Hi All- Yes me again- so sorry for all the posts today- I'm working hard on a cake for my sons girlfriend- big graduation day
Ok- so little history- I took the Wilton class at Michaels last year- I'm sorry to say- what a waste of my time and money-I can honestly tell you- I learned NOTHING 1) the teacher was over an hour late the first day- 2) the instructions were not conveyed well- ESPECIALLY when it came to buttercream- my friend and I never did get it right- not even close- -she didn't ever bring in examples of the difference between thin/med and stiff- or at the VERY LEAST- a good med buttercream- 3) to this day I still cant make a piping bag--4) parents dropped off kids- so most of the class, everyone was trying to help them- 5) we heard so many times- how bad she was doing financially and all abt her troubles- etc more than cake decorating tips- I could go on and on- I will never take another class there again-
I made Indys buttercream 2x now- there are alot of airbubbles in it- will they come out? I have sugarshacks video- but am waiting on my high-ratio to be delivered- I have yet- in all this time,have been able to make a buttercream crust- never one batch!
I just made a batch to 2nd coat a cake and am in the prcess of trying to make a very stiff batch to dam the fillings (per Sharon Z)- Should these batches have airbubbles? Will I be able to smooth them out- Why am I not getting a crust (I'm using an off-brand for now- it has some trans fat- like 3% I think)
I beat the hell out of the shortening- per Indy- and added all other ingredients- scrapped down the sides and incorporated (I'm using 5qt KA and the paddle) I'm just so baffled-
Pictures of all stages of buttercream- think/med and stiff- and how it should look immediately after mixing would be great-
Thanks for any advice or help- I am so lost over here-
I've never gotten a buttercream to crust, either! About air: someone (I think it was Sharon Zambito) suggested that you always make a double recipe of buttercream so that there was always enough in the bowl to cover your beaters and the beaters should never "come up for air" the whole time you're making the icing (unless you turn your mixer off first), because this is one of the things that incorporates most air into the mix, and once it's there, it won't come out. I tried this and it helped a whole lot. Consistency - I agree it would really help if you could see what each one is like, but in the meantime, thick buttercream is a just little less stiff than peanut butter and thin buttercream is a little stiffer than mayonnaise. Does that help any? You may just have to find out by trial and error, which is hard, but there's so much in decorating that depends on getting this one thing right. Someone else here (mamawrobin, I think) said that the buttercream she uses for dams is thick enough to roll into a snake, pick it up and place it around the edge of her layers. I'm so sorry about your Wilton class! Mine were great, but I took them a couple of years ago, before they dumbed them down.
Maybe you're using too high of a speed? I use a crusting buttercream all of the time, and works like a charm! When it's really hot, I add some meringue powder. I use a cup of crisco, a stick of butter, 2 lbs powdered sugar, flavoring and heavy whipping cream. I beat everything together on low until it's the consistency I want. Add more sugar to thicken and more cream to thin out
What makes b'cream crust in having more sugar than fat. The more fat (be it butter, Crisco or combination) the less chance it will crust. **It is NOT meringue powder!* that makes it crust. It might help just a tiny bit but......in general you must have more sugar than fat.
So a recipe that used 2 cups of Crisco to 2 pounds of sugar should crust.
Here is a great b'cream icing. It does not curst BUT...... there will be insturctions at the end how to get it to crust in the notes:
2 of everything buttercream icing
2 cups butter (room temp)
2 Cups Crisco
2 pounds powdered sugar
2 generous pinches salt
2 Tablespoons flavoring
Cream together butter and Crisco well - at least 5 minutes. Add about 2 cups of the sugar and mix well; continue adding sugar 2 cups at a time, mixing slow but well each time - until all is incorporated, then add the salt. Add flavoring and mix on low speed for 10 minutes.
NOTE: For this to crust - use 1 cup Crisco with the 2 cups of butter (OR if you'd rather use l cup butter w/2 of Crisco). If you find that still does not crust enough for you reduce the fat another 1/2 cup.
Flavoring can be *any* you like - lemon, almond, vanilla, orange, etc, etc. A combination of 1 Tablespoon vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond and 1 & 1/2 teaspoons butter is my personal favorite.
Here is my buttercream recipe. It's the recipe the bakery I worked for used and I use it now. I don't use fondant to cover my cakes so it crusts great.
2 sticks of real butter (8 oz)
1 block (8 oz) cream cheese
2 lbs powdered sugar (make sure it's pure cane powdered sugar)
Beat softened cream cheese and butter until creamy and slowly add powdered sugar.
That's it. I don't add any additional flavorings, although you could if you wanted. It's very rich and delicious. Even though it has cream cheese in it, it's not a cream cheese frosting per se. This works great with any zest like lemon, lime or orange.
If it seems too stiff (it shouldn't if you've creamed the butter well) just add a tiny bit of water to it.
I crumb coat a cold cake and then refrigerate it to harden and add layers of BC, smoothing and refrigerating between each layer. Because it's butter it will harden nicely and you can really get a smooth texture. I've also used the foam paint roller to go over it once it's crusted. (it must be at room temp for this to work).
Mine has a lot of air holes, too but it works just fine. Some of them disappear as I am icing the cake and the vast majority of the rest can be smoothed out with the Viva method.
As for consistency, look up a post by Indydebi herself. It's an old, old post but she included pictures of different consistencies and how to tell by how much sticks on your finger when you touch it.
I use the 1 cup great value shortening (from Wal-mart w/trans-fats), 1 cup butter, unsalted, 3 Tbsp. Meringue Powder, 1 teas. flavoring (this is what the recipe calls for, I add to my taste), 4 Tbsp. milk or water, 2# powdered sugar. Blend shortening and butter together in a bowl until silky. Add the meringue powder and flavoring (coloring can be added at this point also). Mix on low just enough to incorporate. Add powdered sugar (all but about 1/2 a pound) and milk. Mix slowly. Remove bowl. Add remaining sugar and slowly fold into mixture. Scraping down the sides of the bowl. If mixture is too stiff then add more milk. If it is too runny, add more powdered sugar. But avoid mixing with the mixer at this point, because it will cause small air bubble pockets in your frosting. Mix by hand only. Stiff buttercream is stiff enough to make a "dam" (kind of like stiff mash potatoes), medium is stiff enough to spread on the cake with a little pressure, and thin is thin enough to be squeezed from you icing bad without straining you hands too much. I know these aren't good descriptions, but I'm having trouble finding the words here. lol. I sure hope this helps you out. You may want to check out youtube for some great instructions...check out tonedna's videos.
I got this recipe back when I took my first cake class in So. Calif. years ago it crusts nicely.
2# Powder Sugar (I sift)
1/2 c. Water
1 3/4 c. Shortening
1 tsp. Salt
1 TB. Flavoring ( I use rum)
1 Egg White
1 Pkg. Dream Whip
Mix with KA paddle till it's the consistency I want it 3 to 5 minutes sometimes I will add a couple drops more of water, though I had to use a hand mixer years ago the hand mixer tends to get rather warm, I have also used the KA wisk that makes the frosting fluffy and light depending what I'm using it for the paddle is my usual chioce. I usually also double this recipe. Good luck.
Thank you everyone for your advice, recipes and support- I am for sure going to give them all a shot- fingers crossed-
I just love CC memebers- you are all so great- I am so impressed with the amount of support, caring and sharing- everyone really wants others to succeed- how nice is that???!!!!
I been too afraid to try the covered beater approach... I don't want to clean up icing flung all over my kitchen. I have found that often if my icing is too stiff it will have lots of air bubbles and I need to add a bit more milk (I use half/half) to smooth it out. Sometimes it looks like the perfect consistency in the bowl but them you try to pipe it and realize just how stiff it actually is.
katnmouse you have to cover with damp dish towel besides the KA mixer cover or you will have a sugar shower, I was afraid way back to do that also thinking I get the towel caught up in the mixer just check the towel well to see nothing is in the way and start on low then kick it up higher when pwd. sugar is not a powder any more. Good luck