Help! Football Helmet Buckled-Need New Cake

Decorating By chillysmommy Updated 4 Nov 2010 , 8:49pm by Peridot

chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 12:06pm
post #1 of 25

I had the hardest time putting it together and then carving. Didn't seem to work right but got the buttercream on, stiff and then covered with (black) chocolate MMF which had also given me extreme trouble. I was happy with what I ended up with thinking I could just put "grass" in the messed up areas. This morning I wake up to the face area of the mask caving/falling. I think the cake was too moist?? The dowels I put in for the round top layer turned sideways, which could be the end of the buckling... WHAT HAPPENED? Do I try this again??? Need to deliver something by 4:00!!!

24 replies
sweetnessx3 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 1:11pm
post #2 of 25

Humm the only thing I can think of is , did you let it settle before Icing it ? Could have been to moist, hummm....

kimbordeaux Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 1:35pm
post #3 of 25

I've made a few football helmets, going to make another Tuesday. I use WASC recipes when carving. Moist cakes are not good for carving.

chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 1:45pm
post #4 of 25

I did use WASC - only the chocolate version. I froze them though and I think that made them softer... I supported the top piece with board and dowels and I don't the cake held the dowels well. Just finished baking two more 8" rounds for bottom as I think the top rounded cake can be salvaged. Just wondering if this will happen again, or if I should try another design - but what???

Molly2 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 2:05pm
post #5 of 25

When I made them I used pound cake, the half ball pan and 2 6 in rounds and carved the cake down to the height that I wanted it, I also used a cake round between my 6inch rounds and the half ball pan and dowled it.


chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 2:29pm
post #6 of 25

Molly2 - that's basically what I did, except I mine was a bit larger. I fell over where the forehead area was carved, so bascially the board slid down. Not sure why except that maybe I carved too far back and/or the cake. I'm really freaking because I used most of my black fondant. THANK GOD I just found a local place that sells Black fondant because I don't have the time to let the color cure on another batch. Guess I'm gonna try to remake it... Any tips this time around? Cake are fresh and not as delicate as first ones. I can salvage the top half round but how do I carve it with the board? Do I carve the board at the forehead area? I've tried to upload pictures but it won't let me...

kimbordeaux Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 3:25pm
post #7 of 25

Do you have any pics to post of cake? I could give better advice if I could see exactly what you are talking about.


chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 3:53pm
post #8 of 25

I'm trying to upload pics to my photos since it won't let me attach here. I see a lot of pics with the helmet forehead area slight angled. How do I position the board then? I cut it off where it met the bottom layers. Was this wrong?

chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 3:59pm
post #9 of 25

OK, here's the link to my "cake" - ;(

What do I do with the board on this next time around as I saved this top half round. I'm not going to carve as much, that's for sure. I put the cakes in the fridge to firm up a little more... I guess I'll put all three stacked together, carve it a little, then take the top off and cut the board to fit it???? HELP!

kimbordeaux Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:30pm
post #10 of 25

That is perplexing. From what I can see you didn't over carve face. I carve mine a bit further than that. Here is a link to one of mine, (not best fondant job on this one). This cake was also chocolate WASC although I do cook my WASC recipes longer than instructed because it makes for a more firmer cake. It looks like dowel placement may have been your problem. Where did you place dowels and what type of dowels did you use? I usually use at least 5 per tier, 1 in middle and 4 around middle. I also use wooden dowels.

chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:44pm
post #11 of 25

Yep, used 5 wood dowels but wasn't sure about the one near the face mask so maybe because I didn't have one close enough to the edge? Also, the fresh ones I just made, I cooked a bit longer too and it's a bit tougher. I just put on the filling and doweled and added the top round (though now it's a bit smaller than the bottoms). I just put it all in the freezer to firm up.
Tell me if this sounds good - I'll wait about 30 minutes and take out to carve? I'm so worried about the carving because that's what I did last night and I really shook the cake trying to get it shaped. I'm thinking that's why the dowels were turned? Plus, I still believe the cake was way too soft. On top of that, when I took the dowels out to put them back straight a lot of cake came out and I also noticed they weren't the same heights. I kept messing with it so it's really no surprise the cake didn't hold the dowels any more... I GUESS!

So with this, I'm worried for carving the board with the cake because of all the sawing - it's hard for the knives to cut through the board... AHHHH (sorry for the book)

kimbordeaux Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 4:52pm
post #12 of 25

Cut the board smaller, first before you start carving. Before you put round on top cut cake board smaller. All the cake board is really for is to sit on top of dowels. Cake board only needs to be as big as dowel placement circle. That is most likely your problem, carving thru cake board. You don't need to cut thru board also, just make board smaller first.

chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:38pm
post #13 of 25

OK, I used 6" board. I can't get the carving just right but at this point, I just don't want it to fall apart... Thanks Kim

chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 5:38pm
post #14 of 25

OH, and would I have a problem if I put the fondant on a chilled cake?

kimbordeaux Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 7:17pm
post #15 of 25

Don't put the fondant on chilled cake. You will encounter a whole new set of problems icon_smile.gif If you have a firm, dense cake to begin with you shouldn't really have to freeze cake to carve. I'm actually thinking of using pound cakes for my carved cakes from now on. Just got to find some good recipes first. Good luck. I've found caking is a bit of trial and error... just remember your errors!

Molly2 Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 7:27pm
post #16 of 25

I did not cut my board I placed it right under the half ball cake(made sure it fit the bottom of that cake) and the helment I made was a Texas Longhorn helment(all white) and I covered the whole helment with one piece of fondant I put the dowels all the way though cake and board. like I said I used pound cake which holds up pretty good for carved cakes.


sorry it took me so long to respond I just got back from the cake supply store

chillysmommy Posted 28 Aug 2010 , 11:35pm
post #17 of 25

OK folks. Thank you so much for all your help. Here's a link to the finished product. I was able to use the face mask I had, though the sides broke, it probably worked out better though. Don't like the elephant skin.. (boo) Wanted to do a chin guard and other things but I'm happy with at least getting this done. The customer seemed really happy and excited about it! That's the best part! Thanks again!!!

kimbordeaux Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 12:41am
post #18 of 25

It turned out great! Good job.

chillysmommy Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 12:55am
post #19 of 25

Thanks Kim and all you other lovely and helpful people. Couldn't have done it without your help and encouragement!

Molly2 Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 1:10am
post #20 of 25

Looks Great Congrats! thumbs_up.gif


bethasd Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 2:13am
post #21 of 25

Agree, the final product is great! I had a cake collapse once and I think it was not firm enough for carving. It was the Hershey's chocolate recipe. I use a dense chocolate recipe now adapted from Collette Peters. Plus I always use SMBC or ganache from crumb coating...super stable. I always chill the crumb-coated cake before applying the fondant. Are there different schools of thought on this?

chillysmommy Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 2:29am
post #22 of 25

I think there are different schools of thought. I heard never chill before fondant because of bubbles or sliding maybe? Then a friend of mine says she always chills before fondant with no problems. I would love to use ganache but the one time I did it got all mushy when I applied the fondant and smeared at the bottom... (couch cake) I probably did something wrong but my husband and extended family love my chocolate with chocolate ganache cakes!

chillysmommy Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 2:31am
post #23 of 25

OK wait, you said you chilled the cake (ganache) before applying fondant. I can see how that would help, but what happens to the fondant when the ganache comes to room temp and softens?

bethasd Posted 29 Aug 2010 , 2:49am
post #24 of 25

I have definitely been having problems with bubbles so what I've been doing lately is chill first then take out right before I roll the fondant. That gives it some time and has helped with the bubbles. I haven't had problems with the ganache & SMBC coming to room temp. I do whip the ganache to thicken it up before spreading though.

Peridot Posted 4 Nov 2010 , 8:49pm
post #25 of 25

Thanks for all of the advise. I need to save this.

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