Please Help Me Confirm What I Did Wrong..

Decorating By SandiOh Updated 19 Aug 2009 , 5:01am by madgeowens

SandiOh Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 2:05pm
post #1 of 20

Hello, I am a newbie...I made this cake for my daughters birthday, and as you can see from the photo, the bottom tier bulged so badly in the middle. I used nine dowels to support the next tier, but I might've cut them too short, also The cake was a brown sugar pound cake and the filling cream cheese frosting, that I probably used too much of....were these the fatal flaws?
LL

19 replies
Deb_ Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 2:13pm
post #2 of 20

Wow what a beautiful cake! I love the color combination and the design.

As far as the bulge goes, maybe your filling broke through your icing dam. Did you use a nice thick butter cream to make your dam?

Also a good thing to do to avoid bulges is to torte, fill and crumbcoat and then allow the cake to "settle" or "rest" either over night or at least for a few hours with some slight weight on top......a hardcover book works well.

Then before covering with the fondant, you'll see if there are any bulges and you'll be able to fix them.

It's really a great cake though, I've had worse bulges.

HTH

Jayde Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 2:16pm
post #3 of 20

What a gorgeous cake!

I make sure and pipe a REALLY stiff BC dam around the edges, let your cake rest, and make double sure that your dowels are cut to the exact height of the cake.

I too have had worse bulges, but honesly it is hardly noticeable... Its a beautiful cake!

SandiOh Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 2:17pm
post #4 of 20

thank you. You know what? I used the same creamcheese frosting for the dam. I thought initially the frosting would be thick enough, but as the day wore on the frosting got alot softer (Hot, humid and 20 people in my house..even the air conditioner was moaning)....should I have use a regular buttercream instead?

shanasweets Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 2:58pm
post #5 of 20

Cream cheese icing is way to soft for a dam. You could use regular buttercream icing, but add more sugar to make really stiff.
If you have ever seen sugarshacks video, her buttercream is thick like playdough. It really helps and makes a big difference in providing stability.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 3:22pm
post #6 of 20

Maybe the regular buttercream would work. And yes if your dowel were short that would help ooze it out. But I use swiss meringue buttercream to ice and to pipe my dams and I've never had a bulge probably due to my use of the frige. I pile my fillings on thick too.

Cream cheese icing shoulda been kept chilled don't you think?

I've never used a different consistency icing to make a dam.
I've never heard of a commercial bakery doing this, not that there aren't any--just none I've ever heard of/been affiliated with.

It is popular these days but not really necessary in my opinion/experience.

lapazlady Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 3:40pm
post #7 of 20

I agree the icing was probably too soft for a dam. But, the fondant may have had air behind it, too. I don't use a dam, and don't usually have a problem (knock on wood). Less filling, more chilling, and time for the fondant to settle, should do the trick.

__Jamie__ Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 4:11pm
post #8 of 20

Or yes, your dowels were possibly too short. And 9 dowels seems a bit excessive....how big was the bottom tier?

cathyscakes Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 4:39pm
post #9 of 20

I always wonder how the professional cake decoraters on t.v. like cake boss, never use a dam, they just slather the filling in between the layers, and his cakes look perfect. I don't understand how they can do this. Also they are so rough with the cake layers, they don't break or crack, its amazing to me.

MikeRowesHunny Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 4:45pm
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathyscakes

I always wonder how the professional cake decoraters on t.v. like , never use a dam, they just slather the filling in between the layers, and his cakes look perfect. I don't understand how they can do this. Also they are so rough with the cake layers, they don't break or crack, its amazing to me.




I've never used a dam on my cakes either, but I don't use oozey fillings, just buttercreams & ganaches.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 7:29pm
post #11 of 20

I use oozey-ish fillings. I make my own berry filling and there's no cornstarch in it. It sets up from the pectin in granny smith apples. I use Pierre Herme's lemon cream recipe which is a kicked up lemon curd and I do whipped cream & fresh strawberries.

I do an Italian cream filling that is really soupy froma cream cheese & sour cream base but I anchor that one with gelatine.

But all my stuff is carefully prepared so it doesn't weep or anything in the first place but I am a glutton for thick gooey oozilicious fillings.

But all the places I've worked definitely use a dam but it's just the same stuff out of the bucket that you're gonna ice with. It doesn't have to be real stiff. Nothing wrong with stiff dams I guess. Not terribly necessary I think.

SandiOh Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 8:05pm
post #12 of 20

I did keep my cream cheese icing chilled until I used it, then obviously frigerated the cake after I deconstructed it. It was out less than 12 hours in an airconditioned house, however it deflated on the cupcakes I put it on. I do usually use dams, but had just done another tiered cake with carrot cake and creamcheese and had done the same thing and it did not bulge.

I thought possibly the cake was just too heavy for the filling...It was a brown sugar pound cake and very dense.

The bottom tier was a 12 inch round, and 9 dowels was excessive, I was being overly cautious I guess.

thank you all for your insight and advice...it's been very helpful, and I don't feel as defeated today as I did yesterday.

-K8memphis Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 8:11pm
post #13 of 20

To ooze or not to ooze was a minor flaw.

Your creation is killer. Great workmanship. Very well done piece.

I hope you are very proud of yourself because I am.

CutiePieCakes-Ontario Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 9:36pm
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cathyscakes

I always wonder how the professional cake decoraters on t.v. like , never use a dam, they just slather the filling in between the layers, and his cakes look perfect. I don't understand how they can do this. Also they are so rough with the cake layers, they don't break or crack, its amazing to me.




I have seen Buddy use a dam, for non-BC fillings (fruit, cream). But for all BC, I have noticed that Buddy and Duff's crew use very thin layers of BC between cake layers. And I think they use only pound cake or variations of pound cake (for the carved ones, at least), so that's why it can handle the tossing around they do. You'd think they were working in a circus sometimes. icon_lol.gif

becklynn Posted 16 Aug 2009 , 9:47pm
post #15 of 20

Yes Buddy always refers to the cake as "a layer of sponge"...I've never made sponge cake - maybe they are sturdier..

lthiele Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 6:25am
post #16 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I use oozey-ish fillings. I make my own berry filling and there's no cornstarch in it. It sets up from the pectin in granny smith apples. I use Pierre Herme's lemon cream recipe which is a kicked up lemon curd and I do whipped cream & fresh strawberries.

I do an Italian cream filling that is really soupy froma cream cheese & sour cream base but I anchor that one with gelatine.

.




Kate - I want one of your cakes!! mmm mmmm icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif

-K8memphis Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 11:13am
post #17 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by lthiele

Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I use oozey-ish fillings. I make my own berry filling and there's no cornstarch in it. It sets up from the pectin in granny smith apples. I use Pierre Herme's lemon cream recipe which is a kicked up lemon curd and I do whipped cream & fresh strawberries.

I do an Italian cream filling that is really soupy froma cream cheese & sour cream base but I anchor that one with gelatine.

.



Kate - I want one of your cakes!! mmm mmmm icon_biggrin.gificon_lol.gif




Go ahead make my day--lol

Thank you so much! icon_biggrin.gif

Evoir Posted 18 Aug 2009 , 11:48am
post #18 of 20

Sponge cake is DEFINITELY more fragile and possibly only 20% of the density of a pound or madiera cake, so to call something like that a "sponge" and throwing it around the room like a frisbee is not correct! icon_smile.gif

LaBellaFlor Posted 19 Aug 2009 , 4:49am
post #19 of 20

I've used cream cheese frosting for a dam with no problem. I did let it chill and then set up. I didn't have any problems. Your cake is beautiful by the way.

madgeowens Posted 19 Aug 2009 , 5:01am
post #20 of 20

I only use a dam if I use a filling, I don't count bittercream in between layers as a filling...however, once i over filled with strawberry filling and boy did the ol dam break....what a mess......but yummy..........an ugly mess but finger licjin good. I too think if the supports are too short in can add to that......great cake

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