So I have to make a custard filled baby shower cake in 2 weeks, and as I've never used custard filling I decided to do a practice cake. Good thing I did, because the whole thing just slid apart on me. Even as I was applying the crumb coat, it was starting to leak out of my dam of icing. I tried to patch it up and stuck in in the fridge to firm it up before I applied my final layer of buttercream. As I wasn't at home, I didn't have a lot of time to keep it chilled before I had to drive it home. I know chilling it longer would have helped, but I'm totally afraid of the upcoming cake order now!
Please share any all tips and lessons learned so I can try do another practice one before my order is due.
You didn't mention what type of custard, but if it is scratch, you can increase the thickener by 25-30%. Also, make sure that you do all of the steps to insure a proper custard... simmer milk, let egg mixture get to above 160 with the big burps and waiting one more minute. You can also make a thicker custard by using a hand mixer while cooking.
Another thing I do is to place a big straw down the middle to help keep it from slipping.
Make sure your dam is strong, thick, and free of holes.
Also, how much filling are you using? I'm not sure what the recommended amount is per layer, but I wouldn't add more than one cup worth (maybe even less). I recently made a cake filled w/lemon curd and made about a 3/4 inch wide dam. After stacking and filling all the layers I put my cake rack on top of the cake to kind of weigh it down for about 20 mins because I too was afraid the stuff would blow out the sides. It was fine so I continued to crumb coat. Good luck.
You can torte the cake and use more layers with less filling each - and don't forget the icing dams,
It was fine so I continued to crumb coat. Good luck.
Bake an extra layer, cut out the centre of that layer, so that you are lefft with a ring of cake, Thin layer first to adhere the layer, add the layer and fill to the bri with THICK custard, put last layer on top. That way, you know, the filling cannot leak out and the crumb coat will stick without blowouts
Thanks everyone! Good tips! And I totally cheated and used pre-made custard. I know, I know... I am usually a scratch baker, but I have no experience with custard so I just bought it. And in hindsight, I used wayyyy too much!!
Using a cake ring rather than an icing dam is a good idea! I think I'll do 1 more practice cake, dowel it with straws and use less filling and if that fails, try the cake ring.
Just for laughs, here's a picture of my caketastrophe. LOL
Hope the picture loads..
Definately try the cake ring, the ready made custard filling looks way too soft. In this case I would also adhere the cake ring with frosting, not custard, thin layer only, just to make the cake ring stick to the other layers to create a cake damm, instead of icing dam. The cake ring will be a much stabler dam than anything else, hopefully soaking up the extra custard, before it can get to the outside to break down the icing
I do exactly what Ursula suggested for my Boston Cream Pie, but my custard is the consistency of stiff mashed potatoes and can stay in place.
With your recipe, a trifle would be a better plan if you really like the taste. The custard is just too thin.
I never use a frosting dam and I never have any leakage. I level my layers and then cut a circle about 1/8" - 1/4" in from the outside edge. I use a very small spatula and lift out about 1/4" of cake from inside the circle. I fill this with filling/frosting and put the layers together. This way, there's a small cake dam to keep it from bulging or leaking, and plenty of filling between the layers. Then I crumb coat and finish as usual.
I always thinly frost each layer-super thin-and then pipe a dam of frosting that has extra powdered sugar incorporated. Also, I have used 1/3" (approx) thick fondant ropes for the dam also. Then it's okay to fill to just at the top of the dam not over at all. Like it or not the fondant does keep the layer from getting that "spare tire" look.
Thanks again everyone - just in case anyone was wondering, my second attempt was a success!! No leakage, no slip-sliding layers - just perfect! I ended up following Jgifford's advice and dug a little hole in my layers - it saved me making extra cake and was so easy!
Here is the finished product - thanks again, my baby shower cake should be no problem now!!
I'm glad it worked for you - - your "practice" cake is beautiful.