Cake Questions

Update Nov 2007: Have a new question? You should visit the new Cake Questions section of the forum, or the more recent blog entry, Cake Questions Too.Jessica Question: Hi! I live in Australia and decorate cakes for friends and family. I just discovered an old copy of your book the cake bible in my local library. I think its great so I have looked up your site. I was just wondering if the book has been revised and updated since first being published? I notice that mud cakes are not covered at all in the book I borrowed and there are some other modern things missing too. Anyway I know you're busy so thanks for your time. Keep up the good work. Rose Reply: thank you for asking. in fact, the first revision of the cake bible has just come out but i haven't added any new cakes. what i revised was the equipment and ingredient sources, how to adjust batter for the more current pan sizes that are 2 inches high instead of 1-1/2 inches, and the chocolate sections because people don't talk chocolate brand anymore, they talk percentage of chocolate mass! i am, at the present time, working on a comprehensive four color cake book for wiley which will be out in the next two or three years and it will include some of the newer cakes. Cheryl Question: Is it possible to attach ribbons made from fondant around the bottom edges of the tiers of a buttercream frosted wedding cake? How and at what point in assembly would you attach them? Thanks. Rose Reply: the answer is yes! i would apply them after the cake is assembled. they will stick to the buttercream so you should have no problem holding them in place. Stacey Question: What is the difference between your "favorite yellow cake" in this blog and the yellow cake in the Cake Bible in terms of taste and texture? Also, I recently made a French buttercream that tasted like a bowl of butter and a powdered sugar and butter frosting that tasted like pure sugar. What is the best vanilla frosting to use for cupcakes? Rose Reply: my favorite yellow cake on the blog is the same as the one in the cake bible. i put it in because i wanted everyone to have it even if they didn't have the book. not everyone likes french buttercream. some people prefer the sugary, slightly gritty texture of powdered sugar buttercream to the satiny texture of the french variety. in any case, it's going to taste like butter and sugar because that's what it is. but it should also be flavored with pure vanilla extract. and of course there are many possible additions to buttercream such as coffee, orange, praline.... Melvin Question: thanks for writing. i made the cheese cake but i was a little lose the next day i used low fat cream cheese was that a mistake? or should i have cook longer? thanks Rose Reply: i strongly advise against using low fat products in baking. they will adversely affect both taste and texture. better to cut smaller servings! Rene Question: Dear Rose, I love baking and always have. And now I have the priviledge of helping a young woman, who is like a sister to me, with her wedding cakes. Unfortunately what she wants is a fair distance out of my league. I am hoping very much that you might be able to answer a couple of questions for me. A single cake, I could do. What she wants to have one cake on each table, which turns out to be about 40 individual creations. (Ouch.) She is hoping for 2 tier cakes (around 8 and 6 inches.) We are tentatively planning 7 different designs with fillings including everything from dacquois to conserves. It is the sheer volume that puts me out of my depth. It means that everything must be done as far ahead as possiblem, which I have very little experience with. I usually serve my cakes as soon after I make them as possible. Your Cake Bible is helping me a lot because it has so much information about storing each of the components. I am just trying to work out some logistics. Is it better to prepare the components, store them individually and then put them together as close to the wedding date as possible OR is it better to put the cakes together and store them (for as long as 4, even 5 months?) ready to be decorated? Or could we even decorate them so they are ready to be tiered and finished? I really don't know. I could just not begin to thank you enough for any guidance you could give me. I love this girl and want to do everything possible to help her wedding day be just the way she dreams of it. I just don't know how the best way to organize this size of a baking project. Since I am here writing, I have a side question: what is your experience with using flower petals IN your cakes and buttercreams. I have seen these recipes, but have not tried them. Are they a pleasant suprise? Or more novelty, less than delicious? Thank you, by the way, for all of the help your books have given me in pursuing my favorite hobby. :) Now that I know you have a blog, I look forward to enjoying that too. :) Sincerely, Rose Reply: you are a saint!!! most professional bakeries when they make cakes ahead store the layers unfrosted in the freezer (well-wrapped). but this may be bc this gives them the option to use them with different buttercreams as the orders come in. but it is also easier to wrap an unfrosted cake. to freeze a frosted layer you would have to freeze it first and wrap it after the buttercream has set. so probably the best approach is to freeze the layers. when you make cakes ahead, it is helpful to use a little simply syrup sprinkled on the layers to keep them from drying. we all hope you will send a photo of this massive undertaking so we can post it to the blog! re the flower petals, i don't imagine they would offer much in terms of flavor or in texture. there are wonderful extracts such as the rose syrup carried by la cuisine in alexandria.