I just love using SMBC & IMBC (Swiss Meringue/Italian Meringue ButterCream), but recently when I've been using them I've been having problems with condensation forming on the outside of the cake after the crumb coat (& subsequent coats). This then destroys the look of the icing and I'm unable to get a smooth surface. The top coat slides off the crumb coat and it's a mess.
Any help would be appreciated.
P.S. I'm located near Sydney Australia, and I'm wondering if perhaps the humidity is a problem as well.
I woul say your location is probably having much to do with this.
I have never had this problem while working with either.
Are you icing the cakes while they are cold or frozen?
If you're putting them in the fridge and taking them out to ice, then condensation is forming because of the cold cake meeting the humidity in the air.
You can try not leaving the cake in the fridge for quite as long, so it doesn't a get cold. Or get a dehumidifier for your house, or work with airconditioning on - both remove some of the humidity from the air.
AHoly mackerel. I'd say it must be your environment as well. I work with smbc at least two times a week and I've never experienced any condensation on the buttercream. Well I have, and that's when the cake is chilling in the freezer and it decides to do a defrost cycle at that moment. SO aggravating!
Are you sure it is fully mixed before using? If the butter and sugar syrup aren't completely incorporated, they can separate out. A few times I have noted that even though I thought the buttercream was finished, when I tried to use it it just wasn't right - it was just a little grainy and wet looking. Subtle, but definitely not the smooth silky buttercream that is expected. I've seen this also when re whipping the buttercream after defrosting. I think it may be when the BC is just not quite warm enough yet. Possibly it needs to mix longer to completely come together, or possibly needs to be just a little bit warmer too. When I see this happening, more mixing with a few passes to the outside of the bowl with a blow dryer always seems to bring it together nicely. Otherwise, I have never seen SMBC "sweat" even after freezing, defrosting, and refrigerating. Just a thought, and good luck.
It's just condensation. You're probably putting the basecoated cake in the freezer for a few minutes to firm up. When you remove it and the cake hits the warm air in your kitchen, condensation forms. This happens to me and what I do to remedy it is so simple, you'll slap your forehead with the palm of your hand. Simply press the crumbcoat with a paper towel (gently) then continue with the finish coat. Works for me.
Wow! You're all so wonderful, what great replies. Thank you!
From all the feedback it seems like it may be a combination of things... humidity, cake too cold and perhaps not enough incorporating of the BC.
I'm going to try all of them and see how we go this time.
Thank you again.
I'll update when I've made the cake and see how it works out.