When Do You Scrap It And Start Over?

Decorating By augurey Updated 30 May 2011 , 4:27pm by cakification

augurey Posted 28 May 2011 , 8:55pm
post #1 of 16

I try to bake my cakes the night before I want to decorate. So, I bake the cake last night only to have totally botched the batter amounts in each of the pans and ended up with basically Matzo cakes.

That was fine, it happens. So I baked new ones this morning. One was fine, and when I cut the dome off the other, there was a ball of not totally baked batter (I did a toothpick, only a small amount came out, so I left it in a bit longer, but was afraid to keep it in too much longer for fear of the rest being totally overbaked and, being a bit dim, I didn't do one more toothpick test).

Thankfully it was just a small amount, I was able to take it out and still had something I could use.

Baking is usually the easy part for me, but last night/today, it's just not been in my favor (which I know was me being totally dim). Anyhow, so I used a new frosting recipe a co-worker gave me.

I wasn't totally sure what to expect as far as what it should look like, etc. It was more of a fluffy/creamy frosting. Tastes great -- though I didn't realize it was a non-crusting frosting -- which is okay. I did some research on how to smooth a cake w/ a non-crusting frosting, and I just couldn't get anything to work.

And, amateurishly, I decided to make one of the recipes that I know is a crusting frosting to coat on top so it'd crust and I could smooth. icon_confused.gif

Yeah, that didn't work. It just ended up mixing a lot with the other, and I feel like I kind of have a mess right now. I'm just kind of done with it right now as me fiddling with it anymore is just going to make it worse.


This isn't for anything huge. It's a belated Mother's Day cake for my mom -- but I still want it to be nice. But what I have right now is a huge mess.

So, I guess my point is, when do you just work with what you have and make the best of it and take is a disaster cake & learn from it (which I know my mom will still appreciate no matter what) or scrap it and start over?

I'm just doing box mixes right now as I'm just trying to master frosting recipes, smoothing cakes and some basic decorating -- so I'm not out tons of money, but it's still going to add up (other ingredients to put in it, frosting ingredients, etc). I'd say at this point if I tossed it, I'd probably throwing away $20 + whatever a new one costs to make.

15 replies
KakeMistress Posted 28 May 2011 , 9:10pm
post #2 of 16

scrape off the non crusting frosting, use the frosting recipe you are used to and use the cake that you already baked. I have had to re ice a cake 3 times because nothing was working for me LOL... dont give up

cakegirl1973 Posted 28 May 2011 , 9:15pm
post #3 of 16

I think it depends on the occasion--who is it for and would they appreciate that you are still learning. It sounds like your mom would appreciate the fact that you made this for her, that you spent a lot of time on it, and that you tried a new recipe. I would also say that, since you said it tastes good, that is more important that it looking "perfect." So, if I were you, I wouldn't start over.

Kiddiekakes Posted 28 May 2011 , 9:23pm
post #4 of 16

I never...never bake the day of as the cakes always seem to work better and co-operate better when they have had a full day or longer to chill in the fridge and many times you need to stack and such a few days before to let it settle and prevent bulging.somewhat like a hairdresser kinda liking dirty hair when a brides comes in on her wedding day...Better to work with than clean shiny hair...

Then one time I did bake and decorate the same day...The cake was too soft and crumbled...

sweetsirten Posted 28 May 2011 , 9:45pm
post #5 of 16

I had a similar incident a couple weeks ago! I accidentally made my frosting way too thin (i was on the phone, dumb), and I didn't have any more sugar to add to thicken it. I tried and tried to make that frosting work, and it just wouldn't! So, that cake turned into a 'rustic' buttercream look, lol. You can see it in my photos - its the yellow one with daisies on top. Always remember, it's just cake!

costumeczar Posted 28 May 2011 , 10:44pm
post #6 of 16

You can mix the two icings if you want to cut downon the sweetness of the confectioner's sugar icing a little. But not while they're both on the cake icon_rolleyes.gif

I had one tier of a wedding cake yesterday that DID NOT want to be iced. I worked on it for about twenty minutes and it wouldn't keep the angle of the icing (it was a hexagon), it wouldn't smooth out, nothing. So I scraped the entire thing bare and started over. It's been really hot this week and I think the icing was just not liking the extra humidity or something.

tokazodo Posted 28 May 2011 , 11:02pm
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

You can mix the two icings if you want to cut downon the sweetness of the confectioner's sugar icing a little. But not while they're both on the cake icon_rolleyes.gif

I had one tier of a wedding cake yesterday that DID NOT want to be iced. I worked on it for about twenty minutes and it wouldn't keep the angle of the icing (it was a hexagon), it wouldn't smooth out, nothing. So I scraped the entire thing bare and started over. It's been really hot this week and I think the icing was just not liking the extra humidity or something.




Not gloating, but I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one having issues in the heat and humidity. Especially someone who makes as awesome cakes as you do.
I thought it was just me, and DARN! It is frustrating, isn't it?!

costumeczar Posted 29 May 2011 , 2:03am
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by tokazodo

Quote:
Originally Posted by costumeczar

You can mix the two icings if you want to cut downon the sweetness of the confectioner's sugar icing a little. But not while they're both on the cake icon_rolleyes.gif

I had one tier of a wedding cake yesterday that DID NOT want to be iced. I worked on it for about twenty minutes and it wouldn't keep the angle of the icing (it was a hexagon), it wouldn't smooth out, nothing. So I scraped the entire thing bare and started over. It's been really hot this week and I think the icing was just not liking the extra humidity or something.



Not gloating, but I am so glad to hear that I am not the only one having issues in the heat and humidity. Especially someone who makes as awesome cakes as you do.
I thought it was just me, and DARN! It is frustrating, isn't it?!




Why, Thank you! And yes, I'm kind of glad to hear I'm not the only one too. I hate hot weather.

augurey Posted 30 May 2011 , 12:40pm
post #9 of 16

Kiddiekakes, I tend to prefer to bake the night before because decorating a simple cake takes me several hours (maybe that's the norm, but I'm also still pretty slow). Maybe I do need to bake an extra night in advance in case I do run into these sorts of things. The cake that I baked the night before (that was really flat), was very easy to handle. Much more than the one I baked in the morning. I'm still trying to understand and research cake bulge. I have a feeling that's what's happening to my finished product.


Thanks for the suggestions on the scrapping off the icing off the cake. Yes, I realize that was probably the most *obvious* thing. I did consider it, but I guess I'm still in the mind frame that cakes are very delicate (well, they still are, but they're more sturdy than I give them credit for). I was afraid that if I scrapped the icing off, the cake would just fall apart (with the way my luck had been going, I wouldn't have been surprised). So I guess that's more of my reasoning for trying to add the layer of crusting frosting.


I did scrap off the icing, and once I got the icing off, I felt like my cake looked SO much better. In fact, the way I had it, my boyfriend walked into the house, looked at the cake and said "What happened to the cake?" with a horrified expression lol

The icing I used -- I absolutely loved the flavor of it (though I did do two things differently -- different flavor extract & then to try to get it more fluffy/thick, added confectioner's sugar). In fact it was still between the two layers of cake; my mom said she loved the icing. I honestly am not sure if I really even made it correctly. My coworker gave me the recipe. I'm going to ask her more about the icing (and where I went wrong because I feel that the icing wasn't made right to get the correct consistency) because I would really love to give it another try.

But again, thanks for the information. I think I have learned a lot with this cake .

LindaF144a Posted 30 May 2011 , 1:00pm
post #10 of 16

Out of curiosity, what is the recipe your co worker gave you.

One of things I learned about caking is there is no such thing as a do over. But I did do it once, kind of. I made my Wilton cake (the black and white one in my favorites). Only the cake there is not the original cake. I didn't like how the scrolls were turning out. So I made a kept the bow and the board covered in fondant and made a new cake. That is when I realized there are no do overs so I had better learn to get it right the first time. Or at the very least practice on a piece of parchment paper or something else first.

That won't help you with frosting disaster though. And everybody else is right. It is getting humid up here. The frosting does not like it. It is taking longer for my SMBC to come out of the soup stage.

augurey Posted 30 May 2011 , 2:28pm
post #11 of 16

^^I'm wondering if that's my problem. From what is sounds like, mine had to go through a soupy stage, but I never got it out of that...? At least that's only something I can guess because I really have no idea, but it sounds like it maybe similar to the SMBC you are talking about (well, maybe that's exactly what it is! Not sure as I've not really heard much about it).

You put egg whites and granulated sugar in a double boiler. Whisk until until warm. Place in mixing bowl, let sit until cool to touch. Mix and add in chunks of butter (and/or shortening depending on how much butter/butter flavor you want) & vanilla extract (or whatever flavor).

My coworker said it comes out really fluffy, but mine was very creamy -- this is why I'm thinking I didn't do it correctly and has me thinking that it may be similar to the SMBC you're talking about because this stuff is quite soupy in the beginning. So maybe I didn't let it beat long enough?

LindaF144a Posted 30 May 2011 , 3:13pm
post #12 of 16

It is SMBC, only you do not let it sit after you mix the egg whites and sugar till warm. Actually you should mix it until at least the sugar dissolves ( you feel no graininess between your fingers). But the best thing is to get a candy thermometer and heat it to 165 degrees while constantly whisking. This pasteurizes the eggs. Any level lower than is up to your own risk.

After it reaches that temp, you put it in your stand mixer bowl and whip it on high until stiff peaks form and it cools down. From there you can use the directions your friend gave you. If you don't mix it while it cools you are not getting a meringue and you will get soup and or very creamy frosting that will not cooperate for you.

HTH

augurey Posted 30 May 2011 , 3:34pm
post #13 of 16

Thanks so much for that! I'm heading out in about an hour, actually, to go look and see what some stores have that will be useful, and I'll definitely look into getting a candy thermometer while I'm out.

Yeah, what I made, you could still feel some of the sugar grains when you'd eat it. It wasn't major, but I could still tell here and there.

I plan on trying this recipe again on either Tuesday or Wednesday.

SammieB Posted 30 May 2011 , 4:14pm
post #14 of 16

The humidity has been a real pain for me too! I had actually posted a few days ago asking for suggestions to deal with it, but didn't get any responses. I guess that means the answer is just deal. icon_smile.gif I may be getting a dehumidifier before too long. It's like every icing or filling I'm dealing with is ending up greasy, creamy, or soupy. It's a real pain.

cakification Posted 30 May 2011 , 4:27pm
post #15 of 16

I wouldn't toss the cake at all, especially since it's not for a big occasion, and its not a paid cake. I would scrap off as much icing as possible and do a rosette cake. That will cover up and flaws that might show through with your cake being uneven or anything underneath the icing, and its a gorgeous design, your mom will love it. Plus you wont have to worry about smoothing your icing ect... Give it a try!

cakification Posted 30 May 2011 , 4:27pm
post #16 of 16

I wouldn't toss the cake at all, especially since it's not for a big occasion, and its not a paid cake. I would scrap off as much icing as possible and do a rosette cake. That will cover up and flaws that might show through with your cake being uneven or anything underneath the icing, and its a gorgeous design, your mom will love it. Plus you wont have to worry about smoothing your icing ect... Give it a try!

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