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Topic: Help!!! With bunnys mock shack buttercream and FBCT
newbakermom 05/22/2012 11:08 AM
This is my second time making this buttercream and it came out grainy again! Last time I knew where I had possibly went wrong so this time I did it differently and really thought it was going to come out......but it didn't. Why is this happening? Also, it looks very soft and I made sure the butter hadn't got too soft. Can I fix this? Do I add more powdered sugar?

I'm also concerned if I can't fix it, my FBCT that I need to have done by this evening (I know so bad of me waiting until the last minute, shame on me) won't come out. Will this affect how my FBCT will look?

Thanks so much!
dietcokenoice 05/22/2012 11:24 AM
I've been making this recipe for about a year now and I just keep mixing it till it's not grainy. I stop the mixer every so often to push anything on the sides of the bowl down. I put it at a higher speed with a kitchen towel over the top (otherwise small pieces fly out) and I just let her rip. Once all my powdered sugar is in, I mix for at least 10 minutes and longer if needed.
PattyDif 05/22/2012 11:31 AM
I made bunny's mock shack a couple weeks ago. No grainy-ness. I agree with dietcoke, mixing it for the full amount of time in bunny's recipe I think is the key. I don't have a stand alone mixer yet (on my wish list ;) ), so my arms got a good workout, but I think it really helped mixing for that amount of time.
newbakermom 05/22/2012 11:42 AM
Thanks dietcokenoice and Pattydif! I will try mixing it longer. I did mix for the amount Bunny recommends but I guess I need more time. I was probably thinking that that happened because I don't have a kitchen aid and maybe mine doesn't have much power ( I have a SunBeam stand mixer), but if you patty say you have none at all and it came out fine, then I'm possibly just doing something else wrong. So does the softness have anything to do as well because it needs to be mixed longer or that's another issue?

I will let you know how it's going.
newbakermom 05/22/2012 12:00 PM
Okay.....this is looking worst. It's looking even more grainy and even softer. What am I doing wrong???

I think I'm getting ready to give up. My FBCT will not come out at all if my buttercream looks like this! I'm just going to go ahead and make a chocolate transfer. Only problem with that is that I'm not sure if I could get the color blue I'm looking for. But oh well....I guess the color won't matter as much as long as the transfer comes out okay.

Thanks anyways. I'll just have to give the buttercream a shot another day until I finally figure it won't beat me, lol.
bunnywoman 05/22/2012 1:26 PM
Tell me exactly what you do and your exact ingredients. We can work on this together.

Hang in there,
JoyceD 05/23/2012 8:21 AM
I just made the recipe last week and also experienced the graininess. Come to find out it was the powdered sugar. It has to be pure cane which will be stated on the package.
newbakermom 05/23/2012 6:11 PM
JoyceD, I did make sure to use pure cane sugar this time and I really thought that was my problem the last time but I guess I have some other problems, lol.

Bunnywoman, thanks for coming to my rescue, hehe. So here is what I do:

2 cup veg. shortening (I use Sunny Select) 2.5 trans fat
2 cup butter (used costco brand-salted)
2 tbsp. vanilla (doubled amount because I didn't use butter flavor)
1 tbsp. almond
1/3 cup extra rich dry coffee creamer (the one you recommend)
1/3 cup boiling water
3/4 tsp. popcorn salt (morton brand- used less because of the salted butter)
4 lbs. pure cane PS (C and H)

I followed your directions. Last time you told me my butter was too soft so this time I made sure it was barely getting soft. I also used the correct PS this time.....should I have sifted? I'm beginning to think I should of to have avoided the graininess. My house was not hot at all, my AC was actually on. The more I mixed, the more soft it was getting and a lot more grainier. I will post some pictures that will show this. Please have a solution for me. I really want to get it right because I'm really enjoying doing the chocolate transfers and I really want to do a FBCT.

Thanks so much for your help!
newbakermom 05/23/2012 6:47 PM
Sorry, just realized, I didn't attach the pictures.

Another thing that just came to my the boiling water that it asks for supposed to be boiling when you add it in or is it just supposed to be boiling to be able to dissolve the creamer and salt and then let it cool off a bit? I'm starting to think that maybe that's why it's too soft because I really made sure my butter was not too soft.
bunnywoman 05/23/2012 7:08 PM
OK this looks like to me it is a combination of your butter and the humidity. Yes you use the hot creamer as is. Do not let it cool down. Beat the butter & shortening for the full 7-8 minutes. Next, try cutting back on the amount of liquids you put in. It does look soft in texture. By putting in less liquids you will firm it up. You can always add more if it is too stiff. Beat it for an additional 7-8 minutes. Try these tips and I bet it will be much better.

On a side note:
I had a friend's look exactly like this but come to find out she used Parkay MARGARINE instead of butter. That was a big problem.......the margarine.

Hang in there,
newbakermom 05/23/2012 8:09 PM
But even if my AC was on in my house and it felt fresh, you still think it was a humidity problem? For the hot creamer, I have been using it hot, it was just a thought I had afterwards that maybe it could have been that. I do beat everything exactly for the amount of minutes you say. I will try adding less liquid next time and hopefully it will work.

Oh, by the way, I did not throw out that buttercream. Was hoping there is a way to fix it....I would hate to waste all of those ingredients and the buttercream. Do you have any recommendations of what I could do to make it better?

Thanks Bunny!
dietcokenoice 05/23/2012 9:31 PM
Just sticking in my two cents here...sorry. But are you beating just the butter and shortening at first until it gets nice and white looking? I find that I have to make sure that is mixed well before I can add anything else. Hang in there, bunny will fix you up.
Mickeebabe 05/23/2012 9:33 PM
I'm so glad this question was asked. I had the exact same problem a while back with this recipe too. Still havn't figured out what I did wrong. I didn't use as much flavoring as the recipe states and I don't use popcorn salt (can't find it here) and mine still came out grainy. Ugh! But it sounds like it might of been humidity for me.
dietcokenoice 05/23/2012 10:56 PM
Here is a youtube video by Sharon Zambito at SugarEd Productions called "Making a Batch of Buttercream Icing by SugarShack". IT IS NOT BUNNYWOMAN'S RECIPE, but I think Bunny is good friends with the woman in the video and she just changed it up slightly (thus calling it mock shack). The one in the video I believe is all shortening where Bunny's is half shortening and half butter. Plus there are some flavoring changes, but it is pretty much the same. I hope I am stating this all correctly Bunny!!! Anyway, you can watch and see how it's made.
dottiepark 05/24/2012 5:03 AM
NBM, how are you measuring your shortening? Just trying to look at the recipe and find any possible variant to explain what you're experiencing.
newbakermom 05/25/2012 12:38 AM
DCN~~yes, I am beating the butter and shortening for the amount recommended. I was actually happy with the results of that thinking "ok, I think it's gonna come out perfect this time" but then when I started adding the PS and creamer mixture, it started going down hill from there. Thanks for the youtube video. Her buttercream looked perfect and so smooth! I think the only thing I noticed I did differently was not having the speed on the lowest while adding all the PS at first. Oh, I think it's also because I don't have a Kitchen Aid, lol. Just kidding, if it wasnt because I've seen people have posted that they've used a hand mixer for this and it comes out perfect, I would definitely think that was my problem.

Dottiepark~I use the 1 cup measuring cup.

Thanks to both of you! I will keep working on it until I get it right.
Does anyone have any recommendations of what I could do to fix this buttercream I showed pictures of? I would really hate to throw it out.:(
krzykakes 05/25/2012 9:37 AM
I make SugarShack's BCF and its doesnt have butter which I noticed that it works perfect when Im covering a cake with fondant
Mickeebabe 05/25/2012 2:29 PM
Thanks for the link to the video.

I just watched it but can't figure out how much powdered sugar she is using.

1. How much powdered sugar?

2. Is she really using 5 cups of shortening? Is it better to buy the tub or the sticks of shortening? Or does it matter?

3. And what does the wedding bouquet flavoring taste like?

4. And does anybody know how many cakes this will cover and fill? (I'm making a 6", 8" and 10")

5. And is this crusting?

Thanks for all the help.

dietcokenoice 05/25/2012 3:03 PM
Here's her recipe. I got it at the CakeCentral website. It's called "Sugarshack’s icing and Tips". I've not made the all shortening version so I can't answer your questions on that. She uses high ratio shortening (HRS) which you can buy online or cake stores. Craft stores don't sell it. I get mine at Gordon Food Services, but you have to get a 50 lb box of it. It is a big cost savings if you are going to use it. If you do a search here for the wedding bouquet you will find info on that here too.
Spooky_789 05/25/2012 3:13 PM
I just want to point out that when you are following the directions of Sharon Zambito's BC recipe, which she uses hi ratio shortening, but you yourself are using regular shortening, you cannot use as much liquid as she calls for.

Hi ratio shortening, with all its emulsifiers, can take on additional liquid, whereas regular shortening cannot.

Go ahead and mix your 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup dry creamer, stir well until dissolved, then add a bit at a time. Do NOT add all of it all at once. See how it looks. Because you are using such hot water, it IS going to melt your shortening and butter a bit. Again, with HRS, it can take this heat with no problems.

I'd actually recommend letting the creamer mixture cool just a bit, like a minute or two, so it isn't so hot, before adding it in to a buttercream where HRS is NOT being used.

I know you are getting lots of advice here. It's all good advice. You will have to play around with it. My best suggestion would be to make some 2# batches and see where you get the best results, keeping notes as you go along, then once you find out what works for you, in your conditions, then go ahead and try that method for the 4# batch.