Saturday, October 10, 2009

Wedding Cakes 101 - Part II

Where did I leave off?? Oh yeah - frozen cake and all baked.
So the first step was to "tort" each layer. I got the coolest little cake slider by Wilton! It's got a wire that runs from one side to the other for cutting. As MOm would say..."It's a Dandy!" Well - you can kinda see in this pic that I've sliced the top tier (the 6" cake) into 4 thin layers.

I took all 4 layers apart, and load them with frosting as I stack this tier back together. It helps me to keep it level as I rebuild it.
Then I fill each layer with loads of yummy buttercream frosting!! Yummm!! I know - it looks gawd awful, but it gets better I promise!! (remember it was midnight at this point!! lol) This batch of frosting, though, turned out reeely well for some reason?? It was very tastey!! Once the 4 layers are stacked back together with frosting, the entire outside layer is coated thinly with more frosting in preparation of the fondant. (note* I'll do a separate post on fondant). This needs to be repeated for all 3 tiers.

Once I have all 3 tiers torted and frosted, it's time for fondant. Sadly - I missed pics of that process cuz my hands were coated in it and as it is, I'm not sure that I'll ever get all the icing sugar out of my camera! UGH!

Fast forward to Cake Building 101...

A Stacked cake is wicked heavy! It would shock you to feel the weight of a simple 3 tier! I'm sure that this one weighed over 20lbs! All that weight, needs support - soooo - here's how it's done!

Normally, I use wooden dowels. For this one, though, I used white sucker sticks. why?? Cuz somebody used my wooden dowels for a craft project and I was desperate!! grrrr! So - you put in about 5 or so. See how the ends are sticking up?? well, the cake marks how tall they need to be! Sooo - dig out the wire cutters and snip snip snip! Once they're cut level (with a tiny bit sticking up - like a hair width above the fondant) - you're good to go! Repeat for the next supporting tier.

Once they're all supported, you can stack your cake. I like to use royal icing between the tiers. It hardens and acts as a good glue!
Once the stacking is done, it's time for clean up!! There are a few things to notice...1st - my kitchen is trashed! that's what happens no matter how hard I try! 2nd, there's frosting all over the bottom board. I try to keep it clean, but it does tidy up nicely when it's done. 3rd. The bottom of each tier is ugly! It's almost impossible to get that gap perfect and seamless...but that's why there's ribbon and frosting!! I have a terrific Wilton fondant smoother thingie - I highly recommend it if you're going to try fondant work!

This is the stage where you need to take a close look at your cake. Make sure that each tier is centered on top of each other - check for any tilts or jogs and line them up as best as possible. The goal is perfection, but when that's not possible (oh like - EVER) then you aim for balance and as many awesome sides as possible. Huge sins can often by covered by ribbon, frosting or flowers.

Accessory time...

This cake was to be simple. Knowing that I would move it fully assembled, I used royal icing for my piping. I LOVE that stuff! It hardens like edible rock, so if you bump or rub it a little, you don't get a frosting smear!!

I used my #5 tip (a little bigger then I probably should have) and piped tiny dots all over - wrapped the ribbon around and secured it to itself using glue dots. The bottom dots are also piped using a #5...Once all that was was time for flowers!!!!! But that will have to wait for another post! My hands are still tired from this morning!! lol

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