Pig Cake Construction - Please Help

Decorating By rosamatsas Updated 24 Jan 2010 , 4:03pm by rosamatsas

rosamatsas Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 6:25pm
post #1 of 18

Dear CCers.
I have a last minute order from a client who wants this cake as a surprise for her fiance at their engagement party.
I really need help with suggestions ideas for construction etc... dowels or pvc pipes for support?
how will the head stay on? and the protusion on the nose?
Should I carve from one large layers or make smaller ones? and the chef hat?? Should I use rice crispies for the entire thing?? or will cake really stand up that tall?
see the picture from my notes. i would really appreciate any suggestions and advice.
THank you,

17 replies
SuzyNoQ Posted 17 Jan 2010 , 6:57pm
post #2 of 18

If it were me, I would use the egg pan set (or the big egg pan depending on size) for the main body, carving as needed, rkt around the pvc for the legs, rkt about the size of the small ball pan set for the head (wood dowel for support. and start with a jumbo size cupcake for the hat. I am fairly new to this but when I do carve cakes I like to use the closest pan I can to the shape I need so that I don't have to carve as much away.

rosamatsas Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 1:40am
post #3 of 18

thank you, SuzyNoQ for your advice

anasazi17 Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 1:57am
post #4 of 18

What if you used the Wilton bear pan as a starter shape? I have used it in the past to help get it started. I usually end up cutting off the head putting in supports & a cake board then re-attaching and carve away. I would totally do the hat out of rice krispies using the jumbo pan! Post a pic when you are done...I would love to see it..my family are hog farmers icon_smile.gif

Kitagrl Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 2:05am
post #5 of 18

Is it really 175 servings?

rosamatsas Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 3:00am
post #6 of 18

anasazi17 - how big is the Wilton Bear Pan??
Kitagrl - Yes i should have mentioned in my original post that the pig (the cake) needs to be about 175 servings. The cake itself is supposed to be a 3d carved pig.
I don't think the bear pan is than large icon_smile.gif

My first idea was to bake up 5 - 12x18 sheets and 12, 10, 8 inch rounds (for the head) stack it all up and carve. If each later is 2 inches then that will give me about 180 searvings for the sheets and 68 searving for the rounds, for a grand total of 248. After i carve, i think that i will definatey be left with enough to searve 175 people.
I already told the client ath a carved cake is tricky to predict servings on. She was alright with that b/c she knows that she will have a dessert bar in addition to this surprise cake.
The pig will be on a peice of decorated plywood. My other alternative to put sheetcake on top of the board (to make sure i have enough servings) and make a smaller pig. I do not want to go that route b/c that is not what the client wants.

I also would appreciate any recomendation for chocolate cake recipe that will withstand the weight of at least 9 layers of cake. I use the hershey cake recipe that uses boiled water for all my chocolate cakes But i don't think i can use it since i think its too soft to withstand pressure.

A few questions in my mind are:
1) Should i use cake boards (every 3-4 layers) and dowels act as support in addition to the dowels that i probably will be putting through the entire cake??
2) Any benefits to using PVC as opposed to wodden dowels?
3) Has anyone used an electric knife to carve cakes?? will it carve/cut the cakeboard as well? I'm using chocolate ganache and regular chocolate buttercream for the filling, will that clunk up the knife (since its a gooey texture)??
4) should i make the hat a separate peice of cake? and just have a dowel to slip it onto at the venue. I'm concerned about travel and shaking. Last think i need is to have the hat crack of fall off. Out area is full of potholes and bumps.
5) will the ganache and other filling start seeping out under the pressure of so many layers?? Which bring me back to my first questions about cake boards.

ok - thanks to anyone who reads this icon_smile.gif i get nervous when i don't have a 100% set plan of action in my head...

Kitagrl Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 3:16am
post #7 of 18

Looking at your sketch....

Well I would definitely use boards every 2 layers so that when they cut the cake, each layer serves a regular 4" piece of cake.

I did a rough sketch on yours...the red being a wooden board with dowel supports (two actually, where the front legs are, and two in the back.) You can carve the belly and haunches and front legs to where they are mostly connected and do not have to be "hanging" over space. The only place I thought might need styrofoam is the chin, and I colored it white.

Depending on the size, maybe you could take a large can and form a gumpaste hat around it, so that its hollow and less weight.

Going to post this now and see how it is, and then can post more in a bit...

rosamatsas Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 3:32am
post #8 of 18

ooo i like the idea of the hollow ceg hat!! i need to think about this now ..... thanks

AfordRN Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 3:42am
post #9 of 18

I took a class with Browen Weber and she does this when carving. Stack all your cakes and carve to shape, then unstack, so you can dam and fill between the layers. This will eliminate any "oozing" issues with the filling. Also if have a sturdy choc cake recipe that I can PM you if you would like it.

Renaejrk Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 3:59am
post #10 of 18

I use the WASC but with chocolate cake mix -it is very chocolatey and dense!

anasazi17 Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 9:29am
post #11 of 18

oops! I missed the 175...sorry about that icon_smile.gif I still can't wait to see!

JanH Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 5:16pm
post #12 of 18

.moving to Cake Ideas. icon_smile.gif

JanH Posted 18 Jan 2010 , 5:17pm
post #13 of 18

.moving to Cake Ideas. icon_smile.gif

rosamatsas Posted 19 Jan 2010 , 2:24am
post #14 of 18

Thank you AfordRN, i will PM you for the recipe. if you don't mind posting it here, for any one else following the thread would be great. But i will PM you regardless.
How lucky are you the have a class Browen Weber. Thats a good tip for carving. I just went out and got myself a cordless electric carving knife. so hopefully it will go smoothly. I was not planning on using too much filling in between. becasue i think that the more i fill the more will oooz.

Renaejrk - thanks for the tip. I never use boxed cake mix, maybe if i use my scratch wasc and add cocoa? wonder if that will taste good.

The more i think about it the more i have convinced myself that i will make the chef hat as a separate peice that i will place on the pigs head upon arrival. I will eitehr use the hollow option or 6" rounds trimmed down. I figure some more cake could be beneficial.

Move where ever you need to JanH icon_smile.gif

THanks everyone.

rosamatsas Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 10:39pm
post #15 of 18

Thank you everyone for your input. here is a photo pf the finished cake. stands 22inches tall and about 14 inches wide.
My husband is a photo hobbyist and asked his friend (prof photographer) to come take professional pictures. of it.
Now i just have to deliver it icon_smile.gif

JGMB Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:01pm
post #16 of 18

Oh my gosh, that is one adorable pig! You did a great job!!!! thumbs_up.gif

Darthburn Posted 23 Jan 2010 , 11:08pm
post #17 of 18

Came out great. Awesome job! Did it HOG all of the attention at the party? Did they thank you for BACON it?

rosamatsas Posted 24 Jan 2010 , 4:03pm
post #18 of 18

Darthburn you are tooo funny!!! i needed that that laugh.
S here i'm adding a photo of me standing mext to the pig in the hall. A friend of mine took my face out icon_smile.gif Some people were curious about proportion.

Delivery was a disaster. I'll post my feelings so that anyone else reading that can learn from my mistakes.
First of all I think the driver (aka my husband) was goinga bit to fast. We have an SUV and the back really shakes even on small bumps.
I went against my instinct to sit in the back with the pig and hold its head - i probably should have done that. Maybe that would have helped with allegviating some of the pressure. Or maybe it would have made me feel better that i tried to help icon_smile.gif
I think i should have used a bit more dowels (or rather PVC) in the pigs construction. Especially dowels that went all the way through the entire cake (I only have one) and also, next time i will drill the dowel directly to the board. I think if i had at least one dowel screwed into the base, the head would not have sharted sliding off. I also belevie that if the pig was refrigerated it wold have made a big difference.
The most catastrofic part of the delivery was when a car short stopped in front of us and we had to hit the brakes in order not to crash. I think thatiis what ultimately made the head shift. When we placed the cake in the hall i noticed tat it even slid 3 inches from the short stop.
Each ake is a learning experience. and i have definately learnt alot from this cake.
Thanks to everyone once again

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