Hello! I am not very active on this site but have gotten great assistance from you all! I only make cakes for my family and I want to attempt my first cake that will require a structure to hold it up. The cake portion will be in the middle so neither the top not the bottom will be exposed.
If the cake itself is going to be about 9inches high (8inch rounds) would it be easier to drape the fondant over the top like I normally do and cut the hole in the middle for the structure and place the covered cake onto the structure, or should I assemble the cake onto the structure and wrap the fondant around afterwards? I am concerned about seams by wrapping but I wasn’t sure the easiest thing to do given it will be the tallest cake I have made. And the top will not be seen.
oh and another question- is ganache really better under fondant? I have only ever used butter cream underneath my fondant- so I want it to look nice but scared about making the ganche.
I have read your post several times, and am just not understanding your questions. What kind of “structure” are you referring to?? Structure as in a built wooden/metal structure to make a standing cake?? Can’t really answer effectively without understanding specifically what you mean. And as for ganache or buttercream under fondant, for some it’s personal taste, preference. For me, it depends on the cake I’m making and what kind flavours or finish I’m trying to achieve. If I want a super crisp edges on my cake, ganache is the way to go. It also depends on the weather. In the cooler weather, early spring, fall and winter I tend to use buttercream. In really warm humid weather, I definitely use ganache. As ganache can stand up to heat and humidity.
Thanks! Sorry yes I mean a standing structure where I will have a middle dowel rod for support to the base and all that. It is actually going to be R2D2 from Star Wars if that helps at all.
Total height of about 18 inches. Cake will be the body- cylinder about 9 inches high. Since he is round- i don’t know if it is that important to have super clean edges, but I also want to make it the “sturdiest” I can since it will be so big. I do live in SC and it is still 80 degrees. I just want it to look as good as possible.
Quite ambitious. I’ve made structured cakes, but not large. There is this full on step by step. Doesn’t use a built structure, but you get a good tutorial.
This might help.
I would definitely cover the carved rounded cake in ganache. Ganache will set up nice and firm. And you can take a warmed spatula to smooth out the ganache, remove and bumps or lumps before you cover with fondant.
Thanks for your feedback! You are not kidding ambitious! I always try to challenge myself to something new whenever I make a cake. It is always for my family so it doesn’t have to be perfect but it is fun to do! Downside is I never perfect anything though since it is always different lol.
Can ganache sit out at room temp like buttercream once the cake is covered? Trying to think where to store this thing if not.
I appreciate it!
Absolutely, a ganache covered cake can sit at room temperature. From 3-4 days, max. I did my grandson’s baby shark bday cake this past August. Party was in a local park. It was 89 degrees outside!!! Kept cake in a box
Hmmm..rest of my message didn’t post??
Kept cake in a box under a picnic table. Cake sat for 2 hours before being cut. Perfectly fine, no melting. Was completely stable. That was due to the cake being covered in 100% ganache.
I always use ganache for sculptured cakes because it is so much stronger. Do not be afraid of ganache! It is one of the easiest things you will ever make and it is about a million times, in my opinion, easier to apply to the cake than buttercream. I think, if I were you, I would go ahead and set up the cake on the structure, then give it a study to see which approach would be better for applying the fondant. The seams can be placed where they will be covered by trim. You may also want to consider using modeling chocolate, instead of fondant. All seams can be completely smoothed away, using modeling chocolate and it is yummy.
Thanks SandraSmiley! I have been confused about the ratio for the ganache. Some sites say 1:1 and others go up to 3:1. I was planning on using semi-sweet chocolate, and I guess I would let it set enough to be able to frost like normal? I just get nervous the first time with things.
Yes, maybe I will look at the cake once it is ready for the fondant and see which way I should apply it. I have a concern about being able to roll it out big enough to drape over, and you are right about the seams- especially with it being R2D2- there are many details that could cover the seam.
It is always a guessing game- I have so much respect to those of you who do this professionally, true artwork!
You could fondant wrap the front of the cake and then cut straight down the sides to remove excess fondant and then do the same to the back. This will give you side seams but since R2D2 has legs on either side then that will hide the seams. This way you aren't having to deal with such a large piece of fondant at once so it will probably be easier to maneuver and handle.
And I am going to use ganache for the first time on a cake I am doing this weekend. I have been wanting to get sharper edges on my cakes and ganache seems to be the way to go to get that. Plus since it firms up better than buttercream then there is the added bonus of the cake being more stable in the end.
From what I have read I believe for dark and semi-sweet chocolate the ratio is 2 to 1. But the amount of chocolate needed for milk or white chocolate increases because there is less coco in it than there is in dark or semi-sweet.
Freckles0829- Thank you! That is a perfect idea! Since his legs will cover the sides, it is the perfect place for the seam, and much more manageable! I was going to do 2:1 ratio, thanks for the info!
If this works out, I will post a picture and show you all since you have been such a great help. Wish me luck! My husband's birthday is Saturday!
And good luck on your first ganache attempt as well. :)
Good luck! I am sure it will look amazing. Can't wait to see the finished product!
For white or dark chocolate ganache ratios are 1:1 in cool/cold weather. Ganache is usually the consistency of peanut butter. Easily spreadable. But you need 3:1 or 4:1 in hot/humid weather. Ganache has to be hard. Now the 3/4:1 ratio you will have to warm up in the micro for a few seconds so you can spread. Don’t warm any more than 5-8 seconds at a time, or it will become a runny mess. I use just plain chocolate chips. I add a dark chocolate bar if I want dark ganache.
I know there is a lot of different formulas, but the ratios I use are:
White Chocolate: 1 part heavy cream to 3 to 4 parts chocolate, depending upon the temperature (more chocolate for hotter weather)
Milk Chocolate: 1 part heavy cream to 2 parts chocolate
Dark Chocolate: 1 part heavy cream to 1 part chocolate
By semi-sweet chocolate, I am guessing you are planning to use chocolate chips. It is doable, but much harder to make ganache with chocolate chips because they have something added which retards melting. If you want something that works like a sweet charm, especially for your first time, try dipping chocolate, like you use to make dipped strawberries. Whether you use white or chocolate, use 1 part heavy cream to 3 to 4 parts chocolate.
Thank you! This ended up being harder than I anticipated and didn’t quite turn out the way I had hoped. But I was standing and my husband liked it. Thank you everyone for your assistance. Oh and I learned I like making ganache! Lol.
Wow, are you kidding me!! You’re cake is really awesome Macpac09!!! I’m a pretty experienced at decorating, but I’m not sure I could ever make something like this. I bet you’re husband was pretty happy!!
Ditto everything jchuck said
LOL, Macpac09, my first thought was, "what is wrong with you, this cake is fabulous"! You did a wonderful job and it will be easier next time.
Haha! Thank you!! I achieved my goal of trying something new and it actually was standing! But what I learned is that even though i didn’t use the legs for support, the Rice Krispie treat legs probably needed some structure as well which I didn’t do.
It is very easy to under estimate structure, Mapac09. I've made many models, but recently made a horse, foolishly skimping on the leg wires, mostly because it is so hard on my hands, and he is so wobbly! Less learned!
love your r2d2! brava!
Love it! Did you take a pic. of the structure that R2 is on? I'm interested to know how you did it. thx
I am sorry- I am not sure I ever got this notification of your question. I actually used something I bought online awhile back I think called Cake Frame? It is like a pre-made structure kit. I used it for an anti-gravity cake. I will just say that the R2D2 really tested the weight capacity!
Thank you everyone!