Hello! Baking A Carved Cake For The 1St Time & Have ?'s

Decorating By DaDoughboy Updated 10 Jul 2011 , 9:45pm by DaDoughboy

DaDoughboy Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 9:05am
post #1 of 9

Just joined up and I have read a bit, but not too much since I joined as I am somewhat in a hurry and wanted to ask these questions asap.

My idea is to make a cake shaped like a whole 2 chambered shelled peanut for this girl who has a peanut allergy. She has an awesome sense of humor and would love the joke.

I have done other cakes as well as other desserts as well and I am quite good, but I have never done a carved cake before and never used fondant before.

Most cakes I make are too light and moist to carve and I completely screwed this pound cake I tried. Bubbled up in center. Read that can happen with too high an oven temp.

I went with the one directed from my recipe, but maybe baking it in a 9x13 square pan is where I went wrong, as I never saw directions for a pound cake in any other type of pan besides a loaf or bundt.
I haven't been happy with my buttercreams so far either, but maybe its just too hot in my kitchen to make them.

Her birthday is actually today, but she is out of town for it so I was gonna have it as a belated gift when she got back. I believe the soonest I may see her after she gets back is Monday, so I would like to have it done by then.
If not she will have to wait longer because I wont give her crap.

Here are a few questions I have for yall:

First I plan on making this wasc recipe here:
http://cakecentral.com/recipes/2322/white-almond-sour-cream-cake-wasc
Since everyone seems to talk about it and all my ideas for the right type of cake to carve thats still sweet and moist have failed, I'm putting my faith in trying this next.

1. Anyone have a favorite brand of boxed white cake? I never have made a boxed cake before, I always do them from scratch.

2. Read its good to let cake cool in pan 10-15 min then flip out and cool till barely warm to room temp then wrap in plastic wrap then place in fridge, is this correct?

3. Baking cake time and temp for 9x13 pan? I don't see directions for this size pan around much.

4. What point should I carve? Cold? Room temp? Frozen? Partially frozen? I have read many varying things and don't know which to go for.

5. Do I need to freeze the cake at all at any point? Or is that just a matter of preference or need?

6. Do I fill cake before carving?

7. Is it ok to use a dessert syrup to brush on cake layers before carving?

8. After carving do I let it set in fridge before wrapping in fondant?

9. After wrapped in fondant can I put in fridge?

10. How long should I let cake sit out if put in fridge before eating?

11. I have brown food coloring (Wilton) and I wanted to make a light brown base for fondant then make indents in it and make a bit darker brown for the little indents.
I don't have an airbrush, but I do have tiny paint
brushes. Is using that Wilton coloring and paint brushes a good idea?

12. I noticed the coloring is thick and more gel like. As for thinning it to paint can I just use water? Some brandy? If its too dark of a brown how can I lighten it?

My idea so for now is to try the wasc (omitting the almond extract because of allergy).

If applicable using a pastry brush after its cooled to dab a bit of brandy flavored dessert syrup on it.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream maybe flavored with a bit of raspberry puree.
Will use a white chocolate fondant colored with brown food coloring.

I know I have a lot of questions. Thanks in advance for any answers I get.

8 replies
suuz0808 Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 11:42am
post #2 of 9

You can make pound cake in any shape or size, but bake it in several layers for larger cakes to prevent a dry result. You'll need to fill the cake anyway, so it saves you time slicing it icon_smile.gif

Don't set the temperature too high!

Don't leave it to cool in the pan for so long, 5 minutes at the most!
Then wrap in plastic foil whil still Luke warm but do not place in fridge as this dries out your cake. Leave it on the counter top for two days before cutting.

Fill before cutting, no fridge or freezer at this point. After cutting ice the cake with buttercream and put in the fridge to harden.

Cover in fondant and smooth with another piece of fondant.
The puree might cause you Swiss bc to curdle, be careful!

I recommend using dust in stead of gel coloring for the indents.

Depending on your filling the cake has to be kept cool, take out of fridge one hour before serving. If not necessary do not put in fridge after covering with fondant.

Good luck and have fun!

bakerliz Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 1:02pm
post #3 of 9

When it comes to the food coloring, Americolor makes a warm brown that might be a good color but Wilton brown is fine, either way, thin them with vodka or clear vanilla extract (it evaporates faster than water) For lighter color, just add more liquid (test it out on a scrap piece of fondant). I don't know how big you want the finished product to be, but you might consider investing in a bigger paintbrush icon_smile.gif

what_a_cake Posted 8 Jul 2011 , 2:56pm
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

1. Anyone have a favorite brand of boxed white cake? I never have made a boxed cake before, I always do them from scratch.


SUGGEST TO USE DUNCAN HINES MOIST DELUXE CLASSIC WHITE CAKE

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

2. Read its good to let cake cool in pan 10-15 min then flip out and cool till barely warm to room temp then wrap in plastic wrap then place in fridge, is this correct?


5 MINUTES

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

3. Baking cake time and temp for 9x13 pan? I don't see directions for this size pan around much.


DEPENDS ON YOUR OVEN AND PANS. WOULD ADVISE START CHECKING AT 40 MINS OVEN 325 F

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

6. Do I fill cake before carving?


DEFINITIVELY FILL BEFORE CARVING!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

4. What point should I carve? Cold? Room temp? Frozen? Partially frozen? I have read many varying things and don't know which to go for.
5. Do I need to freeze the cake at all at any point? Or is that just a matter of preference or need?


I THINK IS EASIER TO CARVE ALMOST FROZEN AND IF CAKE COMES TO ROOM TEMPERATURE PUT IT BACK TO FREEZER

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

7. Is it ok to use a dessert syrup to brush on cake layers before carving?


WOULD DO AFTER CARVING

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

8. After carving do I let it set in fridge before wrapping in fondant?


IT'S CONVENIENT, BUT DEPENDS ON FONDANT YOU'RE USING, SOME BRANDS DO BETTER THAN OTHERS WHEN WORKING OVER A FROZEN PIECE

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

9. After wrapped in fondant can I put in fridge?


NOT NECESSARY UNLESS FILLING IS PERISHABLE

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

10. How long should I let cake sit out if put in fridge before eating?


AGAIN, DEPENDS IF FILLING IS PERISHABLE, YOU CAN LET SIT THE CAKE OVER THE COUNTER

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

11. I have brown food coloring (Wilton) and I wanted to make a light brown base for fondant then make indents in it and make a bit darker brown for the little indents.


I WOULD COLOR THE FONDANT IN LIGHT BROWN (WILTON IS OK) AND APLLY WITH BRUSH ON INDENTS

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

I don't have an airbrush, but I do have tiny paint brushes. Is using that Wilton coloring and paint brushes a good idea?


NO PROBLEM

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaDoughboy

12. I noticed the coloring is thick and more gel like. As for thinning it to paint can I just use water? Some brandy? If its too dark of a brown how can I lighten it?


DILUTE SOME GEL WITH VODKA TO ATTAIN DESIRED COLOR, YOU MAY WANT TO USE A TAD OF BLACK/RED TO MAKE IT DARKER.

I LOVE SWISS MERINGUE, IS GREAT BUT... ARE YOU PLANNING TO USE IT AS FILLING? IF YES, MAKE SURE YOU GET A STIFF CONSISTENCY AND USE ONLY COOKED PUREE TO PREVENT BUTTERCREAM GETTING TOO THIN, CARVING IS A LITTLE TRICKY, EASIER IF YOU HAVE THE RIGHT CAKE TEXTURE OVERALL.

Hope it helps. Good luck! and let us know the results icon_wink.gif

DaDoughboy Posted 9 Jul 2011 , 2:01am
post #5 of 9

Everyone thanks for the answers and tips so far.

Suuz, maybe I haven't looked enough but I have not seen dust used for painting. Is that something that's in the cake decorating section of most stores? Maybe I didn't notice any brown dust type stuff cause I wasn't looking. So you just straight use a paintbrush with dust for the nooks?

As for the fruit puree doing something to the smbc I was going to make it but set aside a tad of of the smbc then add just a tiny bit of the puree to see how it tastes and what happens. As I haven't started the wasc cake yet and still experimenting I can do this just fine. I will start the cake tonight though.

liz, I do not have any vodka, and would prefer to not spend money on some just for something like this (unless I have no choice) I also do not have clear vanilla extract, but the dark stuff as well as brandy being the only other alcohol I would consider. I noticed what a cake mentioned vodka as well. So is water not an option at all? As for the size of the cake, I planned on doing it a certain size, but after some tests and thinking about it and it being my first try I may make it a bit smaller. Maybe a foot and a half for the length at most, 6 inches high at most, not sure about width yet. Maybe 8-9 inches. Will be fine with it being smaller since its such a personal little cake for one person and not meant for a party or anything.

what a cake, I picked up that brand of boxed cake today and will try it later tonight. As for the filling, due to my experimenting, I am not set on anything yet, but I did plan on using the smbc as a filling as well. If this doesn't work maybe some type of coffee filling next. Knowing that this may be my filling how would you answer 9 & 10? Now, you and others said fill before carving, but you also said do the dessert syrup after carving. Considering how I am supposed to put the dessert syrup on the cake directly, I couldn't do it after carving if there is filling on the cake. So, should I skip out on the dessert syrup?

Thanks for all your answers.
Will try the wasc and the smbc tonight.

cheatize Posted 9 Jul 2011 , 3:40am
post #6 of 9

Water is an option, but it will take a lot longer to dry.

Have you considered using a half pan, making 2 half ball, and then just carving a little to get the shape?

DaDoughboy Posted 9 Jul 2011 , 4:15am
post #7 of 9

cheatize, well, since there is no strict time limit (though I would like it done by Monday) extra drying time isn't a big deal. I wondered more about the look it would give more than drying time.

If I had 2 half pans and made 2 balls and then put them together I would still have to do more carving to get it to the shape. I don't get the advantage of using 2 half pans as I would still have to do as much work I think, plus that would just give me more crust which would mean more trimming. Unless I'm thinking of this wrong and not picturing the same thing as you are. Not sure about saving of time or even a better look btwn using a couple half pans and using 1 or 2 13x9 pans. Seems like I would do just as much trimming them to shape, but the 13x9 would give me less crust.

DaDoughboy Posted 9 Jul 2011 , 8:43am
post #8 of 9

Been busy most of the day doing other stuff. Will bake the wasc cake in a bit.
I did do a smbc and it turned out awesome. Time consuming, but worth it. The store was out of raspberries (I was shocked) so I got strawberries, which is ok considering I was just testing this out. I saw on spot I got the smbc from that if I wanted to add a fruit puree it was about 10% puree to 90% smbc. So I made a strawberry puree and cooled it, then I set aside about 1/4 C of the finished smbc and mixed it with a tsp of the puree and tasted it and the texture was perfect. Tasted great too. I put the regular and the tiny test amount with berries in the fridge. I put the test amount with the puree in because I wanna see how it affects the hardness of it all, if at all. I don't think it will, but if it turns out good I still got my smbc base and then I can make a raspberry puree at another time and mix it in and I got 1 aspect of this finished and to my liking.

I have 5 big parts to this and having 1 done if a relief.
5 parts are:
1. Finding the right cake recipe and cooking it correctly
2. Finding the right filling and making it correctly
3. Carving the cake correctly
4. Finding the right fondant recipe and making it correctly
5. Laying, shaping, coloring the fondant correctly to get the look I want

As long as it goes well with being more set in the fridge and adding the raspberry does the same as this strawberry I have the second part done. I haven't tried the fondant yet as when I do that I wanna have the other aspects correct first, but I think that wont be an issue. Same with making it look how I want as long as the Wilton brown gel type coloring looks good. I'm only worried about the right cake recipe and actually being able to carve it correctly. Hopefully by the end of the day I won't have to worry about the proper cake recipe anymore.

DaDoughboy Posted 10 Jul 2011 , 9:45pm
post #9 of 9

Ok, I did the wasc cake as a test and I like it. I like the flavor and after letting it rest I cut one corner I knew I wouldn't need to see how it carved. Seemed to carve ok at least in that corner, but when more resting I'm sure it will be just as easy deeper into the cake. Now, I just gotta make another 2 cakes for the entire thing.

After that I will try the white chocolate fondant recipe. If that's good then I will color it and then go for the carving of the cakes and crumbcoats and all that. Then I will l make a full batch of the fondant while the buttercream outside hardens and smooth it out and all. Then try my hand at properly laying the fondant then making the nooks and look of the peanut.

If the recipes I try are good as well as my skill then I may finish it by the end of tomorrow. May spread it out over another day because the person I wanna give it to as a surprise is at the office on Mondays and Thursdays. If I know I can't finish by Monday then I will wait till Thursday which will be the latest.
Will post various pictures when I am finished.

Went to a wedding reception last night for friends and I saw their cake and they had 2 regular 1 layer sheet cakes with plain icing with a scan of a picture of them on it. They cost 43 each from Meijer. I looked like I know I just started carved cakes but man with enough warning my first try woulda made a better wedding cake than that. Depending on size I may have charged around the same price anyway.

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