How to prevent “doming” when baking with large sheet cakes?
Posted: 04 July 2012 12:29 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I’m embarking on my first character cake for my son’s 4th birthday in a couple of weeks.  He wants a fire engine cake and I found the cutest one here on this site:  http://www.heatherdriveblog.com/2010/03/fire-truck-cake-fire-cupcakes.html 
Right now, I’m in the planning stages of making this cake and trying to think of all the pitfalls I may encounter while tackling this task.  This cake will be baked in large sheet pans due to some minor sculpting and shaping of the fire engine.  Since I have never baked in a large sheet pan before the question popped into my mind as to how in the world does one prevent doming inside large sheet can pans?  The size of the cake pan is 12 x 18.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

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Posted: 04 July 2012 01:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Wallace - 04 July 2012 03:29 PM

how in the world does one prevent doming inside large sheet can pans?  The size of the cake pan is 12 x 18.  Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

You’d first need to see if the recipe you’re using will produce doming.  If it does, then there are two solutions: 1)  Use cake strips around the exterior of the pan, and if that isn’t sufficient, 2) Increase the baking powder/baking soda.

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Posted: 04 July 2012 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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A heating core or a couple of flower nails will also help the cake bake more evenly.

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Posted: 04 July 2012 03:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thank you for the responses.  Now, I have more questions regarding choosing the the right type of cake for sculpting.  My wife wants me to make a simple yellow or white cake, ice it with a simple flavored buttercream, and fill it with a cream cheese filling.  As far as the cake is concerned I was thinking about going with RCB’s All Occasion Downy Yellow Butter Cake, White Velvet Butter Cake, or the Golden Luxury Butter Cake.  Would any of these cakes pair well with Burnt Orange Silk Meringue Buttercream?  Will be able to tint this buttercream that deep red color as in the the link in the OP?  If not, which buttercream do you think will taste good and work well with the application I would like to use it for?

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Posted: 04 July 2012 05:33 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I’ve never attempted a sculpted cake.  You may want to try a small (6”) test cake before going ahead.  I find Rose’s cakes incredibly tender and somewhat crumbly so that could pose an issue for carving.  Refrigeration may help. 

As far as frosting goes, keep in mind that orange is a strong flavour and one that is, IMHO, an acquired taste.  I have never made the Burnt Orange SMBC so I can’t speak to it’s ability to color and Rose’s frostings are delicious and very well balanced—I’m not an orange baked-good fan, so perhaps I need to try it before fully commenting.  IMBC has many variants—perhaps strawberry or raspberry that may be colored and flavoured to match—which may be another consideration—things that are colored different than the “flavour” can be strange to eat.  Also, Red food coloring can be notoriously difficult to get bright and some people find the color tastes bitter when used in large quantities.  Perhaps you would want to do a yellow (with red accent) fire truck using a lemon based frosting?  I don’t want to discourage your efforts as it looks like you will have a challenging and interesting cake project on your hands!! BUT… I have had my share of projects that take a turn for the worse and always appreciate perspectives that help make a good decision!  You may want to do a mini-test cake before going through a pile of work! 

I would not frost with the cream cheese—it’s quite soft and if you plan to do as shown in the pics, it will likely not work as well as a buttercream.

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Posted: 05 July 2012 10:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I enjoy orange as a flavor and love the burnt orange silk meringue bc.  I think it would be fine with any of the cake bases you mention.  I’m not sure about how well it will take dye, I’ve never tried to tint a buttercream (I trust Sherrie’s advice!), but I imagine it would be similar to tinting any all-butter buttercream.  It is a light golden beige in color, from the yolks, butter and caramel (much like the picture in the photo section of the Cake Bible). 

One thought:  The white chocolate cream cheese buttercream has a lemony edge to it, and if you’re going to use that for the filling it might be quite nice paired with a lemon curd mousseline (you can also see the pale yellow color of lemon mousseline in the photo section).  Or the orange curd mousseline, for a straight fruit-with-cream cheese combo.

From a color standpoint, I like Sherrie’s suggestion of strawberry mousseline (pairs well with cream cheese), it will give you pink base.

Would it make sense to use fondant for the red and put buttercream underneath?  That way it will be easy to pull off the fondant and eat the delicious cake below.

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