kblickster Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 3:04am
post #1 of

Does anyone else get panicky when taking on a large project? I am doing a large 3D cake and I've been working on it off and on for over 2 weeks.
I've made 2 cakes and not satisfied with either. The first cake was baked on a very rainy day and I'm really not sure why, but it didn't rise or should I say fell when it came out of the oven. The second cake feels like it's not dense enough to stack/carve.

I've made all of the decor for the cake and while time consuming, I'm satisfied. Tomorrow is icing day and Friday is fondant. Saturday evening delivery. I colored my fondants last night and had to use a ton of gel color to get the dark color the customer wanted. It wasn't a color that I could buy premade. I checked it tonight and my fondant feels soft.

I'm about to pull my hair out. Is this normal?

6 replies
Evoir Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 3:28am
post #2 of

Its normal to get anxious with any big cake, where people have paid big bucks and are expecting exceptional results!

I remember having dreams about a recent big cake project with a multitude of design elements.

One thing I would suggest to you, if you are trying to minimise stuff going wrong, is to try using ganache instead of buttercream under your fondant. Its far more stable, and in my experience is preferable for 3D cakes.

Dr_Hfuhruhurr Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 3:42am
post #3 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evoir

Its normal to get anxious with any big cake, where people have paid big bucks and are expecting exceptional results!

I remember having dreams about a recent big cake project with a multitude of design elements.

One thing I would suggest to you, if you are trying to minimise stuff going wrong, is to try using ganache instead of buttercream under your fondant. Its far more stable, and in my experience is preferable for 3D cakes.




Evoir, could you point me to a ganache recipe suitable for this. I see it suggested often, but I'm unclear what type of ganache is intended. Thanks!

Evoir Posted 4 Oct 2012 , 4:02am
post #4 of

Dr_Hfuhruhurr, it depends on the flavour of your cake, but to keep it simple, I'd suggest either dark chocolate or white chocolate ganache.

This is roughly the ratios I use when making ganache for #D CAKES, and my topsy turvies/mad hatters.

The way I do it:
Dark chocolate - heat 250 grams by weight of 35% fat content cream in a pyrex dish in the microwave until very hot. Add in 600 grams by weight of dark chocolate (either in pieces or grated). Stir until completely smooth. Microwave if too lumpy in 20 second bursts, mixing between each heating, and remembering to leave to absorb the heat after mixing. It should be thick, dark, glossy with no lumps. Cover bowl with cling film and leave on kitchen counter until set. To use, you may need to give it a few seconds in the microwave to make it softer. The apply to your cake as you would buttercream.

For white chocolate:
The ratio is 250 grams by weight same cream, and 900 grams by weight of white chocolate. Method is identical.

For REGULAR cakes the ratios of cream:chocolate I use are:
Dark choc ganache: 1:2
Milk chocolate ganache: 2:5
White chocolate ganache 1:3.

AS you can see, there is approx. 1.2x the quantity of chocolate in the 3D formula I use, compared with the regular cake formula. Hope this helps!

Sara1029 Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 4:57pm
post #5 of

I would be careful with the dark colored fondant. I had attempted to make a navy blue and had to use a lot of the gel coloring. It was perfect until I had to use it. I rolled it out, not to thin and not to thick. Once I put in on top my cake, a round 8", it started to rip and tear along the top. There was no way to repair it. I had to throw it away and just color the buttercream. I have had this happen a few times with fondant that I have dyed dark.
I was told color powder is best when trying to get a dark color.
Just a tip to be aware of. icon_smile.gif

Evoir Posted 5 Oct 2012 , 11:31pm
post #6 of

Sara makes a good point. This is why I airbrush dark colours!

kblickster Posted 6 Oct 2012 , 4:32am
post #7 of

Oh my, the cake is done and it was a challenge. Thank you for the ganache tips. It really helped with the fondant. I had to pull it all off once and start over because of cracks in the top. This I assume was primarily due to weight. Someone commented about the amount of color added and that may have also been a problem. I added a lot more sugar the second time and while not perfect, it was better. I can certainly see why people charge so much for large elaborate cakes. I spent hours just getting the color right (2 times). Thanks for all your help!

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