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A Thread for all UK bakers!! - Page 228

post #3406 of 24131

Yes, that's right sugarluva. Sometimes, I use your method to melt ganache. So its fine, don't melt it too much as you need a spreadable consistency.

I know what you mean. Things like that happen to me too!!! So you are not alone!:-D 

If you put your heart and soul, there's nothing you cannot do!
If you put your heart and soul, there's nothing you cannot do!
post #3407 of 24131
Thanks for the tips everyone. I'm seeing pigs in mud cakes everywhere since I've been asked to make one, funny how fashion can even influence cakes isn't it? I will post a picture, be the end of the month I expect.
post #3408 of 24131
Originally Posted by maisie73 View Post

Ooh, would it be good for boxing ring ropes? My husbands grandson wanted a boxing ring cake last year but I didn't have a clue how to go about it, having done a few more cakes now I'm feelina a bit more adventurous so I might attempt it this year! Is Trex the same as Crisco? I bought Crisco from the American food aisle in Tesco for £4.50, a couple of weeks later I saw Trex, had a look and couldn't see any difference.


Sorry to butt in mid conversation.....ropes....I am still scared of piping, so have used liquorice laces on a few cakes now....they might work on a boxing ring...if you can secure them at each corner. The proper black ones are difficult to find now though....I had to go to a traditional style sweet Mr Simms...or those tiny 8' square shops with glass jars to the ceiling icon_smile.gif

Good luck
post #3409 of 24131
Hi Spirelite, butt in all you like, I need all the help I can get! I was thinking about liquorice laces but I haven't seen them for years. Also never heard of Mr Simms. I do know an old sweet shop tho, will check it out when I can. Thankyou icon_smile.gif
post #3410 of 24131
Maisie, the supermarkets sell red (strawberry), cola and blackcurrant (!!!!) ones....try the confectionery aisle...about 40 pence a packet. It was the black (proper liquorice) ones that I particularly wanted icon_smile.gif
post #3411 of 24131
Thankyou, shows how often I buy sweets doesn't it! I can name every item in the chocolate aisle tho! icon_smile.gif
post #3412 of 24131

Ok so I had a go with the ganache and Asda fondant today. My first issue was with warming up the ganache to make it soft enough to smooth - like I said I don't have a microwave so I had to split the big bowl I had left to set into 2 smaller bowls and warm them over a bowl. Next time I'll leave them in smaller bowls as I didn't realise how hard it set. I think I might have over heated the first lot as it went a bit grainy and looked as though it was about the split. It still tasted good though so I used it. The second lot I hardly heated at all so it wasn't very soft but it did look better. 


It was a lot easier and nicer to smooth on than buttercream so I think it's worth the effort! I got a lovely smooth, firm surface as the ganache had set which I was really happy about. 


As for the Asda fondant, it was so much softer and stretchier than I'm used to with Tesco. That made it so much easier to put on and for the first time ever I didn't get any cracks or elephant skin. It was also much easier to put on smoothly and get all the creases out from the bottom. It did end up with lots of finger marks in it though, every little touch left a dent in the surface. I left it for an hour or so and then came back to smooth it again and it did smooth more but no perfectly. It's definitely the best I've had for a long time though. 


I haven't had chance to taste either cake yet, I'm going to finish decorating tomorrow, but so far I'm really pleased with the ganache. If I get my fondant issue sorted I think ganache is the way forward, it definitely got rid of all the bulges I ALWAYS end up with with buttercream!


Just two questions, do you think if I rolled my fondant thicker it would solve the finger marks issue? Or is this just a problem with that fondant being so soft? I'm never sure how thick to roll it out. Second, I had loads of air bubbles under the fondant this time which has never been an issue for me before. They were popping up everywhere. Are there any tips for not getting these?


Overall I am definitely going to keep practising with the ganache, because as long as it tastes good, I definitely think it will help get a a smother finish. It still needs more work though!


(Sorry I have a habit of waffling!)

post #3413 of 24131
Ooh strawberry laces! I'm doing bunting on a birthday cake this weekend and that would make a fab 'string' to hang them from! Plus I get to eat the leftovers - yum yum! icon_smile.gif

Sounds like you had a good day Sugarluva! I've not done much with ganache but I'm really tempted to give it a go, sounds lovely! In terms of fondant covering, do you use spacers when you roll out? If not, I highly recommend them - I always struggled getting even sugarpaste but since using them to get even thickness, it's been brilliant! I use 5mm ones for when I'm covering a cake, and 3mm for cupcake toppers icon_smile.gif

Air bubbles form when tiny pockets of air between the cake and sugarpaste get warm and expand, it can be for a number of reasons - typically that either your buttercream/ganache was not completely smooth, or it's how you smooth the sugarpaste down. My method is always to smooth the top first with smoothers, from the centre out to the edge, then smooth the edges with my palms - bit hard to describe but if you move your thumb in, I use the curve of the heel of my hand? Then work your way round and down the cake, smoothing it against and down the cake with the palms of your hands - fingers curved out and away from the cake to avoid the dreaded 'finger dents' icon_smile.gif Then I go over the whole cake again with a pair of smoothers, to get a really smooth finish. Oh and this is all done with the cake on a lazy Susan, so I can turn the cake round as I go. I'm sure you do all this already, but just sharing what I find works, so hope it helps!

post #3414 of 24131
I was going to say the same as Mel about spacers and smoothing with the heel of your hand. I don't like smoothers, I can't get on with them, I always catch the fondant and pull it (don't even ask how I manage that!). One thing I will add, I used to struggle to get the fondant rolled evenly until I stopped doing on the worktop and did it on the dining table instead. I think because it's lower and because I can lean over it/ move around it without the cupboard on the wall getting in the way- I sound wierd now don't I?! Also, if I do get bubbles in it I just pop em with a pin and smooth gently with my finger.
I did a cake with bunting in January, wish I'd thought if laces for that, would've been perfect.
(I'm also a member of the waffling club!)
post #3415 of 24131
I agree, spacers all the way for me to, I do use smoothers and always two , if you use just the one and use your hand for the others I always get hand marks, that way two smoother sorts that out for me anyway.
post #3416 of 24131

I do use two smoothers but I don't use spacers. Actually I really need a new rolling pin. I have always used a wooden one I have had for ages but I have been coveting one of the big plastic fondant rolling pins. They just seem so expensive! Spacers would definitely help me though so I will definitely try and pick one of those up some time soon. Having the cake on a turn table has made a big difference too, they're very useful. 


I was popping the air bubbles like crazy today I have never had so many so I'm not sure why that was but I am looking forward to giving the ganache another go soon so I'll see if I can avoid them next time. Does anyone know, can you just use the ganache as soon as it has been made, once it has cooled and firmed up slightly of course? Or is the setting and then re-warming a vital step? Just thinking that it was a lot smoother when it was first made.

post #3417 of 24131
Sugarluva, glad you got a smooth finish with the ganache. Yes, you can use the ganache straight away. But I bake the cake two days ahead and torte and fill on the same day I bake. Then ganache, cover and decorate the next day. So I have to keep on warming up the ganache.

About the air bubbles, I don't know whether this make any difference but I use corn flour instead icing sugar. I felt that the more I use icing sugar the more stickier the paste gets. And could be the whether warming up a bit now?
If you put your heart and soul, there's nothing you cannot do!
If you put your heart and soul, there's nothing you cannot do!
post #3418 of 24131
Sugarluva, you should get a plastic rolling pin. I love mine, much better than my wooden one. I bought a wilton 20 inch from ebay for about £20 but you can get a 20inch no name one from HongKong for about a tenner. I chose the wilton so I could buy the wilton spacing rings and know they'd fit but I have a sneaking suspicion they'd fit the cheaper ones. If you're unsure try a little one first, I got a little 9 inch one with spacers for about £3 from Hong kong, it's brilliant for rolling little bits of fondant and the quality looks the same as the big wilton to me.
post #3419 of 24131
Sugarluva, I have a fab rolling pin, huge, had it from the Range and it was £20 but the same in Amazon is £15 , no ridges, great.
post #3420 of 24131
I was going to start a new thread to ask this but laptop's playing up so I'm stuck with my phone. My husband and I are paying forour sons wedding cake, it's to feed 170 people, 4 tiers, £600. It's a lot of money but it's our gift to th and it's what they wanted. However, when they went (all the way to swansea from newport!) to book it and pay the deposit, they came back and told us two of the tiers are going to be dummies! I was shocked! I told them so and they said not to worry cos she's "giving us two cutting cakes as well" with big grins on their faces. Apparently the lady who makes the cake said this is common practice! I think if I'm paying £600 for a 4 tiered cake I want 4 tiers of cake. What do you all think? Is this common practice? Thanks in advance. icon_smile.gif
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