So I have a cake that I need to make. It's supposed to be carved and look like a peanut. I don't know what cakes to bake (as in what pans) so I can carve it. I was thinking ball pans, but decided they were too round. It needs to feed 15, which is easy. I'm just not sure how to carve it. Please help!
Well, to get that shape, you'll need to bake a lot more cake than you'll need. You charge for all of the servings in the baked cakes, not for the final serving numbers.
To make that cake as 15 servings, I'd bake one ball, and 4 six inch cakes round [that's about 36 servings]. I'd cut a board in the shape that I want--one end a bit bigger than the other--stack the 4" tall cakes using buttercream as my filling and cut those to fit the board shape. Then, I'd put the half rounds on top with buttercream under them, too, and then I'd carve them into the shape. For the "waist", I'd use cake scraps and buttercream. I'd coat it in a nice thick layer of buttercream so that the divots in the fondant could be pretty deep without hitting cake.
Yes, you can do it with 4" round cakes, but it will be really tiny and by the time you cut away some to get the shape, you may only get 15 really tiny servings. With carved cakes, I charge more but the client usually gets a bit more, too. I see it as a win.