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Syruping and Freezing Butter Cakes, and dealing with crusts - How to?
Posted: 21 October 2008 10:12 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Hi Elma - Welcome!

I have to agree with jen68 on every count (Hi Jen smile ). 

Butter Cakes - a properly baked butter cake (using one of Rose’s recipes) is very moist and tender.  There is no need to moisten with syrup.  The extra liquid can weaken the cardboard rounds too. 

Tier Height - tall tiers look very professional and are the standard in the industry… 4” tiers are the norm in the professional baking world (even for 1/4 or 1/2 sheet cakes).  Short tiers look very homemade.

Buttercream - dive into Rose’s Mousseline buttercream recipe, and definitely double it so you have lots leftover for the freezer (be sure to use unsalted butter as the recipe specifies)... you’ll never go back!  You’ll love the color, the flavor, the texture, and the stability of it.  It’s the best bc ever!

Crumb Coating - with a little more experience, you should be able to crumb coat an entire 2-layer cake in the time it takes to fill your piping bag.  You might want to try a bench scraper… you can get a lot of bc spread on your cake very quickly.  A good turntable is extremely helpful and will speed up the process for you too.  Don’t forget to chill the crumb coat for a few minutes before you add your final coat of bc.

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Posted: 21 October 2008 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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Elma, sorry you didn’t feel good about the way your cake turned out.  I’ll bet others would have thought it was pretty good, we’re all so critical of ourselves!

A few thoughts:
Kids do like SMBC, and it can be your mission to raise their standards.  The last time I made chocolate butter cake cupcakes and topped it with caramel SMBC, most of the kids loved them and many had several cupcakes.  While the caramel flavor is divine, I agree if you are looking for a pale vanilla-type buttercream, mousseline is the way to go, not SMBC. 

Also, Silk Meringue buttercream softens and liquefies if you don’t rebeat it occaisionally.  All it takes is 30 seconds with a hand whisk and it re-emulsifies into an even smoother, less bubbly buttercream than when it is first made.  I like the re-beaten texture so much I normally make it a day ahead just so I can re-beat.  And with the caramel flavor, you can make extra and frost grown up cakes with the caramel-orange or the caramel-coffee variations, which are both divine.

Butter cakes only need syrup if they are made in advance.  You could try making everything else in advance, then bake the cake last so you don’t have to syrup it. 

If you like genoise, there is nothing better than Rose’s Golden Genoise with SMBC, either a fruit flavor (apricot is my favorite, I like strawberry/raspberry better in the mousseline version) or a praline version.  And my very next project is to make chiffon into cupcakes, which I’m told works very well if you don’t have the proper chiffon pan (there’s more on this on the blog).

As for monitoring temperature of a small amount of sugar syrup, a thermometer with a special tip is all you need, not an expensive techno-gadget ray gun!  Rose recommends the CDN quick tip on a rope, which I think is under $20.  Search the blog for more info. 

Keep baking!

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Posted: 23 October 2008 05:14 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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Hi There, I didn’t get one of my questions answered above, but I researched some of Rose’s blogging and found her response. You syrup and tort the cakes AFTER they have been thawed, and not before freezing..

Phew!
Elma

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Posted: 20 November 2008 09:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Elma, thank you for asking all these questions—but ESPECIALLY for following up with your last post!!! I’m making my first large wedding cake (200 people—the event is day after tomorrow) and I’ve been frantically searching through TCB, this forum, and everyplace else trying to figure out if the syrup is supposed to go on the cakes before I freeze them or when I’m assembling them for decorating. I was just about to give up near the end of page 2 and wing it, and then there it was after all! Everyone here is so helpful and this thread was full of great information, but your last comment took the, um… cake! Thanks!

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Posted: 23 November 2008 07:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Laurie!

I love your gingerbread cake picture. What an accomplishment! SO nice of you to do the wedding cake for a friend. I do hope it turned out OK. Please post with a followup. My fingers are crossed for you.

I’m glad that you found the answers to your questions!

Good luck,
Elma

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Posted: 24 November 2008 02:06 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Elma,

Well, it’s all over! Long story, but here’s the Reader’s Digest version….

Due to a small (okay, not so small) mousseline emergency the night before, I was still putting cake tiers together the morning of the wedding—it all worked out, but I’m pretty sure it also took several years off my life in the process. The wedding was a two hour road trip away, we ended up missing the ceremony, and in the rush to get the car loaded I forgot to pack my camera.

All’s well that ends well, however. I successfully assembled the cake before (most of) the guests arrived at the reception, it looked fabulous, it tasted delicious, EVERYBODY loved it, the darling bride was thrilled, AND…. the photographer is giving me the pictures!!!

I should add that my husband is a saint. He washed all my pans, bowls and utensils (multiple times) and cleaned up the countertops where I torted the cake layers. THEN he put on a clean white shirt, took off his watch, washed his hands once more, and proceeded to knead 12 pounds of stiff white fondant until it was not only workable, but EXACTLY the same shade of Tiffany Blue throughout. All without ever once asking if perhaps it might have been more prudent to at least color the fondant sometime prior to the day of the wedding…... now THAT’S love for sure!

P.S. I’m so glad you liked my Gingerbread House—thank you! That was quite a project. I spent 100+ hours designing, constructing and decorating it. Can’t remember how many batches of cookie dough I needed to build it, but it took more than five pounds of caramel (more effective and adjustable than royal icing) to “glue” it all together. The finished house weighed about 15 pounds! FYI, the windows (poured sugar) and the little sconces on the side of the turret (white Tootsie Roll) are glowing because the house is lit from the inside with teeny tiny LED lights. Here’s a photo of the back, and one of how it looked after three months sitting outside on top of the bird feeder stand (no, the birds never touched it—all the “demolition” work was done in a single night of torrential rain).

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Posted: 24 November 2008 10:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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Laurie - I loved reading the story of your wedding cake… so true that they take several years off your life!!!  What a labor of love smile

And I just love your gingerbread house!  The thatched roof and cobblestone work are the best - I can just imagine walking up those cute little stairs and entering that quaint house for the most amazing holiday meal.  Excellent job!!!

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Posted: 24 November 2008 12:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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Laurie, I am in awe!!! Your gingerbread house looks absolutely amazing. You must have a lot of patience.

Can’t wait to see pictures of the wedding cake.

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Posted: 24 November 2008 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Thanks, Patrincia!

Ironically, while no actual meal was ever served inside the gingerbread house, I did retrieve a missing gravy ladle from the wreckage after the roof fell in. (I’d been using the handle for pushing caramel into the inside corners, and apparently forgot to pick it up off the “living room” floor before attaching the bay window. I couldn’t find it anywhere when I needed it for Christmas dinner two weeks later. It was a huge mystery until New Year’s Day, when a hole appeared in one of the sugar windows—my stepson took a look inside and said, “Why is this spoon thing in here?”)

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Posted: 24 November 2008 11:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Rozanne, thank you! I’m not really very patient at all—I just like figuring out how to do things, especially if somebody tells me something isn’t possible. In this case, the “somebody” was my darling son-in-law the contractor, and the “something” was the double-hipped roof and most of the curved parts. Hah! (and it’s to scale, too!)

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Posted: 25 November 2008 09:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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Laurie - 25 November 2008 02:43 AM

Thanks, Patrincia!

Ironically, while no actual meal was ever served inside the gingerbread house, I did retrieve a missing gravy ladle from the wreckage after the roof fell in. (I’d been using the handle for pushing caramel into the inside corners, and apparently forgot to pick it up off the “living room” floor before attaching the bay window. I couldn’t find it anywhere when I needed it for Christmas dinner two weeks later. It was a huge mystery until New Year’s Day, when a hole appeared in one of the sugar windows—my stepson took a look inside and said, “Why is this spoon thing in here?”)

HA!

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Posted: 25 November 2008 09:27 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Laurie - 25 November 2008 03:10 AM

Rozanne, thank you! I’m not really very patient at all—I just like figuring out how to do things, especially if somebody tells me something isn’t possible. In this case, the “somebody” was my darling son-in-law the contractor, and the “something” was the double-hipped roof and most of the curved parts. Hah! (and it’s to scale, too!)

HA again!!!  I like your spirit!

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Posted: 25 November 2008 11:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Patrincia - 25 November 2008 01:27 PM

HA again!!!  I like your spirit!

And I really like all your cakes (and all your good advice in this forum)!

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Posted: 25 November 2008 02:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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Laurie - 25 November 2008 03:10 AM

Rozanne, thank you! I’m not really very patient at all—I just like figuring out how to do things, especially if somebody tells me something isn’t possible. In this case, the “somebody” was my darling son-in-law the contractor, and the “something” was the double-hipped roof and most of the curved parts. Hah! (and it’s to scale, too!)

Good for you!!!!

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Posted: 25 November 2008 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Laurie,

Tiffany Blue? It sounds heavenly. Wow, beautiful. 

When you get pictures, please post to a new post!

I’m making Rose’s Chestnut Butter Cake with Dark Chocolate Ganache for my Dad’s birthday on Thanksgiving! I’ll let you know how it goes!

Elma

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