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Bringing a Chilled Cake to Room Temperature
Posted: 09 June 2008 08:28 PM   [ Ignore ]
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So as some of you might remember I am working on a lemon poppyseed wedding cake.
The couple was looking for a lemon poppyseed cake heavier/moister than chiffon cake but lighter than pound cake with a lemon buttercream and raspberry filling.
I achieved wonderful results (and should post on that thread, too) adding lemon oil and poppyseeds to the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake and of course, Rose’s raspberry puree/sauce in the TCB was divine in the filling.
As for frosting, they initially tasted/requested a powdered sugar buttercream and then wisely requested a “less-sweet” frosting to complement the cake. I am fairly sure I am going to make the Lemon Mousseline Buttercream for them.

Now, I know that it is recommended to chill a cake several hours or overnight (if it going to be transported) and then bring it to room temperature before serving.

If this is a typical wedding cake (12, 9 and 6” tiers), how long will it take to come to room temperature?

I need to drive approximately 1 hour to the wedding venue and the kitchen has a refridgerator I can use to chill onsite if I need to.

I want to avoid people biting into a cold, hard piece of cake, but it needs to get there safely ....

Would it be better to bring the completed cake in the car or finish some decorative piping onsite?
(I do not know if I can use the kitchen for assembly and decoration or not. I am inclined to just show up with a finished cake to be as little of a disruption the catering staff as possible.)

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Rachel

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Posted: 09 June 2008 09:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Hi Rachel - I would stay away from using the refidgerator at the reception site if I were you… you will have no control over what else they put in there, and buttercream readily absorbs odors.  I planned for 2 hours at room temperature for the last wedding cake I made (14-10-6).  If you make the mousseline buttercream, it can sit out at room temp for up to 2 days, so don’t worry about having to keep that cake chilled unless you fill it with something perishable. 

I prefer to stack a wedding cake on site, but you need a lot of time and hopefully you can arrange for a helper who will actually help you.  I like to bring extra BC, piping bag, spatulas, and even a folding table so I can work right next to the cake table.  You will attract a few on-lookers, but that might not bother you. 

If you should decided to transport the cake stacked, put a “wedding cake on board” sign in your back window, drive very slowly, crank the AC, use foam rubber under the cake box to absorb shock, line the cake box with non-skid shelf liner.  You might also like to read the wedding cake thread on the blog - there are at least 6 tiered cakes pictured with threads discussing each one…. lots of tips to be found there.
http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/questions_and_answers/cake_questions/wedding/

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Posted: 09 June 2008 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Oh, I forgot to ask if you would mind sharing your lemon poppyseed variation of the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake smile.

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Posted: 11 June 2008 02:59 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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First of all, thank Patrincia as always! I read the wedding cake threads again and they were very helpful.

(By the way I got this book last week and it has some fabulous photos for inspiration and a good tips section.)

I wonder if a should do a survey of wedding cake bakers in my area to see what the generally accepted practice is…..because of course I can have more leeway with a friend to stack and assemble a cake at the wedding itself, but I wonder if it’s okay to do that as a pro….

For cakes that have to be transported I have seen the technique demonstrated in this video on epicurious (“Assembling a Wedding Cake” by Melissa Murphy) of driving a long sharpened dowel slowly through all the tiers after stacking to keep everything together.

I use Rose’s technique of straws on individual tiers and it always works like a charm, but to get through the cardboard rounds under the tiers, a dowel in needed. My pro baker friend does this center dowel on stacked cakes. I cannot remember if Rose covers this issue in the wedding chapter of the Cake Bible….


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R

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Posted: 11 June 2008 03:01 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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P.S. The exact quantities for the lemon variation to the All-Occasion Downy Yellow Cake are in my notes at home, but I will definitely post that Patrincia!!
cheese

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Posted: 11 June 2008 03:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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The center dowel is a wonderful trick - I don’t recall of hand whether it was discussed in TCB or not, but it has been discussed on the blog.  For 2-tier cakes, I’ve used a bamboo skewer with good results - no sharpening or trimming needed, and it made a very small hole which was easy to cover after I removed the skewer.  The new Martha book wasn’t available when I made my first wedding cake, but a great book that was available was Wedding Cakes You Can Make by Dede Wilson.  I found a great Martha Stewart video with an extensive wedding cake section that was also extremely helpful. 

I can’t wait to see you cake when it’s all done!

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Posted: 11 June 2008 03:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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Rachel, without the aid of storing by refrigeration or freezing, there is just no way we can share our goodness with more people.  My take is that cakes should be refrigerated or frozen and made ahead of time as possible.  Follow the guides of the recipe, Rose is very specific on how and for how long each of her recipes can be stored.  In fact, some cakes taste better when properly allowed to ripen, either refrigerated or at room temp.

It is TOTALLY acceptable and expected to assemble wedding cake on location.  I am working as an assistant pastry chef at a high end bakery, and they do it all the time.  The rule is, do as much as possible at the bakery that can be safely transported, and highly depends on design.  The 3 tier cakes without pillars are transported already stacked, but the tiers are glued to each other with frosting.  Decorations and flowers that can fall off while in the car, are always put on the cake on location.  Cakes on pillars are always transported as individual tiers.

The 12 tier Hawaii Way cake was transported in 4 groups of 3 tiers each.  Each tier sat on its own plastic separator plate and staked on the tier below.  Also, each group was transported in a box lined with non skid padding and furthermore staked thru the top of the box.  Cake was frozen, then thawed for 2 days in the refrigerator.  Cake was transported inside corrugated cardboard boxes that sat in the refrigerator for 1 day, thus the cake arrived well chilled.  Cake was cut 3 hours after and buttercream came back heavenly soft and smooth.  Picture here.

http://www.realbakingwithrose.com/2007/08/hectors_hawaii_cake.html

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Posted: 11 June 2008 03:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Just to clarify… I wasn’t suggesting that Rachel’s cake not be refrigerated ahead of time, I was suggesting that she avoid using a refrigerator that she has no control over, such as the one located at the reception site.  Rose mentions this in TCB.

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Posted: 11 June 2008 03:42 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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yes, yes, absolutely, be careful with refrigerators on location….. chances are it is full of tasty smelly food from the caterers!

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Posted: 12 June 2008 12:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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When I made my brother’s wedding cake, the caterer said to go ahead and use their refrigerator. We showed up with the cake to find the chefs on site hadn’t gotten the word that there was going to be a cake in the refrigerator overnight. It was chock full. Considerable stress followed. They made room, but I certainly wasn’t their favorite person.

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Posted: 12 June 2008 11:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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cdurso - 12 June 2008 03:51 AM

When I made my brother’s wedding cake, the caterer said to go ahead and use their refrigerator. We showed up with the cake to find the chefs on site hadn’t gotten the word that there was going to be a cake in the refrigerator overnight. It was chock full. Considerable stress followed. They made room, but I certainly wasn’t their favorite person.

Cathy

Oh no… I can only imagine the panic that you must have felt.

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Posted: 15 June 2008 04:55 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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I fear fear fear and already taking precautions for the 7 cake wedding I am doing in september.  each cake will be well wrapped with double sheets of stretch tite and foil envelope over.  I may also vacuum pack with my tilia foodsaver, but be sure to release the vacuum when taking the cake out of the freezer otherwise the vacuum can squash cake.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 06:01 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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Well, the wedding is next week and I am getting nervous! I am prepping as much as possible in advance. I knew about freezing the cake layers in advance, but I did not know I could freeze an entire frosted tier! Hector, you are teaching me a lot.
Did you freeze the cake tiers fully frosted with piped borders and everything?
I was planning on frosting the night before, chilling overnight (in my own fridge) and then transporting to the wedding venue and letting it sit out from there. I still haven’t decided whether I will stack it at home or onsite.
I wonder whether I should ditch the fresh raspberries I had in the filling of the cake (pressed into the raspberry buttercream) if I am freezing in advance.
I also don’t know whether the caterer will have a cake stand or whether I should prepare a decorative board for it to sit on….or just buy a foil covered foam cake board.
The florist is providing flowers for the cake.
Wow, it’s crunch time!

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Posted: 06 July 2008 03:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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I would nix the fresh raspberries if you plan to freeze the cake - the raspberry buttercream will still be wonderful without them.  I’d call the caterer too, just to be sure I knew exactly what I was expected to take with me to the reception site - they most likely are expecting you to take care of everything related to the cake.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I freeze frosted buttercream cakes w o w/o piped borders.  With borders takes more room since you need to build a larger protective box.  How about you freeze sufficient bc in a disposable pastry bag which are easy to seal with the foodsaver or a hot iron, easy to thaw and knead-rewhip.

frozen fresh raspberries in buttercream filling will be fantastic when thawed.  I would chop them so when thawed will ressemble raspberry jam and not wilted whole berries!

but u r only one week so really no need to freeze?

keep me posted!

p.s.  just had my July 4th cake and my nephew’s elmo.  Both strawberry shortcakes with well improved berries (the only strawberries I like fresh are the ones picked in the wild or at an organic farm!).... will report when I get hold of my desk.

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Posted: 06 July 2008 04:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I’m thinking chopped raspberries will be really messy.  Might be better to make the raspberry buttercream with Raspberry Conserve instead of Raspberry Puree if you want chunks of berries in you buttercream.

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