cake recommendation and tips.
Posted: 22 January 2009 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2009-01-22

Hi all,

  I’m new to the site, but I joined looking for some friendly advice and hopefully to meet some new friends, too. I’ve been reading several of the threads here and everyone here seems super nice and friendly and willing to help. I have recently taken up making cakes and several other pastries as well. I just bought Ms. Beranbaum’s “The Cake Bible” (TCB) and I love the book! However, because I am so new at this, sometimes I have a difficult time understanding the directions since I have no formal training and have never seen some of the techniques she describes in her book executed.

  Tonight I am going to make a birthday cake for a co-worker of mine. It is for her son who has just turned ten years old. I was hoping that you folks might be able to recommend a good cake from TCB for this occasion. All of the cakes in TCB look like a lot of fun to make, but not all seem like they would be something a ten-year-old would want for their birthday cake. I am looking to make a three-layered, nine-inch round cake. I wanted to make the checkerboard cake but my pans have not come in yet. Also, I am trying to figure out if using a butter cream frosting or a royal icing is better. Aren’t most store-bought birthday cakes decorated with a royal icing? What do you folks think? If I use a royal icing to decorate the cake, do I still use a butter cream frosting between the layers or should I use the same icing or frosting that will be used on the outside of the cake?

  I’m sorry for such a short notice with these questions, but I just found out today that I would be making this cake. Thank you for taking the time to read this and any tips or advice from anyone will be greatly appreciated.

Gratefully yours,
Matthew smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 03:13 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2568
Joined  2007-11-15

Welcome Monsieur - If the b-day boy likes chocolate, I’d suggest the Chocolate Fudge Cake.  In the US, royal icing is reserved for small decorations.  The crusty icing you mentioned is a “decorator’s buttercream”, usually made with frosting and powdered sugar - it tastes horrible and has a very gritty texture.  Rose’s buttercreams are wonderfully light and mildly sweet - utterly delicious.  Be sure to use UNsalted butter when making her buttercreams.  Let us know what you end up making!

 Signature 

Come visit my blog at

http://butteryum.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 03:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  767
Joined  2007-11-15

I may not be the best person to help you as there are lots of experts on this site, but as you say you want to do this cake shortly I thought I would give you my thoughts. I, myself, would not use Royal Icing on a butter or sponge cake, I think buttercream or fondant would be more appropriate.  Royal Icing needs time to set and more than one coating so that would be time consuming and also it dries to a very hard finish, not easy to cut, especially for a child’s birthday cake.  A bit hard on the teeth too!!  If time is of the essence you could buy fondant icing which only needs to be rolled out and decorated.  You could sandwich the cake with butter icing or even a nice fruit jam/jelly.  I am in the UK by the way, we say jam where Americans say Jelly. I hope this helps in a small way, you have joined a good forum, lots of very good bakers and friendly people. grin

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 03:23 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2009-01-22

Patrincia,

  Thank you so much for your reply. I should have mentioned this in my original post, but my colleague has requested the cake be any flavor except chocolate. And due to her and her son’s nut allergies, those are off the menu, too. As far as the frosting on store-bought cakes, I agree with you that they tend to be very gritty, and in my humble opinion, they are way too sweet. Thanks again for your time and help. I really appreciate it!

~Matthew smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 03:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2009-01-22

Hello Jeannette,

  Thank you for the tips. I was unaware that you could purchase pre-made fondants. I may try to find one of those tonight if I can. Thank you for your time.

~Matthew smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 03:29 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  2568
Joined  2007-11-15
Monsieur P?tisserie - 22 January 2009 07:23 PM

Patrincia,

  Thank you so much for your reply. I should have mentioned this in my original post, but my colleague has requested the cake be any flavor except chocolate. And due to her and her son’s nut allergies, those are off the menu, too. As far as the frosting on store-bought cakes, I agree with you that they tend to be very gritty, and in my humble opinion, they are way too sweet. Thanks again for your time and help. I really appreciate it!

~Matthew smile

Well, that leaves out my next recommendation of the Almond cake :(.  The Golden Butter Cream recipe is very good… so are the Sour Cream Butter and All-Occasion Downy Yellow Butter cakes.  Actually, there isn’t a cake in the book that isn’t fabulous, so whatever you pick, they’ll like it!

PS - we have a Matthew who posts regularly on this site… hope I don’t get you two confused!

 Signature 

Come visit my blog at

http://butteryum.blogspot.com

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1429
Joined  2007-11-18

The White Velvet Butter cake is really good too. It doesn’t pair well with chocolate but that is not an issue in this particular case as they don’t want chocolate anyway. Do try Rose’s buttercreams, they are far superior to any other. Welcome and good luck!

 Signature 

http://heavenlycakesenjoyedonearth.blogspot.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 04:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2009-01-22

Hi again everybody,

  Thank you all for your time and advice. I really like everybody’s suggestions. I am at my office right now so I don’t have the book in front of me. Are the recipes for these cakes that you have folks have suggested in TCB? Also, if any of you have access to your copy, are any of the recipes designed for a three-layered, nine-inch round cake? If not, can anyone help me figure out how to adjust the recipe so enough batter will be made for three nine-inch round pans?

  I also wanted to clarify why I had the questions I had about the frosting or icing to use. The reason I thought I might need to use a royal icing is because I want to do some piping so I thought I would need a stiffer icing. I have had trouble with butter cream frostings becoming too soft in the pastry bag and the frosting did hold its shape once it was on the cake. The cake still tasted fine, it just didn’t look as nice as I wanted it to. Any insight to what I’m doing wrong or any tips I can use so that my piping will hold its form?

  I’m sorry for asking so many questions in such a short period of time, but I do appreciate everyone’s input and advice. Thank you so much!

~Matthew smile

PS - Patrincia, you can address me however you would like to if using Matthew is a common name here and it helps you keep things straight. wink

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 04:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1429
Joined  2007-11-18
Monsieur P?tisserie - 22 January 2009 08:18 PM

Hi again everybody,

  Thank you all for your time and advice. I really like everybody’s suggestions. I am at my office right now so I don’t have the book in front of me. Are the recipes for these cakes that you have folks have suggested in TCB? Also, if any of you have access to your copy, are any of the recipes designed for a three-layered, nine-inch round cake? If not, can anyone help me figure out how to adjust the recipe so enough batter will be made for three nine-inch round pans?

I just typed the answer to your question on another thread that Tracy had started. Anyway here it is:

If you refer to pages 491 to 493 of The Cake Bible (US edition), Rose has done a chart for the different sizes of cakes. All you have to do is pick the size of the cake pan and multiply it by the Rose factor and you can make any size cake you want using this chart. I know you don?t have TCB with you right now but hopefully this will help. The chart takes all the guess work out of having to calculate the amount of batter.

The chart includes the white cake, yellow cake and a chocolate cake.

 Signature 

http://heavenlycakesenjoyedonearth.blogspot.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 05:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  282
Joined  2007-11-16

You can’t go wrong with the All Occasion Downey Yellow Butter Cake, a favorite here for birthdays.  We like it with a chocolate icing, but if chocolate is not the flavor of choice, then that is up to you.

MrsM

Profile
 
 
Posted: 22 January 2009 08:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2009-01-22

Hi everybody,

  I wanted to thank all of you for taking the time to help me today. I really appreciate the help you have given me. I will definitely come back her for more help in the future and I look forward to getting to know you folks better.

Have a nice day.

-Matthew smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 January 2009 12:26 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  86
Joined  2008-04-23

Sometimes kids go for stronger flavors than you might think. My son requested major chocolate for his 11th birthday cake. I used the Perfect All-American Chocolate Butter Cake from TCB frosted with the Dark Chocolate Ganache made more kid-friendly by substituting milk chocolate for about 1/4 of the chocolate. He and his friends ate enthusiastically.

Cathy

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 January 2009 02:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
Sr. Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  339
Joined  2009-01-22

Rozanne,

  I went with your recommendation of the white velvet cake. It turned out great. My buttercream frosting, however, was a different story (see post in buttercream tutorial). I also found the chart in TCB that you told me about. Thank you so much for your help.

~Matthew smile

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 January 2009 05:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
Sr. Member
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  1429
Joined  2007-11-18

You’re welcome Matthew! I’m glad it turned out well.  smile

 Signature 

http://heavenlycakesenjoyedonearth.blogspot.com/

Profile
 
 
Posted: 27 January 2009 08:51 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
Administrator
Avatar
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  4783
Joined  2008-04-16

Ooops, somehow I missed this post earlier.  I make a lot of kids’ cakes, and from what I’ve seen, most younger kids prefer fresh fruit flavors for their cakes.  Fruit also works well when chocolate and/or nuts are out.  Strawberries and peaches are two favoriites with many kids.  I would recommend the sour cream butter cake with strawberry mousseline. 

Or, for a more involved cake (but one that can be made well ahead), I made a “white chocolate-covered strawberry” cake for my daughter’s seventh birthday.  It was genoise classic with “lemonade” syrup (use a little lemon juice and zest- not too strong- in place of the liqueur) layered with Rose’s strawberry puree (thickened with an appropriate amount of gelatin or agar).  The puree is so much better than jam- fresh tasting and not too sweet.  I used Creme Ivoire for the outside, but not everyone likes white chocolate, so vanilla mousseline would work well, too. 

For a peach kids’ cake, you could layer golden genoise with vanilla mousseline and drained cannned peaches, using the syrup from the peaches for the genoise syrup.  Admittedly, canned peaches are not a very sophisticated option for grownups, but kids love them.

 Signature 

B&T Blog:  Cultured Butter Recipe

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top