Im relatively new to the piping scene and was practicing today with some SMBC I had just made. I was just trying to do simple flowers with a star tip but very often I would encounter (1) air bubbles causing a splatter, (2) the SMBC not wanting to let go of the tip when I pulled away from the cake, and/or (3) tiny tiny bubbles/holes in my frosting after I had piped it on so it didnt have that nice smooth texture like all the great pics do. I was using a crappy plastic tip I had picked up with a set from the grocery store (my metal tips are coming in the mail).
I guess I have a lot of questions, but for now could any of you answer-
(1) Does the material of the tip (plastic vs metal) make a big difference? When I get the metal tips will I encounter fewer problems like I mentioned above?
(2) Whats the best way to get air bubbles out of SMBC before beginning to pipe?
(3) Does SMBC cooperate best when its cold or at room temp? I was using it at room temp because that seemed logical but is cold better?
And any other tips for a new piper would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
1 - Not really a difference. To me the difference is just that the metal are better quality in the sense that they are stronger, less likely to break, and come in a bunch more tube designs than the plastic. Nothing different with how they pipe.
2 - My SMBC has no real air bubbles when I use it. What recipe do you have? Look up the blog post of FromScratchSF. There is a GREAT SMBC recipe there, that I use almost exclusively.
3 - SMBC is practically a butter emulsion, so when you chill it down, it firms up just like butter. Room temp is the way to use it. If you end up storing it in the fridge, just thaw it on the counter until it is FULLY THAWED and then spin it in a mixer for a little to bring it back to life. If it is still cold/hard when you do this, the emulsion will separate.
thanks @TheNerdyBaker for the response. I was using a recipe from the beantown baker's website, here it is-
Its one of 3 recipes I've tried so far, all having some stupid problem here or there. I will give your recipe a try next and let you know how it goes for me.
Maybe important to mention, Im not using a stand mixer because I dont have one and theyre idiotically expensive to get where I live, so im just using a hand mixer. Could my too much air problem be due to the fact that im just using regular beaters and not a paddle attachment and theyre whipping too much air into the SMBC? Seems like kind of a long shot idea but maybe theres some fact behind it? If thats the case I guess I cant really solve it unless I shell out 400 Euro for a stand mixer (not happening anytime soon)
I use Sweetapolita's SMBC recipe always and it spreads and pipes like a dream. Before I got my stand mixer I was using hand-held ones but still got a great result - just meant I had to stand there getting a sore arm! :)
if you've ever watched a professional ice a cupcake you might notice that he/she presses the buttercream into the side of the bowl before grabbing a daub to put on the cupcake. the reason for this is to press out the air bubbles.
some people recommend tapping your bowl on the counter before using it, as well,
What I usually do is fill my bag and if there are any visible bubbles or gaps, softly pinch the frosting from the outside, to close up any bubbles, then push the entire amount down toward the tip, twist and pipe. I don't really give it a lot of thought, though. It's something you get good at with more practice.
if you are having trouble with the decoration lifting when you pull your tip away, keep this in mind, there are two steps, stopping the flow of BC and breaking the attachment between whats on your cake and whats in the bag. Try twisting the tip a bit or moving your arm in a small circle at the end, without pressing out more BC. This should break off the attachment and leave a clean finish.