I cut out the papyrus stencils from acetate and filled them in with CK Gold Highlighter mixed with piping gell
The flowers are modeling chocolate cut with my daisy cutter. I painted the edges with CK gold highlighter mixed with a little lemon extract

After a lot of research and questions to my Craftsy instructors I tried SMBC again this weekend. It turns out its really not rocket science.  Its butter.  Butter gets squishy at warmer temperatures.  I should have realized this from working with pie crusts.  The more butter and less shortening I used in my pie crusts the less time I had to work with it.

This is what I did to be able to use SMBC under my fondant:

1. I used Joshua John Russells recipe which has some PS in it to make it more stable.  I also replaced 1/3 of the butter with shortening per his recommendations for hot weather.

2.  After I crumbcoated the cake I put it in the fridge.  I covered it with a cardboard box but honestly it was a loose fitting box because it was late and I didn’t have the energy to find a better one.

3.  I left it overnight to firm up (I could press my finger into it and not make a mark).

4.  I turned down the air to 72F (normally we have it at 78 so 72 was pretty cold for me). I did not take it out of the fridge until I had my fondant rolled out and ready to go.

5.  I sprayed it very lightly with 50/50 corn syrup and water mixture. This was to achieve a tight seal between my cake and my fondant to avoid air bubbles.

6.  I laid my fondant on the cake very quickly.  I cut and trimmed the fondant to the cake and then left it alone.   An hour later when I thought I had given it enough time to go through condensation and evaporation I went to back to noodle with it and get it smoother.  I used cornstarch on my smoothers when I thought it was getting too sticky.

7.  The results were good.  Not as straight of an edge as I could get with ganache but good.  I think that if I had super cold room as you probably have in a commercial bakery I could noodle with the smoothing part for as long as I wished.  Also, once I returned my house temp to 78F which is where we’re comfortable, the buttercream got soft and blob-by under the fondant.  You can see this from the pictures.  Usually my cakes aren’t so blob-by looking.

Lessons learned:

You can use SMBC in warm climates but it has to be COLD, you have to keep it COLD while you are working with it and the cake has to stay in a COLD environment for presentation.  Are you noticing a theme here?

I do think that the effort may be worth it in some cases. The taste really is phenomenal and the smooth surface you can achieve is so much better than ABC.  But my friend Pam told me yesterday that her husband asked her if should could learn to make Publix (a local supermarket) icing.  That just proves that Americans have developed a taste for ABC so why not just give the people what they want?

Happy Caking!

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