The only tool that I don't have that you mentioned is a bench scraper. I suppose that would help. Though I find that with the swiss meringue buttercream, it's very airy and I get a lot of bubbles, especially when I'm piping it. It makes for not so smooth frosting and breaks in the piping. Any advice? I imagine the cake part itself is just practice and I can get rid of the bubbles, but the piping is just murderous when it breaks.
Well, it is at least good to know that it's not just me. I thought I was maybe doing something wrong when making it. Sucks that it has to be like that, that buttercream is so tasty! I don't want to switch. Some sacrifices must be made, though. Certainly not the sacrifice of taste.