Help a novice out! Making a cake for Sunday for my Dad's leaving party (he's off to Afghanistan with work... sigh!)
1) The last cake I made/first iced and decorated cake (pics in my album if you want a laugh!) - I made it in two halves, and as you can see, one half got a tad burnt and didn't rise properly. I've decided the problem was the pan, as the top half which was baked in a brand new pan turned out damn near perfect! I've decided this time to just bake one big one in the new pan and then cut it in half - Er, how do I do that?! I heard that you should freeze or at least chill it before you try and cut it. Actually, do I even need to cut it at all?
2) What's the most in advance I should make it? The party is on Sunday, but I have Thursday off college so it would be far more convenient for me to make it then, as I'm not sure what time I'll get on the Saturday - and besides, I want to make some cupcakes for my cousins
3) Has anyone got a good chocolate frosting recipe for above mentioned cupcakes?
Think that's it... for now!
Torting (the act of taking a cake out of the pan and dividing it into two layers) is a matter of your own taste. There are plenty of times I have left the cake in on layer rather than cutting it into two or more layers. If you are going to torte then you do need the cake to be at least cooled before cutting into it. It does not have to be frozen or chilled to do so. I often let my cakes cool in the pan for 10 mins then invert the layers onto a cake cooling rack, remove the parchment then flip over, let cool the rest of the way then level the cake and torte it. At that point I will wrap each layer in Press and Seal wrap then freeze them at least overnight. The next day I will unwrap, fill, crumbcoat and then finish icing if using buttercream for the final layer. If using fondant for the final coating of the cake then I let the crumbcoated/filled cake come to room temperature (both to help eliminate the possibility of gas bubbles in the fondant and to allow the cake to settle and whatever excess filling that has been splooshed out the side to be smoothed away) for about 2 hours before placing the rolled fondant on the cake. By the way, a sealed cake (either with final butter cream or fondant coating) will stay fresh for the few days you need it to be fresh if you will just cover it...say under a cake plate dome...to keep the dust, etc off the cake. You can refridgerate it but unless your filling is perishable it's not necessary. Hope this helps!