JamAndButtercream Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 4:41pm
post #1 of

Hi Everyone,

I've been a hobby baker for a few years, and I'm going on a Cake Decoration course in September, but I wanted to ask some questions about types of cake.

I'm based in the UK, and I've always made a "Victoria sponge cake" which has always been moist and tasty. Here's the problem, I know that you had a firmer cake for stacked cakes, and carving, but on every cake recipe I've seen the cake looks like a brick and dry!!!

Is there such a thing as a moist light, tasty cake that is good for carving??
I made a cake last year that was dense and "foam like" and we couldn't eat it, it was horrible.
So what types of cake are good for carving, and tasty and moist at the same time? What cakes are popular? Any responses from UK bakers is great too!
Thanks icon_smile.gif

15 replies
BethG Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 4:52pm
post #2 of

Pound cake is usually the cake for carving and they can be flavored any flavor you like. Also you can use a simple sugar to brush the cakes with that helps keeps the cakes moist. Hope this helps

FromScratchSF Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:01pm
post #3 of

You can carve just about any cake. I use my regular scratch hi-ratio butter cake. Some people prefer mud cakes. Some prefer modified box. It's a matter of preference.

If your cake is on the softer side, just refrigerate or freeze it. When it's cold carves nicely. If it starts to warm back up and you still need to do more carving, just pop it back in the fridge.

JamAndButtercream Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:08pm
post #4 of

Thank you for the replies,

When I "dirty ice" the sponge cakes I make with buttercream, I just use a knife, and it starts to rip the cake apart, I've been watching Buddy from Cake Boss like a hawk, and I've noticed that he doesn't actually touch the cake when he's dirty icing it, he pipes the buttercream on and then just smooths the buttercream out, so that's probably what I'm doing wrong there.

Do you think a sponge cake would stand up to being stacked, like a wedding cake?

carmijok Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:12pm
post #5 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by JamAndButtercream

Thank you for the replies,

When I "dirty ice" the sponge cakes I make with buttercream, I just use a knife, and it starts to rip the cake apart, I've been watching Buddy from like a hawk, and I've noticed that he doesn't actually touch the cake when he's dirty icing it, he pipes the buttercream on and then just smooths the buttercream out, so that's probably what I'm doing wrong there.

Do you think a sponge cake would stand up to being stacked, like a wedding cake?




Your cake is at room temp, right? That's why it rips apart. Freeze it first and then dirty ice it. SO much easier and less mess. I actually learned this when I worked at a bakery and that's how they did it. After doing a dirty ice, pop it back in the fridge to set up and you're good to go start frosting over a firm surface.

JamAndButtercream Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:19pm
post #6 of

Thank you for the tips, I still have a lot to learn! icon_biggrin.gif

BakingIrene Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:23pm
post #7 of

Your victoria sponge is exactly what North American bakers call "firm" or "pound" cake (I am looking at the BBC recipe but I have baked from the Marguerite Patten book several times). For any style of tiers it would need to be supported with dowels. Stacking 3 layers (to about 6" deep) for carving should be OK unless the cakes are more than 12".

Cake to be carved needs to be chilled overnight after stacking with buttercream or ganache (no curd, no jam, no fruit). Then use a good serrated bread knife knife to carve with a light pressure and a sawing motion.

Use softened buttercream for the crumb coat if you have problems with that step. Mix a spoonful of milk into a cup of regular buttercream and you should have no trouble crumb-coating. I use a palette knife, not the cranked type, for spreading all icings.

Then chill the cake again for an hour before icing.

JamAndButtercream Posted 4 Jun 2012 , 5:31pm
post #8 of

Thanks for the tips BakingIrene! thumbs_up.gif

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 3:27am
post #9 of

I was going to suggest pound cake myself, even though I've never done any cake carving, nor frosted over any surface but the cake's natural crust.

I wonder if anybody has come up with a way to spray on a crumb-coat?

Didn't think about freezing the cake before carving, but I can certainly understand the principle involved (and I did the same thing to get "chip steak" for homemade Philadelphia steak sandwiches, before a transplanted Philadelphia family opened a local steak shop that's as authentic as Pat's or Geno's in the Italian Market [I've made the pilgrimage twice; my order is always a "plain steak, with"], which eventually grew into a local chain).

rosech Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 4:05am

RLB's butter cakes. Moist, light, delish. Chill cake before carving.

JamAndButtercream Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 1:09pm

Thank you! thumbs_up.gif

shanter Posted 5 Jun 2012 , 8:42pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosech

RLB's butter cakes. Moist, light, delish. Chill cake before carving.




Ignorant baker here: What/who is RLB?

rosech Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 9:58am
Quote:
Originally Posted by shanter

Quote:
Originally Posted by rosech

RLB's butter cakes. Moist, light, delish. Chill cake before carving.



Ignorant baker here: What/who is RLB?



Rose Levy Beranbaum. You may google her name to find out more.

Evoir Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 10:25am

Jam and Buttercream - as an Aussie who is very familiar with Victoria sponge, I can tell you it is NOT the same as a butter cake.

Look up recipes in the UK for Madeira cake...it's the perfect density and very moist for carved and stacked/tiered cakes. It works well with buttercream and under fondant.

Also try out some mud cake recipes...I use mud cake almost exclusively for my 3D carved cakes. Carve, cover and contour with ganache, then apply fondant. Can't do that with sponge!

JamAndButtercream Posted 6 Jun 2012 , 3:39pm

@Evoir

I made a Butter Madeira cake yesterday, absolutely delicious, moist and firm enough to carve!
I think I've cracked it! icon_biggrin.gifthumbs_up.gif

Evoir Posted 7 Jun 2012 , 8:12am

YAY!!

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