Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Coloring SMBC and IMBC?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Coloring SMBC and IMBC?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
A question for those of you who use IMBC or SMBC: I'm a beginner, so I was hoping that some of you who have more experience working with SMBC or IMBC could help me out.

I've been using Wilton gel colors, which work fine for me with American Buttercream, but they "bead" in the SMBC and don't want to mix in unless I use a mixer, which is fine if I'm only using one or two colors, but gets to be a real pain when I want to do a design with lots of colors. Plus, it mixes more air back into the frosting (or is that just because I'm impatient and mixing at too high a speed?)

Tips on getting the colors to blend, or is there a better coloring product I should use?

I doubt it makes a difference, but I've been using Martha Stewart's SMBC recipe.

Thanks!
post #2 of 11
Because SMBC has so much butter in it, candy food coloring (oil-based) works best. Wilton makes them, as well as Americolor and other companies.
post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks! Do you have a recommendation for where to buy it?
post #4 of 11
Michaels and Hobby Lobby. Look on the candy aisle.
post #5 of 11
I have read this so many times on CC, but I have never had a problem with gel colors. Are you sure you are completing the emulsification process? If you are experiencing spots of color, it would seem that the butter and the egg white mixture are not fully incorporated. Even though the buttercream is in buttercream form, it needs more mixing to get rid if the minute specks that have not homogenized.
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 
Well, I dunno. I used CC member From Scratch SF's method (thanks for the awesome blog tutorials, in case she's reading), where you put the soft butter in and turn the KA to low. I literally set the timer for 15 minutes and leave the room, so it mixes at least that long. At the end of that time, the mixture looks, feels, and tastes smooth. Though, of course, I've never had anyone else's Meringue buttercreams to compare mine to.

How long do you mix yours? And is there some other way to tell if it's fully emulsified?
post #7 of 11
The only one I have colored is IMBC, but I am definitely not an authorotative cake decorator. I only have about two years experience. I use gel colors, sometimes Wilton and another I can't remember from my local cake supply store. It has a red label all the way around.

I watch for the blending because those same spots can appear in the frosting on the cake. I can't say how long I mix, but I go past the time when it actually turns into buttercream. If you are using time vs. total mixing, this could be the problem.

Watch closely and you will see that at the moment it looks like buttercream, you still need to go a little longer for total emulsification.

Another huge trick I use based on my past doing home restoration work, I only skim coat my colors. This fixes two things. First, your guests don't get that big mouthful of food coloring that turns their mouths colors. Second, it keeps you from having to color mass quantities of buttercream.

To do this, frost your cake with the uncolored buttercream, smooth it, and refrigerate. Take it out and use only about a 1/4 inch coating of your color. You can change colors, but them up to each other, blend them, texture, pretty much do anything you want. My Harry Potter (yes, bought the kit, fully legal) cake on my site shows the skim coat method.

Another thing I just thought of... off brand butter contains water. I wonder if the water is preventing a complete blending of ingredients. I usually use Land o Lakes, local farm butter, or Plugra (European), but LOL works fine.

I hope this helps.
post #8 of 11
[quote="Blueridgebuttercream"]Well, I dunno. I used CC member From Scratch SF's method (thanks for the awesome blog tutorials, in case she's reading), where you put the soft butter in and turn the KA to low. I literally set the timer for 15 minutes and leave the room, so it mixes at least that long. At the end of that time, the mixture looks, feels, and tastes smooth. Though, of course, I've never had anyone else's Meringue buttercreams to compare mine to.


Well thank you icon_biggrin.gif

Coloring meringue buttercreams are different - see, regular food colors grab onto the sugar crystals and corn starch in your standard American buttercream, that's why you can get nice, vibrant colors. But in a meringue buttercream, you have NO sugar crystals. So when you add color, you are mostly dying the water in the emulsion, but your left-over color stays in chunks - especially if you use Wilton. Oil based colors (candy colors) work much better because it's a different formula that will dye the fat in the butter instead of dying the sugar. I have had success using regular Americolor if I just need a slight tint, but if I need a more vibrant color I use Americolor candy colors. Another thing to think about is regular food colors are meant to be used on a white base. SMBC has a yellow base because of the butter so making true colors like blue, purple and green is really tricky. Oil based candy colors are designed to be used with chocolate, so it is much easier to get those true colors.

Tricks to get around using candy colors:

Add your color to the sugar/egg stage wile the sugar still has crystals. This is harder to do because you have no idea how much to add. Anyway your meringue whips up already colored (which is awesome). The color will mute and change when you add your butter (you can't make blue this way, you will get green).

I have read that some people scoop out about a 1/4 cup of SMBC, add Wilton color, melt it in the microwave, then add that to get the color you need. Something about heating it makes it all come mostly together. I've tried it once and it didn't work 100% (but was better then if I used it straight) but some people swear by the micro method.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
scp1127, I wondered if the butter was the difference - I've just been using the cheap stuff from costco or store brands. I'll have to try it with the Land o' Lakes next time and see if that helps. And with two years experience, you're still an expert compared to me, so all ideas are much appreciated.

From Scratch, thanks for the explanation and tips, that's very helpful. I had noticed the melting changing the color - I'd be happily piping along and then towards the end of the bag (where my hands had over-warmed the buttercream) yikes, the color would abruptly change.

I've poked around for the candy colors at my local Michaels, but couldn't find them and didn't see a clerk to corral and ask. I do live in the middle of nowhere, so they might not have them. Off to the internet, as usual.

So many things to try - good thing I have plenty of friends to foist cake off onto. I'm trying to do this professionally eventually, but by the time I get my skills up to scratch, I'm going to be seriously sick of cake.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blueridgebuttercream

Well, I dunno. I used CC member From Scratch SF's method (thanks for the awesome blog tutorials, in case she's reading), where you put the soft butter in and turn the KA to low. I literally set the timer for 15 minutes and leave the room, so it mixes at least that long. At the end of that time, the mixture looks, feels, and tastes smooth. Though, of course, I've never had anyone else's Meringue buttercreams to compare mine to.



Ditto !!

I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

Reply

I love what I do and do what I love

https://www.facebook.com/JeanneWinslowCakeDesign

Reply
post #11 of 11
Ditto to everything FromScratchSF said!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Cake Decorating
Cake Central › Cake Forums › Cake Talk › Cake Decorating › Coloring SMBC and IMBC?