Smbc Or Bettercream???

Decorating By Dinny2222 Updated 23 Oct 2008 , 7:29am by Curtsmin24

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Dinny2222 Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 2:51pm
post #1 of 11

I am very new to all of this and I have been a lurking and LOVE LOVE LOVE this site. Can't believe how wonderful and generous everyone is. Now for my question. I have tried the Bettercreme (thank you very much Melvira) and loved it! Did a vanilla and chocolate version. Now I am reading all about the SMBC. Which is better for icing a cake for piping and decorations. Can you make flowers with either of them? Which tastes better as I have only tried the Bettercreme which is AMAZING! Thanks for the info!

10 replies
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kakeladi Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 10:21pm
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Bettercreme is a non dairy whipped topping. It is more related to whipped cream than icing.
SMBC is sweetened whipped butter. Many people have likened eating it to eating a stick of butter.....doesn't sound like anything I would like icon_sad.gif

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stephaniescakenj Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 10:27pm
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Oh I TOTALLY disagree. Meringue buttercreams are the way to go, try it once and you'll never go back! I use IMBC which is the same thing taste wise but a different preparation method, I can do flowers, borders, etc with it and it smooths beautifully. I don't make any other kind of icing.

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Jopalis Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 10:35pm
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I also love SMBC/IMBC. You cannot eat it cold from the fridge though or it does seem like eating a stick of butter. My first attempt was Shirley W's recipe posted here on CC. I do SMBC because I think it is easier. I use Martha Stewart's recipe that makes 10 cups. It is harder to pipe with the merengue/butter icings. Not impossible but harder. If bag gets too hot from your hands it will break down.

Some like SMBC/IMBC better than regular confectioner's sugar and shortening buttercream. It's all in what you like. My DH hates xxx icing. For him it is mostly ganache or one of the merengue icings. They dont' have that clawing sweetness but yes...buttery. Use only nice fresh unsalted butter.

The SMBC/IMBC icings work fabulously with the upside down technique of icing also... I also recently did another merengue icing that used whole eggs...Spicy Rum Buttercream on the Whimsical Bakehouse Spice Cake. It was amazing!

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ape74 Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 10:38pm
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Hello everyone. I cannot suggest as I myself is new to all of this. I can't help asking though. What is better buttercream, SMBC and IMBC? Where can I find these recipes? Thanks!

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stsapph Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 10:39pm
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SMBC is great! It can have a buttery taste, but thats what flavorings are for! icon_biggrin.gif and it does take them quite well. I haven't tried the bettercreme yet to be able to compare, but SMBC is silky smooth and so easy to smooth. I love it.

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stsapph Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 10:46pm
post #7 of 11

bettercreme is a premade liquid that you can buy and whip up and apparently is delicious, although I can't find it here icon_sad.gif You can add all kinds of flavors to it too. SMBC is short for swiss meringue buttercream and IMBC is italian meringue buttercream. You can find the recipes in the recipe section. The difference with those is more so in the preparation. From what I have heard, IMBC is harder to make than SMBC, but I haven't tried the IMBC. SMBC is so easy and delicious. You just have to be patient with it, it will come together, I promise!

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Jopalis Posted 22 Oct 2008 , 10:47pm
post #8 of 11

The only thing I know about Bettercreme is I think it is a non-dairy whipped topping or some called pastry cream. I use a similar product at times.... Pastry Pride from freezer section at Smart & Final. It also comes in chocolate. A lot of times what you think is a whipped cream icing in a bakery is this.

SMBC/IMBC is Swiss Merengue Buttercream and Italian Merengue Buttercream. I think there is a french one out there too. A sugar syrup is made and heated. Egg whites (or yolks or whole eggs) are whipped and the syrup is added. After it is whipped til cool, a lot of butter is added. Like I said I tried Shirley's Italian Merengue posted here for my first attempt. Do not serve it cold from fridge or it tastes like eating a stick of butter!

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ceshell Posted 23 Oct 2008 , 6:44am
post #9 of 11

Personally I don't care for Bettercreme, Pastry Pride, etc. but that is because I detect that kind of chemically taste that "fake dairy" products carry. I think I am in the minority here! But I get an aftertaste when I eat that stuff. I must agree, though, that adding flavorings (I did use chocolate bettercreme+nutella on a cake last week because it HAD to sit out and I was too lazy to make a ganache) helps a lot, and more importantly, once the bettercreme was actually paired with the cake (rather than eating it out of the bowl) those chemically flavors were overpowered by the cake.

Still, there's no comparing it to IMBC/SMBC. That's not a knock to Bettercreme, it's just like comparing any other nondairy substitute to a dairy product. The taste is different! Count me among the people who can eat IMBC from the bowl. I didn't think it tasted like sweetened butter at all the first time I made it (except if eaten straight from the fridge, as noted above); I thought it tasted like gourmet icing that you only find on special desserts. It is very smooth and satiny. It is light, but not light-fluffy in the way a whipped cream icing is. It's smooth and creamy. What flavorings/how much you add has a big impact on the taste, and if it still isn't a knockout for you, try adding in some melted bittersweet chocolate at the end, it really is spectacular.

To answer your original question, I would say the MBC's are better for piping and decorations, and you can place fondant on them as well whereas Bettercreme may break down your fondant (from what I have read here; I do not have firsthand experience). Here is a great thread with photographs of the kinds of decorations you can accomplish from IMBC

Anyway, which one tastes better is 100% a matter of preference, there is no right answer to that question!! For me there is no question, it's IMBC.

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CakeWhizz Posted 23 Oct 2008 , 7:05am
post #10 of 11

It's SMBC all the way for me although I am jealous because we don't seem to have bettercreme in the UK. This video by the lovely Dyannbakes is fantastic in learning how to make SMBC

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Curtsmin24 Posted 23 Oct 2008 , 7:29am
post #11 of 11

I prefer meringue buttercreams for piping. I really like the taste of French buttercream. It is very rich and not too buttery once you add flavorings. It's my hubby's favorite too. It's very similar to Italian buttercream in the sense that making sugar syrup is involved but, instead of making a meringue with egg whites you beat egg yolks until they are light and fluffy "ribbon stage" and then add the sugar syrup while beating. When it cools down you can then add the butter and flavorings. I think it is a lot less buttery than the SMBC and less sugary than the IMBC, but it's all about preference. I like bettercream too but, it's really hard to find in my area so I stick to making my own. I have made all three and I like them all but I definitly love the French buttercream the best.

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