I have 2 questions.
I have been going threw some threads on a Cafemom group I am on.. and I have some questions..
Does anyone use the VIVA technique? Are these just a brand of papertowels? This one ladies cakes are ALWAYS so smooth they look like they are rolled in fondant. Does this technique help with that?
Also, What do you put your cakes on? Like cardboard, wood, what? What about a really heavy wedding cake or another cake with like 2-3- or more teirs??
Thanks for any help!
I'm pretty new, but I have been learning a lot here, and will pass on what I have collected...
Viva is the brand of paper towel. All of the other ones have a "pattern" to them, but the Viva are very smooth, and even it has one side that is "smoother". I use this method when I use a crusting buttercream, and even though I'm a relative beginner, I can get my cakes super smooth (see my "3" cake, razorback cake and daisy cake - all in buttercream).
For what to put it on, a lot of people have recommended 1/2" foam core, and some do use wood for the base of a tiered cake. The board is covered so you won't see it. Corrugated cardboard isn't really the best, as it often buckles under a heavy cake. Even with 2 layers of cardboard hot glued togetheer, I had my board start to buckle with both my razorback cake and my "3" cake.
Hope that helps, and an expert chimes in for you!
Yes, Viva is a brand name of paper towels. Many people just use the paper towel and smooth with their hands or fondant too, but the best method for doing this is to get yourself a high density foam roller. Then you lay the Viva down on your crusted cake and roll the roller over it with light pressure and you get a cake that's as smooth as fondant! I just tried this method for the first time last weekend. It's very popular on these forums...it's better known as the Melivra Method. Do a search on the Melvira Method and you will learn a lot.
As far as the boards that I put my cakes on...I use something called Foam Core...I get it at Hobby Lobby, but I've seen that Walmart carries it too. It comes in different thicknesses, I use the thickest. I only make cakes for family and friends, so I've never had to use anything sturdier. There are many, many posts about people using wood as their base. Search the site and you'll find so much information.
I went out to Lowe's and bought a round piece of untreated wood. It was probably a 14-inch or so. It was wrapped in plastic. Come to think of it, I think it was supposed to be the top of a stool (if you were going to make your own). It has worked nicely for a few cakes and I think it was like $7.
P.S. It's very thick so you don't have to worry.. I mean it's for everyone to sit on.. so a cake is nothing compared to a body.
Welcome to CC, by the way! You will certainly learn TONS of stuff here on the board!
Viva paper towels are a great smoothing technique...but using those cheap, patterned ones are great too. I found a brand with little quilted hearts and it looks really cute on a bridal shower cake!
For my occasion cakes-birthday, etc, I use double-thick foamcore board wrapped with FDA approved florist foil. For wedding cakes I use English drums I purchase from ck products, or just make my own from thick foamcore board. It's one less thing for the bride to return.
For my early years in business, I used wood bases that my husband made for me. He had a wood patio furniture business, so it was easy for him to just zip out a cake board for me from scrap wood. He'd put little "feet" on them to raise the board up-easier to get your fingers underneath!
A cake friend of mine uses those door knob bumpers (rubbery thingies that keep the door knob from making a hole in your walls)you get at the hardware store- they have a peel-and-stick adhesive on the back, so they work really great on the foamcore board! 3-4 of them on the bottom raises the board just enough.
I highly recommend getting:
Perfecting the Art of Buttercream DVD by sugaredproductions - sugarshack.
She shows you exactly how do the complete process of smoothing her cakes. She uses the Viva paper towels.
I have the dvd and is one of my favorite investments. She has other videos available as well.
Welcome and Good Luck!!!
thanks everyone for all of your help! I appreciate it!