Opening up another session of the FNCC! Who's Up? Whatch' Workin' On?
Hi there everyone!
This is the first of two weeks off before my Fall orders start rolling in. But, of course, I didn't really take it OFF...I made some really cute cupcakes. Red polka dot liners, white swirl icing, red bow on top. Cute! This week is also candy week. I made my smores cookies this past week and will be making my peanut butter cups tomorrow.
Mainly this weekend I will be scrapbooking! My mom and I take trips every two years and last year it was a Bavarian Castle Tour. I have two of the 5 parts done and hope to get two more done this weekend. We always have such a good time and, fortunately, we can leave the mess set up all weekend at her house...something that can't happen at mine! LOL!
What has been going on with everyone else this week?? Dying to see some of your work so please share if you took photos?
I finished the fireman cake I posted about last week. I was really stressed out over and disappointed with the icing . I wanted to cover the cake with fondant but it is way too hot and no air conditioning here. The fondant just drooped and the buttercream underneath melted. So I decided to just use buttercream but then got tiny air bubbles in the frosting no matter how I tried to smooth it. I finally just had to move on. I think it turned out pretty good anyway with all the fondant decorations.
I think I am going to start the Wilton classes this fall. I still seem to have so much trouble covering a cake with buttercream or fondant. I try a lot of the techniques I read about and watch on youtube but I never seem to get better in these two areas. Hopefully the classes will help.
Cat, I used to scrapbook all the time but I have so many albums now and I hate clutter. I still love to scapbook so I just make gift albums to give away. That is why I started making cakes. I get to be artistic then I can give it way Have fun scapbooking this weekend!
No cakes here this week , just teaching.
After the show last week it was good to have a week off. I finally an able to start catching up on some paperwork and acting like the Secretary of our cake decorating Branch.
I have a couple of light weeks so I will have time I hope to prepare some flowers for the busy couple of months I have ahead.
I am demonstrating at the City Rose Show at the end of the month. so I have to come up with a nice cake for them to raffle as well as some new things for my stand.
I quite often get a fair bit of business from it every year so I like to put out a good display.
Erin , I just love your fireman and puppy dog they are just adorable . Some days fondant just won't play . Have you tried ganache underneath instead of buttercream. I find it firms up and holds it shape a lot better . It is all I ever use.
What kind of chocolate do you use for your ganache? Is it very expensive?
I love the Fireman cake. It is really just SO cute! The classes can help but also working with the right ingredients can make the difference. What type of fondant do you use and what recipe for buttercream do you use? Changing those may change the success you have to make your cakes look the way you want them to look. For instance, I make my own MMF. After lots of batches I have it down now so I almost never have issues. BUT when I need black or navy blue or red I have to use a premade fondant. My favorite, due to the taste, is Duffs. But is is SOOOOOO soft that is it really really hard to work with when it comes to the details on a cake. Easy as pie to cover a cake with it but so hard to make the details because it's so soft. So it really depends on the products you use. By all means, take the classes...education is always a good thing...I am constantly taking classes, either locally or online, to extend the tool selection in my toolbox.
As for scrapbooking. I've taken to digitally scrapbooking at Shutterfly for family stuff and only do the glue them in a book type scrapbooking for my big trips. For instance, the one I'm working on right now has a few panorama shots that were taken in 3-4 frames. So I take those and match them up and glue them together and make one long shot for the book. I can't do that for a digital book. My Shutterfly books all fit neatly in my bookcase and I have a special bookcase for the much bigger scrapbooks.
I have never done the ganache under the fondant because it costs so much more to do so. I have heard it works wonderfully but I have never had an issue, since I use a high heat buttercream recipe, of melting buttercream and I use my own MMF so never had an issue with melting fondant.
My big news this week is that my son in law was talking to the purchasing manager at a big hotel in Monterey, mentioned he was working his deliveries so early because his in-laws were coming in from out of town to deliver a cake and the PM asked him what sort of work I did. Nate told him and he requested a portfolio from me. So I made up a Shutterfly book, had it shipped to Nate and he delivered it yesterday. The PM was quite impressed, especially with my sugar flower work, and said he was going to deliver it to the head wedding planner. Whether that will end up with me on the Preferred Vendors List at that hotel or not it is still such an exciting opportunity! Cross your fingers for me...I'd SO love to get this since we are planning a move into that area in the next two years.
Anyways...got the photos into the book, gotta go back and get to decorating and journaling!LOL!
OOOo Cat that sounds exciting , Good luck.
Erin , for ganache I use an eating dark chocolate, I use the Aldi one , I think you have Aldi's over there . My opinion is if the chocolate tastes nice the ganache is nicer.
I use the two parts chocolate and one part cream , I think you call the cream Heavy cream.
I really think it is not all that more expensive because you don't use as much ganache as you would buttercream. But then again I don't know much about the prices of your produce over there.
To make it I bring my cream to the boil , remove from heat and add my chocolate ( already broken up into small pieces ) and then whisk until it is smooth. I then let it set up overnight if possible . It should have a peanut butter type consistency. I apply it with a palette knife and neaten it up with the palette knife dipped in hot water and dried off .
I like to leave it to dry overnight or for several hours if I have time otherwise I pop it in the freezer for about mins if I don't . To cover with fondant , I brush with some sugar syrup or mist with some cool boiled water and apply my fondant.
If you are going to use white chocolate , you need to use three times the amount of chocolate to cream.
Oh and you can add extra flavour to the cream before you add the chocolate. You can use a small amount of alchohol, flavouring essence or oils or you can even infuse the cream with tea bags. I made a Chai tea flavoured ganache to go with a Jaffa cake ( chocolate orange flavour ) a few weeks ago this way.
I hope this helps a bit , I am hopeless with buttercream and never use it , I also don't like the taste , neither do many of my customers. So it is ganache all the way here.
Wow...thanks for the tutorial!! I'm making a ganache covered cake this weekend and that will be very helpful indeed. Especially love the tip about the white chocolate! I never would have guessed you have to use triple the amount! I don't use the ingredients for ganache often whereas I use buttercream every single week, whether I have a fondant covered cake or not so I always have some around. A batch of buttercream that is enough to cover a wedding cake costs me about $7. The chocolate for an 8x4 cake would cost almost that. The good chocolate I use is about $6 and then the cream is about $3. To use it as a crumbcoat is even more expensive since I can crumbcoat a wedding cake and a half for the $7 that buttercream costs me. So yes, a bit out of my range. But I do get orders for ganache covered cakes so it's simply wonderful to get tips from someone who uses it all the time! Thank you SO much! Just what you said today will make my Saturday SO much easier!
I'm just finishing up the gum paste flower toppers for the next 5 cakes I have coming up. I've finished and coloured 5 hummingbirds and 2 rice paper butterflies as well. I hope to get started on the table coverings and backdrops as well.
Let me comment however on the use of ganache under fondant. I use it exclusively under my fondant (I use Albert Uster...the slight increase in cost is offset by the great taste and ease of use).
Many will tell you that you can only use premium chocolate and I do try to use Guittards...but when I first started using ganache as an undercoat I used (gasp!) Nestle's chips!!! Now many will tell you that you can't use them because the chips don't melt down. Admittedly, you have to work a little longer to smooth them out by working them against the side of the bowl after adding the hot cream. But it can be done.
The resulting flavour of fondant over ganache is heavenly. Because Albert Uster can be rolled ever so thin before putting on the ganache, it's like a fabulous candy coating over the cake. It's the choice of all my brides for the last two years.
On last comment, thank you all at CC for being part of such a supportive group. In these harsh times, it's always reassuring to know there's an online forum of like-minded friends.
Thank you Chellescakes and Southerncross for your ganache tips. I guess the extra cost of ingredients is worth less stress and frustration
Cat I make MMF. I just tried to make MFF but I must have done something wrong cause it didn't turn out at all, plus it was a lot more work to make. For buttercream I tried a half butter, half shortening recipe. I used to use all shortening recipes but was trying get into all butter recipes to make my cakes healthier (I used 1/2 and 1/2 this time because of the heat). Today I just watched Sharon Zambito's (sp) buttercream dvd for the 1st time (I have had it for 2 years ). I think I will try her recipe and techniques next time. Maybe all shortening is the way to go for me. Cakes aren't supposed to be healthy anyway, right
Southerncross what are you making the humming birds out of?
Cat I will have to try a digital scrapbook sometime.
I use an all shortening recipe when it's summer. It's keeps everything perfectly up to 104 degrees. During the winter I go back to the half and half recipe. Since I do use flavorings I can't tell the difference between the two recipes other than the fact it doesn't hold up to heat well.
I have never tried MFF. My MMF turns out perfectly every time so I've never felt the need to branch out. Ok there was this one time where it didn't turn out right and I found out that the powdered sugar I used was beet sugar not cane sugar and you have to use cane sugar or it's grainy and soft. Learned my lesson there.LOL!
And, no, I don't try to make my sweets healthier. That's like complaining about the unhealthy movie theater popcorn you have twice a year. I've been following a "everything in moderation" diet for six months and have lost 25 pounds without even trying. I swim 3 times a week for a half hour as my work out. When I make sweets of any kind around the house I make sure I have a whole lotta people to share them with so I only have one or two servings at the most. (yes, I'm the type of person where the food CALLS to me in the darkness so there can't be leftovers<G>. But I do full and real everything. No cutting of fat, sugar or calories for my baked goods.
I am grateful for the ganache tips since it's the cake I have to do this week and I haven't made ganache since Christmas!