ksshortcake Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 7:01pm

I always use the Viva paper towel method to smooth my cakes.  It's the best!  BUT... the last couple of cakes I have smoothed ended up with these quite a few tiny black flecks (fibers?) on the icing.  Has anyone else had this trouble?  What is happening?

26 replies
-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 8:35pm

what kinda buttercream?

 

is it a cooked meringue?

 

cooked in a teflon pan that's flaking?

 

didja grab the pepper instead of salt?

 

we'd get 'pepper' in the ice at work from mold specks flaking off in the ice machine

 

(i gotta million horror stories i will refrain from sharing ;)

ibeeflower Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 8:46pm

I used Viva a few nights ago and I didn't have that issue. It might be a good idea to either look at your frosting, and look at the rest of the paper towel roll. Or just buy a new one to see if the issue keeps happening.

ksshortcake Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 8:46pm

K8memphis... This is a crusting BC that is mixed with my Kitchen Aid mixer.  No teflon involved at all.  The specks seem to appear after 2nd or 3rd pass when smoothing with Viva paper towel.  I can't figure it out!  Anyone else had this problem?
 

-K8memphis Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 8:58pm

2nd or 3rd pass--hmmm

 

they're not cake crumbs?

 

nothing flaking off the counter top or table top?

 

ok one more--nothing flaking off from under the top of the ka??

 

you got kids punking you???

 

????

 

oh--are the towels white

 

is it the print off the towels???

amyoungbl00d5 Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:22pm

Are you using the all white viva ( no Print)? And you might want to check your mixer and maksure it's not coming from it.

Annabakescakes Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:40pm

I have noticed that the inside of the paper towel used to be the smooth part, and now it is the outside, so I have to take of the first few sheets and use them for clean-up, rather than cake smoothing, since it gets all linty and the lint then passes onto the cake. 

ksshortcake Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:42pm

These are all plain white Viva paper towels.  Nothing flaking off of countertops or table.  If it was from my mixer, wouldn't those flecks show up before I do a 2nd or 3rd pass of smoothing around the cake?  They don't show up until the very end of smoothing, but I will look at the mixer to make sure.  I'm using a fondant smoother tool with the paper towel.  I've done this method for 3 years or so.  I'm baffled!
 

ksshortcake Posted 8 Feb 2013 , 9:48pm

I think your idea of the flecks being from the mixer might be right!!  I just took a damp paper towel and wiped off the metal piece that the blade hooks onto and I had some black on the paper towel.  Not a lot, but enough to possibly be the culprit.  I'm better it was from black icing color.  I still don't know why it takes so many passes of smoothing for it to show, but you guys are awesome!!!  Several heads together are better than one.  Lol!  Thanks so much : )

kikiandkyle Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 2:12am

My Kitchenaid has been dropping metal shavings into my bowl, I had to stop using it until I can get it fixed. Run it on high with a paper towel in the bowl to catch whatever it is that is dropping out to inspect further. 

ksshortcake Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 2:32am

kikiandkyle... that's a great idea on how to check it.  That's scary... metal shavings!!!  I'm sending 3 cakes out the door tomorrow.  Sure hope not, but I'll check it out.  Thanks so much ♥

pummy Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 2:34am

The metal piece where the beater blade goes collects a lot of cake batter and whatever else you mix.  I've started using a tooth brush (new) to get all the nooks a toothpick may not get.

ksshortcake Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 2:36am

pummy, yes... I just usually wipe it down good, but I am definitely going to use a toothbrush from now on.  Thanks for the great idea for me icon_smile.gif

kikiandkyle Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 4:07am

Yeah I had to toss a double batch of cream cheese frosting, I was not happy! 

vgcea Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 5:32am
Quote:
Originally Posted by kikiandkyle 

My Kitchenaid has been dropping metal shavings into my bowl, I had to stop using it until I can get it fixed. Run it on high with a paper towel in the bowl to catch whatever it is that is dropping out to inspect further. 

Is this something peculiar to the KA brand or is it just one particular mixer in the KA mixer line? I've read of the beater also shedding.

 

 I've been hemming and hawing over getting a KA, and I'd hate to invest in something that would mess up my product.

kikiandkyle Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 6:35am

AI overworked mine on a batch of royal icing and dislodged the gears, which is what is causing the problem. From what I've heard its a somewhat common occurrence, they have to be babied somewhat. But I'd probably get another (with a more powerful motor), if for no other reason than the fact that there are no comparable alternatives in the same price point.

Annabakescakes Posted 9 Feb 2013 , 5:48pm

AI have 4 kitchen aids, bought one for my grandma to replace the one she had for 25 years. Told my SF to get one for my mom's birthday when I was 14. That was 19 years ago and hers is still fine. Lasted longer than their marriage! None of mine or the Others in my maternal line have ever done it. The only problem I have is the pin comes out in one of mine, and I have to stop in a push it back in, or hammer it in while mixing.

TinkerCakes Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 10:50pm

I am having the same problem RIGHT NOW, on got online to see if anyone else is having this problem. It's definitely coming from the viva towels, there little dark fibers.....it's making me crazy. I've never had this problem before. Im taking this icing off and redo it, going to try and smooth it with copy paper.

AZCouture Posted 15 Mar 2013 , 11:43pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

The only problem I have is the pin comes out in one of mine, and I have to stop in a push it back in, or hammer it in while mixing.

Me too! So annoying! WHACK WHACK WHACK!

justme50 Posted 16 Mar 2013 , 12:08am

I've had the same viva issue for several cakes now, to the point I won't use them anymore. Besides, I realized when I ran out of regular paper towels I use for cleaning and had to use the viva, that it left lint all over the glass. If it'll leave lint on glass, it's leaving lint on my cakes! I'm using food safe paper wrap sheets now.
 

-K8memphis Posted 16 Mar 2013 , 12:56am

brand new now--nothing 're-cycled' here  icon_lol.gif

 

http://www.cottonbabies.com/product_info.php?cPath=28&;products_id=276

 

works perfect!!!

-K8memphis Posted 16 Mar 2013 , 1:32am

i should have mentioned what it was though if someone doesn't want to click on it

 

brand new baby diapers--works great

ksshortcake Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 12:50am

AI'm still have problems with the Viva paper towels. I'm convinced the black flecks are coming from fibers in the paper towels. Can you give me some alternatives that smooth just as good? I don't have luck with the hot water spatula method. Thanks everybody!!

DeniseNH Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:36am

Ok, don't laugh, but have you purchased new kitchen towels lately?   Fresh from the store you usually wash them in the clothes washer BUT just one wash won't get rid of all the new fuzz.  Sticks to your hands and floats in the air until you can wash them quite a few times.  Another idea is a new shirt, apron or smock that hasn't had time to defuzz in the washing machine.

-K8memphis Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:14pm

baby diapers

 

seriously

 

they are perfect

 

and nice & big too

 

the flat ones

 

brand new of course

Dani1081 Posted 18 Mar 2013 , 2:44pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by Annabakescakes 

I have noticed that the inside of the paper towel used to be the smooth part, and now it is the outside, so I have to take of the first few sheets and use them for clean-up, rather than cake smoothing, since it gets all linty and the lint then passes onto the cake. 

I always do this too.  Plus I store the Viva in it's own plastic bag in the cake cabinet, so NOTHING gets on it.  When I get ready to smooth my cakes, I take the Viva out of the plastic bag, tear off a couple of sheets and put these aside for wiping up messes, I then pull off a sheet for smoothing and put the roll back in the bag.  Do my first smoothing pass.  throw the paper towel away.  Get out the roll and another sheet - put the roll in the bag and smooth with the new sheet.  I never leave the roll out, and I never use a sheet more than one pass for smoothing.  They attract lint from everywhere  - and THAT is what is on your cake. 

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