misschristinec Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 1:54pm
post #1 of

AI was watching "Modern Buttercream" on Craftsy (love Free tutorials) and Josh Russell (instructor) cut the sides of his cake. I've never ever seen or done this and was wondering if this is customary? Perhaps my DH cake mix is less dry than his from-scratch mix.

22 replies
leah_s Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 2:31pm
post #2 of

ANo, never.

VanillaSky Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 2:51pm
post #3 of

ADid the instructor say why he was cutting the sides?

I have never cut the sides of a round cake.

MatthewTheBaker Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 4:54pm
post #4 of

I've seen the Modern Buttercream class also.  He did not want any brown showing in the cake when it was cut.  He also trimmed the top/bottoms of any brown edges.

VanillaSky Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 5:17pm
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AThat makes sense. I've seen some cake slices where it was clear that the baker had measured and leveled every cake layer and the fillings were perfectly even and everything was symmetric. I'm still trying to get everything to look symmetrical and smooth and even on the outside of the cake, and have not even begun to start worrying about the cut slices of cake. Hopefully as I grow as a cake decorator the brown edges might start to bother me, but right now there are always more obvious issues with my cakes to focus on.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 5:44pm
post #6 of

some cakers like Leah are so adept/skilled at icing smooth/perfect from long years

they do not need or want this bother and i bow to her expertise

 

but for some cakers esp newbies it might be worth your while to test this at least--here's why

 

have you ever read the thread on here about using ganache under fondant

 

it makes the fondant just about flow over the cake because the ganche is so smooth and perfect already

 

same same principle for those slighrly uneven brown edges

 

when trying to get that glassy smooth appearance on the outside

 

if you take the bother to cut, shave or trim off the outside of the cake--leave a little brown or not

 

you automatically have a near perfect surface with which to slather w/buttercream

 

and the difference it makes for me in smoothing later is worth it

 

it ultimately saves me time

 

just another tool in the toolbox--some use it some don't

-K8memphis Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 6:01pm
post #7 of

the only reason i ever started doing it was because of the combination of all the different places i've worked at

 

one place the lady would scream if i forgot to cut off the browned top

 

another place had such wonky wonked out pans, i had no choice but to trim them--

 

one layer came out oval-ish and the other one was oval (more or less) in completely differnt spots and this for a round tier

 

when i had iced a few and gotten over being cranky for the 100+ year old pans we were using

 

i realized it was sooo much easier to ice the ones i had to (re-birth) trim

VanillaSky Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 6:04pm
post #8 of

AInteresting, I thought the instructor was cutting the edges for the unsightly color aspect. Did not think it was for smoothness, but that makes sense, too. I guess if cakes edges were uneven or jagged, cutting sides is an option, but it's kind of hard to cut sides and make them even on a round cake if you are newbie. Another option is cake paste, but you still get the darker coloring. I agree that it is definitely a good thing to have many tools in your tool box.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 6:29pm
post #9 of
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillaSky 

... I guess if cakes edges were uneven or jagged, cutting sides is an option, but it's kind of hard to cut sides and make them even on a round cake if you are newbie...

 

if we are popping cakes out of pans to make layer cakes then they cannot line up on the sides to the perfection gained by slicing

no matter the age and true of the pan

 

as opposed to cutting tiers out of sheet cakes

 

everything is hard for a newbie~no whining

 

freeze your assembled tier cake

 

place pedestal turntable on counter

 

position a cake pan under the turntable

 

with one uniced tier cake on turntable, take a nice cake knife, serrated, and make one cut

 

top to bottom about 3/4 of an inch wide--as thick as a shave off--

 

the excess will fall on turntable--brush it off onto cake pan below

 

make a second cut--go all the way around--stop

 

you're just cutting them--they make themselves even

because you're not using 100 year old pans

 

it's easy peasy

 

ever see the guys making gyro sandwiches????

VanillaSky Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 6:43pm

AIts hard to tell from your postings if you are referring to me or not or joking. i am not whining, nor am I a newbie. I do not get uneven sides. I use magic line pans and cake strips, so never felt the need to cut a side. I imagine in the future, when I do get to the level of mastery that I aspire to, I would probably entertain shaving the sides, to get rid of the brown edges. I think it's a nice touch, but not there yet.

In my opinion it if not easy to cut your way to a perfectly round cake, and I imagine a beginner would find it difficult too. Your opinion varies from mine, and life is great that way!!!!

AZCouture Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 7:18pm

Nope. Unless I cut my cake board (the one under each tier) too small, otherwise I might need to shave a wee bit off so enough icing stays on. 

jason_kraft Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 7:19pm

AIf you need a perfectly round cut you can buy cake rings like these: http://www.lloydpans.com/standard-pans/bakeware/rings-and-shapes/round-cake-pastry-rings

We've never had the need to cut the sides of round cakes.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 7:23pm

oh yes, vanillasky, i thought you meant you were a newbie and it was (too) hard

 

you mean that for newbies it is hard--gotcha yes everything is hard for a newbie i think

 

oh yes for over 30 years i got my sides done fine too

 

then i tried this and dang it was easier

 

and i am not in any way proposing to get a cake perfectly round this way (before it's iced)

 

y'know how we apply too much icing so we can remove some and reveal a nice pleasing level surface

squaring off corners for example

 

that's all this does is remove some of the uneveness in advance of the icing

it's a beautiful thing

 

it's not an opinion. it's a skill, a tool a possible way of doing it

 

and i agree i think it's just about beyond possibility to perfectly freehand cut a round cake

 

oh that made me think of something else

 

if one places a cardboard cirlce on top to act as a gude it really helps

 

if one hasn't ever tried it one might not see the advantage

leah_s Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 8:28pm

Huh.  I think it's just way easier to ice a cake with a bit of a nice, firm slightly browned edge that to fight the crumbs on a just cut side.  And yes, the browned tops do get cut off when leveled with my Agbay.  But I have been icing cakes for . . . omg . . . 50+ years, having started at age 9 in 4H.

VanillaSky Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 8:38pm

AI agree with you K8 that if a cake were uneven, then cutting the unevenness is a good option. The opinion I was referring to was whether it was easy to cut a round cake if you are a novice, not the method you were proposing.

I was responding more to the OP's question. The OP wanted to know if it was customary to cut the sides of a round cake. I think it's not customary, most people do not do it. I do not do it either. The instructor that OP saw do it apparently does it too remove the brown crust that one would see once you cut out a slice. Again, most people aren't bothered by the brown edges and don't routinely cut the cake sides.

-K8memphis Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 8:39pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s

Huh. I think it's just way easier to ice a cake with a bit of a nice, firm slightly browned edge that to fight the crumbs on a just cut side. And yes, the browned tops do get cut off when leveled with my Agbay. But I have been icing cakes for . . . omg . . . 50+ years, having started at age 9 in 4H.

 

everybody does it different

 

i not only shave the sides, i do not crumb coat and it works for me

 

but in all my various jobs i've done it all their different ways too

 

makes for interesting contrasts

 

there's no wrong way

-K8memphis Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 8:49pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by VanillaSky 

I agree with you K8 that if a cake were uneven, then cutting the unevenness is a good option. The opinion I was referring to was whether it was easy to cut a round cake if you are a novice, not the method you were proposing.
I was responding more to the OP's question. The OP wanted to know if it was customary to cut the sides of a round cake. I think it's not customary, most people do not do it. I do not do it either. The instructor that OP saw do it apparently does it too remove the brown crust that one would see once you cut out a slice. Again, most people aren't bothered by the brown edges and don't routinely cut the cake sides.

 

 

gotcha gotcha gotcha

 

and i agree that it is not done a lot in wedding cake work

BlakesCakes Posted 5 Jan 2013 , 10:20pm

No, I don't cut off the sides, or bottom, of my cakes--I only trim off the top when leveling. 

 

Having carved cakes, I get no joy from having to fight crumbs and cutting away sides leads to more crumbs--yes, the crumb coat should seal them in, but things don't always work the way they should.

 

I also feel that the baked "skin" helps the cake to hold it's shape better, especially when there will be heavy decos, fondant, etc.

 

If I bake a cake that has really dark edges, then I save that layer for family and I re-bake.

 

Rae

gscout73 Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 2:39am
Quote:
Originally Posted by leah_s 

Huh.  I think it's just way easier to ice a cake with a bit of a nice, firm slightly browned edge that to fight the crumbs on a just cut side.  And yes, the browned tops do get cut off when leveled with my Agbay.  But I have been icing cakes for . . . omg . . . 50+ years, having started at age 9 in 4H.


I agree with you, Leah. It is much easier to ice a smooth surface than the raw/trimmed cake surface. The trimmed surface creates so many more crumbs.

misschristinec Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 2:04pm

AThanks for the input

-K8memphis Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 2:06pm

i agree with that too for room temp non-frozen cakes.

 

however i shave the sides of and ice frozen cake tiers

 

but i've never seen the video in question -- don't know how he does it

 

i'm just encouraging op to try this at some point for these various reasons

 

in fact--

 

sometimes for a 13x10x7x4 cake order i will bake off a 14x11x8x5

 

then there's that almost 1/2 inch shrinkage from baking

 

a 10 inch comes out of the pan about 9.5 inches give or take

 

(for non-pound cake recipes, for example sylvia weinstock yellow cake, wasc or any white cake)

 

then i have my shaving fest (after assenbling layers into tiers and freezing)

 

and then i have a true footprint on the cake itself (not the icing) of my target measurements

the 13x10x7x4

 

also this way i can layer my buttercream icing on very efficiently no thick or thin areas all the same 'width" if you will

 

i use surprisingly less icing

 

i like doing this a lot

 

it's a finer point, a subtle thing--the trimming i mean-- but an important one that i encourage the op to at least explore

 

i should prolly bake in sheet pans & cut out all my tiers but...

LovelyCakes4Us Posted 6 Jan 2013 , 9:32pm

ANo I never cut the sides.

Chellescakes Posted 7 Jan 2013 , 12:45pm

I actually watched that craftsy tutorial aghast , I couldn't believe how much waste there was , also how dry the cake must be to have to slop so much gloop on it. 

 

I don't trim my cakes unless they are being carved , I hate raw edges . If my cake is a little uneven ( I have one or two ancient pans that I use occastionally , I just fix it with ganache. 

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