I've been searching the forums for a few days now trying to piece together answers to all of my questions, and I'm finally just giving in and am going to bug all of you awesome people who have much more experience than me.
My brother's wedding is Saturday. I agreed to make a small-ish cake for he and his bride to cut. They are serving cupcakes to the guests, so the cake, I assume, will just be for them to keep with tradition of cutting a cake and will probably go to the bridal party and maybe family. So I'm not worried about servings or any of that.
I planned on making two 8-inch layers with two 6-inch layers on top. Covering each layer in ganache with a lime green fondant on top.
Questions I have are these:
1. I remember reading somewhere on these forums last year about baking cakes, and wrapping them in plastic wrap right out of the oven and sticking them in the freezer. I can't remember if the purpose of that was solely to make them nice and dense and moist or if it was just to ease in carving. I won't be carving any cake this time, but I do want to ensure it's dense enough to not be squished by the fondant. Should I do this?
2. If I DO freeze them like this, how long do they need to thaw before I can cover in ganache and the fondant? Do they need to be room temp?
3. I want to be entirely sure that I will have enough fondant to cover both layers. I have used Rhonda's Ultimate MMF recipe a few times, but I am not sure it will make enough in one batch to cover both cakes without making it too thin. Because this is going to be a special color I'm trying to achieve (probably using Wilton's lemon yellow and leaf green), I don't know if I trust making two separate batches. Has anyone ever doubled that recipe successfully?
(Note: I usually mix my colors in before adding the powdered sugar, so it's easier and more uniform. If I made two batches and had to combine them, how hard would it be to mix the batches together before the color was uniform?)
4. I planned on using cardboard separators the same size at the 6" layer between that and the 8" layer and hoping to find some bubble tea straws as my stabilizers. Is there anything I should know about using cardboard separators? Do I need to cut a layer of wax or parchment paper or anything between the cardboard and cake?
5. If I don't freeze the cakes, can I put everything together on Friday without any of it going bad/hard/drooping, etc. before Saturday?
6. Finally, it is insanely hot and humid here right now (in Michigan). I have someone who is going to transport me and the cake to the reception hall in an air conditioned vehicle (my car doesn't have air). Do you think there will be any issues with humidity or condensation from going from central air conditioning, a 30 second walk to the car, a 5 - 10 minute drive to the reception place, a walk in the heat to the cool indoors? I'm just concerned about the fondant being subjected to short bursts of heat/humidity then back in the cold.
Sorry for the length - Thanks in advance for ANY help!
I'll answer what I can
1. I use a WASC. I don't wrap it while it's warm, some people do to add moisture (Mine is too moist when I do that...it all depends on your recipe)
2. If you do freeze them, bring them to room temperature before you start to work with them.
3. I would make 1 1/2 batches if you're nervous about it.
4. I like to wrap my cardboard with something ( foil, fanci foil, press-n-seal), but now everyone does. A liberal dusting of powdered sugar on the bottom layer will keep the top layer from sticking to it it your concerned about it (I don't and I don't have any issues)
5.You can do everything on Friday and it will be great on Saturday.
6. i live in Houston...I get it. Keep the cake at room temp after it's done and you will probably be fine. If you do get some condensation...DO NOT MESS WITH IT!!!! The condensation will dry on it's own and leave no evidence as long as you fight the urge to try and wipe it off. Just in case, avoid anything like black writing, that may bleed if you have a condensation issue.
Hi, I am by no means well experienced in cakes so all I can tell you is what I do.
1. I either freeze my cakes if I've made them in advance and they'll go stale, or after I let them cool for a bit I put them in the freezer to make them hard enough to ice. I don't know about freezing them so they are dense enough to stack, my usual scratch sponge recipe is dense enough anyway...
2. I froze my most recent cake already filled and covered, so when I took it out I had to leave it a few hours before covering in fondant. If its not completely defrosted I think it would probably a) sweat, and your fondant would get all gooey and need to dry out before you can do anything with it, which in high humidity would take a long time, if at all.
3. I've doubled up fondant recipes plenty of times, I once made rhondas chocolate mmf,and ended up having to do a second batch and then that was a different colour just from the cocoa powder so if I were you I'd either try and make sure you make enough in one go, or make your second batch and then mix it with the first so if the shades are different they will blend together. I guess you probably could match them using colouring after but I think it might behard to get the right shade..
4. i've used boards in-between cakes 3 times and each time I have used a cardboard cutout covered in tin foil, I don't know the general consensus on this but I prefer to do it like that
5. make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get the cake finished and fix any problems you may encounter!
As for heat and humidity I'm afraid I can't help at all as I don't really have that problem in sunny England lol compared to some people in america, and if it does feel warm in my kitchen while I'm doing cakes I put my fan on.
I tried to write hope I helped a little, smiley face and good luck on the end of my post, but it wouldnt let me do anything (stupid phone)
Thank you both SO much! I've done a couple of mmf-covered cakes in the middle of summer before, but it's just so hot here now with this heat wave, it makes me leery. I think I'm over-thinking it a bit and stressing because I don't want to let them down, but really they weren't going to have a cake at all until we talked about it. SO, I don't think anything will go too wrong, but if it does, I don't think they'll hate me forever.
The thing that's really my first go in all of this is the stacking. I've never stacked a cake before, but since they are relatively small diameter layers, and it's only the two tiers, I'm hoping it won't be too big of a deal.
Should I transport them to the reception site unstacked and just finish it off there? That was my original plan. Not going to be any really fancy finishing touches or anything.
I've seen a lot of people on here say that if they are transporting a tiered cake they stack the bottom 2 to travel then add the rest when they get there. It's really up to you, if it was me I'd probably rather stack there if it were important but that's just me being a bit of a wimp are you attaching something around the bottom of The top tier as a border so you can't see the join? If its just ribbon it would be easy enough to apply there just take something to stick it together with, if it was fondant I suppose if you pre cut it and took a bit of water and a paintbrush you could stick it on there.
I think as long as you've got plenty of dowels/support straw thingys in to support the top cake you should be ok as there won't be too much pressure on the bottom cake...
Jennifer, that sponge cake sound good, can you share the recipe?
Jennifer, yep, I'm just doing a ribbon. So that will be easy enough. And since it's going to only be two tiers, I think I'm just going to take each tier in a separate box and stack it there. I'm a wimp, too, lol.
I did end up getting some Wilton plastic tube like dowels (which are probably the same size as bubble tea straws) since I read a couple posts where people said the wooden ones kind of leave that popsicle stick/tongue depressor taste in the cake sometimes. Saved me a side trip to another store.
Thanks again to you and bakerliz for the help/advice! I think I was just getting a little anxious.
Rosa, the recipe I use is just a simple sponge cake, 8oz/225g caster sugar/granulated sugar, creamed together with 8oz/225g butter or magazine, then add 1 egg per 2oz so 4 or 3 if they are pretty large, about a teaspoon of vanilla extract and then fold in 8oz/225g self raising/cake flour. For me its sturdy enough to stack, although i have only done a couple of 2 tier cakes and nothing more so it might just be that I haven't had chance for it to go wrong yet! It is a much sturdier than the chocolate version and my egg free cake recipe!
Jamsie, I know what you mean. When its for something important it sets off the nerves! I've just realised I have 2 cakes due on the Saturday and Sunday of the same weekend one for a christening and one for a big birthday party, talk about pressure! Lol. (i'm only a hobbyist baking cakes for friends and family but these 2 are both for friends family who I don't know). Good luck with your cake, don't forget to post a pic! Lol