First of all , I have just been accepted into this group so a big thank you for that.
I have been practicing on types of cake decoration, including buttercream , fondant etc. but the second birthday layered cake I made after a few hours showed signs of the fondant blow out. It had buttercream underneath. I have to get this right as I have my first wedding cake to make this September. Please any advice on how to avoid this happening again. Thank you in advance for any help.
I cover my cakes with ganache. I have not had any of the blowout since I have been doing this.
Here are a few things to keep in mind :
1) The cake must be level.
I do not own an Agbay, so I use a level ( dedicated to caking) to check my cakes. I torte with a long cake knife. I collar my pans so my cakes bake up even.
2) Pipe a dam around cake about 1/4 " in from the edge of the cake.
If you are using a filling, only fill as high as your dam. I use a # 12 tip.
3) It's important to let your cake rest after you fill/ crumb coat, before you cover it with fondant.
Also when I'm covering with fondant I only cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Stick it in the fridge to firm up before I cover w fondant.
I know a lot of people use ganache, I use all buttercream under my fondant and have not had any problems. HTH
@ Gilly44 Oh meant to say welcome to CC, here you will find a great group of people, experts to newbies all generous with their help. I have learned so much on here and keep on learning.
Oooohhh nuts! Had a nice long answer typed ready to send when somehow it just disappeared :( YUCK......Alright, let's try again........
I never 'let a cake rest/settle'........I didn't have time for that when making a dozen cakes a weekend. I bake ahead & freeze; let thaw overnight then fill and crumb coat. Filling could be fruit, or b'cream, or custard - whatever. Get fondant ready - knead & roll out; cover w/plastic wrap while giving cake another coating of b'cream, & fondant is applied right away. I was taught fondant had to go over fresh b'cream or it would not stick to the cake which is what causes air pockets/blowouts. Once the fondant is added use fondant smoothers to go all over it. Yes, smoothers are very important. I am a very cheap person.....I don't want to buy something I can get away w/o! LOL And to me smoothers was something I could do w/o - after all I had been using my hands to smothe my fondant cakes for some time. Well, along the way I was given some smoothers and boy! what a difference they made. I don't think I had another blowout after using them. It allows you to apply pressure evenly all over which anchores the fondant to the b'cream'd cake - eleminating air pockets.
Another thing some people do is after covering cake w/fondant is ti poke small holes (use a needle that has been passed through a flame) all along the bottom and top edge of the cake allowing an escape route for any air that might be there. These holes are covered when you pipe your borders.
Hope that helps not only you but others reading this thread :)
Good evening ladies, many thanks for all your advice on my first post on here. I have taken on board all that you advice, it all made very interesting reading. I'm sure that I will be leaning a lot from you all. Thank again. Happy baking days ahead. :)
@kakeladi Hope you don't mind my asking, but do you have issues with buttercream bulging out between the layers if you don't rest them? I let my cakes rest overnight with just a crumb coat, and sometimes in the morning there's buttercream sort of bulging out between the layers. So if I covered with fondant directly, wouldn't that mean bulges later? Or do you combat that with a stiff BC dam? Not gonna lie, being able to skip the resting stage will make things a lot faster!
@Gilly44 sorry if I'm hijacking your thread!
@kakeladi I also bake ahead and freeze, thaw overnight then crumb coat. I was told that if you didn't let the cake rest, that blowouts were possible, so far, I haven't had any. But you're saying do everything the same day, well that sounds like a time saver to me, I may have to try that next time and see how it goes.
Remember ladies I've been retired for around 10 yrs now. (OH my goodness, where has the time gone?!) I learned to use fondant in it's early days (here in the U.S.) And I had a busy bakery so whatever shortcuts I could take I did :) Letting a filled cake rest was never thought of back in those 'olden days' LOL. I have no idea who came up with that idea.
For bulging filling you are either using too much filling or not a stiff enough dam - maybe both. Most people are taught to use an open coupler - one w/o a tip or slot - to apply a dam but I say that makes trouble. Use tip 12 otherwise there's too much filling, as most people fill right to the top of the dam. Making a smaller dam keeps you from using so much. In fact I was taught to torte each 2" cake twice and use just a 'smear' of filling - not even needing a dam.
The few times I would let a cake 'rest' was when working on 3 or 4 at the same time - usually all the tiers of one wedding cake. I would fill and crumb coat then finish working on one at a time so yes, 2 or 3 were resting and there would be maybe 1 once in awhile where the dam did bulge a bit. All one needs to do is run a spatula around to smooth that down before adding the finish coat of b'cream & fondant.
If you want to try doing it all the same day just remember location/weather makes a big difference in things. As I remember, most of my blowouts occurred when making big elevation changes during delivery. I did most of my decorating while living at 3k ft. When delivering to most locations I would either climb higher (often as much as 1k) or down to the 'valley' losing 2k or more ft of elevation. Just mentioning that as it might affect your work. There is soooo much that affects our work that most people, even long time decorators, never think of. And....often what works for one won't work for another. There are just too many variables - we can't address them all.