Last Minute Structural Question

Decorating By Kitagrl Updated 11 Sep 2009 , 5:24pm by Loucinda

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 8:32am
post #1 of 18

I have a wedding cake this Saturday and I pretty much know how I'm doing it but the more I think about it, the more unsure I become.

Its basically a rich chocolate torte kind of thing...and then I'm icing it thinly on the outside with ganache...putting toasted graham crumbs all over it...then icing in fluffy meringue and then "toasting" it with a torch on site (s'mores idea).

Now originally I thought it would be the most structurally sound to just stack the cake and then ice it stacked, because the photo shows fluffy icing swirled all over the entire cake and then lightly torched. The meringue icing is very very soft and light and so I was thinking it would not stack well with the meringue on the top of each layer.

However then I was like thinking...if I ice it already stacked...(I can't ice it ahead, I have to ice it right before delivery, and partially on site) I'm afraid the structure will be off because the cakes will not really be supported by anything but the bubble tea straws that I use...because the meringue is so light and airy.

So my question is...do I do what I know will be structurally sound (ice the cake already stacked...in nice fluffy swirls) or try to ice the cake between layers as well and just use a ton of straws and hope it works ok? They do not want buttercream at all...thus just a thin layer of whipped ganache, then the cracker crumbs, then the meringue.

My gut tells me to be safe and ice it stacked...but I don't want complaints that some guests did not get any "marshmallow" on their cake slice.

Its due Saturday so can't use any special support systems or anything.

Thanks!

17 replies
antonia74 Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 9:55am
post #2 of 18

The cake sounds really cool! I'd be wary of the straws though. Why not switch to wooden dowels with one long sharpened central dowel right through the center into the cake drum at the base? That might offer you the peace of mind you're looking for in terms of stability.

As for the exterior meringue icing...I have no clue, but I wish you the best of luck with it! thumbs_up.gif In reality, after disassembling the cake, it's pretty unlikely that the guests receiving slices from the middle portions of each tier will have any meringue icing anyway. Even if you iced each tier separately and THEN assembled, that super-soft icing is just going to stick to the board of the cake above it when they take apart the cake, you know? Unless they are a clever/thoughtful venue and they bother to patch it with that missing icing before they portion it, those guests might be out of luck. thumbsdown.gif

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 1:21pm
post #3 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by antonia74

The cake sounds really cool! I'd be wary of the straws though. Why not switch to wooden dowels with one long sharpened central dowel right through the center into the cake drum at the base? That might offer you the peace of mind you're looking for in terms of stability.

As for the exterior meringue icing...I have no clue, but I wish you the best of luck with it! thumbs_up.gif In reality, after disassembling the cake, it's pretty unlikely that the guests receiving slices from the middle portions of each tier will have any meringue icing anyway. Even if you iced each tier separately and THEN assembled, that super-soft icing is just going to stick to the board of the cake above it when they take apart the cake, you know? Unless they are a clever/thoughtful venue and they bother to patch it with that missing icing before they portion it, those guests might be out of luck. thumbsdown.gif




Well, I'm not going to transport fully assembled...maybe the bottom two tiers only...it will be too heavy to carry anyway with all that ganache!

I was also thinking about maybe whipping up a bit of light buttercream to put on top too, just a thin layer, so the guests at least see something "white" on top of their cake...they ARE going to get two layers of white whipped ganache and one of dark though as well inside the cake.

Same thing with the graham cracker crumbs... I guess I should have pointed out to the lady that in reality, only a handful of guests are going to be able to taste that....

-K8memphis Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 1:58pm
post #4 of 18

I would use the Wilton 3/4 inch plastic dowel or some nice friendly wooden dowel on the big bottom tiers.

To me, if I was doing this, I'm sure the graham crackers would get all into my meringue. And to me icing a stacked cake sounds pretty awkward. I'd ice it before stacking. I'd probably torch it before stacking too then touch it up.

Blow torches rock!

-K8memphis Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 1:59pm
post #5 of 18

You have practiced this with the torch right?

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 2:31pm
post #6 of 18

Yes I actually made her a sample with the meringue icing and torched it somewhat....

Which is why I know the meringue is VERY soft and I do not know how much I can do ahead of time.

The lady is a pastry chef of sorts herself and claims I cannot do the meringue ahead of time and refrigerate, so I'm trying to figure out how to do this last minute before delivery.

Loucinda Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 2:47pm
post #7 of 18

Here is an idea....have you looked at the Martha Stewart smores cupcake recipe? It is an icing that you torch too, but it is sturdier than just meringue. I have made them several times - just a thought - check it out and see if it is something that would work for you.

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 2:47pm
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

I would use the Wilton 3/4 inch plastic dowel or some nice friendly wooden dowel on the big bottom tiers.

To me, if I was doing this, I'm sure the graham crackers would get all into my meringue. And to me icing a stacked cake sounds pretty awkward. I'd ice it before stacking. I'd probably torch it before stacking too then touch it up.

Blow torches rock!




Actually the way the icing looks, I don't think it would be awkward to ice it stacked, as everything is puffy and swirled anyway...

The question is, does there HAVE to be meringue icing between the layers... the cake will be basically crumb coated in chocolate ganache and the crumbs I will put on tonight as well....so they will be well stuck by tomorrow when I have to figure out how to do the icing.

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 2:50pm
post #9 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

Here is an idea....have you looked at the Martha Stewart smores cupcake recipe? It is an icing that you torch too, but it is sturdier than just meringue. I have made them several times - just a thought - check it out and see if it is something that would work for you.




Yeah that's actually the recipe I'm using...mine turned out soft, but maybe I can beat it longer and get it stiffer...hmmm.....

Its where you cook the whites and sugar and stuff and then whip, right? What consistency does yours turn out?

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 2:56pm
post #10 of 18

Went to that Martha Stewart recipe that I'm using and one of the comments say they refrigerate it and its ok...I wonder if I just ice the cake like usual and refrigerate the night before like usual if it will turn out right? And then add extra icing swirls upon delivery or whatever?

Would condensation break down the icing?

Reading over the comments under the recipe, I think I did not beat the icing long enough last time. Maybe that alone will help me just stack the cake like usual.

tastyart Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:00pm
post #11 of 18

If you put some of the meringue icing between the layers and toasted before stacking, would that keep it from sticking to the upper tier? You would, of course, have to make your dowels tall enough to prevent smashing of the icing. Then you could frost the outside after assembly. I've never done anything with that kind of frosting, just a thought. Good luck!

Loucinda Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:05pm
post #12 of 18

I was looking for a pic I have of the cupcakes, not online. icon_sad.gif

I have never refrigerated it, but it was very sturdy IMO. I used the 1M tip and made it really high - like 3" of frosting, and they held just fine but mine were torched. I didn't have any that I didn't torch right away, so I am not much help there.

I think it would not be a problem to ice that cake fully stacked either - you aren't going for a "neat and crisp" look. SSSOOOO- IMO, you would be safe with the stacking with just ganache between the tiers too - I doubt anyone is going to complain when they taste that combo! (I might even add a few extra graham crumbs between the tiers...) They are gonna have their merignue on the outside of the cake.

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:18pm
post #13 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Loucinda

I was looking for a pic I have of the cupcakes, not online. icon_sad.gif

I have never refrigerated it, but it was very sturdy IMO. I used the 1M tip and made it really high - like 3" of frosting, and they held just fine but mine were torched. I didn't have any that I didn't torch right away, so I am not much help there.

I think it would not be a problem to ice that cake fully stacked either - you aren't going for a "neat and crisp" look. SSSOOOO- IMO, you would be safe with the stacking with just ganache between the tiers too - I doubt anyone is going to complain when they taste that combo! (I might even add a few extra graham crumbs between the tiers...) They are gonna have their merignue on the outside of the cake.




I thought of that but they are particular how the cake looks when cut...its going to have two stripes of white ganache and one stripe of dark ganache. So I don't know if they want a last minute cracker crumb addition inside the cake.

Maybe I'll just compromise...I'll put maybe a quarter of an inch of icing on tonight and stack (probably stack in sections, not all the way)....then tomorrow before delivery add more icing...then finish on site.

This wedding cake is technically an easy design but its stressful a little bit because the actual baking/taste has to be perfect....a higher profile planner in Philly referred this one to me because he likes my chocolate cake so I have alot to live up to, and can't screw anything up!

Loucinda Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:28pm
post #14 of 18

Good luck, I am sure it will be just fine! Your cakes are awesome - and they will love it. icon_smile.gif I can't wait to see pics of it done!

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 3:34pm
post #15 of 18

Thanks!

So just to double check...anyone think this icing will melt if refrigerated and brought back to room temp?

-K8memphis Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:14pm
post #16 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kitagrl

Thanks!

So just to double check...anyone think this icing will melt if refrigerated and brought back to room temp?




TEST IT

It doesn't matter what we/I think. icon_biggrin.gif

Kitagrl Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 4:15pm
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by K8memphis-

TEST IT




haha

I'm not sure if I have time now....I should have before! I was thinking I'd do it all the "day of" and then I started wondering about the icing on the top of each tier.

Oh well it will all work out!

Loucinda Posted 11 Sep 2009 , 5:24pm
post #18 of 18

I know you cannot "cover" this icing - it does much better being able to breathe.

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