I am looking for a cake recipe that is dence enough to carve without it falling apart when icing is added. Does anyone know if you have to put fondant on a carved cake to make it hold together? I have tried using BC and am having no luck at all.
I've only made a few sculpted cakes at home for 'practice' so I by no means am a "pro" at carved cakes; however, I have used a pound cake recipe, which there are tons here on CC. My favorite is a cream cheese recipe. Out of all my scultped cakes, I have covered them nicely with fondant, which actually brings the cake to life, since you can play around with the fondant by adding more details, shadows, etc.
Hopefully someone with some more carving experience can help shed some more light!!
If you are just starting out, stick to pound cake recipes until you figure out what your designs require and what you're comfortable working with. Some sculpted cakes I do (see my avatar) are made with regular cake and nearly all of them are covered in buttercream. But I've been doing it long enough that I know what my recipes are like and what the different carved shapes need to have to hold their shape. Until you get to that point, give yourself the best chance of success by sticking to pound cakes for the first several sculptures.
I always have my students use pound cakes to start out with. There are some excellent recipes in the Cake Mix Doctor books, and the chai tea cake recipe on here is good.
If you are covering your sculpture in fondant, be aware that the fondant is relatively heavy and plan the details in your cake accordingly.
That said, can you tell us what you're trying to make? If you give me more specifics I might be able to steer you in a better direction.
In case you didn't know, TooMuchCake has a DVD available on making sculpted cakes like the one in her avatar. It's only $20 and has a lot of great information.
Click on the DVD info on my signature line for more information.