MustangMollie Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 1:51am
post #1 of

I know it's been asked a million times, but I must be doing something wrong because I still can't get it! I've read all the threads on the Melvira method and the Viva method. I've watched Jessica Harris' Craftsy class and have enrolled and watched the SugarEd tutorial ... I'm not sure what to try next.

 

With the Viva method, we don't have Viva paper towels like the ones in the U.S. and the best substitute I can find pulls the BC off with it.

 

I tried the Melvira method last night with the high density foam roller (6") and it wasn't working either. When I used it directly on the cake it pulled the icing off. When I used it over a paper towel or parchment paper they pulled the icing off.

 

Here is a pic of my best effort to date, but as you can see I still have a ways to go. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

 

38 replies
Krypto Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:51am
post #2 of

ATry going over the final coat with a bench scraper dipped in very hot water. It works best if your cake is a little cold. Smoothing buttercream takes me forever!

MommyMommy Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:57am
post #3 of

lol, beauty is in the eye of the beholder!  i hear you!  and yet I've only tried it once so far and would have Loved for my attempt to look like yours as is now! ;-D

 

i'm making a halloween cake just to try again!

MustangMollie Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:58am
post #4 of

AI did that today. I had a put off hit water on the stove that I kept dipping my bench scraper into maybe I'm pushing too hard with the bench scraper because I keep getting vertical lines. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep at it.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 3:04am
post #5 of

Bench scraper might be all you need. That Melvira method and the viva towel were pretty famous two to three years ago. People do it differently now.

 

Here's some links that might help you. This girl, Natalie, is amazing, even making stripes with buttercream.

 

http://sweetnessandbite.com/2013/10/perfect-buttercream-stripes-part-one/

 

Also, whatever Jessica Harris does with ganache, many people do with buttercream. Jessica Harris got it from Jeff Arnett, who always used buttercream.

 

http://sugarsweetcakesandtreats.blogspot.com/2010/05/covering-cake-in-ganache.html

 

http://cakecentral.com/a/upside-down-icing-technique-for-perfectly-smooth-icing

MBalaska Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 3:42am
post #6 of

the method where you put a board on bottom & top of cake then put the icing in between has failed me.  The cardboards do not have perfectly smooth edges so the spatula jumps in and out and makes an uglier side then when I freehand it.

 

So what can be used instead?

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 3:54am
post #7 of

Drumboards? I think you have cardboard right next to the cake, so that becomes the bottom of the cake, but you use drumboards or thicker boards, with smooth edges, to do the smoothing.

 

http://www.notquitenigella.com/2010/11/04/how-to-make-a-two-tier-wedding-cake-with-faye-cahill/

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 4:01am
post #8 of

Also, some people have acrylic boards cut to half an inch bigger than their cakes, in pairs.

 

http://www.facebook.com/notes/torta-couture-cakes/how-to-ganache-a-cake-my-way/517220834972659

 

They're also selling them, although not cut to size. You have to make sure your cake is half an inch smaller.

 

http://www.walmart.com/ip/26681810?wmlspartner=wlpa&selectedSellerId=3&adid=22222222227018920471&wl0=&wl1=g&wl2=c&wl3=27860864796&wl4=&wl5=pla&wl6=53519974716&veh=sem

BrandisBaked Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 4:05am
post #9 of

AMaybe you could adjust your buttercream recipe...

MBalaska Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 6:56am

Quote:

Originally Posted by imagenthatnj 
 

Also, some people have acrylic boards cut to half an inch bigger than their cakes, in pairs.

 

clear acrylic rounds with polished edges.....perfect for the icing application shown above.....

unfortunately for me, they are only sold overseas. they do look like what was used in the tutorial that gave such a perfect finish.

 

I could order and try out the cake drums.  pretty expensive for something that won't hold up well.

MBalaska Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 7:16am

and if the acrylic rounds work so well,  couldn't you get the same perfection in a square cake with acrylic squares?

DeliciousDesserts Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 12:29pm

A

Original message sent by MustangMollie

I did that today. I had a put off hit water on the stove that I kept dipping my bench scraper into maybe I'm pushing too hard with the bench scraper because I keep getting vertical lines. Thanks for the suggestion. I'll keep at it.

Are you using a cardboard cake round under cake? If so, the tiny ridges cause tiny bumps which make lines. Or do you mean 2 or 3 from where you start & stop smoothing?

I use a cardboard round for my cakes a 6" cake gets a 6" round. Then, I place that on a smooth surface (Masonic, acrylic round, bottom of cake pan) 6" cake on 8".

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:11pm

Yes. It's all practice, practice, practice. Here's a few more links.

 

http://store.cakedecoratingcentral.com.au/icing/ganaching/acrylic-ganache-boards.html

 

https://www.facebook.com/notes/torta-couture-cakes/how-to-ganache-a-square-cake/639551166072958

 

http://jessicakesblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/video-tutorial-upside-down-frosting.html

 

http://jessicakesblog.blogspot.com/2011/07/aussie-smoooooothing-technique-love-it.html

 

http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2013/06/how-to-make-ganache/

 

 

MustangMollie Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:13pm

AWhat is the difference between a cake board and a drum board? I don't use the cardboard cake boards, I use the harder and thicker ones that are covered in foul (made of wood maybe?).

I definitely get ridges in the bc were I stop and start with the scraper, but around the edges of the cake board the foil is folded under so the edges of the board aren't smooth. This creates ridges too.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:15pm
MustangMollie Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:18pm

AHmmm ... BrandisBaked, I just read the other thread about smoothing buttercream, and it looks like you're right! It looks lie meringue buttercreams are harder to smooth. What a bummer. Thanks for your insight.

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 2:19pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by MustangMollie 

What is the difference between a cake board and a drum board? I don't use the cardboard cake boards, I use the harder and thicker ones that are covered in foul (made of wood maybe?).

I definitely get ridges in the bc were I stop and start with the scraper, but around the edges of the cake board the foil is folded under so the edges of the board aren't smooth. This creates ridges too.

 

I think you are using a drum board then. Cake boards are just the flimsy cardboards. The harder and thicker ones covered in foil are cake drums. People use a cardboard under the cake, and then a cake drum to sit it on (that you can cover and decorate with fondant).

 

I think your "ridges" are because you start and stop with the scraper. What you can see people doing is to hold your scraper at a starting point, put your left hand right there on the wheel and in one single motion, without stopping, turn the wheel and get to the beginning point.

remnant3333 Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 3:04pm

Try using poster board to smooth cakes with. Buddy Valastro is the one who showed me this. It works great for me. Good luck and keep practicing!!!

AnnieCahill Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 3:20pm

You don't need paper towels or rollers or any of that stuff.  Just get a good scraper and practice.  Those of us who use a non-crusting buttercream will find that those methods don't work.  In a professional setting they just use spatulas and scrapers because there isn't time for that other stuff (and some of it isn't food-safe anyway). 

 

For me it's easier to put on way more than what I actually need and then scrape it off.  I don't even crumb coat usually.  Your turntable does most of the work-all you have to do is make sure your scraper is lined up straight on the sides.

AnnieCahill Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 3:23pm

You also have to understand that buttercream is buttercream and it might have some pock marks or spatula lifts.  I think some people spend way too much time trying to get their buttercream cakes to look like fondant.  Why?  Just use fondant!

MBalaska Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 9:48pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by AnnieCahill 
 

You also have to understand that buttercream is buttercream and it might have some pock marks or spatula lifts.  I think some people spend way too much time trying to get their buttercream cakes to look like fondant.  Why?  Just use fondant!

AnnieCahil:  Yes that a good answer to the OP.

 

 

Quote:

Yes. It's all practice, practice, practice. Here's a few more links.

 

http://store.cakedecoratingcentral.com.au/icing/ganaching/acrylic-ganache-boards.html

Imaginethatnh:   'Acrylic Ganache Boards' are what is used in that spectacular tutorial. The are sold on websites in the AU & GB but not the US.  

imagenthatnj Posted 15 Oct 2013 , 10:01pm

Quote:

Originally Posted by MBalaska 
 

AnnieCahil:  Yes that a good answer to the OP.

 

 

Imaginethatnh:   'Acrylic Ganache Boards' are what is used in that spectacular tutorial. The are sold on websites in the AU & GB but not the US.  

 

I know. I couldn't find them here in the US for my sister (she makes cakes in South America). I had to send her masonite rounds. But I really want her to tell me what size her cakes shrink to so that I can have a sheet cut to different sizes at eplastics. I have a template made already to see how many rounds will fit on one of their sheets. I think it's going to be very expensive though...and that stuff is not light for shipping, here or to South America!

Paperfishies Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 2:25pm

The ONLY way I can get my buttercream smooth, is by using the heat method.

happy tiers Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 5:25pm

haha wow.. funny but so true... what non crusting buttercream recipe do you use?  I think ive only used the crusting recipe...ive tried soo many recipes thinking it was my recipe.. but I think its just me haha..

happy tiers Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 6:00pm

what do u mean please

MustangMollie Posted 16 Oct 2013 , 11:48pm

Thanks so much for all of the responses guys! I'll keep at it ... hopefully I'll have a nicer looking crumb-coated cake pic to post soon :)

 

With the acrylic rounds, does the bottom piece of acrylic become part of the cake? If not, how would you remove it without ruining the icing?

imagenthatnj Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 12:27am

A

Original message sent by MustangMollie

Thanks so much for all of the responses guys! I'll keep at it ... hopefully I'll have a nicer looking crumb-coated cake pic to post soon :)

With the acrylic rounds, does the bottom piece of acrylic become part of the cake? If not, how would you remove it without ruining the icing?

There's always something in between. A round cardboard, not a drumboard, between cake and the acrylic for the bottom. A piece of wax paper between acrylic round and buttercream/ganache for top.

MBalaska Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 12:35am

Quote:

Originally Posted by imagenthatnj 
 
........A round cardboard, not a drumboard, between cake and the acrylic for the bottom. A piece of wax paper between acrylic round and buttercream/ganache for top.

imagenthatnj:  whew....thanks for sharing that info.  I am sending for a couple of the small acrylic rounds to give it a try.  It would have been a disaster had I not known this.

 

leah_   wrote that they used cardboards, the technique must be similar. her cakes are tops!

MommyMommy Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 12:48am

AExcuse me - so is it better to use crusting or non-crusting or does it matter? Is one or the other better if you Do cover w fondant? And is Crisco a high ratio shortening?

MommyMommy Posted 17 Oct 2013 , 3:13am

AAnd is it imperative that one do this on something that turns? Or can you just turn the cake stand for the same effect?

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