Oh Boy; Here We Go - 1St Time Making A Carved Cake

Decorating By arline Updated 28 May 2008 , 3:48am by arline

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arline Posted 27 May 2008 , 7:30pm
post #1 of 9

Whoa do I need some help! I'm making a personal life-sized "steak-cake" for my son's 33rd BD. It will replicate a raw porterhouse steak. I've printed out some pics to use as a guide. It will be approx. 10" long X 7" wide. I wrote to a Prof. cake maker of this and he wrote me back saying the cake (after being cut out) is cov'd with a reddish fondant base; fat and bone from modeling choc. I plan to use the recipe here for the MMF and I have a recipe for mod. choc. from here, also. I am a total beginner, never having touched fondant before, but have done watercolors and do have an artistic ability to copy things well. Here are my questions; pls. feel free to ans. those that you can:

1. Can I use the WASC recipe here for the cake (baked in a 13" X 9" pan, I guess)? Or, is there a diff. cake recipe I should use since I will be trimming it all around the perimeter in the proper shape? The cake will only be a single layer. I'm more concerned with the finished appearance than the taste, since I'll be serving his favorite dessert to everyone.

2. I have Wilton icing color paste, B. Crocker gel food coloring & reg. liq. food colorings. Are these okay to use for coloring the MMF and the mod. choc? I presume the Wilton is the ideal dye to use.

3. The party is this Sat.; how soon ahead can I make (& play with a little to practice) the MMF and the mod. choc.? Just keep both refrig. until ready to assemble on Friday, I'm planning??? Soften in micro a tad when ready?

4. Should I cover the cake 1st. with a crumb coat? If so, what recipe to use for that and then let it "crust over"?

5. I'm looking for a very realistic rendition. I want to embed somehow little, fine pieces of white mod. choc. to represent the marbling found in a good steak. But, can I "embed" these little rolled pieces into the fondant by pushing them in it or is it (the fondant) too stiff or will it crack? If I can, should I use a fine boning knife and actually cut out little, tiny strips from the fondant and then insert matching strips of the mod. choc. instead of trying to push in the mod. choc. into the fondant? (This is obviously after the fondant is already on the cake, I guess.)

6. Would it actually be better to make all the decorative additions and insertions into the fondant while it's flat on a board and THEN lay it onto the cake? (I will be applying the mod. choc. all around the perimeter of the cake to replicate the layer of fat commonly found on steak at the end.) I'm worried that if it's on the cake before inserting the pieces, I'll be pushing too much on the cake and the fond. will break. If I work on the fond. flat on a board 1st., I'm worried that all the pushing will end up making the fond. stick to the surface and I won't be able to lift it up without tearing it.

THANK YOU ALL for any help you can offer. I've spent at least 10 hours reading these boards & looking at pics in preparation for this. When I joined here a cpl. of weeks ago, I had never even heard of MMF or mod. choc.


8 replies
karateka Cake Central Cake Decorator Profile
karateka Posted 27 May 2008 , 9:34pm
post #2 of 9

Let me try to help:

I'm sure the cake you mentioned will be fine. I've found it helpful to refrigerate or freeze the cake for about 1/2 hr to firm it up some, it helps to keep the crumbs down.

Don't use liquid food colorings. Use paste or gel for the fondant. For the modeling chocolate, I think the regular "white" color will be fine uncolored, but if you feel the need to color it, get candy colors, they mix better with the modeling chocolate. At least IMHO

I would crumb coat the cake, but you don't need to let it crust. The icing will help the fondant adhere to the cake. So if I were doing this, I'd get my fondant ready to apply, then quickly coat the cake and apply the fondant.

Again, if it were me (and I'm no Colette Peters) I would vein the marbeling into the red fondant with a blunt knife or toothpick or gumpaste veining tool, then roll out your "marbeling". Brush a little water in the "veins" and lightly press your marbeling in. If you get this done very shortly after applying the red fondant, it should be ok without cracking, unless you really jam it in there. The fondant will crack if it's dry when you push the marbeling in. I think if you make nice vein imprints, you won't have to push much, and it will look fine.

DON'T do the marbeling before you cover the cake. Fondant stretches as you apply it, and your marbeling would be ruined. I would cover the cake with fondant, do the veining and marbeling, and then do the rim of fat.

I hope I covered everything....I'm sure there's an expert out there in CC land that has some more advice for ya!

Don't forget to post pics!

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arline Posted 27 May 2008 , 10:56pm
post #3 of 9

Thank you, Karateka, for your suggestions! What should I use for the icing over the cake - which recipe here? Do you know how soon ahead I can make the MMF and mod. choc. to be able to practice with it? After re-reading your explan., I just got it: make indentations in the MMF and put in the mod. choc., right? That makes sense: I was assuming I needed to cut in the veining all the way THROUGH the fond. So, I need to make sure the fond. is thick enough for an indent. and so it doesn't go all the way thru to the back!


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karateka Posted 28 May 2008 , 1:15am
post #4 of 9

Yes, I meant indentations, sorry! Sometimes my word choices aren't the best.

Sorry I forgot to answer that one question. You can make fondant and modeling chocolate well ahead of time. I've kept fondant for months, and modeling chocolate the same. Just make sure they are wrapped well. I usually double wrap mine.

Sorry about the confusion... icon_redface.gif

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karateka Posted 28 May 2008 , 1:19am
post #5 of 9

Sorry, forgot your other question....

My recipe for crusting buttercream: I got it from Linda at Cincinnati Cake and Candy.

1 stick butter
1.5 cups shortening
2 lbs powdered sugar
1/3 cup water
1 tsp creme bouquet (sometimes I omit this and just use vanilla)
1/2 tsp salt

Or you can use this recipe, which doesn't crust and requires refrigeration. It is smooth and creamy and doesn't have the slightly gritty texture of the crusting buttercream.



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step0nmi Posted 28 May 2008 , 1:37am
post #6 of 9

yes! to everything that karateka said! you can make your fondant and modeling chocolate now...especially because you want to make sure they came out right...make sure to use powdered sugar when you roll it out and now corn starch.

The WASC recipe would be a GREAT recipe to carve!

I also recommend that you do your indentations while your fondant is on your cake...I think I have also heard of people just painting onto the cake...and use gel colors...not paste and thin them out a little with vanilla...works really nice!

and yes. also, you want to wrap your cake well and freeze it...for at least an hour or two after it's fully cooled...this gives you a chance to do everything ahead of time!

I've done lots of carved cakes and have many mishaps...we all learn by trial and error...you should be fine but feel free to email me if you need help! icon_smile.gif

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arline Posted 28 May 2008 , 3:16am
post #7 of 9

Well, lucky for me that both respondents are such highly experienced decorators - thank you BOTH so much! So, to clarify: I can make both items ahead of time, but do I need to refrig. either of them or just keep them well wrapped and in an air tight container?

Re: the buttercream recipe: is the shortening okay to use with the "new" Crisco I've been reading so many people complaining about or is there another brand preferred?


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step0nmi Posted 28 May 2008 , 3:29am
post #8 of 9

you do NOT need to refrigerate! just make sure it's wrapped well...and for the fondant you want to make sure to grease with the crisco before you wrap..so it doesn't dry out. and let the fondant sit about an hour or two before you use it...actually, which type of fondant are you going to make?

I would NOT use the new crisco...it doesn't let the bc crust...well, that probably wouldn't matter since it will be underneath..so, yeah...go ahead. if you were to use it as wanting to do the viva method then you would want shortening that has trans fat in it.

Thanks for the compliment...and seriously, email me any time! icon_wink.gif

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arline Posted 28 May 2008 , 3:48am
post #9 of 9

To StepOn: You asked which recipe I'll use for the fondant. I found the MMF on this website: 16 oz. marsh., 1-2# pow. sugar,2 T. water, 2 tsp. flavoring, + shortening and starch.


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