Newcomer, Looking For Some Help, And Ideas.

Decorating By kcthewonderhamster Updated 16 May 2011 , 2:13am by Mamasan

kcthewonderhamster Posted 13 May 2011 , 10:46pm
post #1 of 19

Hello everyone my name is Kc, and my gf likes to bake cakes, however It seems Like I am the one doing all the work and researching. Anyways we have made two cakes so far, both coming out in complete disaster, at least in my eyes, I will post a picture of them, they aren't the best but I think they work for a first and second cake, there is definitely an improvement, I would like to get some questions answered, so that we can resolve the problems we had. I hope someone is willing to read this and help out as it might be long.

Anyways the biggest problem we have been getting is getting the cake perfectly round! Our first cake was made with pretty much no tools that we have now. But it was ovalish and curved, I think the pictures will show it, also our fondant was cracking and looked old, that brings up another question, we used marshmallow fondant, a bag of marshmallows, 3 tsps of water, half a bag of powdered sugar, and we mix it by hand, and it gets very sticky and hard to manipulate, should we use the fondant that has no marshmallows, and uses glycerin and almond extract? what does everyone here use? Maybe it is our recipe we found that makes it that way? Also what is the cure to making the cake perfectly round? We dirty iced it and we had a cake leveler? maybe we are doing it wrong?

Also a giant problem is our pans, we bought springform pans and I was on youtube and heard we shouldn't use them? is this true? Another problem is we bought 12,11,10 inch pans I find that they are huge and we filled the whole 12 inch pan with 5 inches and the middle did not cook, now I beleive the solution to this would be to only do 2 inches and make two cakes same size? But could someone please link me to good size pans to get and possibly a link to the picture/brand, Very confused on what size pans to get.


Basically our biggest problems are finding the right pans to use, method of cooking them, and fondant.

Sorry for long post and I hope someone can send me in the right direction.

Thanks

18 replies
Spuddysmom Posted 13 May 2011 , 11:08pm
post #2 of 19

Your first problem is getting the cake "perfectly round"? Are you trying to make a sphere? If not, I would suggest buying a couple of 8" circular cake pans and practicing with them to get started.
Having trouble working with fondant is not unusual at the beginning. There are several good recipes on this site, go ahead and experiment with a different one if yours results in "elephant skin" wrinkles and cracks.
If you were using a 12" circular pan and filled it really full, it is going to take a long time to cook through.
Hope that helps somewhat.

cabecakes Posted 13 May 2011 , 11:12pm
post #3 of 19

As far as pans, this is what I do. Find you some pans with nice straight sides (you don't want the pan to curve on the bottom). You can also carve the cakes to straighten the sides. When preparing pans simply spray with non-stick spray and line with wax paper. When using larger pans, you may have to use baking strips or a flower nail inserted in the center of the pan. I usually bake at 325 degrees by an oven thermometer (not by what you knob or digital readout on your stove). You will usually have to bake for an extended amount of time. Most larger pans will take upwards of an hour or better depending on the size of the pan. When you insert a skewer in the center and it comes out with a few crumbs attached it is done. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. If your cake is domed, flip back over so the top is up. Sometimes the dome will crack the cake if left flipped on its top. Let it cool completely before trying to put on your crumb coat. As far as your fondant, this is the recipe I use. 1 ten ounce bag of marshmallows, 1 tablespoon of water, 1 tablespoon of flavor/extract, gel icing colors, and 2 pounds of powdered sugar. Melt marshmallows and water in a microwave safe dish for 2 minutes (in 1 minute intervals). Remove from microwave and stir until all marshmallows are completely melted. Add vanilla and icing color. Gradually add in powdered sugar until the fondant resembles a slightly stiff play-doh. Let rest overnight before using. Humidity greatly effects the texture of your fondant. You may need to add more powdered sugar if it is to moist and shortening if it is too dry. Hope these tips help.

Chonte Posted 13 May 2011 , 11:20pm
post #4 of 19

hello and welcome!! now im not a professional but id like to offer you my advice. when i started i bought standard wilton pans heres a link to a set
http://www.wilton.com/store/site/product.cfm?id=3E314F48-475A-BAC0-5295208D75273244&killnav=1

i have never used a spring for pan for anything other then cheesecake. they are alot deeper then regular pans which is probably why you ended up with an uncooked center. if you are going to use then then i agree you should not fill them so much. and average layer of cake is 2 inches
now on to fondant, marshmallow fondant is fine to use, i think yours just may be to dry, try adding in the powdered sugar a little at a time instead of all at once, sometimes you will need more, sometimes less, a trick to coloring it is to add the color to the marshmallows before you add the sugar.
now i think that using different cake pans will help the shape of your cake.
i hope i could be of some help!!

kcthewonderhamster Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:27am
post #5 of 19

@spuddy's mom

Thanks and no I am not trying to make them into a sphere, I am trying to make them circular, like all cakes. but they all turn out like a sphere.

@cabecakes

I will definitely check out your blog,I myself am a web designer and own a few sites, soon to make a cake blog to talk about cakes and stuff. Anyways back on topic, the recipe you use sounds similar to mine except for the teaspoon of flavor/extract, and also when we do it we immediately poor 2 cups of sugar in the bowl, maybe that could be the problem. Thanks for the information it definitely helps!

@Chonte

Thanks for the link! That is exactly what I was looking for! My local cooking store has those same pans, I was just debating on getting them or not! I think Ive made my decision. And the sugar thing definitely could be the problem, we usually poor 2 cups in immediately followed by another 2 cups. We usually do not use any coloring, we keep it white, and then we rip pieces and knead color into it as needed, although it does get very difficult. Is icing color better than food coloring? cause we use food coloring.



Thanks everyone for the help, also another question we find the fondant very very sticky, We knead it on the table and roll it out with sugar, but it always sticks to the table and ruins the cake. What do you guys use for the surface? Should I tape wax paper and use that?

Thanks guys very helpful

cheatize Posted 14 May 2011 , 1:55am
post #6 of 19

If your cakes are round when they come out of the pan, but oval after icing them, it's a problem with the way you're icing them.

cakemamaof3 Posted 14 May 2011 , 2:36am
post #7 of 19

Wilton has a cut and roll mat for fondant and gumpaste, you can find it at any Michael's or Joann's stores, in fact both stores are in the process of overhauling their products and Wilton has a ton of new fondant toys. Yeah!! I was taught to roll out fondant or gumpaste with a coating of crisco on the mat but I have seen others use powdered sugar just fine as well, so that's your choice try both and see how you like it. Oh, and the roller you use needs to be one that is smooth (no wood grain) Wilton has one or you can use a marble one. Hope this helps

Sugarflowers Posted 14 May 2011 , 3:01am
post #8 of 19

I'm guessing, when you say your cakes are oval you mean they have a hump in the center. This is caused by the sides of the pachecking the batter faster. It will explain short sides and tall centers. Your oven may be too hot, springform pans have very thin sides so they won't insulate the batter from the heat. I love the bake even strips to bake my cakes. The crusts are beautiful and I don't have to level them. The strips are somewhat expensive, but will last for years and are well worth it.

As for using fondant I suggest that you learn with commercial fondant before trying to make your own. You need to know how it looks and feels. The Wilton brand is great for practice. It should be avoided for actual consumption. When you open it you will know why. icon_smile.gif

HTH
Michele

kcthewonderhamster Posted 14 May 2011 , 4:10am
post #9 of 19

@cakemomaof3

Thanks for the advice, and yes we where using a wooden rolling pin so I am guessing that was one of the problems. I will definitely invest in a wilton roller.

@sugarflowers
hmm bake even strips? never heard of them could you link me to the product so I could get a description/picture. I wil lalso make sure to chuck my springform pans out and invest in better ones. Is the fondant bad tasting from wilton? or good?

ChRiStY_71 Posted 14 May 2011 , 4:56am
post #10 of 19

Good luck and happy baking! Hold on to those springform pans for cheesecakes and icecream cakes! icon_smile.gif There are tons of youtube tutorials available online and plenty of instructional videos for sale. My favorite videos would have to be Sharon Zambito's ... sugaredproductions.com.

CutieMcCakes Posted 14 May 2011 , 5:06pm
post #11 of 19

globalsugarart.com has a great selection of everything from pans (i like fat daddios) to tools to colors to glitter! I buy a lot of supplies from there, but I know of other decorators that use bakerycraft.com for various things. GSA also has the baking strips... and wilton sells them as well.
HTH

cakemamaof3 Posted 14 May 2011 , 9:32pm
post #12 of 19

Oh, and if you're going to be buying products at Michael's or Joann's don't forget to sign up for their emails. They give either 40% or 50% coupons, I don't think I have bought ANY of my supplies for full price. And when you're just starting out it helps out greatly, especially if you have little ones like I do.

cheatize Posted 14 May 2011 , 9:41pm
post #13 of 19

I have rolled fondant with a wood rolling pin many times and never had a problem. The only reason I used the Wilton silicone one is because it's longer.

soledad Posted 15 May 2011 , 2:32am
post #14 of 19

kcthewonderhamster... I was also kind of lost in the beginning but I found CC and some other very helpful links! icon_biggrin.gif I hope they can also help you! thumbs_up.gif

http://sugarteachers.blogspot.com/

http://www.thetwistedsifter.com/video-makingfondant.php

http://www.baking911.com/cakes/101.htm

http://www.cakejournal.com/

http://cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-654803.html

http://www.how2cakes.com/index.html

http://www.rolledfondant.com/how.htm

http://cakeoricandothat.blogspot.com/2010/04/i-heart-cricut.html

http://cakesdusoleil.blogspot.com/p/art-nouveau-jeweled-floral-topper-beach.html

http://www.joepastry.com/page/5/?blog=1&page=1

I could go on but if you need more, you can also go to you tube and just put in the search area example: icing a cake...or... making marshmallow fondant...or how do you level a cake ... in this way lots of videos will come up! But always remember there is nothing like CC People are so generous with their knowledge and so willing to help!

Oh! buy new pans but start with the eight in. is not so big and it is not small. I always bake at 325 and check after 40 min. to see if it is done. One minute after I take it out of the oven I press it gently down with a clean cheese cloth and on top of the cloth I put a cake board the same size as the pan so the preasure is allaround even. This way I never have to cut to level the cake icon_biggrin.gif
Good Luck!!! thumbs_up.gif
CIA thumbs_up.gif O

Mamasan Posted 15 May 2011 , 5:38am
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by cabecakes

As far as pans, this is what I do. Find you some pans with nice straight sides (you don't want the pan to curve on the bottom). You can also carve the cakes to straighten the sides. When preparing pans simply spray with non-stick spray and line with wax paper. When using larger pans, you may have to use baking strips or a flower nail inserted in the center of the pan. I usually bake at 325 degrees by an oven thermometer (not by what you knob or digital readout on your stove). You will usually have to bake for an extended amount of time. Most larger pans will take upwards of an hour or better depending on the size of the pan. When you insert a skewer in the center and it comes out with a few crumbs attached it is done. Leave in the pan for 10 minutes before turning out onto a cooling rack. If your cake is domed, flip back over so the top is up. Sometimes the dome will crack the cake if left flipped on its top. Let it cool completely before trying to put on your crumb coat. As far as your fondant, this is the recipe I use. 1 ten ounce bag of marshmallows, 1 tablespoon of water, 1 tablespoon of flavor/extract, gel icing colors, and 2 pounds of powdered sugar. Melt marshmallows and water in a microwave safe dish for 2 minutes (in 1 minute intervals). Remove from microwave and stir until all marshmallows are completely melted. Add vanilla and icing color. Gradually add in powdered sugar until the fondant resembles a slightly stiff play-doh. Let rest overnight before using. Humidity greatly effects the texture of your fondant. You may need to add more powdered sugar if it is to moist and shortening if it is too dry. Hope these tips help.




I think cabecakes meant PARCHMENT PAPER, not wax paper. icon_biggrin.gif

soledad Posted 15 May 2011 , 5:59am
post #16 of 19

Mamasan... I use deli paper, the ones that is use at the bakeries. So far so good never had any problen. When the pans are larger I put 2 deli paper, of couse I cut it to size.

Ciao

Sugarflowers Posted 15 May 2011 , 6:05pm
post #17 of 19

Waxed paper works great. I used it for many years before I knew about parchment paper. My mom used it too. That's where I learned about it.

M

bakingkat Posted 15 May 2011 , 6:30pm
post #18 of 19

Jennifer Dontz swears by putting wax paper in her pans, though she covers the whole pan in it, not just the bottom. I've never tried it because it seems like a lot of wasted money in wax paper, but hey, whatever works for you!

Mamasan Posted 16 May 2011 , 2:13am
post #19 of 19

Hmmmm, who knew? I guess you really do learn something new everyday! I will try this, thanks everyone icon_biggrin.gif

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