Yesterday was the day I've been alternately dreading and excited about... I was on the hook for preparing dinner/dessert for 150 people (we won't talk about all the people who didn't show up to help!).
Anyhow, On Thursday, we baked all of the cakes, a 3-tier vanilla (14, 10, 6), and two 1/2 sheet cakes (one butter/yellow, the other devils food). All from scratch. I made the ganache to use in an awesome chocoalte buttercream recipe I found here...I've seen it referenced as "Toba's", and the lemon & raspberry fillings
I torted, filled and iced the cakes...so my squad (7-12 grade girls), along with my daughter could decorate them. We assembled our first tiered cake (How do people do this without tearing up their cakes???). I was just glad when they were frosted and no one could see what they looked like (my first tier, I screwed up my torting...so I had to do some fill-in work to try to get it to level...my second tier was coming apart, I think the icing held it together, the 6" tier looked good, and didn't fall apart when we cut it!).
It was an adventure. I can honestly say I have a *lot* to learn about stacking cakes. You pros make it look so easy.
The night after we stacked and decorated the tiers, I dreamt about showing up and finding the cake all over the ground...but despite looking a bit topsy-turvy (the middle layer did start coming apart), it was still in-tact.
So obviously, I still need a lot of practice making big cakes. I need to make sure I make them right to begin with (my daughter was helping me, and she thinks she put in too much baking powder, so the middle and top tiers overflowed...and I think that affected their overall texture, making them a little more difficult to hold together). I think the flavors of everything we did were excellent. Just have to work on that technique!
Thank you everyone!
LisaKinVA~~Congratulations on getting it done! This was a huge project, and you and your helpers (the ones that DID show up) accomplished a great deal. It probably wasn't so much that you did anything "wrong", as much as this was your first big project.
All the cake pros say "practice, practice, practice", and they are NOT kidding. The only way I personally get better is to learn from past mistakes! It IS an adventure, and I'm sure that everyone loved the cakes. Be very proud of yourself and your helpers today (and eat some of the yummy cake leftovers.....if there are any left.)
Congratulations on your first tier cake. Yes, practice,. practice and more practice. I have seen some videos of cake leveling that some people, once they level will put a toothpick on the top and bottom parts of where they level them. Then they take another cake board and slide in between the cakes to separate to put icing in between. This prevents cake from breaking to have a spare cake board underneath it Some people buy a cake lifter but I just use an extra cardboard cake board. The others here who are experts will have better advice than me. Everyone does it differently!!
So when they frost the cake they make sure they put the two toohpicks right on top of each other. This way if the cake was cut a little uneven then it will go back together even again. Now if you own the Agbay or cake leveler then you don't need the toothpicks. I see a lot of videos where some people cut with knives and they do it so perfectly. I have to use a cake leveler or I will be in trouble!!!
I have to work at getting the icing even but Viva paper towel helps once it crusts.
You took a huge undertaking and should be proud of yourself because you did not give up!!! Hang in there and keep practicing!!! Thank goodness for your helpers that did show up!!!