Secrets Of Maderia Cake & Debbie Brown?

Decorating By imartsy Updated 13 May 2014 , 9:41pm by kelslou

imartsy Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 3:34pm
post #1 of 15

Okay does anyone know the secrets? I don't! I tried to make a Madeira cake once and I tried to make it chocolate - something happened b/c the chocolate just stayed grainy and didn't mix w/ the batter..... and it came out really dry! Then, in the directions it said to remove the "crust" from the cake - which I guess was the top and sides of the cake.... but it was hard to cut those parts off w/out removing other parts of the cake! I had a lot of trouble..... I want to make another Debbie Brown cake this weekend and I was wondering if anyone had any tips. I know Madeira cake is mentioned a lot as the cake used for sculpting/carving.

Also, I was looking at some castle cakes of Debbie's and she doesn't seem to use dowels.... icon_eek.gificon_confused.gif How does she keep things on top of each other? For example, here's a pic - no dowels??? How?? Just buttercream sticking it all together? What if you had to travel w/ it?? Huh?? Unless I missed something in reading the directions - but I never saw pictures or a mention of dowels....

By the way - for anyone who likes her.... she has a NEW BOOK of Wallace & Grommit!!!

14 replies
Nana784 Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 3:49pm
post #2 of 15

Bump. I've tried a Madeira several times and it's very dry and doesn't taste good.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 3:52pm
post #3 of 15

I know we've pm'd about this before icon_smile.gif , but I do think it's a case of not being used to the taste & texture of European baking icon_lol.gif ! I did the madeira cake for my 3D house and in the end I binnned it because the outer parts of the house were overdone and too hard, I rebaked it using her 'all-in-one' recipe - that cake was much moister, but still firm enough to be cut into shapes. If you want to give that one a go and need the recipe, PM me again and I'll write it out for you thumbs_up.gif !

CakesBySandy Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 4:00pm
post #4 of 15

I have made that recipe, too and it I trashed it. It had no flavor and was dry. I was very dissappointed. Yes, you could carve it but no, it was not edible.

imartsy Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 4:38pm
post #5 of 15

hmm what about dowel rods? ANyone? And what hte heck does she use for fondant? Have you seen how she has it kind of rolled up and then is able to unroll it w/out it sticking to itself?? HOW does she do that??? Has anyone made her fondant recipe before?

emmascakes Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 4:42pm
post #6 of 15

I know she uses sugar sticks to keep her models together - she uses CMC mixed with fondant and makes these hard little sticks out of it - maybe she uses them as dowels too?

imartsy Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 4:51pm
post #7 of 15

I dunno - she mentions those sticks when working w/ the figures - aren't they royal icing mixed w/ CMC? But she never mentions doweling the cakes....

MikeRowesHunny Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 4:54pm
post #8 of 15

I only ever use homemade fondant using Debbie's recipe - I love it, not dry, rarely cracks and doesn't have that underlying marshmallow taste!

aine2 Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 7:08pm
post #9 of 15

I have gone on and on about being a Debbie Brown fan but I have to say that I don't use any of her cake recipes. I did try in the beginning and, as everyone else has said, I found the cake much too dry. I use an all in one method too, but I modified it to get good depth to my cakes.

The sugarpaste that she uses throughout her books is made and supplied by Renshaw Scott and is called Professional Regalice. This is the sugarpaste that I use too and I've been asked if it is the equivelant to fondant. I think I might be right in saying that the fondant may be a bit stickier than sugarpaste but I've never made my own and so I'm no expert on that. All I know is that Regalice is perfect for what I do so I won't be changing it.

I've also made the castle cake above and it isn't a really big cake although it may look big in the photo. The board it stands on is a 10" board and I think the bottom cake is only 6". It isn't heavy so buttercream is sufficient to stick the cakes to the sugarpaste. Also, edible glue (made from CMC powder and water) will stick the paste from each cake together perfectly well. I had to travel with this cake and the other castle cake I made of Debbie's but I allowed the cake to set and dry for 2 days before I did so. I wouldn't travel with it on the day of completion.

I'm not surprised that you find madeira cakes pretty boring when I see all the flavours and types of cakes you all use for your cakes. My mouth waters just at the descriptions under some of the photos! Madeira doesn't have to be flavourless though. Lemon essence perks it up a bit but not to the same extent as the mocha chocca pinacolada extravaganzas used in all of your creations!

Hope this helps anyone.

SweetConfectionsChef Posted 8 Sep 2006 , 7:24pm
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aine2....OMG.....I just looked at your photos....what a superb talent you have! I am amazed at your creations! I am in total awe..............

imartsy Posted 9 Sep 2006 , 2:43pm
post #11 of 15

Thank you aine2! You are awesome! And I'll have to figure out where I can buy some of that fondant! Gotta try it! Do you use a different recipe than the maderia cake when you make any of Debbie's cakes?

aine2 Posted 9 Sep 2006 , 3:41pm
post #12 of 15

I don't use plain flour for a start. Mixing plain and self raising makes a firmer cake and you can reduce the amount of plain if you want it to be less I don't use any! I don't do extreme carving of cakes though as the majority of my skills are in modelling. However I did make Debbie's Thomas the Tank cake which has a lot of intricate little cuts here and there and I used my own recipe for that and it turned out just fine. If the cake is frozen for a little while it is easier to cut anyway so I don't see the need to have a rock hard cake. I'll send you a picture of my Thomas cake if you like to show you what I mean although I did her castle which is floating in my photos somewhere on this site. That involved a lot of stacking and carving too.

frindmi Posted 9 Sep 2006 , 4:12pm
post #13 of 15

I've made the Madeira cake recipe from her books twice and although it's great for carving, it's also dry, very dry. I'm from Europe and I'm not used to a cake being that dry. I think that if you use a pound cake recipe, that would be good too. You want a dense cake that won't make too many crumbs or it will be a nightmare. Good luck!

RisqueBusiness Posted 9 Sep 2006 , 4:26pm
post #14 of 15
Originally Posted by frindmi

I've made the Madeira cake recipe from her books twice and although it's great for carving, it's also dry, very dry. I'm from Europe and I'm not used to a cake being that dry. I think that if you use a pound cake recipe, that would be good too. You want a dense cake that won't make too many crumbs or it will be a nightmare. Good luck!

what we learned in school was s2 recipes that we turned into many , many cake flavors and made them moist by brushing them with simple syrup flavored to the specifications of the recipe.

In other words...a rum cake would be made with our yellow cake recipe...and brushed with rum syrup which we made with 4 ounces simple syrup and 2 ounces rum.

That was the school rum cake..!

( not mine as I would use the rum or rum extract in the recipe..but..I sold myself out for the!!)

kelslou Posted 13 May 2014 , 9:41pm
post #15 of 15

I use a Madeira cake recipe from Rosie cake diva and mine have always turned out fine and they taste really nice, hope this helps :D

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