I want to offer some help to those of you that are just now reading this.
There is a lot of valuable information within this topic and it has taken me two days to read through all 35 pages. As I read, I copied and pasted any valuable information I thought I could use.
I would like to share it with others so it won't take you two days to find what you're looking for. (I apologize for not naming the people who posted, I just copied the information)
The best tip I learned about buttercream icing was how to ice and smooth. Using the icing tip to place icing on the cake, then using a long smoothing spatula to even the icing out. After letting it sit for about 10-15 minutes, I then use VIVA paper towels to smooth the icing out. I get great results with this, even if I have to patch and repair when I am setting up a wedding cake.
Roller Melvira method:
Upside Down Icing Method:
The best tips:
1. Use water instead of milk (stays fresh longer).
2. Do not beat too fast or too long, will add air bubbles.
3. Cover mixer with damp towel while mixing to eliminate powder clouds in the air.
4. Add light corn syrup at the end of mixing to create an icing that glides onto the cake (I add 1/4 cup to a 6 cup batch).
5. Allow icing to crust over at least 15 - 30 minutes then use parchment paper and your warm hand to smooth the cake.
6. putting a few drops of vinger in your buttercream will help it from cracking when you have to move and already crusted cake.
7. Sturdy plywood board or foam board to support a cake will prevent cracking when transporting cakes. The heavier the cake the more support.
8. add colored piping gel when I color my buttercream. I usually need a little extra color, but the piping gel keeps the consistancy from thinning, and it also helps my buttercream from cracking when I pipe letters or make roses and leaves.
9. freezing roses helps prevent damage when transferring to a cake.
10. dont sift the powdered sugar, just knead it in the bag really good. I've never had a lump problem this way.
11.I just recently discovered that you can flavor a basic butter cream recipe with snow cone syrup. The lemon is clear, however, the apple, cherry, and grape are colored. But the colors are really great for kids and they love the flavor. To make it you just cut the liquid out, be it oils, liquid flavor, or water/milk.
12. Just a quick note for making anything with cocoa powder (cakes or frostings)... if you dissolve the cocoa in boiling water, it gives whatever you are making a much richer chocolate flavor. Just boil some water and measure out the amount called for in your recipe. Mix in the cocoa thoroughly and let it cool to room temperature- then just follow the recipe as directed!
13. To cut the sweetness, I add cornstarch to my icing. Not only does it help cut the sweetness, it also helps with humidity.
14.when trying to get deep reds, using a combination of powdered and paste coloring works great. Less thinning of icing and less taste of coloring.
15. Start with chocolate icing if making black icing. also, adding a tbsp of wilton meringue powder to the icing will help to stabilize it and prevent bleeding.
16. Try making the butter cream then adding the ganache and beating it. Fluffy and wonderful.
17. There is so many coffee creamer flavors that you can easly and quickly add so many exctiing flavors to you buttercream.
18.You can also use Dreamwhip powder if you have it available in your country. One of my instructors said flour helps with the humidity.
19. Use paddle attachment to avoid air bubbles. This is for KA users. Handheld mixer users, just beat on low.
When I make buttercream, I always add about a 1/4tsp of kosher salt to the liquid I'm using (usually water and vanilla) and let it dissolve completely, about 3-4 oz of good white chocolate and un-salted sweet cream butter(tends to be very light, not yellow).
Ok Here is my recipe for icing:
1 Cup Hi Ratio Shortening
4 TBL White Icing Base
7 cups 6x Powder Sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp or to taste what ever flavor you want. You can use extracts or louann flavored oils but use less of the oil flavoring because it is strong. I use my own flavoring mixture that gives me a unique great tasting icing.
2 drops vinegar- This keeps any icing from cracking or stress lines.
You can also add 1 stick of softened butter (I use white butter) to this recipe for buttercream or an 8 oz of creamcheese for a cream cheese icing that crusts. This icing will hold better than crisco in heat and takes less shortening to make because hi ratio does not break down like crisco. You use 1/3 less alpine per cup of crisco for your recipes. Taste wise this is not gritty nor shortening tasting at all. The shelf life is very long and does not need to be refridgerated. Just re-whip before use if it has sat for a few days and it is ready to go. It is important that you use 6 x Sugar. This is a commercial grade and really makes a difference in your icing texture and consistency.
Forgot to add if you want a little less sweet icing I add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon fine salt to the recipe.
1/2 lb of white crisco shortening (equals 1 cup )
1 tsp clear vanilla
1 kilo of icing sugar (approx 71/2 cups)
2/3 cups water
1/3 cup allpurpose flour
Mix for exactly 1 1/2 min no longer on med speed.
Please note, I copied these to make this, anything that say "I" , "my", I can not take credit for. Although I do use some of these methods, I am still learning and I am thankful for all the experts out there that make learning possible.