I'm due to make a surprise birthday cake for a friend, and I need some help please...
It's going to be a two tier chocolate cake, covered with pink fondant icing. Last time I made a two tier cake, I put a layer of jam in the middle of each tier, but when it came to covering the cake with icing, the two halves kept moving and sliding, and therefore destroyed the smoothness of the icing. How could I prevent this, as I'd like a layer of chocolate icing in the middle of each tier?
Has anyone got any recipes for a chocolate cake (maybe choc fudge cake) that's light enough to be tasty, but dense enough to hold the top layer please?
I would also like to create shapes to stick to the icing (e.g: hearts, stars etc and a bow around the cake). Would I use fondant or royal icing for this, and how would I stick the shapes to the icing?
When rolling out the fondant icing to cover the cake, last time it kept sticking to the table, and cracking when placed on the cake. How could I prevent this?
Many thanks in advance
Filling; You probably had too much in there. Too much fruit filling will make the cake slide all over the place. Trust me ... learned this one the hard way. When it comes to filling, more is NOT better.
Did you use an icing dam? (A ring of stiff BC around the outer edge of the cake, with the filling inside. The icing dam holds the filling in place.
When I need a good scratch chocolate cake, i use the recipe on the side of the hershey cocoa can.
Making shapes from fondant or from royal icing is really two totally different techniques. Normally the question is "fondant or gumpaste?" or "Buttercream or royal?" Fondant figures would be molded by hand, like playing with play-doh. Royal Icing is piped, like drawing with icing.
I cover my counter space with a little cornstarch when I roll out fondant. Cornstarch is easily removed from the finished cake with just a clean kitchen or paper towel.
I don't think it's your cake, I think it's the dam that holds your filling in place. Are you sure you're using stiff icing for your dam?
Ah, an icing dam... you're both genius's! Thanks!
Yeah, I'm going to create fondant figures, how would you stick them to the iced cake please?
Yeah, cornstarch is a good idea! Any idea how to stop my icing cracking... did I make the fondant too wet or too hard etc?
Thanks once again, I love this forum... it's so active!
The Wilton website has some great tutorials for leveling, filling, and icing cakes, covering cakes with fondant, and stacking cakes. Sometimes newbies forget to ice their cake with butter cream before covering with fondant just a little reminder. http://www.wilton.com/cakes/decorating-cakes/
You mentioned that it will be a two tier cake its very important to support the top tier by placing supports (e.g., dowels) in the bottom tier, and ensuring the top tier is on a cardboard circle the same size (e.g., if the top tier of the cake is 6, it should be on a 6 cardboard circle before being placed on the bottom tier).
Are you making your own fondant, or buying packaged? I really like the recipe on this site from MacsMom: http://cakecentral.com/recipes/7351/marshmallow-fondant-macsmoms-bc-flavored-variation. She explains how to tell when enough powdered sugar has been kneaded in. Its very important to let homemade fondant rest for several hours before using it. There are a number of problems that cause cracking, for newbies it often results from not kneading the fondant until its smooth and pliable right before rolling it out. Its also important to keep your fondant wrapped in plastic wrap and in an airtight bag whenever youre not actively working with it, and work quickly when youre rolling it out/applying it to the cake. Remember to coat your hands with a thin layer of shortening before kneading your fondant. If the fondant seems dry and youre having a hard time softening it up by kneading it, work in a little bit of shortening (approx 1 tsp) at a time. If youre using packaged fondant, and theres any hard crusty parts when you open the package, cut those parts off. While its possible to recover dehydrated fondant by kneading in shortening, no amount of kneading will turn hard crusty fondant back into something usable. Check out Wiltons site for information about covering a cake with fondant. They use shortening to roll it out, but like indydebi I prefer cornstarch.
Adhesive for attaching fondant decorations to a fondant covered cake is easy to make. In a very small container dissolve a pea size amount of fondant in approximately two tablespoons of water (it helps to crumble the fondant into the water and let it start dissolving for a few minutes). Attach the decorations by brushing a small amount of adhesive on the back, and then stick it to the cake like a stamp. You dont need to wet the entire back surface of the decoration this could make a gooey mess. This works great for attaching flat, fairly light items e.g., if you rolled your fondant to approx. 1/8 and used a cookie cutter to cut out hearts and stars, the adhesive would work perfectly. Roll, cut and attach. In other words, you dont need to let the hearts and stars dry before attaching. If you're modeling figures or heavier decorations they can be attached by piping a small amount of butter cream on the back of the item, then stick it to the cake. Royal icing is also great for attaching decorations, but I know you'll have butter cream on hand since you'll need to ice your cake before covering it with fondant.
Not sure what kind of bow youre thinking of, but if you dont want it to be flat as a pancake youll need to add either gumtex or tylose power to your fondant, or use gum paste instead, and give the bow plenty of time to dry. Gum paste and fondant can also be mixed 50/50, it takes a little longer to dry, but gives you more time to work with it. Edna De La Cruz has a great tutorial for making a bow at http://www.facebook.com/video/video.php?v=320188246962
Whew! Hope something in that mass of info is helpful