I am making a square 'naked' wedding cake in mid October.
I know you have to keep it wrapped well until right before the wedding in order to keep it from drying out. (I am thinking a sugar syrup brushed on it?)
Anyways, the cake is going to be like this one. I'm doing 6" on top, 8", and 10". Should I bake two thick layers and cut them in half to make 4 layers for each tier or go ahead and bake 4 thin layers for each tier? I want them to be pretty around the edges-will cutting through them (especially being square) ruin them?
Im trying to keep it simple as possible so it'd be nice to not do 4 for each but I will if it will come out prettier!
I'd do two layers and cut them in half, it will make them a little more even when you assemble that cake.
Whatever you do, you won't escape cutting and levelling so you might as well bake it into deep tins (if time is not an issue). I have heard several people recommend that your wrap and chill cakes prior to cutting - some will even suggest freezing them - to avoid too much crumb. For some reason, homemade sponge cakes crumb a lot more than packet mixes but I haven't been able to figure out why, yet. If anyone knows, please tell me.
Oh before I go, you do realise that a naked cake must be assembled in the pan, no? So pans with removable bottoms would be ideal otherwise you'll have to refrigerate or freeze, then use the blowtorch to gently heat the pan and invert it on a cake board. You could of course use square cake rings (bottomless) for the assembly.
You don't have to assemble naked cakes in the pan, but you can. I wouldn't bother, that's just an extra thing to maneuver around.
The reason that cake mixes don't have as loose a crumb as scratch is that mixes have added gums to give them the gummy/spongy texture, which is what people seem to refer to as "moist" these days (since everyone is used to grocery store cakes.) The gums give you a consistent result in the texture of the cake, so that a 7 yr old can make it and it will turn out the same as anyone else making it. If a cake mix came out different every time the company would be getting a lot of complaints.
I think adding ingredients like that to a scratch cakes defeats the purpose of making a scratch cake. My clients actually buy my cakes because they are scratch and contain no preservatives or anything artificial.
To the OP, I have done it recently for a three tiered vanilla bean cake. I brushed a homemade vanilla simple syrup on the outside edges (I did it about 3 times) and then wrapped each tier in saran wrap. The inside was well protected by the whipped buttercream filling. I kept the wrap on until I delivered and set up the cake. I was told that the cake was not dry at all and was enjoyed.
Yeah, don't add gums to your scratch recipes, that's nasty. The texture of cake mixes is like a gummy damp sponge to me, the addition of the gum makes it kind of chewy and aritficial. If you're going to bake from scratch don't ruin it by trying to imitate a cake mix. That's like saying you'd make a lasagna from scratch but you're aiming for the quality of chef Boyardee in a can, blargh.
Thank you everyone for the all the advice and tips! I feel more comfortable about it now.
I just want to find a recipe that won't produce too many crumbs... But when I asked for advice, nobody cared to guide me. So I spent weeks trying out different recipes with mixed results. I love the flavour and lightness of what I am producing, but it's too crumbly. If I follow a British recipe for Victoria sponge, it ends up too close-textured (dense.) Please don't bite my head off for trying to learn and improve!
Not to derail from the OP post, but I will sidetrack a moment. Shockolata, I don't think that is the case,since costumeczar and I were simply responding to your question about adding gum to scratch recipe. Since we both bake from scratch, we provided our input on your question. If you are still looking for advice, I would strongly urge you to create a new post and you will likely receive additional input into what others like to use and possible suggestions. Just remember that folks provide their opinions on posts and it is not a personal attack on the poster.
Yes, not a personal attack, just a comment on gummy cake mix texture. If you want something with a tighter crumb try a pound cake recipe.
shockolta -- i had a whole response typed out here but i never posted 'cause it can be tricky to post sometimes and my pm is in the shop -- but i have some info for you about using gum in cake so if you post a new post i'll gladly respond --
and i don't necessarily know how to change a recipe to produce less crumbs but i have a few you might want to try or look at to compare your recipes if you wanna go that way