I spent the whole day making and decorating a cake yesterday. I ended up putting too much (British) buttercream (to try to make the cake higher)and I probably didn't allow any room at the edges of the cake.
I also had a dome which I cut off but didn't cut completely off (I left the base of the dome were the cake is starting to curve towards the centre) as I didn't want to shorten the cake. Once I levelled the top, I cut through the middle of the cake in order to put the filling in. The top half (with the dome top) was put upside down and placed on top of the other layer after the buttercream was put in. Obviously, I had alot of gaps and spaces as the dome part wasn't completely flat therefore it didn't neatly sit on the buttercream and bottom cake. I managed to smooth the sides over by applying more buttercream into the gaps and the sides of the cake. This looked perfect. I applied the fondant afterwards and thats when I saw that it started to bulge! The buttercream which I smoothed over the sides and filled in the gaps was mixed with the cake crumbs from the cut off dome by the way. I thought this would make it more 'full'. Maybe I should have melted a some chocolate and mixed it in the buttercream. Once cooled, it may have been stiffer. What do you think? I can never avoid domes. I have tried flower nails and it didn't work. I used an oven strip which cooked the cake thoroughly but still domed. Next time I have a dome, shall I place the uneven domed side on the board and fill in the gaps with buttercream instead? I don't want to cut the dome completely off as I will have a shorter cake..
To avoid domes, I always over fill my pans so that the dome ends up being over taller than the pan I then trim the cake to even with the sides of the pan.
I overfill the pan and trim off the dome. (Use the extra for cake balls.) As for bulging, there have been several suggestions. One is to place the filled and crumb coated cake in the fridge with a light weight on it, for several hours and then make the repairs as needed. You should be able to avoid the buldges after that when the fondant is applied.
Thanks for your comments but how do I deal with the domed bit that I refuse to chop off as it will make the cake shorter? Can I just turn it upside down on the baseboard and fill the gaps with buttercream? I may still have a problem with the bulging at the bottom. I would like to keep 1/4 of the dome on the cake but even it out with buttercream.
You simply HAVE to put more batter in your pans, and yes you have to cut off the dome.
One of the things you can do with the dome is cut off the extreme part and make cake putty. That is, mix the cake and some butter cream to form a "putty" and then build up the cake to match the dome that is left. I also saw where a chef cut off the extreme part, put the cake dome side down and filled in the gap with a fondant roll. Both of these have their problems. If you apply too much putty the cake will, again, have the bulge problem and the same can be true with the fondant filler. Give it a try, one or the other, or chop off the dome and use the extra for cake balls. I prefer chopping off the top, having a flat layer. If I need the cake to be taller, I make another layer. For me, flat is better. HTH
Do you think making a ganache to a truffle consistency would be suitable to fill the gap (like what a chef done with the fondant roll)? Will it be stiffer?
My recipe books all state receipe's for 6,7,8,9,10,12 14 inch cakes. By making another cake would be too difficult as I would make too much. This cake had extra batter in (10 inch batter inside an 8 inch tin) which I am pleased with the size it rose. Maybe next time I'll put it lower in the oven and lower the temperature from gas mark 4 to gas mark 3. Which shelf do you cook your cakes on?