Originally Posted by vgcea
Man I wish I could pile on my SMBC as thick as RBI does, it looks so good. I always end up with a thin layer
Nearly 3 years into to this, I'm STILL on a learning curve to get smooth icing, horizontally level, 1/4" layers of filling without bulges. I'm slowly learning that it's not "just one thing". In my opinion, it's a hard-won combination of techniques and recipes that have been utilized multiple
times. (The old "practice, practice, practice".)
Originally Posted by BlakesCakes
I do 4 cake layers, 3 filling layers. I bake 2" layers.
I, too, adore my Agbay. It really makes getting a nice level cake so very easy. Worth every penny.
With the way my cakes bake up, I figure that I have about 3" of cake and 1" of filling--it makes me and my clients happy. I also find that with the types of filling that I use, this ratio leaves me virtually no bulges.
My "educated" guess for the Ron Ben-Israel photo slice, the Celebration Generation cake slice photos and Rae's cake slices:
1. The cake recipe is a tried and true recipe that yields a denser cake that does not dissolve into a crumbling mess.
2. Filling recipes that are tried and true. Knowledge of which fillings soak into the cake, flatten out, maintain their shape, etc. (i.e., raspberry jam, whipped cream, non-whipped ganache, fresh fruit, Pastry Pride with dry pudding mix, sleeve fillings--ALL have very different properties. Some you can slather on really thick, some are slippery, some soak into the cake, etc.)
3. Agbay leveler
4. Measuring the amount of filling--not just slapping it on.
5. Allowing the cake to "settle". (Either time or using a weight on top.)
6. Knowing when to use a dam of icing. Knowing how stiff that dam needs to be for each type of filling.
7. Thin, minimally handled, layers of fondant that won't weigh down the filled/crumbcoated cake.
8. And my biggest surmise for an RBI slice: The photo slices have been chilled, cut with a hot, dry, clean knife, (and staged for photography).
Rae~~what do you think of my guesses above? Anything to add/subtract/change?