My confidence is shot. I made this practice cake last night. I wanted to practice on torting since I haven't done it before. Well it turned out crooked . My border looks like crap. i'm just all around UNHAPPY with this cake. Can someone please help me with some techniques on torting and just general info will be greatly appreciated. I did get up the nerve to take it to work and everyone says I'm too hard on myself, but I feel this is just substandard work. PLEASE HELP....any construtive critisim is welcomed. I can say though that the only thing I'm happy with is the pumpkins (it was my first time making fondant figures and flowers).
Oh yeah and I got very smooth icing for the 1st time even though it doesn't look like it with the crooked a** cake.
Your border looks fine.
On torting: do you have a cake leveler? That is a tool that works well for a lot of people.
I do have one. I tried to use is once to level my cake and it didn't do so well. I will keep trying. Thanks for your help.
You can still have a straight cake with a crooked torte- Just make sure you line up the cuts exactly as you cut it- then it should come out straight.
Honestly I think the best way to start out is- I'd freeze my cake a little so it is pretty firm- that way it is easier to cut and it doesn't smoosh or crumb as easy. (bake at night and put it in the freezer til morning- or just in the freezer for a couple of hours) then it will be firm but not rock solid.
Yours looks like it just settled- did it look like that when you first did it?
Make sure you are "Damming" your filling with a good stiff buttercream. I do mine with the same as I ice with-but mine is a crusting..if you use a non crusting or a soft crusting, then you might need to stiffen it up. Then when you put the top on- press it down a little with a cake board or something to evenly adhere it to the filling. Then, whatever sqooshed out- take a flat spatula and scrape it around to remove the extra. If your cake is soft...then wait and see if it settles so you can scrape the extra icing off before you ice it.
It did... I had trouble with the cake when I baked it ( I over filled the pans). I really do believe it settled.....I have soooooo much to learn!!
Hey you are doing fine! We all have to start somewhere. Flowers: *Exellent!* Pumpkins: *Exellent!*
If you bake at a lower temp you will not get the hump in the center of the cake...... I bake at 300 degrees for about 20 minutes, then turn the oven up to 325 for about the same. Bake until you smell the cakes Be sure your oven is working properly...temp is right.
What leveler do you use? There might be a problem w/it.
If you do end up w/a hump on your cake there are a couple of ways to handle that: as soon as it come out of the oven, put a cooling rack on top of the cake and using a clean kitchen towel press down evenly all over the cake. If you don't like that (I don't) you can use your leveler while your cake is in the pan (Or return the cake to the pan after it has cooled some) and run the leveler over the pan. The edges of the pan will hold the leveler so you should end up w/a level cake.
For torting: cool the cake well and run your leveler thru the cake. There should not be a problem if using a good leveler (if you use a knife there could be).
It looks like you might have icing blowouts How did you ice it? Do you use the quick icer tip? Maybe you applied the icing unevenly?
Borders: Looks like these are just a bit too large for the cake size. The top border looks like you didn't stop pressure before lifting away resulting in peaks on the top of your balls. Try squeeze; stop but don't move; count to 3 then lift away. The counting gives you a mental break where you will actually stop squeezing. Most people don't realize they are still squeezing lightly as they lift away which results in the points. Also, it should be closer to the edge - right at the edge. The balls should be close together - not spread out - more like they are on your bottom border
Hope these suggestion help you improve on a good start.
Yes, Thanks for all the advice. I do have trouble with the pressure/release...I had never thought about counting. I did use a knife instead of the leveler (had a bad experience with it once before). I won't give up and keep pressing forward. I hope someday my cakes will look as good as all of yours. Thanks for the encouragement!
Try not to be so hard on yourself. We, as cake designer/decorators, are often A LOT more critical of our work than others. And remember your words âthis was a practice cakeâ. That what practice cakes are for - to make mistakes and figure our how to fix them, so they donât happen again. Your cake looks fine. I like the design, the pumpkins, and flowers. Your frosting does look smooth, even if it does have a few bumps. Try sticking you cake in the freezer for a few minutes before torting, and when using a leveler cut with a sawing motion, donât force the wire through the cake - go slow. Then after making sure all your sides are even, stick the torted/filled cake in the freezer for a few minutes, before frosting the outside of the cake - it makes a HUGE difference.
Lastly, I donât know of any cake decorator who can claim a perfect cake - they all have flaws. Our job as learning decorators is to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, so we can get better at fixing and/or hiding them. So smile you did a good job and I bet it taste wonderful.
I have trouble torting evenly. I have only done 2.
Someone here told me to put a small notch on the side of the cake before cutting, then if I get crooked it won't show when I line the notch back up. It has worked for me. (They will get straight one day!)