Hello everybody, I was wondering if there was a way to reduce the amount of air pockets in Swiss Meringue Buttercream. I do not own a stand mixer, so I make mine using a hand mixer. But I always noticed there are many little air pockets in my finished buttercream. Am I doing something wrong? I have also noticed that many recipes call for the use of a stand mixer and a Paddle attachment in order to get rid of the air pockets. Is there a substitute to a paddle attachment that I can use to get rid of the air pockets? When I go to smooth out the buttercream on a cake, the air pockets make it very difficult to get a smooth finish. :( I would greatly appreciate some tips on how to fix this problem. :)
To answer your question, it's not ideal to have air pockets for the reason you stated. I normally let my mixer run on it's lowest setting for a few minutes to solve that problem. In your case, you will probably have to spend a few minutes stirring it by hand to remove some of the air pockets.
Have you tried running your hand mixer on it's lowest setting and slowly moving it around the bowl for a few minutes? That might work too.
When I make IMBC, I use the paddle and the lowest speed to mix. I always get air incorporated in. Just take a big spatula and kind of smash the buttercream against the side of the mixing bowl to get out the air.
You have to keep the beaters of your hand mixer completely covered with the icing to avoid air pockets. This is hard on the hands. Also use a deep narrow bowl instead of a wide shallow one.
You do not have to get a "bakery" mixer but please consider a stand mixer as soon as you can afford it. Or maybe Santa will bring you one...
I always have air bubbles because I whip my smbc icing to lighten it. You can do all the great things the previous posters have said. Plus while I'm smoothing I go back over the icing on the sides of the cake in the opposite direction--the opposite direction of how I put it on there--usually pulls out the last offending holes like magic. If the bubbles are fierce I take a small spatula and go from bottom to top all the way around--just a narrow overlapping firm swipe one right after the other all the way around. Then do the bench scraper both directions again.
Then if a couple bubbles are still bigger than me I chill the cake and use my perfectly cleany clean hand and using the warmth thereof go back over my work for the smoothest ever finish--just melt out the last few and snooth it 'handily'. Would not work for American buttercream of course.