I will be making a cake for a November 7th wedding. Two tiers, very simple and elegant - white buttercream icing and black ribbon around the bottom of each tier. I'm considering buying the acrylics and trying this 'upside down' method. Is it worth it? Opinions please!
Haven't tried it, looking forward to hearing about how it works for you. Best Wishes.
I've never used either method, too much trouble. It works for some people. I'm also not obsessed with super sharp edges, though, because when I ask my customers whether they prefer a sharp edge or a softer one they always say they don't want a super sharp edge. The sharp edges thing came into fashion about 6 or 7 years ago and was never a standard for anything before then. It used to be that fondant cakes should have a softer, rolled edge to show that it was fondant and therefore fancier than buttercream.
I can’t speak for the acrylic method, but I can the upside down method since I was the one who first introduced it several years ago!
Personally, I’ve watched a number of people on videos using the acrylic method and I find it a bit cumbersome….but to each their own.
For my upside down method, all you need is a sturdy board (I use ½ thick foamcore square boards) and some PLASTIC COATED FREEZER PAPER (the original method used parchment, but it tended to wrinkle. I tried many different materials until I came across the freezer paper and in an instant I knew it was best…it releases super cleanly when peeled away from the cake).
Early on some people were having issues with air bubbles on the tops when they peeled off the paper. To remedy this, first spread an almost see-through thin coat of buttercream on the board, chill it a about 3 minutes, the spread a thicker coat over it….there will be no bubbles when the paper is removed, assuming you buttercream is silkly smooth…no amount of work can overcome icing full of air bubbles!
Give it try….you’d get perfectly even sides and a super sharp top edge!
Thank you Jeff. Foam core boards are a lot cheaper than acrylic discs! I'll give them a try.
I have tried the acrylic disk method; and here's my two cents...it may work for you, but those disks need to be lined up EXACTLY or your cake will end up with this shape // which is what kept happening for me over and over again. I never was able to get them perfectly lined up no matter what I tried. They start of perfect but as you scrape they just seem to shift. So eventually I just gave up and went back to the old fashioned way of smoothing by hand.
Hmmm......How can we keep them from shifting? Gingerlocks, did you chill it first or go at it room temp?
I've tried both chilled and room temp; but it just never looked right. I would just go with the old fashioned way, you'll get great results every time if you put the effort in..plus those disks are pricey.
I like the discs, I just watch the alignment and it seems to stick ok for me. I use the same method Jeff described for the top except with a parchment round and the disc. The parchment does wrinkle but I go over the top anyway after chilling and removing the board. It's easy to smooth with warm buttercream over chilled.
I also like the board but instead of foamcore, I use 15" double thickness acrylic squares cut by my hardware store. They're also handy as work surfaces for sugar flowers, cutting out fondant decor, etc, as you can quickly move them out of the way and clean them in the sink.