I'm new here. I have always loved baking since I was a kid but just now decided to really try my hand at cake decorating... I have a few questions...
1. When making a tiered cake, each tier has to have a cake board underneath right? So do you have to have a center dowel through all of the tiers once you are finished? And how do you drive that through the cakeboards?
2. After I bake my cakes, I know that they need to cool before decorating..
What is the best way? Just out in the open kitchen, covered in the kitchen? On a wire rack? Does the refrigerator work?
3. How long does MMF keep in the fridge for? I have an infant and if I need to make a cake (I want to make one for husb.'s birthday) I'll have to make things in increments.
4. How long does buttercream keep in the fridge for?
5. What is the best way to make things in increments? And how early can I start? Any advice would be AMAZING!
1.Each tier needs to sit on its own board. Each tier (except the top) has at least four dowels in it to support the tier above. To drive the center dowel through, sharpen the end of it with a pencil sharpener that's never been used for pencils, then push or gently hammer the dowel through and into the bottom board. You only need a center dowel if you're going to be driving somewhere with the cake, usually, or moving it around a lot after it's assembled.
2.On a wire rack uncovered for a couple of hours. The fridge will dry out cakes. After the cake is cool, wrap it in plastic wrap. Leave it out if you're going to use it the next day, otherwise stick it in the freezer until you need it. Most cake layers take about an hour to thaw. Always thaw before decorating.
3.MMF keeps on the countertop for at least a week, in the fridge for two weeks at least, and in the freezer pretty much indefinitely.
4.Buttercream will depend on your recipe but usually keeps a long time. The sugar in it acts as a preservative for the small amount of milk in most recipes. I use Indydebi's recipe and it can sit out on the countertop for a week with no problems at all, or go in the freezer for a couple months if it needs to. If you're using a meringue buttercream, I don't know how long those keep.
5.Bake the cakes as early as you'd like, then freeze them. Make the MMF a couple days before you need it...it actually has to sit at least overnight. You can make fondant decorations ahead of time and dry them...they need to be protected from moisture, light and heat, but don't put them in an airtight container until they're competely dry. Any decorations you make that way may get too hard to be eaten, but some decorations like loopy bows or gumpaste shoes have to be dried rock hard to keep their shape. Make the buttercream right before you're going to use it, the consistency is usually best that way.
1. Yes a center dowel through all the cakes is preferred, unless it's a smaller tiered cake that you aren't planning to move once stacked.
2. I always cool my cakes on wire racks in the coolest place in the house (but not in the fridge).
3. I don't work with mmf so can't say how long it keeps for, I use fondant and I keep it well wrapped in an air tight container at room temp, and it has kept for several months.
4. I think it would vary with the type of buttercream you use, but you can also freeze it for longer storage.
5. For me I would make the things that would keep longer first. So I would make the fondant before I would make the cake. But everyones different, you just have to figure out what works best for you.
Good luck and have fun