Ok, so I seem to be running into a few problems lately.....not sure what I am doing wrong though!
There are a few things though...
First, my cakes....I cannot for the life of me get them level! I have a level cutter but it does not seem to actually "cut" the cake and just pulls and tears it and totally makes a mess of it. So I use a big bread knife to level it. However, my "eye" has never been very "level" and so they "seem" level to me but then after cutting them, I realize they are not. After I fill and stack them they seem to "appear" level, until I get the fondant on them and then it shows just how unlevel they really are! My cakes also seem "lumpy" on the outsides too. No matter how I well I crumb coat them. I also use the bottom flat part of the cake for the top of it and put the side that I cut for leveling on the inside. What am I doing so wrong that I can't get a nice clean cake to work with?? It's soooo frustrating! If I could have someone make the cake part, level it for me and stack it, I would!
Another problem I am having is my fondant seems to start drying out on me really fast. Is this normal? I barely get it rolled out and start shaping it and its drying out on me and cracking? So then it looks really dry when I put it on the cake. I see other people's cakes and their fondant looks so soft looking and nicely colored. I used cornstarch to roll mine out on and it seems hard to get a "clean" cornstarch free look after that. Is the cornstarch drying it out? And I've tried using less, but then it sticks on the mat. But then if I use too much, it totally dulls the look of it and its hard to get rid of! I'm feeling frustrated right now.
I just did a cake for my step-daughter and although it turned out "ok" in the end and she loved it, I was disappointed with alot of the process of it and the way some of it came out. I really want to be able to do this and do it well, but I need to get past these hurdles first. Any help would be so much appreciated!
Oh and another problem I had was I did a "gift box" cake and the edges were drooping and I couldn't figure out why. I'm sure part of it was my leveling but then I just read another post that Wilton pans are curved on the edges. And these were in fact Wilton pans I bought....so I think that was part of that problem....
I use a bread knife to level my cakes when needed, but to tell you the truth since I turned the bake temp back to 330 they come oout level. Try that.....just trun temp back a little and ake a bit longer. HTH
I use a trick from Leahs to level the cake. After you fill it( are you putting a dam of icing around the edge to hold filling in?) wrap in plastic wrap and place a ceramic tile the size of the cake on top. Let it settle over night if possible. Then you can trim off any bulges etc before you crumb coat and ice. I have found it makes a huge difference when I cover in fondant, it is nice and flat and level. HTH
I bought a mini level for just that reason...I had a problem getting level cakes. The only thing you need to remember is to check the level from several different vantage points to make sure it's level all the way around the cake.
In the end, if it's a little off no one notices, it has be way off to have anyone notice.
Just realized you also mentioned a cake leveller. I have the small wilton one and works well for smaller cakes. I also have the big one, hate it but until I can afford the agabay I am stuck with it. The only thing that seems to help with the cutting is not to go straight through when cutting but on an angle.
try cutting thinner pieces off when trimming it to level....you can always take more off but to put it back its kinda messy
I've also read that someone uses their turntable and a knife to mark the sides of the cake where they are going to level, then wraps thread through the endentation, pulls and waa-lahh!
I'm sorry to all who commented that I haven't responded. I never got any notifications that anyone posted! I'm glad that I checked it! It's been busy around this house and so I haven't been on for awhile.
Thank you to all of you who responded. That last tip about the marking and pulling a string through sounds like a good idea! I use a bread knife right now and maybe I should just do little bits at a time for now like the one member said. I'll try a few things. I have another cake to make today for a friend's b-day this weekend and am making the cake part today.
Nobody commented about my fondant problems tho....any advice on that part for the problems I'm having? Thanks for all your help!