I use the best buttercream ever recipe on this site and love the taste, but I have a difficult time spreading it and smoothing it. I end up with lumpy cakes every time. My Wilton instructor constantly warned us about mixing it too much, so I mix it as little as possible and try to keep it at a medium consistency.
How much should I mix it and at what speeds? I am hoping that I can still use this recipe and have more of a fluffy consistency without a bunch of air bubbles.
...........Wilton instructor constantly warned us about mixing it too much, ......How much should I mix it and at what speeds?,,,,,,,,
Therein lies your problem!! To get a really smooth icing one *MUST* mix it - as much as 10 minutes. YES, I said as much as 10 minutes on low speed (especially if using a hand-held mixer).
To keep from having air bubbles, be sure your recipe makes enoough to *fill* your bowl - find a narrow, tall bowl if possible. There will be far less problems if the beaters are completely covered w/icing.
I discovered this one day by accident. I had my KA on when I got a phone call which took far longer than expected and I was away from the mixer for about 10 or 15 minutes - all the while it was running on low speed. When I returned I fully expected to have to dump the icing and start over but low and behold it was the smoothest icing ever! And it had gotten higher in the bowl - can't think how to word that - it increased in volumn. ThereAfter I always mixed it long and slow and almost always had perfectly smooth, wonderful to spread icing
totally agree with kakelady. I've never understood the "don't overmix icing" concept. Don't get it at all.
The reason beating it a long time is good is becuase you really need to pulverize the fat in there. Mixing it only a short time runs the very good chance that your fat won't be beat to smithereens and you'll get lumpy icing and/or the fat will cause "air tunnels" when you ice your cake.
Here's my example of "hand in the sand" to explain the hand tunnels concept:
I always thought you would ruin your BC if you overbeat it. I have a batch I am using on a cake tomorrow in the fridge. I was worried about re beating it before I use it tomorrow. Guess it'll be just fine or better! I can add a smidge of salt to to cut the sweetness. I wanted to try indydebi's but forgot to by the dream whip. That is going to be on my next cake but for tomorrow is just a generic one that I got out of the local paper from a cake show on tv.
Thanks everyone for the replies! I can't wait to make my next cake and try this out!
I'm a WMI and yes I do caution my students from mixing too long or too high after they have added the powder sugar, because it will cause a lot of air bubbles. I know there are people that will disagree with that. BUT in my opinion, most students are mixing one recipe (1 lb powder sugar) with a hand mixer. And most don't have mixers that can handle more than one recipe, so they can't really fill the bowl up over the beater.
To the OP are you using medium consistency for icing the cake?