A Few Questions From A Newbie

Decorating By Lyrics Updated 24 Mar 2015 , 9:18am by Lyrics

Lyrics Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 2:24am
post #1 of 10

Hi all, I appreciate any help with this.  I live in Colorado at approximately 6000' altitude (and I despise baking here!!!) and I keep my house at about 45% humidity right now.

I want to make my kiddo an Angry Birds cake for his birthday in a few weeks.  I'm planning 2-3 tiers (bottom will be 10" square, then 8", and possibly a quarter of the 8" cut out similar to http://www.cakecentral.com/gallery/i/2252534/angry-birds for the top tier.

I have never worked with fondant before, but I did do an MMF recipe and it came out well, so I would like to use MMF to cover it and make the birds/logs/slingshot/etc.  I bought Ty-Tex gum from Hobby Lobby, but I'm not exactly sure how much to add to the MMF recipe to make it more moldable.  I can't seem to find any specific info about the Ty-tex online, only about tylose or CMC.  The ingredients are:  CMC, Xantham Gum, Sugar, Dextrin.  The recipe for "Easy Ty-Tex Gum Paste" on the back is 1tbsp Ty-Tex, 4 cups sifted powdered sugar, 1 heaping tbsp glucose, and 4 tbsp warm water.  Mix it basically like MMF.  Any thoughts on how much I should add to the standard 16oz marshmallows MMF recipe?  And, can I make this in advance?  I have a chef friend (real chef, with a culinary arts degree, but she hates baking too, go figure) coming over to play with the fondant this week, and I'd like to make all the colors in advance, but am unsure if it would be ok to make it with Ty-tex in advance?

Also, anyone have a tried and true chocolate MMF recipe?  I can't seem to get the search working on the site right now.

I bought dowels and cake boards and I think I have a decent understanding of how to support the cake.  I read the Wilton forum tutorial on collaring a cake pan and I bought the baking strip things, but I do not have nails right now (can't find them locally, will order from Amazon, but wondering if I can make 10" square cakes without them?  I want to do a few test cakes to decide on a recipe)  Leaning toward a pound cake recipe, I did make http://www.cakecentral.com/recipe/1972/durable-cake-for-3d-and-wedding-cakes with BC Cherry Chip cake mix and french vanilla pudding and I wasn't overly impressed.  I may need to do more adjusting for altitude (I used 4 whole eggs instead of just the whites) and perhaps a better flavor lol.

How full do I fill the cake pans for 2" layers?  (I feel like an idiot asking this question!)

I know I had other questions I meant to ask but I've forgotten them right now :-/

9 replies
julia1812 Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 5:08am
post #2 of 10

Hi, I use about 1 teaspoon for 500g of fondant. Knead well and let rest over night wrapped in cling film.

 you have to start a few days in advance anyway as the pieces need to dry in order to harden.

 you can speed up the process by putting them in the oven with just the pilot light on.

 otherwise use gum paste. That dries faster. Has a similar consistency like fondant and you can easily make it at home since you have the tylose powder.

 I made decoration weeks in advance. Just make sure to protect from dust, humidity and direct sunlight.

 not sure how high to fill the cake pans though, never measured it. But would say between 1/2 and 2/3. Normally a recipe states "enough for two 8" cakes" f.e. Which means once baked, torted, filled and staged you'll have one 4" cake (which is the average hight of one tier.

Lyrics Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 9:56am
post #3 of 10

Thanks Julia!  The party is on Easter Sunday, so I have a couple of weeks (that's why my friend is coming over to play in the fondant with me...I'm not very crafty, and I think I'm going to need help making these birds!)  We'll only have a couple of hours to play tho, so I want to get the fondant ready.  I saved a couple egg cartons and bought a couple of cake boxes to store the decorations in until I put them on the cake.

I'd make the gum paste, but I have no idea what glucose is.  (OK, I DID Google it, but Hobby Lobby didn't have it, I checked when I bought the Ty-Tex, and Amazon doesn't have it for Prime shipping, and I need it TODAY.)  I'll try 1tsp of the Ty-tex and see how it goes.

I didn't realize the cake pan would tell me how much batter to use (9 cups for the 10" square)....I'd already made a batch of my grandmother's pound cake recipe, so I threw it in there anyway.  It seemed to be just a bit below 1/2, but the recipe calls for starting with a cold oven and then 300 degrees for 1.5 hours.  It's been baking an hour and while there is a bit of a hump in the middle, it almost reaches the edge of the pan.  I am NOT using the baking strips, as the pans are a bit angled and they wanted to fall off.

(And since I forgot to hit submit....my cake is out of the oven and has settled right at 1", so I'll definitely need to do a bigger recipe of the pound cake if I decide to use that one.  I have another recipe I want to make for a side by side comparison to decide which to use.)

julia1812 Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 10:44am
post #4 of 10

For gum paste you don't need glucose, you just beat an egg white untill stiff peaks form. Sift a little less than 1 cup (about 225g) of icing sugar. Slowly add it to your egg white while mixing on high. Add all but a couple of tbsps. (If you feel it's too sticky after you finished the next step, you can still knead some or all of it in.by hand. Now, mixing on low add 3 teaspoons of tylose powder/ CMC/ gum tex (it's all having the same effect). You'll see that it starts to thicken immediately. Turn it out of the mixing bowl onto a dusted surface and if it's really really sticky and soft still, use the remaining icing sugar (as I mentioned before) and knead it in by hand.

Wrap in cling film, put in zip lock bag and store in your fridge for a least 12 hrs. Once you wanna use it it will feel rock hard. That's normal. Just cut small pieces off with a sharp knife and knead by hand (I like to do that on a surface I generally dust with corn starch as it is sticky once removed from the fridge). ALWAYS cover pieces you don't work on IMMEDIATELY as they dry out very quick

That is the disadvantage of gum paste: You have not much time to play around until it dries out. On the other hand it dries very hard and fast. Modelling fondant (fondant with gum tex/ tylose/ cmc added) gives you more time to play, but drying is a bit of a pain, depending what you do. Sometimes you'll find yourself using lots of bits and pieces of f.e. cling film etc to support and arm of a figure which should be up waving or a trunk of an elefant or......

If you have time, try both and see what works better for you. Making gum paste takes me 10 mins and is actually less messy and time consuming as fondant. But either way, I always make bit batches of both since I need lots all the time.

I think I got you wrong regarding the pans. Maybe this will help you:


Works fine for me all the time.

Good luck and post some pictures please!

Lyrics Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 11:08am
post #5 of 10

Don't laugh too hard...I can't beat a single egg white.  I don't own a hand mixer LOL.  (That is about the only thing I do not like about my Kitchenaids!)  I tend to avoid anything that needs meringue because of this, but since that's the only thing I would ever use a hand mixer for...I can't really justify buying one.  

I don't have anything to make for this cake that will need support while drying, so I think the modeling fondant is probably a better option.  I don't think drying will be a big problem given our low humidity here, and I will definitely need the extra working time with it.

To use the CMC in fondant...do I mix it in while making the fondant or knead it into the fondant after making?

Lyrics Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 11:10am
post #6 of 10

Oh, another dumb question....I might be able to mix a double batch of the pound cake recipe in the KA, but what do I do with extra batter?  Can I stick it in the fridge?  (Sorry I feel silly for not knowing these basic things, but I've never made a cake of this scale before, eek!)

Lyrics Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 11:37am
post #7 of 10

I was inspired to Google about the egg whites in KA issue, and lo and behold there's a way to adjust the darn thing.  Just in case someone else didn't know that:  http://www.bakepedia.com/tipsandtricks/adjusting-kitchenaid-mixer/

I'll try adjusting mine today!

julia1812 Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 11:56am
post #8 of 10

LOL, I have a hand mixer and not a KA, so guess we would be a great time!

BTW, there are no dumb questions...and you'll find lots of different answers to them too...

I once ran out of time while baking and had to go fetch the kids from school. Think I left the batter out on the counter for about 3-4 hours. Once home I was curious and went ahead baking the batter. It was absolutely fine - to my surprise. Not sure if you could to that with any batter though. And I wouldn't place it in the fridge. Don't know why, but my feeling tells me from the cold to the heat might shock the batter too much?

ropalma Posted 23 Mar 2015 , 6:42pm
post #9 of 10

CMC  gets kneaded into the fondant

Lyrics Posted 24 Mar 2015 , 9:18am
post #10 of 10

Julia, I am worried about the cold from the fridge to heat, too....but...this pound cake bakes from a cold oven...hmmmm.......

I haven't tried the other recipe yet, we were gone all day and I'm making a bajillion colors of fondant for the birds and decor right now, so it will be ready when my friend comes this afternoon.  I did buy a book http://smile.amazon.com/Lets-Make-Angry-Birds-Cakes/dp/1589238567/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1427188631&sr=8-1&keywords=angry+birds+cake+book and it's actually going to help a LOT with making the birds.  (I found tutorials online too, but having the book right there while I'm doing it will help!)

Thanks ropalma!

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