I am in the second wilton class, but Im pretty sure the more I learn the worse I get at this cake stuff. I have tried multiple times to make cakes- cakes with buttercream, cakes with fondant, chocolate cakes, WASC- well you get the picture. No matter what I do, they turn out terrible. I was hoping I could post a picture and someone could help me figure out what in the world Im doing wrong! First, do you put a cake board underneath the bottom tier or just straight on the cakeboard. If its on cardboard, how do you attach the cardboard to the cake board? Why is it that my frosting slides off? It seems to crust- or at least what I think crusting is- but its... heavy- if that makes sense. Then, it never looks even after its frosted, its all uneven looking on the top. Even with fondant I cant get it to look even. Oh, and with the fondant thing- my icing comes out the bottom and no matter what I torte the cake with it comes out somewhere usually. I dam it but somewhere it usually comes out. I dont get it- I bake the cakes, they look fairly good. But once I put them together it is downhilll from there. Anyway, thats a start to my questions. Im sure the longer I sit here and think the more that I can come up with. So below, this is the best cake Ive been able to do- and its pretty embarrassing. Help!![img][/img]
well the images didnt post for some reason. Ill upload them to my profile if anyone is interested! thanks for the help!
From the picture, your cake really doesn't look that bad. Cake designing is a process. You won't learn it overnight. It takes patience. Ask any one on here just how much patience it takes sometimes. My advice to you would be to read, read, read. Read everything you can and make a notebook. Keep any information that you think you might need in it. I'll tell you this, you came to the right place. Also, make a portfolio of pictures of your cakes. This way you can see how you progess, and where you need to make improvements. Also watch DVD's like Sugarshacks or Tonednas videos on youtube. Speaking of which, youtube is a fantastic source for picking up visual aid. First off, it sounds like you may not be letting your cakes cool enough. They have to be completely cool before icing. Second, if you are using filling, you need to use a VERY STIFF Dam around the outside edge to keep it from springing a leak. Third, if you put you icing on too thick it will gush out the bottom or if you are putting too much pressure on the fondant it will gush out the bottom. Just some things that might help. But remember, it takes patience. It will come with practice. The more you practice the easier it gets. You could do this thirty years and still learn something new.
cabescakes gave excellent advice and the best is "it takes time .... lots of time".
If your icing seems stiff, add more liquid (water or milk, whatever you're using) to thin it down. Really stiff icing sometimes won't stick to the cake. Dont be afraid to alter the recipes. I view them as "simply suggestions!" on how and what to mix together. To "follow a recipe to the T!" doesnt always work due to variations such as altitude, oven performance, humidity factors, etc.
for someone just starting out your cakes look very good. The fondant looks a little thick to me, which could make it heavy. The yellow cake looks a bit rounded on the tops of the cakes ..... how are you trimming them?
When using the dam (and yes, it should be pretty stiff, as cabe says), place it just ever so slightly on the inside of the edge of the cake. This way, when you place the next layer on top and push down, this gives the filling/icing a place to go without bulging over the edge. If the dam does it's job and stays in place, that teeny gap will be filled in nice and easy when you do the crumb coat.
Check out your local library. They may have books and videos on cake decorating. I have found this to be an amazing source without spending a ton of money! Also, I'm not sure where you live but try to get educated beyond Wilton. Wilton is great and probably where most of us started but there is such much more available. I learn something new every time I take a new class. I'm a hobby baker as well and by no means an expert but this has helped me. I was also going to suggest you may want to make sure your cakes are completely cool before frosting and to refridgerate your cakes before putting on your fondant that way they are firm. Also, watch the temperature of your house and outside - humidity and cake decorating are not friends. Keep at it as long as you love it!
I learned so much from youtube too, alot of information about cake construction.