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Posts by Marianna46

Oh, yeah, I forgot about the candy coating vs. chocolate part of the debate. Real chocolate all the way, although the candy melts I get are basically chocolate that has had the cocoa butter removed and substituted with some other kind of vegetable fat, so it's not totally gross.
I think you're right about that, leah_s. If I use icing at all, it's just the tiniest bit. If the cake needs binding, I prefer to moisten it with a little liqueur or other alcoholic beverage - Bailey's, rum, limoncello, etc. That's why I liked the idea of the coffee creamers and the unsweetened cream for a non-alcoholic but not overly sweet version. I also like to add nuts and chopped dried fruits when the occasion calls for it.
Wow, the flavored creamer and unsweetened whipped cream binders sound delicious, and like a great way to keep them from being overly sweet. Thanks for the suggestions mommachris and scrumdiddlycakes!
Hahaha! Anna, they're not pre-chewed! Do you think of mashed potatoes with butter and sour cream as pre-chewed potatoes? What I like about the cake crumb ones is their versatility - you can combine them with anything your little heart desires. That said, I don't hate the other kind, either. Life with options is nice, isn't it?
Like icer 101, I use pineapple in my carrot cake. The orange cream cheese frosting sounds delicious, too. I wouldn't flavor the fondant unless you're making it from scratch, but if you are, then a little orange oil or extract in place of the vanilla gives it a wonderful flavor and kind of cuts that uber-sweet fondant taste. I've also had buttercream frosting on carrot cake and, while it wasn't gross, it just didn't make the flavor of the cake sing.
Just in case grease ever is an issue, here's what I do to prevent the problem: I give everything I'm going to use for whipping egg whites - bowls; beaters and storage containers - a good rinsing with white vinegar and a final one with clear water first. Vinegar is one of the best grease cutters there is, among its many virtues.
I personally like the ones made of cake crumbs and icing (whether a little or a lot is up to you). I don't see much difference between the cake-only ones made in cake pop makers and donut holes. And what would I do with all the trimmings from my sculpted cakes if I couldn't make cake pops/truffles from them?
Did your RI set up like it usually does when you made it? The only thing I can think of is that there might have been a little grease in your mixture (a stray drop of egg yolk or a tiny spot of grease on the beaters or the bowl or even the container you stored it in). This can ruin royal icing, although I honestly don't know if it will keep it from drying. This is a puzzler. 
I personally love traditional carrot cake, so I'd tell you to go for the nuts (if nobody's allergic) and spices. I would also use a traditional cream cheese frosting under fondant. Or you could go for something completely different and do a white chocolate ganache under the fondant. I really love orange in all its shades, and I think your cake will be truly lovely.
I think your idea of a gumpaste bow with streamers and ribbons around the bottom of each tier is lovely. The picture posted by uberathlete is actually done with stencils. It looks like royal icing over fondant, and works very well because the fondant and the RI are slightly different shades. It's a very classy look that would work well with your ribbon idea.
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