A good friend of mine has asked me to make a mad hatter's cake (like in the new Alice in Wonderland movie). She wants it slightly tapered toward the bottom. Here's where I'm nervous. She loves my dark chocolate cake recipe (black magic). It's delicious but not very sturdy. Do I made the layers and then freeze and stack them so I can carve them? Then do I freeze it again before filling and crumb coating? Should I use ganache to crumb coat since it's sturdier? Any suggestions, tips, and ideas are welcome, thank you!!
This should help you: http://cakecentral.com/articles/6/how-to-make-a-topsy-turvy-whimsical-cake
Also, I'd recommend a sturdy recipe and I also recommend ganache. I've read too many stories about people's topsy turvy's falling apart! Good luck!
It's definitely much easier to carve a cake when it's cold, I don't freeze my cakes, but I do chill my cake layers in the fridge, then stack them and store stacked cakes in the fridge for a few hours (or overnight) wrapped in plastic. Then i carve and crumbcoat. I would be nervous about using a cake that isn't very sturdy though. You're talking about the topsy turvy cake right? Are there any substitutions you can make in your recipe to make it hold up a little better?
Thank you for the replies. No, I'm not doing topsy turvy.....just the mad hatter's hat from Alice and Wonderland. Where it's a little bit wider at the top of the hat than at the base. I'm thinking you're right, that I should use a sturdier recipe despite it not being quite as delectable as the other. I will definitely do a ganache crumb coat, should I put a dowel through the layers as well for extra strength?
I would definitely use some support if you're doing a tall cake. as for your recipe, maybe you can just tweak your current recipe, like substituting sour cream for milk makes a denser cake. I've done an all buttercream topsy turvy cake, a fondant and buttercream topsy turvy and a ganache and fondant topsy turvy and they've all worked so if I can do it on a 4 tier topsy turvy cake, you should be able to use whatever you like for a mad hatter hat cake. Although doing that cake without fondant made me more nervous than the others. hth
I will be covering it in fondant, just wasn't sure what to use as a crumb coat. Thanks again for all the tips and suggestions. I feel much better about doing this cake now. ♥
Presumably you will be building the height with layers. I haven't done carving with anyrhing except a maderia or equally heavy sponge so this may be a dumb idea but would it be possible to make the top layer of the cake she likes so much and the lower layers of a complimentary but sturdier recipe.