A few questions about situations I have encountered.
1) I use my own MMF, so when covering a cake in fondant I have found that if its too thin it gets lumpy looking, am I using too much icing underneath? Im afraid if I use less icing, it won't be enough. I also can't get a sharp edge look, its more rounded.
2) I generally keep my fondant covered cake in the fridge for fear that the fondant will soften and basically buckle or sag or it gets air under there even though I smooth it out. When doing my last wedding cake I was so afraid of that happening but it was out of fridge for a few hours and didn't seem to happen, would this be because of having the support straws too long into the cake? I made them just a hair higher than the top of cake this time to prevent that and it seemed to work. Only problem is that when taking it out of fridge, it tends to get "wet" is this normal? will it dry out again after its out a while?
3) I read some posts from a while back about stacking cakes and for this last cake which was 4-5 hour drive, I did put it together at the venue but how would you do that for cakes that take a lot of time to put flowers, decorations on that are placed after they are stacked? I had to make my last cake so that I could easily put it together at the venue which still took time and some of my flowers broke. I like to do it ahead so as to basically dry and glue together.
4) I've noticed that when I cool my cake, whether cooking in the pan or not, it seems to shrink and be a bit smaller on top or bottom so its not even, does everyone else have this problem or is there a trick to prevent this. Do you just even it up with icing?
5) I have found that round cakes are my preference for some reason, but I need to make another sheet cake and will make is 2 or 3 layers as it is to look like a Christmas present and is for around 50 people. They asked for half choc and half white. I always have trouble with this even though I even it up with icing. How do you all do this? I find that my white cake shrinks more than choc. so they aren't flush around the sides. Do you just bake a choc and cut in half and do the same for the white cake and then stack the white on white beside the choc on choc to make half choc and half white?
6) I have done a cupcake display for someone but when they returned my cupcake stand it was scratched up. I recently bought it and was very careful with it not to scratch it, I pd like $50 for it. Besides that I was worried about it getting broken, I have also used a heavy pc of plywood for another cake and even though I asked for it to be returned, the message did not get relayed and they threw it out, really disappointing! So now I feel its not worth it to use my equipment which is the reason I bought it. I did find some really nice heavy cupcake trays with lids at a local store. But do you have them supply something like the cake plate or cupcake holder themselves? For my circle bases, I started out buying the thick heavy circle boards but then realized I could make my own using 2-3 circles taped together and save a little money. This is thick enough to still put a ribbon around the edge.
7) My cakes tend to get bubbly on the top, does anyone know why that is? I try not to over beat the cake and I tap out air bubbles before baking but it still happens and sinks some in the middle. I end up wasting cake since I have to cut some off to even it up. I always use the damp straps around the pan for even baking.
8) What do you all use in the center of a 3 inch pan so that it bakes in the center? I have just been using a flower nail but I tried using one of those little core cones twice and greased it real good and still couldn't get the cake out of the cone.
BTW--I purchased one of those silicone mats that you all were talking about in a discussion a while back and all I can say is WOW! I never want to go without it again, I rarely even need to use shortening anymore. I think I will buy another one bigger size, I just love it!
Thanks for all your help!
Also, what do you do with your left over cake batter? I usually make cupcakes out of it but sometimes I need to make another cake and would like to use the left over batter but didn't know if it would bake right after being refrigerated.
Here is another question after reading some old posts. I have read that hi-ratio shortening makes a nicer and tastier icing so I have been using that but am I using too much shortening? I have been using Wilton's buttercream icing recipe that I had in my old cake decorating book for years and just replaced the veg. shortening with hi-ratio; so this is my recipe;
1 cup shortening
1-3 Tbsp water
1 lb conf. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
so I have keep the same quanitites with the hi-ratio shortening, should I change the amt. of shortening then? if there is a better buttercream recipe for decorating I'd be happy to try it. I must agree, the hi-ratio is way smoother and gets more firm I think.
Great advice June thanks!
Since I trust your opinion I went ahead and ordered the Cake Bible :-)
thanks June! another question lol, did I see somewhere to make a strawberry cake you just add strawberry jello? i always use the WASC cake so do I change anything else?
I tried this strawberry cake recipe I found online and thought I would share it, it was a little tricky to make, first batch I used about half cake flour half all purpose flour and seemed good, then i tried it with just AP flour and it was very dense, third I used only cake flour, still a little dense but flavor I thought was delicious. The first batch is the one I used for the cake, she reported they all loved it. The cupcakes were the third batch which was for the kids so don't know how they were but here is the recipe for anyone interested in trying it.