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Urgent Help with cake support method that prevents cake sinking - Page 2

post #16 of 36

Any time.  Hope all of the advice helps things go better with the next cake.

 

Rae

I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
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I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
post #17 of 36
I used the Wilton dowels and separator plate. And they worked great for me. I did have a thin cake board on the plate, but that was only because I decorated it on it before stacking, and thought it will also be easier to place the plate empty so I can get it on straight in the center ( as I was nervous of using it for the first time, after having a previous disaster stacking cakes with just wooden dowels) but I see know reason why you can't decorate straight onto the separator plate.
post #18 of 36
I should add the reason stacking with onlywooden dowels didn't work for me was because I didn't insert them into the cake completely straight as I was rushing the job. So in principle those should work just as well but I wanted to be safe the second time round and chose to try out the separator plates.
post #19 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks Rae, I am sure things will definitely go better with my next cakes, I will be searching for some sturdier cake boards...

 

Thanks for sharing your experience Meriem, did you also cut your plastic dowels slightly higher than the iced cake? Did you transport your cake stacked or did you assemble it  at the reception? And how did you attach the card board to the plastic plate (double tape, royal icing...). I am always afraid the upper cakes might slide from the plastic plates...

 

I suppose the only issue with Wilton´s plastic plates/pillars method is not being able to cross a dowel trough all cakes at the end... Unless you drill your plastic plates in the middle (just me thinking)... Has anyone done that?

 

How do I make sure my cakes will not slide from the plastic plates if I try this method?

 

Thanks  everyone.

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #20 of 36

If I use the Wilton plastic plates, I still put on a cardboard because I'll be moving the cake around while decorating.  I also don't like the idea of people cutting the cake and "carving" up the plastic plates--which I re-use.

 

I attach the cardboard to the plastic plate with some double sided tape.  Cake is attached to the cardboard with some buttercream.  Nothing goes anywhere.

 

Rae

I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
I love you, but your emergency is not my crisis!

They say that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing, but it is not one half so bad as a lot of ignorance.--Terry Pratchett (b.194
Reply
post #21 of 36

A center dowel isn't necessary, I never use one.

post #22 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks again Rae,

 

glad to know that you have used this method as an successful alternative without any issues (unlike SPs system I can have the Wilton plates and pillars delivered to me here in Portugal). I will try both methods nextime : Wilton´s and sturdier foam core boards (or something similar).

 

When I try Wilton´s method I do not want the plastic plates to be showing around the cake, should I buy the plastic plates the same size as the cakes that will go on top of it (do not know if they will be showing) or should I buy them an inch smaller than the cake? Do you also cut your dowels 3 mm higher than the cake icing with these?

 

Glad to know "nothing goes anywhere with these" lol !

 

Thanks  costumeczar for sharing your experience.

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #23 of 36

I cut the dowels slightly higher than the cakes as i wanted the cake on top to sit on the dowels and not the actual cake. were talking a 1 or 2 millimeters here, so the dowels will not be visible. I stuck the board onto the plate using royal icing but you can uses double sided tape too just make sure that its a strong one. It was only two tiers so I transported it stacked. if it was more than that I would of stacked two at home transported them like that then stacked the rest at the venue just to be safe. you can dowel the cakes at home and double check that its all good before so then they will be ready to be stacked at the venue without any hassle.  also when doweling i found it helps to place a empty board on the dowels and check the level with a spirit to double check that all the dowels are level.

I don't think you will need a big dowel in the middle there should be enough support already it.

post #24 of 36
Thread Starter 

Great tips Meriem, liked the idea of using the empty board to confirm if dowels are leveled :-)

 

Thanks again for sharing your experience...

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #25 of 36
Here is another possibility that may possibly be a factor in the sinking. The buttercream underneath the fondant (and even the fondant itself) may be sagging downward. The only solution I can think of is to pull the cake out of your cooler and immediately transport it to the venue.

You can try stiffening your buttercream a little by not making it so soft either. Some cake bsuinesses like to add as much water to their buttercream as possible to increase profit margins. This makes a very insubstantial buttercream and has a risk of becoming runny. If that doesn't make it sag, then a layer of buttercream standing sideways with fondant over it will do the trick! Perhaps trying an ever so slightly thinner layer of buttercream will help?

Some issues like your case may need several solutions, each swaying the margin of success into your favor. Good luck with everything, I hope you find a solid solution.
post #26 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the suggestion zjones4, I agree that buttercream might also be very important to this sinking issue. I have been using an all butter ABC because of the flavour (insist on that) and adding just a tiny bit of milk/cream (so it is a thick filling) but I know I will have to eventualy start using a part of shortening ( grr ) for stability.

 

I made some research and found that if adding a bit of gum tragacanth or xanthan gum to my buttercream (both flavourless) they will thicken it and  make it more stable, has anyone tried this? 

 

I will also try  IMB (italian meringue buttercream) and see how stable it is under hot conditions, has anyone had successful experience using IMB  (without shortening added) during the Summer ? 

 

Usually I end up finishing some decorations on the cake before delivery so sometimes it is not transported as cold as desired, will definitely change that procedure...

And I think I should also have to make my buttercream layer of buttercream under the fondant a bit thinner. Is 1/2 inch a good thickness of buttercream under my fondant ? 

 

Thanks everyone...

 

Sara

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #27 of 36
I am a big supporter of IMB. It works great and when made right, it holds a good shape, soft texture, and is still firm enough for other applications.

Another thing that can be done is to cook the sugar about 5degrees F more than normal. This gives a little more firmness and stability. As a side note, making italian meringue with a sugar cooked to firm ball stage makes marahmallows! The only other thing needed is gelatin when is aded at the end of making the meringue.
post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thank you very much for the tip  of cooking the sugar a bit more zjones4.

 

Do you do your IMB without shortening and it still keeps stable in the summer? Does it keep fluffy, smooth and "binded" when the cake comes out of the refrigerator and comes to room temperature ? I ask this because when I keep my SMB in the fridge in a container I have to  wait for it to come to room temperature and rewhip it so that it becomes fluffy and "binded" again as opposed to semi curdled. I have heard many people stating that they refrigerate their cakes filled with SMB or IMB and that the filling remains great when the cake comes to room temperature (which is intriguing for me, I mean why doesn´t that happen when it is kept in a container in the fridge ?), is that right ?

 

Do the cakes filled with IMB hold  for a while in a venue without air conditioning in the Summer?

 

Ever heard of adding gum trag or xanthan gum to buttercream?

 

Thanks again...

 

Sara

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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post #29 of 36

I use IMBC for 90% of my cake fillings, and they're fine once they come to room temperature. It's only when you try to smooth it out with a spatula that it needs to be rewhipped to get the right consistency. Once you rewhip it it's never going to be exactly the same as a freshly made batch, thogh, so I never rewhip it if it's going to go on the outside of the cake, I would just make a new batch to use for that.

 

It will stand up okay in air conditioning in the summer, but I'd treat it like any other buttercream that actually has butter in it and not leave it outside in the heat without expecting it to melt.

 

You can take the sugar to 255 degrees when you cook it to make it a little stiffer, and you can also add some confectioner's sugar to it, or make it half and half with a shortening based icing to change the consistency and make it a little less likely to melt, but the heat will get it eventually if it's really hot outside and it's not in an air conditioned room.

post #30 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much for sharing your experience costumeczar, I will try and cook the sugar to 255 egrees and use a part of shortening.

 

Glad to know it stands up ok in an air conditioning room. What percentage of confectioner´s sugar do you mean and do you add it before you cook the sugar/syrup or after  when you are whipping?

 

Thanks,

 

Sara

Sara :-)

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Sara :-)

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