Need help with the tiering of the cake
Posted: 29 March 2012 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Dear Rose and all the senior members.

Hello. I have been a fan of Rose and have tried several cakes from tTCB and would like to thank her & all of you for the support without which baking would not have been a cakewalk smile
I am posting a picture of a wedding cake which has to be done in three flavours -chocolate with chocolate ganache, carrot with cream cheese and vanilla cake with pineapple. The cake is in two tiers - the bottom tier being in 10” diameter x 14” tall and the top tier 8” diameter x 8” tall.
Please advise if I need to put a cake plate after every 4” for the base tier to support the weight. Also, should the chocolate cake be covered with fondant separately, carrot cake separately and then tiered and covered once again with fondant to get a smooth 14” height finish.  rolleyes
How should the pattern be done. Should I use an edible sheet to cover the cake ot airbrush using a stencil for the pattern.
Last but not the least, any suggestions as to what should be placed on the top tier so that it does not look empty, at the same time it doesnot take away from the main focus point.
Thanks for all the help and look forward to hearing from you. red face

Best regards,
Juno

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Posted: 03 April 2012 01:45 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hello Ladies.

Cam someone help me with my query please…thanks.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 07:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Juno, I have never attempted a cake with those specifications, but hang in there, and hopefully one of the professionals who frequents the forum will comment on your project.

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Posted: 03 April 2012 08:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Hello….

I think that the dimensions you’re using are really, really huge and are your biggest challenge.  A typical 3 tier cake is generally about 12 inches tall; and your bottom tier alone is taller than that.  I would be asking about where the cake will be displayed, the ambient temp of the room (I would be having nightmares about the three separate cakes shifting in the heat of the room.  With my recipes, I would put the carrot cake on the bottom and then the chocolate truffle and then the vanilla/pineapple.  But I personally would not stack these cakes to a 14” height.) If you have to go to this height, then I would definitely use the Stress Free Cakes stacking system for the internal supports in this; it is worth the $.  I’ve used this on occasion in the past when the cakes are really heavy (e.g., 6 tiers of chocolate truffle) but it’s a pain because you want to get those rings/legs back, they’re not cheap.

If I could, I would recommend that you do a bottom tier 8 or 9 inches tall (this can be two 4inch tall cakes stacked); and the top tier 6 or 7 inches tall. 
Make the image 6 or 7 inches tall if your bottom tier height is 8 or 9 inches. 
I think part of the charm of this cake is the narrow tiers, and I think the 10/8 rounds will mimic the picture but I can’t picture a 10” round 14 inches tall looking sleek. I would probably stack a bunch of styro to see what it looks like…..

anyway,

When I am stacking two cakes (each one is 4 inches tall and the same diameter), I build them and let them sit in the cooler overnight - but they are not crumb coated.  The one that is on top gets built on a board just smaller than the cake (e.g., for a 10” round, I would build the flavor on top on a 9” cake board.)  This allows for me to fill in the seam when the two cakes are stacked, and I don’t have to trim down that board.  Then crumb coat the whole thing as usual, and cover it with fondant (the whole thing).  Then put the edible image on.

Make sure the cake drum is really strong - either use plywood, or two sheets of masonite, or two cake drums glued/taped together.  This cake cannot flex. 

I think the flower in the center is the perfect touch, and nothing would be needed on the top of the cake….

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Posted: 04 April 2012 08:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Thanks Julie.

Dear Jeanne,

Thanks for talking out time to explain in such a great detail. Really appreciate it smile
I have couple of more queries..

1. I agree with you on the dimension of the cake and the fact that it will look pretty only if it is a sleek cake. Can I do the lower tier as 10” diameter x 12” tall and the top tier as 8” diameter x 6” height. Would this proportion look ok and the cake be sufficient for 250 servings..

2. I would love to use the Stress Free Cake stacking system, however no one here manufactures it and I do not stay in the US. I have the bakers craft SPS 10” and 8” plates and hoping that they would work. Do you think likewise.

3. Can you advise why carrot cake should come on the bottom as I always thought that a chocolate ganache cake is more sturdy to handle the weight.. I plan to use Rose White choc crusting cream cheese recipe to crumb coat the carrot cake and regular cream cheese icing inside the layers. Is that advisable.

4. Regarding the cake stacking, it is a very important point that you have highlighted and I will incorporate it…thanks for the wonderful tip.

5. I would be using 3/4” thick 13” diameter thick plywood board as the base. This should be able to take the weight and would be a sturdy base.

You have a great day and I look forward to hearing from you.

Cheers!

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Posted: 04 April 2012 08:44 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Later…

Forgot to mention the most important thing.
The party is in a garden and the cake will be in a temperature of 100 F. Guess it makes things more difficult. Any thoughts/ suggestions here…

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Posted: 04 April 2012 05:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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The garden setting with 100 dF temps changes everything.

First, the cake should stay cool for as long as possible before being brought out to the garden.  As the cake comes to temp in that heat, it will soften, and start to shift, and slide so you don’t want it out there for any longer than necessary.  Is it possible to have it on display in an air conditioned room and then brought to the garden for a cake cutting ceremony?  This display cake does not have to be made large enough for all 250 guests, you can have utility cake in the same flavors kept in the kitchen for easy slicing/serving.  This will enable the kitchen to serve all the guests relatively quickly because they can be cutting the utility cakes while the guests are having the main course and there is not going to be a noticeable delay in bringing out the cake for dessert.

If you cannot manage the environment (because there is no air conditioned room), seriously consider using a styrofoam base for your bottom tier, and build a real cake on top of that.  What I mean is to have a 10"round, 6” tall styrofoam on which you will put a 10” round, 4” tall cake and then cover the whole thing with fondant.  Then you might want to consider the same thing for the top tier.  The top tier should be about 2 inches shorter than the bottom tier to keep the proportions the same as the original picture.  The styrofoam is not going to react in the heat, so you don’t have to worry about it.  The biggest problem is going to be the seam between the real/styrofoam and that is where the image helps because the bead border above the image will help mask any imperfection.

Carrot cake is heavier than a chocolate truffle cake because it is usually an oil-based cake (rather than butter-based) and it’s common to have a cream cheese filling, which is also heavy.  When I build a carrot cake, it is two layers of 2” high cake, and a single layer of cream cheese filling; my typical layer cakes are three layers of cake and two layers of buttercream filling.

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Posted: 05 April 2012 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Dear Jeanne,


I really appreciate your support towards this project.
The cake can be kept in a air conditioned room prior to being moved to the garden. However, that still does not discount the fact that the cake might not shift owing to the heat.
I will go with your advise and reduce the height of the cake. Bottom tier as 10” diameter x 8"height and top tier as 8” diameter x 6"height, have separate utility cake in 10” and 8” given to the hotel.

Both my cakes carrot and chocolate are made with oil recipe, not butter used except in cream cheese. And cream cheese melting with heat could result in the cake shifting . Therefore I was little skeptical to use carrot cake as base.

Thanks for all the help. I owe you one ;o)

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Posted: 05 April 2012 07:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I’m glad I can help; when is the cake for?  You can always pm me if you have questions, and email is another option.

I once saw a video clip where a baker in Texas put a cake out (at first it was in the shade, then the sun moved over it) and in less than an hour, it had fallen over in the heat.  I’ve never forgotten it!  We don’t have such high, sustained heat here in New England in the summer, but we do get hot days and of course, many brides love having a summer wedding outdoors.  I once had a client who wanted a topsy turvy cake design celebrating their “engagement” story so there were lots of figures and “things” on the cake.  They were being married at home, with 150 people in their backyard.  They had no air conditioning in the house, and the week of the wedding, a heat wave started.  I ended up doing the whole thing in styro (they weren’t doing a cake cutting) because a topsy turvy cake in that heat was a sure bet to fall over!

A friend of mine in San Diego often travels to LA with cakes.  She put the cake into a carton (completely enclosed) and then puts that carton into a larger one and puts dry ice in between.  I don’t know if you can get dry ice, but perhaps this idea would help you with transporting the cake.  You could put insulated ice packs into plastic bags, and use those to create some “chill” but I don’t know how long those would last or be effective in the heat.

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