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Cake recipe testing for Wedding cake
Posted: 24 February 2010 06:13 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi Everyone,

I’m new here, but i’ve been lurking for a long time.

I am making a wedding cake for a dear friend of mine. She has around 120- people at her wedding in April. The weather should be fairly decent here in San Diego-

I been baking cakes all week to try out the definitive white, yellow, chocolate, and chocolate marble cake (along with different filling, frosting components). This weekend, I will have a group of friends over to decide on cake flavors and fillings.

I am most concerned with your American buttercake that you have in the wedding section of the TCB. I made 2 6” layers. I must have accidentally turned out the cakes too early as i broke the sides of the cake (so I ate it!!!) The cake itself is delicious while still warm and VERY SOFT, but i am a bit concerned because the cake seems to have a very very fine crumb, fluffy rise, light and very buttery. Is this the right description? or did i put in too much leavening? I’m afraid that the “light crumbly softness” will make it hard to handle, especially a 14” (and does this mean torting the layers in half is out of the question?

or maybe i should make an extra layer for a for a 3 layer per tier cake…

also, is there a general guideline to scale up another cake from the previous chapter? should i try something with whole eggs and more % flour to get a denser cake? recommendations??

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Posted: 25 February 2010 12:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have found that the best way to manipulate a cake, including half-sheet sized cakes, is to let them cool after they have been unmolded, and then freeze them. Frozen layers are very easy to assemble without breaking. Of course, after you have assembled the cake, you must let the layers defrost and settle before you do the final outer frosting coat.

If you like the texture and flavor of the cake you made, why not stick with it? Sounds like your only error was removing the cake from the pan a little to early, when it was still fragile. As a cake cools, it firms.

Another trick is to line the cake pan with an “X” made of strips of waxed paper or parchment, then put down a sheet of parchment to line the bottom of the pan, and add the cake batter. Once the cake is baked, let it cool until it is firm (or refrigerate or freeze it in the pan), run a blade between the side of the pan and cake, and then get somebody to help you lift the cake out by the X-strips.  I did this with a particularly fragile chocolate cake that had a lot of sour cream in the batter, and it worked fine when I froze both layers in the pan and lifted them out by the X-strips when I was ready to assemble the whole cake.

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Posted: 25 February 2010 12:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I made the white butter cake from TCB in a 14” round for my sister in law’s wedding and I torted it prior to freezing as I had no room in my freezer for a bunch of cake layers.  I syruped one side, placed on cake board/frosting and then syruped the other side.  I didn’t have any issues with it breaking.  I have more info here if you’re interested (it’s the white cake): 

http://forheavenlycakessake.blogspot.com/2009/11/making-of-wedding-cake.html

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Posted: 25 February 2010 10:35 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Christine, love your X method!

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Posted: 25 February 2010 12:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Hi Sherrie! That was such a beautiful cake!! I love your idea of using the pins for a template. I am going to try this on my mom’s Birthday cake next month!

Christine, thank you for the helpful suggestions. I am going to do your “x” method. Do you recommend syruping while it is warm/not frozen or does it not matter?

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Posted: 25 February 2010 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I think it is better to syrup when it is not frozen because the syrup will penetrate the cake better. But then you have to be careful, because a syruped cake is more fragile, unless it is frozen rock-solid.

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Posted: 25 February 2010 12:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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So, maybe what would work is to syrup it while it is still in the pan, freeze it, and then take it out of the pan when frozen and assemble it. Or, you could put down a frozen first layer on a cake support, let it defrost, syrup it, and then proceed with assembling the rest of the cake, and syrup the top layer once it is in its final position. The trick is to try to avoid moving a syruped layer because it is so fragile.

Maybe there are real professionals here who have no problem manipulating syruped layers. Personally, I have to treat them carefully, because I’m just not that adept at keeping layers from cracking. That’s why I have to resort to the little tricks I mentioned.

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Posted: 25 February 2010 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Sherrie, I remember your wedding cake from the first time around, and I must say it was a pleasure to take another look, really elegant and gorgeous.  And you are so, so, so well organized!

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Posted: 25 February 2010 01:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I also forgot to mention that sometimes when you freeze a cake in the pan with the X-strips, it might be necessary to briefly warm the bottom of the pan to release the cake. The grease that is used to grease the pan, when frozen, can make the parchment stick. Warming it melts it enough so it releases.  Personally, I have not had to do this, but depending on the grease you use, you might need to.

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Posted: 25 February 2010 01:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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thank you Christine!

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Posted: 25 February 2010 05:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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For a more dense cake, simply increase the mixing time, or use bleached all-purpose flour instead of cake flour.  It has more protein, therefor will produce a cake that isn’t quite as tender.  I frequently will sub bleached AP for large tiers.  You have to use BLEACHED…. unbleached will not hold the butter in suspension and you’ll end up with a greasy finished cake.

Can’t wait to see the finished cake!

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Posted: 25 February 2010 06:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I would definitely suggest freezing the layers after syruping, but of course, to get syrup the cake evenly you are going to have to turn the layers over anyway.  I can’t say I found the cake too difficult to handle.  Just make sure you have some cardboard rounds/pizza pans/ cooling racks to aid in the flipping back and forth.  I ended up filling/stacking and then freezing the whole tier.  The only thing I had to do was frost/decorate (I did thaw the cake).  I think Rose suggests syruping when the cakes are cool (except for chocolate syruping, I think it’s better when warm).  Good luck!  Sounds like a fun project!

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Posted: 25 February 2010 08:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Thank you everyone.

I took a mini sample cake and fed my office guys the cake. the consensus is that while the cake is flavorful, the grain is fine but the structure seems a tad too crumbly and just falls apart in on your fork. I didn’t syrup this cake yet, so the moistness will be easily remedied.

I haven’t been to enough weddings to know what wedding cake are supposed to be. Does this fit the description? Or is this simply the case of personal preference?

I am going to make the ylw cake again tonight but time the blending exactly- and see if i did anything wrong last time.

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Posted: 25 February 2010 08:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Also, I’ve only made the yellow cake from the wedding cake section in TCB. I just got RHC yesterday (so excited!)

Can anyone recommend an alternate yellow cake that fit the bill?

how do i convert her standard 9in cake to 14in via her rose factor/baking powder formula? do i divide the 9in cake by # rose factor to get a base formula and then multipy everything by the rose factor for 14”? the baking powder level is still a bit confusing to me. Help?

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Posted: 27 February 2010 06:44 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Jeniyo, I just noticed you posted a question on 2/25 -

Are you asking how to convert the standard yellow cake in The Cake Bible?  Looking at the chart in TCB, refer to the chart for 14” pan, note the Rose Factor above an multipy that number x the base recipe. 

So for the yellow cake, on page 490, a 14” cake is RF 10
10 x yellow base cake on page 492
14” cake is level 3 - so baking powder (as listed on page 492 chart) is 1-1/8 tsp per base so that is 10 x 1-1/8 tsp

I am not certain that the Rose Factor applies to other cakes in TCB or RHC but I have seen on this forum folks give formulas for increasing pan size.  If you are good in math (or may just decent, I am not), you may be able to figure it out for a different recipe. 

I think, not totally sure, the All Occas Yellow Cake is same as yellow cake.  Perhaps one of the other members can help with that.

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Posted: 27 February 2010 10:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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To convert from a 9” pan to a 14” pan, you multiply by 2.42.  This assumes the same height and same number of pans. I think the BP has to be reduced and someone else will chip in on this - there are BP experts on the forum!

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