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asked August 26th 2019

naked cake buttercream and decoration

Hi
I've a couple of celebration cakes to make this weekend and I was thinking of doing naked/semi-naked cakes. I read in the Q&A last night that swiss meringue buttercream wasn't suitable as a coating. I've a couple of questions
1, can swiss meringue buttercream still be used as a filling (it's nice and light and i want to include a little baileys cream in the buttercream) ?
2 can you recommend a buttercream recipe that would be suitable for the exterior of the cake
3 if the cakes are iced and stored in the fridge overnight, is cling film required or ok without it?
4 im adding fresh fruit to the cake, i take it, it's just washed, dried and added at the last minute?

i'd appreciate your help, thanks.

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Hi Lmcg

It's fine to use SMB for filling the cakes. My advice would be not to overfill and allow each layer to settle for a few hours to allow any excess, if any, to seep out before covering. You could use a simple butter icing for covering. Paul has a recipe in his using buttercream tutorial which can be seen in the ingredients list here:

Making and using buttercream

If you add a tablespoon or two of meringue powder to the BC, it will help it to crust. Alternatively, adding some ganache the BC will also make it more stable. To see the amount of ganache to use, take a peek at my buttercream filling and covering chart and blog which contains specific information here:

Buttercream covering and filling guide

If the temperatures where you are is intensely hot, you might find a crusting buttercream more suitable. A recipe for crusting buttercream can be seen in the Rustic buttercream wedding cake tutorial here:

Rustic Wedding Cake

Cakes can be iced and placed in the fridge overnight loosely covered with clingfilm. If you have nothing in the fridge with strong smells, it would fine to leave the cling film off. Personally, I prefer to do loose protection. There will be some dew on the buttercream when the cakes are brought out to room temperature. Don't touch the icing, the dew will soon disperse.

Depending on which sort of fresh fruit you are using, wash and dry thoroughly before placing on the cake. Small fruit eg raspberries and strawberries should be cleaned with damp artists paintbrush so as not to make them too wet. Wet fruit deteriorates very quickly and can bleed colour into the icing. A clear glaze made by boiling together a little apricot jam and a tablespoonful of water will help seal the fruit and also give it an attractive shine.

Add fruit as close to the time of delivery/ collection as possible.

Hope the above information helps. Please post back if you require more information. 🙂

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thanks very much madeitwithlove, that's really helpful.