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my first fondant covered cake.....lessons learned and questions still remain....

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 

Well, after several years of no cake decorating, I decided to give it a shot again with my niece's first birthday cake.  8O Looking back, wth did I get myself into!  lol!  I had many challenges to overcome during the whole process because I had to remember a lot of stuff that I had learned years ago.

 

1.)  used Sylvia Weinstock's original butter recipe and it was delicious!  it's definitely a keeper!

2.)  is there a way to not have "crusty" cakes?  am I overcooking them?

3.)  my cakes were still smaller than the cake boards I had purchased....12" cake pan to 12" cake board....should I be using a smaller cake board?

4.)  rolling out fondant is harder than I thought!  used crisco on my counter to avoid it sticking, but rolling it to an even thickness was quite difficult for me.  I also experienced tearing and cracking in my fondant.  I had to do a lot of patch work.... :-t

5.)  torting and leveling with the Wilton leveler was quite painful!  I ended up with uneven cakes!

6.)  I used an all butter buttercream recipe and had problems with it melting off the cakes as I applied the crumb coat....anybody else had this problem?

7.)  definitely need to let my royal icing writing dry for days instead of a few hours! :oops:

 

 

that's all I can think of now....thanks for reading! lots more to learn, but I do love baking and decorating for family and friends. below is a picture of my cake.

 

post #2 of 5

Hello Vetty,

 

I am recently joined, saw your post and thought I would try to be helpful!

 

2: When you bake them do you put anything around the outside of the cake tin? I find a couple of wet strips of old towel and some safety pins around the sides of the tin work wonders to help get an even bake without drying on the sides. And if the top is crisping before it's done stick a baking try on the shelf about the cake to help protect it...

3: This always happens to some extent - attach the cake to the board in the centre, then make the 'gap' up with buttercream/ganache (as long as it's only a few mil!) with a 'side-scraper' - that way it gives you a good 'ol crumb coat and evens out the sides, as well as making the cake fit the board perfectly. FYI I always use drums rather than cake cards. Don't think this'd work with a card. Though if you are using cards then yes, just go for the next size down.

4: Even fondant comes with practice. Cracking might be if it was a little too dry? Or maybe needed some more kneading.

5: Slow and steady is the route for levelers - if you go too fast the resistance from the cake will pull the blade/wire out of shape. Does that make sense?

6/7: Are you somewhere very hot and humid? I have only exoerianced this sort of nightmare once... last year during an unusually hot July (in the UK - it actually stopped raingin long enough to be hot!?!) and it was absolute hell!! The BC recipe I tend to make uses about one third real butter and two thirds baking spread. It takes fab, and maybe because of the baking spread tends to be quite stiff. Was your butter/icing sugar ratio approx 50/50? 'Cause that will make a difference too. 

Also, was your royal icing whipped to stiff? It should be 'touch-dry' within ten mins or so... unless you are in a very humid place. To make it dry quicker you can always shove the whole cake in the oven with just the fan on and the door open!

 

Hope that helps (possibly the longest forum post ever!) and it's a great cake!!

 

Natalie    =0)

 

p.s - not got profile properly set up yet - am over at www.immaculateconfections.co.uk

post #3 of 5

2.)  is there a way to not have "crusty" cakes?  am I overcooking them?

You can use the rags as mentioned above, but if you want to bake these often invest in the bake right strips.  Wilton's work well for us.

 

3.)  my cakes were still smaller than the cake boards I had purchased....12" cake pan to 12" cake board....should I be using a smaller cake board?

How much smaller are the cakes?

 

4.)  rolling out fondant is harder than I thought!  used crisco on my counter to avoid it sticking, but rolling it to an even thickness was quite difficult for me.  I also experienced tearing and cracking in my fondant.  I had to do a lot of patch work.... :-t

Tearing and cracking probably means it's too thin.  We roll it to about 3/16 of an inch because it will stretch a little.  Thicker than that is just overwhelming taste wise to us.  Also, you can't let the fondant sit out too long or it will dry out.  Laura Varela-Wong has a good way of avoiding "elephant skin" in your fondant.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2L1ALe3L-k&feature=c4-overview&list=UUMKTLSp0faxejtkSjsAntDQ

 

 

5.)  torting and leveling with the Wilton leveler was quite painful!  I ended up with uneven cakes!

We overfill our pans and then use a long bread knife to cut using the rim of the pan as a guide....thicker cakes and prettier to us.

 

6.)  I used an all butter buttercream recipe and had problems with it melting off the cakes as I applied the crumb coat....anybody else had this problem?

We never do that.  We use crisco.  The butter recipes just don't do as well....well, down here in Texas they don't anyway...

 

7.)  definitely need to let my royal icing writing dry for days instead of a few hours! :oops:

What recipe are you using?

post #4 of 5

an all butter buttercream should not be melting off the cake. was your cake warm? I only use IMBC or classic french buttercream, and this has never happened. 

post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 

Thank you ladies for replying.  I obviously have a lot to learn, but I do appreciate the good tips you all provided.

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