-more details please!

Loucinda Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 4:48pm
post #9 of 29

Thanks Rae! You always have great tips I can use...never thought of that, but now that you mentioned it, I have had those issues. Never buying plain Viva again!

JulieMN Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 4:55pm
post #10 of 29

Great tip--thanks for sharing!

cambo Posted 28 Nov 2010 , 5:19pm
post #11 of 29

I know exactly what you mean! I discovered this a while back when I sent my hubby to buy more VIVA and he returned home with the "printed" VIVA. I usually buy the white VIVA only, but the printed side produced a much smoother finish!

Madge....they are "printed" VIVA, not quilted that you're thinking of. There is no pattern imprinted into the towel, but a colored print...hope that helps!

uniquecreations Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 1:32am
post #12 of 29

Thanks so much for the tip I was beginning to hate doing buttercream cakes to spending so much time trying to get it smooth will be get viva this week THANKS!!!!!!

cakeythings1961 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 1:55am
post #13 of 29

Well, who would've thunk it???!!! icon_lol.gif First thing tomorrow, I'm getting some printed Viva!

MrsLev557 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 2:08am
post #14 of 29

Thanks for the tip !!!

-K8memphis Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 2:28am
post #15 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by rb822

k8memphis-more details please!




I just use a brand new clean smooth cloth like a light weight kitchen towel. Just fold it up and pat away. This being more for artwork where you want to smooth out the piping lines so it looks like a drawing.

You could also lay it across the whole piece and smooth it with your hand. I've used it to smooth the icing on a buttercream cake.

cakelady31 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 2:49am
post #16 of 29

Thank you so much for the tip! I too have found that sometimes the buttercream comes off with the towel. I will definately try the printed one!! thumbs_up.gif

michel30014 Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 6:09pm
post #17 of 29

Great tip! Must try it now. Viva printed paper towels here I come! icon_wink.gif

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 6:51pm
post #18 of 29

I hate to be a killjoy here. icon_sad.gif

I actually talked to Kimberly Clark representative about the food safety of the paper towels. The white one are food safe, but the printed ones are not. The representative said that it has a chemical in the ink that is not recommended to be used on food products like this.

costumeczar Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 7:57pm
post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama_Mias_Cakes

I hate to be a killjoy here. icon_sad.gif

I actually talked to Kimberly Clark representative about the food safety of the paper towels. The white one are food safe, but the printed ones are not. The representative said that it has a chemical in the ink that is not recommended to be used on food products like this.




Did she say what it was that was in it? I wouldn't worry about this too much, because if you're supposed to be able to dry dishes with paper towels, the chemicals in the ink would probably be coming off in much larger amounts than if you're smoothing buttercream with them. That sounds like a CYA statement that they have to say in case someone wants to sue them.

That, plus if you put a fresh flower on the cake the pesticides and fertilizers on those are worse than any teeny tiny trace amounts of paper towel ink. The risk of any kind of toxic paper towel poisoning seems pretty low. icon_smile.gif

Mama_Mias_Cakes Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 8:05pm
post #20 of 29

She didn't say. Only that they do not recommend even using the printed ones on food that you cover in the microwave.

You're right, it's probably a low risk, but just wanted to let you guys know what I found out. icon_smile.gif

BlakesCakes Posted 29 Nov 2010 , 11:30pm
post #21 of 29

Thanks for the info, but I'm with costumczar on this one..........

......think of all of the PBJ sandwiches that have been thoughtfully set upon a lovely printed Viva towel for hundreds of thousands of 3 year olds over the years...........and the myriad pieces of fried chicken and french fries that have been drained upon the same.................

Given that the company knows full well that these are used in, on, and around food, I would find it quite disturbing that they would use anything BUT foodsafe inks.

I have read, and re-read, my brand new double pack of Seasonal Designs package of printed Viva towels. Nowhere does it state that the printed towels shouldn't be used on/with food. It does say:

"Use white towels for microwaves and food preparation. When wet, ink may transfer to surfaces; reduce risk of transfer by using the unprinted side."

The only "warning" on the package is to keep the plastic bag away from babies and children so as to avoid suffocation.......

My icing is not "wet", so there is no transfer of ink.

I do know that some inks can cause "sparks" in microwaves and even some plain white paper towels will do the same thing. I NEVER use any type of paper towel in my microwave.

Not shooting the messenger here. Just saying that it was most likely a phone bank/answer line rep. who put her own spin on the issue of the inks tranfering when the towel is wet.

Rae

costumeczar Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 12:36am
post #22 of 29

I just know that you can't trust the information you get from phone reps all the time. I read one girl's story of calling somewhere to see if a chemical in their food was derived from corn since she was allergic. The person on the other end wouldn't give her an answer one way or the other until she really pressed her because it was important to her health. She finally said "yes, that particular chemical does come from corn, but we've processed all the corn out of it so it should be fine". icon_confused.gif

madgeowens Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 7:58pm
post #23 of 29

So just to re summarize here hehe..use the viva, no quilt and the design part against the cake? Cool can't wait to give it a try. Usually is icing comes off it just needs to crust a bit longer too. icon_smile.gif

JanetBme Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 7:58pm
post #24 of 29

Glad that it helped!

The first time I did a Viva cake- it was late 90s I think. I was a beginner . I saw it on Jeneva's web site (I don't even know who she is- and I can't find the site anymore) But she was showing how to make buttercream look like a drape. I was so amazed! I couldn't do it at all back then. But I'm glad that I came back to it, and tried it again. Who Knew what it would lead to!!!!!

onceuponacake Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 8:22pm
post #25 of 29

i knew it wasn't just me! i would buy the palin smooth viva and it was *fluffy* and seem to leave some type of *print* so i stopped using it

Corrie76 Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 8:24pm
post #26 of 29

Thanks for the tip...I just bought an 8 pack of plain white vivas, so hopefully I'll try to remember when they run out,lol. I have to agree on the ink warning being a CYA statement, it's just like if you call the Q-tip companies and ask if you can use one in your ear, they will most assuredly tell you "No".

costumeczar Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 9:21pm
post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameRaz

Thanks for the tip...I just bought an 8 pack of plain white vivas, so hopefully I'll try to remember when they run out,lol. I have to agree on the ink warning being a CYA statement, it's just like if you call the Q-tip companies and ask if you can use one in your ear, they will most assuredly tell you "No".




Now you're really not supposed to do THAT... icon_rolleyes.gif

Corrie76 Posted 30 Nov 2010 , 11:36pm
post #28 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

Quote:
Originally Posted by MadameRaz

Thanks for the tip...I just bought an 8 pack of plain white vivas, so hopefully I'll try to remember when they run out,lol. I have to agree on the ink warning being a CYA statement, it's just like if you call the Q-tip companies and ask if you can use one in your ear, they will most assuredly tell you "No".



Now you're really not supposed to do THAT... icon_rolleyes.gif




uh, oh yeah, everyone knows that... icon_wink.gif

tiggy2 Posted 1 Dec 2010 , 2:03pm
post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by madgeowens

iand when you used the design viva it didnt leave any imprinted design???


The design is just printed on, not a raised design.

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