I HATE frosting with shortening, the flavor that is. I also have a circle of friends not friendly to all things processed. I love to make cakes for those I love and they enjoy the cakes immensly. I have used the viva method on a wedding cake (actually 4 if you count the sheet cakes made to feed the masses at the reception) with a white chocolate cream cheese buttercream and it worked well (although I had to rechill the cakes constantly or they would stick to the paper towel). I have not had the same luck with simple butter based buttercreams. They arent crusting enough I guess. I have used a hot offset spatula and parchment also. The cakes have come out good but not as smooth as I would like and it takes FOREVER to use the hot spatula. I am guessing the melted white chocolate added to the wedding cake frosting helped make it more conducive to the viva method. Any suggestions beyond the paper towels or do Ihave to add some amount of shortening to get a truly smooth buttercream. Man I hope not.
Just an FYI, no one I am mking cakes for likes fondant either so I really need to perfect smooth buttercream. The tastes cake great, I have that part down, just need a good decorating background.
just trying to keep this post active
Here's a bump for you.....
I use an all butter buttercream and I use the viva method to smooth. Maybe it is the ratio of butter to powdered sugar you're using. I use 1 lb. butter to 2 lbs sugar and it crusts well enough that I can smooth it pretty well.
Hope this helps!
Thank you. I was using 1/2 lb butter to 2 lbs sugar. Tasted great but not a great crust. I will try upping the butter (yummy, I can feel my butt getting bigger already LOL) and see how it goes. Thank you for you post.
I'm with you; I LOVE the taste of butter. We personally don't like to eat shortening. I make a lot of all butter icing cakes,. I use the 1 pound butter : 2 lbs. of powdered sugar ratio. I have found that it is a lot easier to smooth if I use a "good" powdered sugar like Domino. Some of those off brands have too much corn starch in them, and they get gritty. I think the all butter icing is harder to smooth. Sometimes it "crusts" on me too soon. Sometimes I need to use 50% (or 100 % )Hi-ratio shortening in my wedding cakes. I'll never go back to Crisco. The hi-ratio shortening whips up nice and light, and it doesn't leave that "shortening" feel on the roof of your mouth.
I am guessing the melted white chocolate added to the wedding cake frosting helped make it more conducive to the viva method. Any suggestions beyond the paper towels or do Ihave to add some amount of shortening to get a truly smooth buttercream. Man I hope not.
i have a feeling it's the cream cheese that made it easy to smooth out. my carrot cake with cream cheese frosting (to which i added half butter & PS) was super easy to smoothen, as opposed to my all butter BC.
yes, i use all butter too, 2 PS to 1 butter, but once crusted, it is fairly easy to smoothen too.
I use the wilton buttercream recipe (but I make big batches -- 1 lb butter, 1 lb veg shortening (crisco, but I think maybe the formulation is different in Canada because ours still has trans fats), 4 tsp vanilla, 2 bags icing sugar (our bags are 1 kg each, which is 2.2. pounds), then however much milk it needs -- between 1/2 and 1 cup of milk. Anyway, I smooth my cake with the wet spatula method. I just have a tall glass of water and keep dipping the spatula in it and smoothing the cake. I guess the water dissolves the icing so it can get smooth. I don't get it really wet (wipe with a paper towel between dips). Maybe that is what is meant by the hot spatula method. Oh, and as you go around the edges, have a paper towel or three to dab the excess drops of water that collect on the bottom.
I'm just a hobbly baker, so for the most part, I just figure pretty smooth is smooth enough.
Thank you for all your responses! My husband says we need to find a cheap source of butter LOL. I go through so much because I use all butter cakes and frostings. It just tastes better. Wish margarine worked as well. Come to think of it I never tried but would imagine it wouldnt be the same.
Have you tried Costco or the equivalent? I get butter for $1.94 a pound in the multi-block package. Price has gone up from $1.57, but still a good one.