Let's just get straight to the point!
What the f....
Q. Why did my buttercream turn into slush?
A. As I've explained in the video, butter breaks down into water goop first. That's completely normal so just keep mixing. I've noticed that the colder the butter is, slushier it gets. I recommend using a mixer shield to prevent splatter (I skipped this in the video so you guys can see my buttercream clearly).
Q. Why does my buttercream have air bubble or sticky texture?
A. You most likely overmixed. I've noticed if you overmix your buttercream too much, it starts to get stickier(?) in texture. So when you run your spatula over the buttercream to smooth the top, instead of getting a clean smooth surface texture, you'll see air bubbles and sticky texture following the spatula line. It could also mean that you got your sugar water temperature wrong.
Q. Why is my thermometer being an ass (inaccurate)?
A. I also have this issue pretty often. I went through over 10 thermometers trying to find the most accurate one and I have yet to find one that's dead accurate. Not to mention while sugar water is boiling, you get different reading in different regions of the pot. So don't solely rely on your thermometer but also apply your knowledge on what sugar water is supposed to look like when it's ready.
Q. How long am I supposed to mix my buttercream?
A. I can't give you an exact timer because our mixers and ingredient/indoor temperature is different. Even with the same mixer, it takes me different amount of time depending on the temperature of the ingredients/indoor that day. So even if I gave you a number, it would be useless to you. But if I were to give you an approximate time, I would say 15 minutes after the butter is added.
Q. My whisk broke.
A. I told you so. Chop your butter next time.
Q. What is the shelf life on this buttercream?
A. To tell you the truth, I don't know the exact shelf life. I've been told a week or two but I like to keep it safe and say one week. I personally don't have buttercream that sits in the fridge longer than a day or two and make fresh batch for every order, that it never concerned me. I have eaten my cakes that were 5-6 days old and I was fine. So 1 week is definitely okay. Tested and approved by my stomach!
Q. How do I store buttercream?
A. I put it in a large plastic container and leave it inside the fridge.
Q. How do I reuse buttercream that's been in the fridge?
A. There are two option. One, you leave it outside and bring it to room temperature. Once it gets soft, you can use it how you normally do. The downside to this is that it's no longer cold. So you won't be able to get as much height or get those super sharp edges with it anymore. On the upside, you won't need to do additional mixing, so it saves you time and effort. Second option is to take them out of the fridge and chop them into smaller pieces while cold. Then you can dump them into your mixer and mix until they become fluffy again. If you choose this option, mixer shield is a MUST. It splatters a LOT, not joking. I put mixer shield on and cover any opening with a ceramic wrap. (Just fyi, you'll see your butter turn into watery goop again at start)
Q. How well does it hold in heat?
A. Under the "heat", it'll obviously melt. But as for room temperature, it'll hold its shape pretty well as long as it's piped and been in fridge to set once. I've made two tier cake and left it in the fridge over night. Then took it out in room temperature for 3 days as a test. All my flowers have survived and stayed intact. So yea, it does okay in normal temperature. However, under high heat source like strong display light or the sun, it might start to get shinny and weak. It also depends on how you piped and applied your flowers.
Q. Can I put my buttercream in the fridge as I work?
A. Yes and no. You can possibly do that as long as they don't get too cold. Once it gets too cold, it'll act as if the buttercream has been in the fridge for long period of time and may create liquid as you suddenly mix. You'll have to mix well until the liquid disappears again to get your consistency back.
I hope I got most of the FAQ answered. I may update once in a while if I continuously run into the same question in the future!