Newbie Who Needs Help!!

Decorating By vgereis Updated 25 Mar 2011 , 2:56pm by vgereis

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vgereis Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 2:51pm
post #1 of 11

Hi all!

As the subject suggests... I'm a newbie... to posting.. and to "serious" decorating! hehe! I started off by just loving to bake... and then for my son's recent 3rd birthday, I made him two cakes (both using shaped pans plus standard pans) and decorated with BC frosting. It was all quite "simple" in that the decorations were all "follow the instructions basic frosting tips" with only a bit of improv on my part. Since then, I made a very "rushed and basic" iphone shaped/bc decorated cake for my hubby.... and he loved it, and so did my friends... They all think I have the potential to turn this into a mini side-business.... I'm very critical of myself and don't think I have it in me just yet but am so eager to learn....

Anywayyy.... one of my friends asked me to make a cake for her hubby's birthday... except.... it will need to be carved... into a running shoe shape... and then decorated with fondant (which I've never used before! lol).... now... here are my questions...

I know that with fondant... you get a "neater" look... which is why we ended up choosing it despite the fact that it just doesn't taste as nice as the bc. However... just wondered if it's possible to combine the two? I mean... have bits that are buttercream, with finer details being done in fondant? Or will that be a recipe for disaster? Should I just put a layer of bc under the fondant?

Second... I'm going to be doing this using a dark chocolate mudcake recipe. I've recently bought one of those funky new "multisize" cake pans which is 4" deep... so was thinking to make it into a big rectangular shape and carve from there... However... do you think I should make two and stack? And if/when you do stack, what sorta filling is best for a cake that will be carved? I know the original video I watched for carving a shoe used ganache to cover before the fondant.. but I have no idea about if there were layers in between or not! It looked like it on the video but it wasn't shown in the steps! icon_confused.gif

Lastly.. any idea how much fondant I would need for a cake like this?

I know all these questions are so vague... but am hoping someone can at least put me on the right track! I so hope I can pull this off as it'll be my first time with so many techniques! lol! I know I'll have a million more questions.. but that's it for now!! please help oh wonderful cakemasters of cakecentral!!

All the best,


10 replies
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cakesrock Posted 24 Mar 2011 , 5:33pm
post #2 of 11

Yes, you can combine BC and fondant, but I would cover the entire shoe in fondant for the neater look, then use BC for accents. Sugarshack's videos are excellent instructional tools for both BC and fondant. And there are good tasting fondant recipes (homemade MMF). Try Rhonda's ultimate MMF or Michelle Foster's (not a marshmallow fondant) both are in recipes section on this website. You can fill and crumbcoat with BC too. Or use ganache instead of BC to crumbcoat. It will give you sharper edges, but it's much more chocolaty and expensive to make:
Pan question depends on how big you want the shoe. I've used 2 loaf pans for a boot that I didn't want that big - just tall to carve down. Just be sure to dowel if you stack different sizes or over 2 inches each. There are lots of good instructional videos on you tube as well... I tend to use BC for filling a carved cake, but you can use anything. Just carve, then fill so you don't carve off your dam.I would make 2 batches of Rhonda's MMF (32 oz of marshmallows approx....)
Good luck and hope that helps!

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vgereis Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 9:50am
post #3 of 11

Thank you so much for your reply! Was so helpful!! Just another quick question or two.... You said you used 2 loaf tins for the boot... this one isn't going to be so high (as it's a runner's shoe).. so do you think one cake would suffice to be carved from? And when you said that it's better to carve and then fill... so I assume... get it into the shoe shape... then slice, fill and re-position the slices right?

One last question that I thought of after reading a few other posts... have heard of a lot of people freezing the cake first. So... do I carve while it's frozen? semi-frozen? or completely defrosted? And any idea how long it would take to totally defrost? I would assume it needs to be totally defrosted before decorating it right?

Thanks so much for all your advice.... am getting excited.. albeit a little nervous too!

All the best,


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Sam_paggers Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 11:15am
post #4 of 11


I normally take the cake out the freezer and leave for an hour or 2 to soften before I carve. Then go straight into decorating, the cake will defrost as you work and while you carve/crumbcoat its easier if cake is still cold (less crumbs).

Not sure if other people work the same though


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pbhobby Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 12:16pm
post #5 of 11

I usually bake mine, let it cool, then put it in the freezer for just a few hours before carving. If it too frozen it will be much harder to carve.

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vgereis Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 1:36pm
post #6 of 11

Thanks so much for your replies! Am in the midst of baking the cake now... and will let it cool before putting it in the freezer for a bit... or overnight.. and then tomorrow I can defrost/layer/decorate etc! Wish me luck guys.. this is either gonna be ok... or a total disaster... and seeing as I'm doing it for a friend.. I'm so hoping it's not the latter! lol!!

Any other tips from all you cakemasters would be hugely appreciated!!

Oh oh oh... one question.. have seen that some people say to get the icing shiny... you can do a mix of vodka & corn syrup.... does anyone know... is golden syrup the same? or substitutable? I don't know where i can find corn syrup here in Paris... but I do have golden syrup so wonder if it'd work?

Thanks guys!


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Sam_paggers Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 2:00pm
post #7 of 11

Best of luck Vicky!

We dont have corn syrup here in the UK and i made the error of using the golden syrup as a substitute once and it was a disaster! It wont work as a glaze either due to the yellow colour.... not sure of other better substitutes to use!


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tastyart Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 2:05pm
post #8 of 11

Good luck with your cake making today! I hope I don't complicate things by saying this, but I don't freeze my cakes before carving. I like them at room temp. Everyone has to find a method that they are comfortable with. I'm sure you will find what works best for you.

For making it shiny...I would bet that the golden syrup would work. It might tint it very slightly, but probably not enough to be a problem. I would mix some up and try it out on a scrap piece of fondant.

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vgereis Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 2:08pm
post #9 of 11

Doh! Not what I wanted to hear.. but am glad I heard it before i tried it! lol! It's a UK golden syrup I'm using as well! lol! In fact most of my stuff comes from the UK (at least from UK websites!) hehe!

One thing I'd read somewhere (can't remember what it was for...) but someone had mentioned making a syrup from sugar and water (have the measures written somewhere) and then substituting that.. but not sure if it would work in this case.. or just for that particular use that they were talking about? icon_confused.gif

Anyway.. thanks again for your help and advice!


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tastyart Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 2:12pm
post #10 of 11

If you just want a satin finish instead of a shiny finish, you don't need the syrup. Painting the fondant lightly with vodka will give it a satin finish.

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vgereis Posted 25 Mar 2011 , 2:56pm
post #11 of 11

Thanks Tastyart for those tips!! I guess, like everything else in life, everyone has their preferred way of doing things.. and I just have to find mine! I will definitely try the golden syrup mix on a spare piece of fondant (if I have any left by then! lol) or otherwise use your tip of just vodka! gosh so many interesting things to learn! Who on earth came up with the idea of using vodka to make fondant shiny? And howww? lol!

Keep those tips coming guys! Maybe this could end up coming out half-decent! lol!


ps - if you were doing this project... how many layers do you think you'd do? I was given the tip of carving first, and then layering and covering.... so if it's roughly the size of a man's shoe.. do you think it's best to stick to just 1 or two layers of frosting?

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