I've been doing decorating on a hobby level for the last two years and am getting ready to start selling my work. I have a few questions which I'm sure are common sense to most people but have me really stumped.
1. I'm not a baker so I have to have a recipe for a cake and follow that exactly. I would have no clue how to modify ingredients to achieve different flavors, textures etc. Right now I rely on cake books for recipes and make everything from scratch mostly but wondered if some people do semi-from scratch cakes where they used box mix but add to it? If so what types of changes did you make?
2. The majority of cakes I've made were way too moist to carve into even to trim and crumbled into pieces. I noticed on shows like Cake Boss or Challenge they always seem to use sponge cake. Is this the only option for carved cakes? How do you work with other types of cakes and not have them fall apart?
3. Are there certain types of cakes or fillings that you should just NEVER use on large stacked cakes or carved cakes?
Thank you in advance for your help. Cake decorating is definitely my thing but the science behind the cake itself baffles me, lol.
1. Yes there are doctored cake mix recipes. Check out the recipes section for the "cake mix extender recipe" or the WASC = White Almond Sour Cream cake.
3. With carved cakes I'd used mostly bettercream as a filling, that way I can fill stack and trim with out worrying about losing my icing dam.
I honestly just use Betty Crocker cake mixes for my 3D cakes. I prefer to use a mousse filling as it doesn't shift or slide like gel fillings do. The Cookie Monster cake has several layers of mousse filling. What I do is stack my layer without filling and carve the desired shape. Then I remove the layers and add my butter cream dam and filling. To support my cake I took a wooden dowel, wood screw and washer. I drilled a small hole in the bottom of the dowel. On the bottom of my foiled cake board I poked a hole were the screw needed to be. Through the bottom I add the washer with the screw. Place your wooden dowel on top and tighten. The washer will be hidden under the board. Then I slid each layer over the dowel. So easy to do and no worrying about the support. My helmet cake was also carved out of a Betty Crocker cake mix. I don't add anything just use the mix as is. For now I have not found a scratch cake recipe I like. I prefer my cakes light in texture not dense. Hope this helps. http://cakecentral.com/gallery/2110786