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dry cakes - Page 2

post #16 of 22

Silly advice AND disgusting flavor combinations???  I'd like to know which school is developing that fateful pairing....................

post #17 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann View Post

the thought of lemon and PB actually just made my lip curl. ewww.  

it is amazing the notions that some very experienced bakers can have that you know just aren't correct.  I recently read a comment from a very well respected decorator and tutorial teacher that it is the hi-ratio shortening that makes a buttercream crust--butter based buttercreams do not crust. It is shocking to me that someone at her level of influence wouldn't understand that it is the ratio of fat to powder to sugar in an American buttercream that causes the crust to form, and not the actual type of fat (shortening, hi-ratio shortening, butter, or a combination of the two) used. 
I will second the notion that hi-ratio does NOT make icing crust, since I did a dummy cake 2 weeks ago with powdered sugar and hi-ratio and it is still soft as can be :'-(
Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
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Beginners, be sure to parrot advice and get your post count up as fast as you can. After all, it's not what you know, it's what people THINK you know.
Reply
post #18 of 22

I thought it was the corn starch in the powdered sugar that makes ABC really crust leaving the icing under it softer.  Meringue powder strengthens the surface so we can use things like rollers, molds, impression mats etc.    The icing will still dry out on the surface if it didn't have corn starch, but it would dry through, not just the surface.    I tested this when I made ABC with organic powdered sugar, which was 10x but no corn starch in it.  It got dry and brittle, almost fondant like.  This is one of those things that everyone has an opinion on but nobody really knows who's right.  Of course, I think I am, but since ABC isn't my area of expertise I could totally be wrong!!!

 

I too have never heard that whacking your pan make a cake dry.  That's crazy.  But I've heard all kinds of malarky out of the mouths of "experts" for all things cake so I'm not surprised!

post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by FromScratchSF View Post

I thought it was the corn starch in the powdered sugar that makes ABC really crust leaving the icing under it softer.  Meringue powder strengthens the surface so we can use things like rollers, molds, impression mats etc.    The icing will still dry out on the surface if it didn't have corn starch, but it would dry through, not just the surface.    I tested this when I made ABC with organic powdered sugar, which was 10x but no corn starch in it.  It got dry and brittle, almost fondant like.  This is one of those things that everyone has an opinion on but nobody really knows who's right.  Of course, I think I am, but since ABC isn't my area of expertise I could totally be wrong!!!

 

 

That's interesting...what was the ratio of fat to powder sugar?   I have seen one on-line tutorial for buttercream where the recipe was 2 cups of butter to one lb of powder sugar, with 2 tsps flavoring and NO additional liquid. The presenter said that it didn't crust.  I tried it in the process of making my usual ABC ratio of 1 cup to 1 lb, and she's right, it didn't crust and was extra buttery and smooth. 

 

I also think your crustiness depends on environmental conditions.  I'm in AZ and with a usual humidity around 18% (going down to 8, and unless it's raining at the very moment not usually over 30%), things get crusty fast.  and I don't just mean ABC. 

post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by lorieleann View Post

That's interesting...what was the ratio of fat to powder sugar?   I have seen one on-line tutorial for buttercream where the recipe was 2 cups of butter to one lb of powder sugar, with 2 tsps flavoring and NO additional liquid. The presenter said that it didn't crust.  I tried it in the process of making my usual ABC ratio of 1 cup to 1 lb, and she's right, it didn't crust and was extra buttery and smooth. 

I also think your crustiness depends on environmental conditions.  I'm in AZ and with a usual humidity around 18% (going down to 8, and unless it's raining at the very moment not usually over 30%), things get crusty fast.  and I don't just mean ABC. 

That's not near enough powdered sugar to make your buttercream crust, I made my buttercream using high ratio shortening not butter but I use 2 cups shortening and at least 2 pounds of powdered sugar so you would need at least 2 pounds of sugar if not more.
post #21 of 22

When I took my first Wilton class about 15 years ago, the instructor told us that the primary purpose of meringue powder was to prevent colors from bleeding.  I used it in a recipe ONCE and it was awful.  It had a sour, almost lemon kind of taste (it was the Wilton brand of meringue powder).  Needless to say I haven't used meringue powder in a buttercream recipe since then.

 

I know in other countries, some icing/powdered sugar doesn't have cornstarch in it, but the buttercreams still crust.  My American BC recipe only slightly crusts, and there is no way I could use a roller or any of that on mine.  Sharon Zambito's recipe uses hi-ratio shortening but it doesn't have meringue powder.  It definitely crusts because she goes to town with the computer paper and Vivas and impression mats.  I used her recipe in the past with hi-ratio but eventually abandoned it because I missed the butter.  Although it crusted on the outside, it was soft and creamy on the inside.  Eventually I modified a recipe someone shared with me and that's the one I use if I'm making American BC.  At the end of the day, the key lies within the ratios of the ingredients. 

 

I also think weather and temperature have a lot to do with it as well.

post #22 of 22

Sugar is extremely hygroscopic, so my understanding of "crusting" is essentially the sugar on the surface is combining with moisture (from within and without) to form a thin, dry surface sort of like a "shell". 

 

I find that increasing the sugar increases the crusting.  If I don't want crust, I can either decrease the sugar or increase the liquid (and sometimes fats).  Even without added liquid, if the fat content is high and the sugar and fat are well combined, crusting is less because the sugar particles are all well coated with the fat and are less affected by the outside moisture.

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