I would really appreciate some advice from all you cake carvers out there. I have carved a topsy turvy tapered cake once before and the next morning, the fondant had "elephant skinned" some in the middle but mostly toward the bottom of the cake. I a wanting to do a tapered wedding cake, not decorated like the one in the picture below, but tapered like it. (sorry I do not know who to give credit to for the beautiful cake, I did not make it obviously.) so my question is, is there a certain type of cake you should use when tapering layers considering you're cutting off the firm side of the cake? the bride wants a 8" white and 10" and 12" red velvet layers. covered in fondant. I did use a box mix before could that have been my problem? Is there a secret to making sure the fondant does not sag from the soft sides of the cake in time? Also, would a normal two layer cake work to taper or does it need to be three layers to get the correct look? I have read somewhere someone said it would look too squatty if you only do two layers but the picture of this cake doesn't look tall enough to me to be more than two layers.
I just realized the owner of this cake has her logo on the picture!
AI think the tiers of that cake are 4 layers, probably 4 inches high.
I use a chocolate mud cake for topsy turvy cakes. I have done a regular chocolate cake before but it caused a lot of stress - it held together but there were some very scared micro-cracks in it!
I do use a ganache under fondant, so I think you could do a tapered cake with any type of cake so long as you used a firmish filling and ganache.
thank you, honestly I've never used ganache before, and really don't know the real purpose of it. Is it for flavor, or just to give you sharp edges, or what? Is it hard to cut into on a wedding cake? Do you use it with all flavor cakes? It does make since that it would give the support on the sides of a carved cake though.
AGanache gives a really smooth even surface on which to place fondant, and gives the most amazing sharp edges. It also tastes really good! I use dark choc ganache on most cakes (2:1 ratio choc to cream) and white choc ganache (3:1 ratio) on lemon cakes, and some customers prefer it on other cakes too. It's not hard to cut at all at room temperature. It gives lovely clean slices in my experience. And I only use Belgian couverture choc, I wouldn't use choc melts or other forms of compound "choc", the flavour and mouthfeel of the couverture are excellent. Yes it's expensive but it's worth it!
AGanache is yummy! I prefer using ganache for my cakes, especially carved cakes, but BC would be fine for a cake like this. You can get sharp edges with a nice butter based frosting, with anything it takes practice. I offer flavored ganache as well, I just enjoy letting it setup overnight because it will create a firm shell of sorts that makes covering in fondant easier (at least for me) but it isn't too hard to cut if that was your question.
I prefer taller layers, especially with a cake like this, you can make thicker layers if you prefer-that depends on your preference of cake:frosting/filling.
You can probably use a Dr. box mix but for carved cakes I prefer to use a butter/mudcake, either way any type of carving will be easier with a cold cake. I will wrap and freeze/refrigerate before I carve, again just a preference.
You're cake probably settled (hard to tell without a picture of your problem cake). Depending on the type of frosting you use, your best bet would be to chill your cake, torte/layer/carve, fill & crumbcoat, then let your layers setup overnight so they can settle. If you are in a rush you can use Leah's 'tile method', you want something to place on top of your cake to evenly distribute the weight (not something heavy enough to crush it) this will speed up the process.
The link has video tutorials on making, using, and covering a cake in ganache.
thank you so much, so does it look fine to use a chocolate ganache on a white wedding cake with white fondant?
winniemog, where do you buy the Belgian couverture chocolate at?
smckinny07, what is the difference in a Dr. cake mix and a regular one? does the Dr. cake mix make it more dense? and what would you suggest is the best way to doctor it best for carving?
AI use dark choc ganache under white fondant and it doesn't show through, even though I roll my fondant to only about 3 millimetres thick.
I'm located in Melbourne Australia and I buy my Belgian choc in bulk from a local store. If you're in Australia too, I can give you the details.
well, thank you for the thought, but I live in Kansas.
AThis is a list of flavor variations for the Dr Cake mixes. Basically, they add eggs, pudding, etc. rather then following the recipe on the box. I would definitely let your cake get cold before carving!
Pastry Portal has great prices and varieties for couverture chocolate, they do sell in large quantities though (it's a lot less expensive then purchasing at the store).
If you won't go through that much chocolate it might be better for you to buy some Lindt or Ghiradelli from the supermarket, I'm told Trader Joes has some good quality chocolate.
wow, that's an amazing list of cake recipes. Thank you for sharing it. Have you ever used any of these recipes and do you know if they bake denser for carving?
AI have made several cakes like the one you posted (which is a beautiful cake!). I use WASC recipe as follows: 1 cake mix 1 box instant pudding (small box) 1 cup milk 1 cup flour 1 cup sugar 1 cup sour cream 1/3 cup oil 4eggs If you put all the wet ingredients in the bowl first you can mix the entire recipe at once with a hand mixer without flour/mix being left in the bottom of the bowl. Bake at 325 degrees until firm but "bouncy" to the touch.
I only fill my carved cakes with buttercream, ganache or cream cheese because those fillings firm nicely and I don't have to worry about oozing fillings once I start carving away any dam. Once the cakes are filled I chill overnight in my fridge.
The next day I start carving the chilled cakes. Chilled cakes - no matter the recipe - carve easier and cleaner than room temp cakes.
I only ice these cakes with ganache. Now, you can use dark chocolate ganace (2 parts chocolate, 1 part heavy whipping cream) without any issue. The dark color will not show through the white fondant. But, I only use white chocolate ganache (3 parts white chocolate, 1 part heavy whipping cream) for icing. I will do the chocolate ganache for filling, but not the icing. Because it never fails, at some point I will have to redo one tier. Either there is a tear, wrinkle or I accidently poke my finger in the fondant and I have to take the fondant off and reroll it. White chocolate ganache does not leave any coloring on fondant. So when I reroll the fondant the color (white or otherwise) is not altered. Chocolate ganache leaves brown marks on the fondant affecting the color of the fondant when mashed up and rerolled.
AOh, for the chocolate... I do not have success making any kind of ganache with Nestle chips. I buy Merkins chocolate from my local cake decorating supply store in 10 lb bags.
thank you cai0331, I have been watching tutorials on ganache, and will have to start practicing with it. I hope its easy to apply to a tapered cake. lol Do you have to do anything to the ganache to make the fondant stick to it? and how long do you wait for the ganache to dry before you put the fondant on?
AI make my ganache the day before I need. When I first make it I don't put it in the fridge. I allow it to cool overnight on my counter. Then I take my hand held mixer and whip the ganache until it becomes the consistancy of peanut butter. At that point it is ready to be applied to the cake.
I find whipped ganache easier to work with and more forgiving when trying to get a perfectly smooth finish.
Once the cake is iced with ganache I pop it in the fridge for about an hour or more. It just depends how many tiers I have to ice. Once tier means the cake is in the fridge an hour. Five tiers means the cake is in the fridge several hours before I get back to it.
While the cake is in the fridge I roll out the fondant and get everything ready. Usually there is a little condensation that forms on the cake because it was in the fridge. Since the fondant is rolled and ready to be applied the cake is slightly damp when the fondant is applied to the cake. If you wanted, you could have a spray bottle with a mist setting in case additional moisture is required.
ASounds easy enough, but it know sounding easy dosent always mean easy! Lol. Thank you so much for the help. I am looking forward to giving it a try!