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An Odyssey Begins… My First Wedding Cake
Posted: 03 March 2008 11:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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Too buttery????  Unless you made the mousseline with salted butter, or served it too cold, I’d say that person is in the 1% who prefer the taste of the gritty shortening/powdered sugar kind of frosting… I wouldn’t give it a second thought.  Besides, the cake was obviously devoured by rest of the guests.

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Posted: 04 March 2008 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Dan, I have often increased the amount of sugar in Rose’s mousseline buttercream.  Depending on the sweet tooth of the honoree, I’ve used as much as twice the amount of the “soft ball” sugar syrup Rose prescribes, and the buttercream has come out just fine.

And I agree—ONE miserable person dissing the buttercream is NOT worth listening to!  He’s probably one of those who likes canned frosting.

By the way, many thanks for your suggestion of using two tubes of frosting when making roses (so that the buttercream in the tubes doesn’t get too warm from the heat of your hands).  I’ll definitely take your advice the next time I make roses.

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Posted: 04 March 2008 06:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Hector is the king of buttercream roses.  He once suggested wrapping the pastry bag with a “sleeve” of parchment because the parchment actually insulates the buttercream from the heat of your hands for a little while.  I’ve tried it and I must say - it really does work.

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Posted: 05 March 2008 01:39 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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Hane - 04 March 2008 10:44 PM

I’ve used as much as twice the amount of the “soft ball” sugar syrup Rose prescribes, and the buttercream has come out just fine.

Another country heard from grin  I’m glad someone’s actually still *reading* this thread.  Thanks for that tidbit about the syrup. I’ll have to play with a batch.  Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind the buttercream being a little sweeter, either.  I need to go to Costco and stock up on butter.  Hard to believe that before last weekend, I had 6lbs of butter on hand and now I have none in the freezer.

Hane - 04 March 2008 10:44 PM

By the way, many thanks for your suggestion of using two tubes of frosting when making roses (so that the buttercream in the tubes doesn’t get too warm from the heat of your hands).  I’ll definitely take your advice the next time I make roses.

I can’t take credit; I read it somewhere in The Cake Bible, although you’d think something that simple would be more obvious!  It never occurred to me until I read it…  The thing that makes a bigger difference is not using the #12 tip to make the cone that you build the rose on.  Just use the rose tip to build up a cone.  Takes a little trial-and-error and some practice, but it’s so much easier than changing tips.

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Posted: 21 March 2008 06:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Another round of testing…

I’m a little sick of marble cakes, so I’ve been branching out a little.  I tried a chocolate butter cake last week for a friend’s birthday.  I filled and frosted it with mousseline buttercream spiked with Cointreau (an orange liqueur, if you aren’t familiar with it).  The birthday boy liked the cake, but echoed a previously made comment that the buttercream could be sweeter.  (At least he didn’t say it was “too buttery.”)

Anyhow, I’m making an Easter/anniversary cake for a colleague this weekend, so I decided to try and tweak the buttercream a tad.  To the base recipe of mousseline buttercream, I added an additional 25g of sugar to the egg whites (total 75g) and made the syrup with an additional 25g of sugar (total 175g) in 70g of water.  Other than that, the recipe and process followed TCB.

Seems to taste OK, although I haven’t flavored it with anything yet.  I don’t know that it’s particularly sweeter, so I might want to go up another quarter cup (50g) of sugar for the next try.  It seems to be a bit softer than the regular recipe, too.  I cooked the syrup to 248F.  Maybe the additional liquid syrup should be offset by cooking it to a higher temperature?  I would think not, since if the recipe can take 3oz of Cointreau it should be able to deal with an extra 10g of water.  Or maybe I should just increase the sugar added to the meringue; how much sugar can you dissolve in 5 large egg whites?

Will let you all know—I’m baking tomorrow…

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Posted: 23 March 2008 12:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Here’s the Easter cake.  I used the opportunity to try using ribbon and fresh flowers, which will be the decorations for the wedding cake next month.  I iced the cake yesterday—note to self:  put on the ribbon and flowers the same day, or at least while the frosting is firm out of the fridge.  I had the cake out overnight and the frosting was soft.  I kept putting divots in the frosting while I was arranging the flowers and ribbon.

The cake is two layers of orange chiffon baked in 8in rounds (bottoms only oiled and covered with parchment), filed with orange marmalade, covered with Cointreau-spiked extra-sweet buttercream (see previous post).  The flowers somewhat overwhelm the 8in cake, and I overcompensated for their size, so they’re a bit forward on the cake instead of centered on the top.  The flower spikes went very smoothly into the chiffon cake and it didn’t deform or sag from the spikes being pushed in.

The chiffon-in-layer-cake-pans trick is one I learned from a local cakester.  Most of the cakes she does are chiffon baked as layers.  She doesn’t even do the parchment on the bottom!  She bakes them in sheets or rounds, just enough so the tops of the baked cakes don’t quite reach the top of a 2in or 3in deep pan.  They cool in the pan, inverted on wire racks.  I used her recipe for the chiffon cake, which made (2) 8in and (2) 6in rounds.  They were filled a bit too much, and the tops touched and slightly stuck to the wire rack (which, in hindsight, I probably should have hit with non-stick spray).

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Posted: 24 March 2008 04:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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I agree the flower size is off a bit, but their color works well, your piping is very nicely done, the ribbon and bow look wonderful, and the greenery add just the right touch. 

Did you say you used floral spikes to insert the flowers into the cake?

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Posted: 24 March 2008 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Patrincia - 24 March 2008 07:33 PM

Did you say you used floral spikes to insert the flowers into the cake?

Yup… regular Wilton spikes.  My colleague was picking up the cake that same day, so I just kept the flowers in water over night until the cake was ready for them.

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Posted: 24 March 2008 04:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Flower spikes are wonderful!  I’ve also read about using straws to keep the floral stems from touching the cake when they are inserted, but they obviously can’t hold water. 

Did you get any feedback yet?

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Posted: 24 March 2008 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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Dan O?B - 23 March 2008 03:06 PM

note to self:  put on the ribbon and flowers the same day, or at least while the frosting is firm out of the fridge.  I had the cake out overnight and the frosting was soft.  I kept putting divots in the frosting while I was arranging the flowers and ribbon.

I think chilled buttercream will crack if you try to plunge floral spikes into it.  Might be better to put the spikes in while the bc is soft, then chill and add the flowers later.

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Posted: 29 March 2008 04:25 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!

I’ve got the house to myself this weekend and I was going to try and get the baking and freezing done for the wedding cake—April 19th is coming up FAST!

I decided to warm up with the 6in layers, since they weren’t going to be eaten by the guests… I followed the recipes I’ve been using, but had a brain cramp and ADDED a bit more chocolate (27.5g 60% chocolate per base instead of 25g) and all hell broke loose!  The layers seemed to take a long time to bake (about 38 minutes), and when they finally came out of the oven, one of them imploded on standing for 10 minutes and then totally fell apart when I tried to take it out of the pan.

Going back to the recipe for the chocolate checkerboard cake, it uses 85g chocolate for 680g of yellow batter. Adjusting proportionately, that would be 22g of chocolate for 175g of yellow batter (1/4 of the total weight of the batter for a 6in round)—I was using about 5x that amount.  I’m pretty sure this is the problem.  I’m going to pull back to 14g of 60% chocolate per base.

Also, the sides where the 9in bake-even strip was doubled up (I was using it on a 6in pan) really didn’t seem to cook… I’m going to bag the bake-even strips for at least the 6in rounds.

Back to the drawing board.

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Posted: 29 March 2008 04:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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I’m sending good cake vibes your way!

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Posted: 29 March 2008 05:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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I had hoped to get the 6in, 9in, and 12in layers done today, but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen…

New 6in layers in the oven now… fingers crossed.

Still having problems with edges…  Someday I’ll get that right.  Thank heavens for buttercream.

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Posted: 03 April 2008 09:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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*sigh*

My cousin picked her flowers:  Sahara roses and blue delphinium.  According to the Wikipedia:

All parts of the plant contain an alkaloid delphinine and are very poisonous, causing vomiting when eaten, and death in larger amounts.

Is she nuts?  I wasn’t planning on anyone eating the flowers, but they’re smallish flowers on a big stalk, so the only option is to lay the flowers on the “ledge” created by the tiers, and it just seems like this idea is frought with peril.

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Posted: 03 April 2008 11:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Dan O?B - 29 March 2008 08:21 PM

Still having problems with edges…  Someday I’ll get that right.  Thank heavens for buttercream.

Are you loosening the cake by scraping the sides of the pans before unmolding?  If so, is it possible you are not holding your knife firmly against the sides of the pan?  I wasn’t careful once and my knife was kind of at an angle which made my cake look very similar the the ones you’ve pictured.

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