What Happened? First Cake Disaster (Long)

Decorating By tguegirl Updated 2 Aug 2008 , 2:11pm by julzs71

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tguegirl Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 12:50pm
post #1 of 7

I made a cake for my friend's birthday. It was based on a design by awsus. Now, I'm a little embarassed to say so, but in the past I've only used boxed cake mixes, filled with strawberry or raspberry jam and iced with canned frosting (sorry!). I only bake for fun and this worked for me. I decided to use the WASC recipe and make whipped chocolate ganache filling for this cake. Well, the gum paste flowers turned out fine, but then I got to the actual cake part. I didn't have a serrated knife because I'm in temporary housing for just the summer, so only had a plastic knife to level the layers. Needless to say, that didn't go very well. The cake layers were a little uneven and the ganache kept causing the layers to slide around. I iced the whole thing and covered in satin ice, when it promptly started to sag and bag and collapse. By the time the party rolled around, the cake was in a disastrous stage. What happened? I placed a board and dowels halfway through the cake as usual, and I've made much larger and more extravagant cakes than this one. The layers weren't extremely even, but that shouldn't account for all of the collapsing. Was it the satin ice? I've only used mmf in the past. Any comments would be appreciated, as I'm looking to make another cake for this Friday, but am really discouraged and a little scared to take on the challenge! Thanks!

6 replies
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4Gifts4Lisa Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:24pm
post #2 of 7

Aw...that was a lovely cake! Sorry it collapsed!

I think it was numerous things. I think the ganache wasn't stable enough to hold it. I also think the layers really do need to be level. Can you use dental floss with the next cake? That might help, and you probably have it in a drawer!

Also, make sure the frosting dam is VERY stiff, and also fill the cake the night before and let it settle overnight.

One last thing...you could try the "durable" cake recipe on this site. Makes a good, sturdy cake.

Good luck with your next project!

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smab109 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:30pm
post #3 of 7

Did you let the cake/filling rest before you covered it in fondant? I fill, crumb coat the cake and let it chill for 2-3 hours before covering in fondant.

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julzs71 Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:46pm
post #4 of 7

Sometimes when I have cakes with filling in the middle I will throw in a few cake scraps to keep it from sliding. I also use a very good damn. Chocolate does melt, so that could have been the problem.
The cake was very nice though.

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mcdonald Posted 28 Jul 2008 , 3:48pm
post #5 of 7

I too think the ganache was not stable enough. Maybe should have whipped it, if you didn't do that.

Don't get discouraged and I would suggest you get right back on that horse and do it again!! I had a wedding diaster, my first, and I did NOT want to do another cake. Cried for days.. Stressed out, etc... I had an order I couldn't say no to and off I went. WHile I was really scared and stressed.. in the end.. everything was fine. So I say.... move ahead......

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tguegirl Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 3:45am
post #6 of 7

Thank you all so much for your help! I think it was ultimately a combination of factors. I ran out of time and didn't have time to refrigerate after stacking, and after crumb coating. I did minimally (for maybe 10 minutes), but it was obviously not long enough. In addition, the ganache really was too slippery! And, I didn't dam the filling- I figured that ganache was basically a frosting anyways. Big mistake!

In any event, I did climb right back on the horse. I made this cake today that I am really happy with. Luckily, it was the same general shape, but this time I carefully leveled, stacked, doweled, and refrigerated it a ton. Overnight fridging after stacking and filling really helped! And I bought a serrated knife, lol.

Thanks everyone for your help. I feel quite relieved to have gotten past that disaster.

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julzs71 Posted 2 Aug 2008 , 2:11pm
post #7 of 7

It looks great!

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