I've been asked to make an 8 inch round and 150 cupcakes for an outdoor wedding in June in North Carolina. The bride is adamant about buttercream and detests American BC because of the sweetness. So, question is....how do I make IMBC or SMBC hold up in that kind of heat and humidity OUTDOORS in JUNE? My IMBC is a lot softer than my american and I'm worried about it melting because of all the butter. Any help?
I live in the west and only use IMBC I have tested it in the shade in 104 degrees and they hold up very well, anything in direct sun will melt. I do not have to deal with humidity. I would try a few tests with cupcakes in the shade if you are unsure. IMBC is one of the most stable frostings.
IMBC is the most delicate icing on the market. I warn my brides that if temps go above 82 on the day of their outdoor wedding, we'll have to go with plan B - standard Wilton Buttercream or fondant. And make them sign the warning - to keep you out of court. If your bride can keep the cupcakes inside until 10 minutes before they're consumed........you'll be golden. Butter doesn't like heat.
If you would like my IMBC recipe I can Im you. I have used it for 20 years and summers are hot and not too humid but there are a few tricks. It is a very stable because the sugar syrup is heated to 248 degrees and added to the
They aren't paying customers (I'm a hobby baker and it's my aunt's wedding). I tried to explain how much easier fondant would be, but she is flat out not willing to go with it. I'm hopeful that there will be somewhere to put the cuppies away from the sun, but I haven't seen the venue (they're in NC, I live in GA) and haven't a clue what kind of facilities may be there. I'm baking cake and cupcakes here at home and taking them with me, but everything will be frosted and stored (somewhere) at my grandparents' house the day before the wedding. I still have to figure out how to transport all of the above with two children who are IN the wedding and getting both things sorted out and in their proper places before hand.
I am in Ohio, and I just made some yesterday (temps were 85 degrees and humid here!) I take my sugar syrup to 248 before beating with the egg whites, and it is NOT a good icing to use in those circumstances. I had 2 cakes to deliver, and even with chilling them first, the hour drive there, the icing was VERY soft.
If you want to use it in the summertime, I suggest (as per Mike that used to be on here) to substitute 1/3 of the butter with shortning. That helps to make it more stable during the warm humid months. I would try it out (since I don't know where you are located) to see how it behaves for you.
Personally I would tell the bride that I wouldn't do buttercream outside in that kind of weather. I'm in Virginia and the last couple of summers have been brutal with the heat and humidity here. I started doing only fondant for outdoor receptions a couple of years ago because of the heat, and if they don't like it they can go to someone else and have the icing slide off their cakes.
If this is a gift, then I'd tell her that you have to do it the way that you know it will work, because she's running the risk of an icing disaster. It's so humid here during the summer I had a fondant cake last year that looked like it was going to melt, I'm not kidding. If she doesn't like it then she can always go pay for a cake somewhere that will melt, but you won't be responsible for it.
I agree 110% with costumeczar. I hate it when I hear of people that are getting a FREE cake as a gift and then want to be difficult about it. My parents would still whoop my grown tail if I even thought about acting that way.
If you are goingto do it as a gift, do it how you are comfortable. If they don't like it, let them hire someone to do it and you can simply get them a much cheaper gift from their registry.
I did a wedding cake on Memorial Day in NC 2 years ago. She wanted real buttercream. HUGE MISTAKE. The cake was refrigerated the entire time until a half hour prior to serving. Wilt. Wilt. Wilt. Melt. Horrific experience. Cutting it was a disaster as well. The funny thing is, I had even used some shortening in the recipe and it still didn't make it. The bride didn't care in the least...neither did the guests. I was the one mortified!
I don't think people quite grasp how horribly hot and humid it gets here as early as the first week in May!
Someone told me to try Rose Levy's Mousseline for the upcoming wedding I'm doing, but I opted to get the buttercream from Sam's instead. I needed far too much of it since I'm doing a wedding cake and 2 birthday cakes and just not feeling well enough to do all of that... Here is her recipe. I'd try a batch and let it sit on one of your practice cakes in your kitchen when you're cooking and it's all warm in there. See how it holds up! (let me know!!)
Source of Recipe Rose Levy Beranbaum
Recipe Introduction A fabulous buttercream that holds up well
List of Ingredients:
2 cups unsalted butter (softened but cool - not runny and greasy)
5 large egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar, plus 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
1/4 cup water
optional flavorings: 5 ounces dark chocolate or 6 ounces white chocolate (chocolate melted and cooled) or fruit puree or fruit curds
1. In a mixing bowl beat the butter until smooth and creamy and set aside in a cool place.
2. Have all other ingredients at room temperature.
3. Have ready a heatproof pouring container ready for the sugar syrup.
4. In a small heavy saucepan heat 3/4 cup sugar and the 1/4 cup water, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is bubbling. Stop stirring and reduce the heat to low. (If using an electric range remove from the heat.)
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer unsing the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites until foamy, add the cream of tartar, and beat until soft peaks form when the beater is raised.
6. Gradually beat in the remaining 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form when the beater is raised slowly.
7. Increase the heat and boil the syrup until the thermometer registers 248F to 250F (the firm ball stage).
8. Immediately transfer the syrup to the heatproof container to stop the cooking.
9. Pour a small amount of syrup over the whites with the mixer off.
10. Immediately beat at high speed for 5 seconds.
11. Stop the mixer and add a larger amount of syrup.
12. Beat at high speed for 5 seconds.
13. Continue with the remaining syrup.
14. For the last addition, use a rubber scraper to remove the syrup clinging to the heatproof container.
15. Lower speed to medium and continue beating up to 2 minutes or until the bottom of your mixing bowl feels cool to the touch.
16. If not completely cool, continue beating on lowest speed.
17. Beat in the butter at medium speed 1 tablespoon at a time.
18. At first the mixture will seem thinner but will thicken beautifully by the time all the butter is added.
19. If at any time the mixture looks slightly curdled, increase the speed slightly and beat until smooth before continuing to add more butter.
20. When butter is fully incorporated you may add any of the optional flavorings.
21. Place in an airtight bowl.
22. Rebeat lightly from time to time to maintain silky texture.
23. Buttercream becomes spongy on standing.
24. Will keep 2 days room temperature, 10 days refrigerated, 8 months frozen. Allow to come to room temperature completely before rebeating to restore texture or it will break down irretrievably
This is the same as Italian Meringue Buttercream, referred to on CC as IMBC. There is a wealth of information hereand all over the internet on this icing. This addition of sugar added to the whites is something Warren Brown does, and Alton Brown suggests this pouring method.
Thanks so much for all of the replies. I get it that people don't like the taste of fondant, but peel it off for Pete's sake. If it's a matter of the quantity of frosting I can bring a bucket and they can have as much as they like! I will give Rose Levy's Mousseline a try. I have the Cake Bible and I haven't been disappointed with any of the recipes I've tried so far.