(so exciting to have people to talk cakes with)
My cake baking today doesn't seem to have been completely successful and seems a bit crumbly and fragile (I know the recipe was good, I think I may have either over baked, or not followed the instructions properly). I'm wondering if it would be okay to crumb coat two nights before I deliver the cake, then put the fondant on the night before - that way, if the cake does turn out to be too fragile to crumb coat, I will have time to bake more ready to decorate completely the next night. I don't want freshness and taste to suffer!
My other option is just to rebake with another recipe tomorrow . . . and I suppose I could freeze all of them so I kinda have cakes in reserve? Hmm, not a bad idea.
My fondant turned out pretty well! (Michelle Foster's recipe!)
Oh, another question - what is everyone's feelings on the amount of food coloring they use in their baking/decorating. I think this cake is worrying me a bit because it's for a one year old and her 5 year old sister, and Mum gave me free reign (knowing I'm just experimenting and enjoying myself - she's only reimbursing for ingredients) and I decided on the pink zebra cake - so black food coloring in the cake AND the fondant. And from the looks of it, anyone who eats it will get black teeth! Just that amount of food coloring (along with the pink) makes me a bit . . . cringey. (Which is another reason to re-bake I guess - I would ditch the black and use cocoa instead. Not as dramatic but possibly healthier). I did use proper gel colorings from a cake supply store.
(I should mention I'm all the way in New Zealand. We can get most things, but often need to order them online, and I'm limited to what I can get on an urgent basis (i.e. go out and get it tomorrow). And no places like JoAnn's).
That's exactly what I do all the time.
Cake is due to be collected by friend/family member on Saturday
I bake on the Thursday morning then dirty ice in that evening and place in the fridge overnight.
I take it out on Friday morning, cover it and decorate it through the day and then box it up ready for collection
Cake is collected on the Saturday by friend.
I prefer it that way, gives me more time to decorate on the Friday so I don't feel as rushed and can take my time with it. Plus, if anything goes wrong I have time to fix the problem, ie, bake a new cake, repair the decoration as needed.
I have started to bake cakes in advance as well now, but that's more down to working full time so I can have the day off when they collect the cake. I just defrost the cake out of the freezer on the Thursday morning, come home from work and dirty ice it quick and then have the Fir/Sat off work to do the cake.
I don't really worry about the food colouring either. If I need to colour some fondant, I do so. Saying that, I've not coloured a cake yet, so not sure if there any issues there?
if you feel like you have the time and money, then rebake. You're doing this to gain experience and to have fun, so do what will give you the most experience and alleviate your concerns. Your crumbly cake is worrying you, rebake and feel better.
if, however, you do not have the time or money, then go with what you have. It will be fine, and your peace of mind will come from your being on schedule, not being rushed, and being able to enjoy the decorating part.
figure out what is most important to you; having time to decorate or having a new cake. Also, search in the forum for the "black fondant" topic and you'll find ways to make black or dark fondant without as much coloring. Maybe if you keep your cake and just redo the fondant, you'll feel better about the coloring and the cake overall.
Just have fun, don't stress, and post pics when you're done! Good luck!