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Lots of Questions
Posted: 02 March 2009 09:07 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Hi all - This is my first visit to Rose’s site although I have poured over TCB for many years.  I have spent the day perusing the many, many questions and answers and have learned alot. Of course, I now have lots more questions so here goes.

I am making sheet cakes for serving to the guests (the wedding cake will be a dummy cake that I am covering with fondant and decorating - except for one layer which will be cake).  I am planning on a lemon-lavender cake with raspberry mousseline buttercream and lemon mousseline buttercream AND a chocolate cake with raspberry buttercream and milk chocolate filling. I made tasting cakes and they were wonderful!!  I am planning on making the cakes ahead of time and freezing the layers.  As I am the mother of the bride, I really would like to have everything done to these cakes by the Friday before.  So now to my questions.

Can I fill the cakes (mousseline buttercream and milk chocolate buttercream) and then freeze them until closer to the day then do the final icing on the outside of the cakes (no one will see these cakes)?  Or can I frost them on the outside as well and freeze the whole thing?  If I can frost them on the outside, how should I wrap them for the freezer and how should I thaw them? 

I am planning on using the lemon buttercream to frost the lemon-lavender, but I am wondering what the best chocolate frosting would be for the chocolate cake - any suggestions would be great.  I do have TCB - lots of sticky notes and have used it for many cakes and fillings. 

Also - this comes from my reading today - I purchased a 12 x 18 x 3” pan for the sheet cakes and now find out that 3” pans are not great to bake in.  I read several posts that talked about making thin layers.  Could someone expand on this.  I really don’t want to purchase another pan as they are quite expensive. 

Because I can’t find a lemon cake in Rose’s book that I can use the factors to scale up, is there anyway that I can scale up another recipe - hope that makes sense.

I am sure that I will have more questions, but that’s it for now. 

Thanks everyone for your great advice and all your help.

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Posted: 03 March 2009 09:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I have a 12 x 18 x 2 pan, that i just made a 2 layer 1/2 sheet cake in.
I used I think around 13 cups of batter PER layer, and it made them the perfect thickness to layer with a filling inbetween.

I cant answer any of your other questions lol

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Posted: 03 March 2009 09:25 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Thankyou for your response - especially the batter amount - I was getting myself confused reading differing ideas.  I am sure someone else will answer the other questions.

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Posted: 03 March 2009 09:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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yeah i kind of eyed it, i made i think a total of 15 cups of batter and i didn’t use it all because it would have been too much.  I also had to make a bunch of practice cakes lol

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Posted: 03 March 2009 10:45 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Practice Cakes! Ah yes - I had done small practice cakes for the taste and fillings, but not a large one - I definitely will be doing that.

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Posted: 03 March 2009 12:56 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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AG, here are my two cents.

You can indeed freeze the completed, frosted cake.  When I do this, I put the cake unwrapped in the refrigerator just long enough to firm the buttercream so it doesn’t get dented/messed up (being careful to remove any strongly flavored foods so the buttercream doesn’t absorb odors).  Then, I wrap in a double layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of aluminum foil.  Sometimes I tape the foil closed to get a good seal, or use a ziploc if it will fit.  Then freeze.

Thaw still wrapped in the refirgerator, so the buttercream stays firm.  Then unwrap (many put the cake in a box at this point) to bring to room temperature for serving.  Be sure to allow enough time to come to room temp, butter cakes and buttercream aren’t very good cold.

As for the chocolate cake, I’m a little confused.  You mention that you are using raspberry buttercream, is that right? and that you are using milk chocolate buttercream filling?  What cake is it?  Rose pairs her chocolate fudge cake with the milk chocolate buttercream, a combo I think works well.  That cake could work well with a white chocolate or vanilla mousseline (pale frosting is pretty agains the dark, dark cake). 

For Lemon cake, I would suggest Rose’s sour cream butter cake as a base, adding lemon zest to the batter and possibly substituting lemon extract (oil) for a portion of the vanilla, depending on your taste and how lemony you like it.  Don’t forget to adjust (reduce) the baking powder when you size up.

a few other thoughts-

-Rose points out that raspberry mousseline needs a drop or two of red food color to prevent fading when made ahead.

-When using lavendar, be very careful not to get too much, or it will remind everyone of soap.  It should just be a faint floral quality that makes everyone go, hmmm, what is that? 

-When making butter cakes ahead of time and freezing, consider syruping them according to Rose’s directions in the Wedding Cake chapter so they won’t be dry.  You can do this when you fill/frost, before freezing.

-I’m not sure what your goals are with the chocolate cake, but consider syruping it with the ganache, detailed on this blog.  You probably won’t even need a filling with the ganache syrup.

-Fondant shouldn’t be refrigerated/frozen because condensation ruins it.

Good Luck, hope you’re able to share pics when the time comes!

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Posted: 03 March 2009 01:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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ALBERTAGIRL:
  Good morning & welcome to our culinary club. I see that you have received a few XLNT postings that I believe are very valuable
& should be very helpful to you. I will try to answer your ??? about your new baking pan that is 3, inch deep. Is your ??? the following, if you should locate a recipe that you will like to employ… can you increase the amount to fit into your new baking pan. If that is your ??? I can do that for you, you will have to post the recipe & if you are to use the listed pan & remember we will fill it only 1/2 up to allow for the function of the chemical leaveners.. Oh by the way that other posting mentioning the 2, in. deep pan & 13, cups of batter… is very accurate.
  Alberta girl should you locate a recipe in a baking book, mention that book because I may have that book & it will save you the effort to post same.
  Good luck in your baking project. I know you will succeed in whatever decision you make. Enjoy the rest of the day young lady.

  ~FRESHKID. grin

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Posted: 03 March 2009 08:05 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Thanks for all the help. 

Regarding the chocolate cake - I am making three layers so will have two fillings - my daughter really likes the look of three layers with two different fillings - hence the raspberry buttercream in both the lemon-lavender and the chocolate and the lemon buttercream as the second in the lemon cake and the milk chocolate buttercream as the second in the chocolate.  Hopefully that clears it up.

I have made many lemon lavender cakes and am careful as to how much I put in.  You are right - there is that perfume that leaves everyone wondering what it is. 

Regarding the 3” pan - I guess my question came about because of all the posts - and Rose’s comment - that her recipes do not work in 3” pans.  I had also read that many make thinner layers in them - I think that’s what I read.  I am not sure why I purchased the 3” rather than the 2”, but that is what I have so would like to make it work if I can.  I understand from the replies that I can use 13-15 cups of batter and it should be OK??

Thank you for the suggestion about the sour cream cake - I can’t seem to find it in TCB?

The lemon cake I am making is a Martha Stewart recipe that has buttermilk - hence I believe that is why I can use lemon juice in it??

With regards to the chocolate cake suggestion to syrup them with ganache - I am a bit confused.  Does anyone have a link to where I can find that or maybe I will just do a search to see if it comes up. 

Thanks so much for the freezing suggestions - you have made everything so much easier.

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Posted: 03 March 2009 08:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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I found the sour cream butter cake - I had missed it and was looking under “sour cream” in the index. 

Here is the MS Lemon cake -makes 7 cups

1 cup unsalted butter
3 cups all purpose flour
1tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp lemon zest
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup buttermilk
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp lavender (my estimation given the 7 cups of batter)

If you can help me scale it up - or give me an idea whether it would compare to the sourcream butter cake, I would be appreciative. 

Thanks for all your help - this is a wonderful site!

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Posted: 03 March 2009 08:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I found the ganache syrup - sounds yummy - but I will definitely do a practice!

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Posted: 04 March 2009 07:37 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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AG, now I see what you are doing with frostings/fillings!  For the chocolate cake with raspberry and milk chocolate fillings, you could frost with Rose’s raspberry ganache, or you could also go with a white chocolate (sweetest option) or vanilla mousseline if you like a pale frosting.  With any mousseline option, you could add raspberry eau de vie for your liqueur (get a good one, the cheaper varieties really don’t taste very good).

As for my thoughts on your lemon cake, I did not bother to include lemon juice for three reasons:  first, lemon juice is brightest/tangiest within a day or two of squeezing, since you are making this cake ahead, I thought the benefit of using lemon juice was less.  Second, the sour cream adds a tang that will go well with the lemon flavor (similar to the buttermilk in your MS recipe).  Third, substituting lemon juice for some of the sour cream in the sour cream butter cake would probably mean baking another test cake, to determine if more baking soda would need to be substituted for baking powder (might work as is, not sure without a test cake). 

Not sure if the ganache syrup will work when torting the cake into three layers, anyone tried it?  Might help to chill the cake before torting/filling so it is firmer.

Good Luck!

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Posted: 04 March 2009 08:49 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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Thanks Julie - I see what you mean about the lemon juice - I think that more of the lemon flavour comes from the zest anyway.  Also - when I baked the test cakes, it was the lemon buttercream that really made it a “lemon” cake - Along with the raspberry buttercream it was delicious. 

As these cakes are just for serving (not going to be seen) I think I may just do a ganache frosting on the chocolate one - I watched Rose on u-tube and it looks super easy. 

With regards to the syruping with ganache - if I am baking in thin layers, can I not syrup - then freeze or cool that layer - do the other two layers the same - then put the fillings in and refreeze?  Or is it better to do everything fresh and crumb coat and freeze?  I would do the ganache at the last minute.  Would that be best?

Thank you all for all your help - I am going to do a test of the sour cream cake today - and I have some of the buttercream’s frozen so will pull them out and try the whole thing.

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Posted: 04 March 2009 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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So many questions - sigh!!

I am doing an excel spreadsheet to calculate the multiples I need for my large pans. 

I notice that the RF for both the 13 x 9 and the 18 x 12 is a range.  Why? and how do I know which one to multiply the base by?

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Posted: 04 March 2009 10:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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AG, I just have to say that you are a great Mom to be going through all this for your daughter’s wedding!  These cakes are going to be so much more delicious than anything I have ever been served at a wedding.  And your willingness to bake test cakes will really pay off, you’ll know just what you’re going to get and be that much more relaxed on the big day- brava!

Ganache sounds lovely for frosting the chocolate cake- always wonderful and delicous.  The completed cake can be frozen if you want to go ahead and do it ahead of time. 

As for syruping with ganache, then chilling, then torting, I think that would probably work.  With the buttercream filling, it would be incredibly rich.  I think Rose first published this concept with her Valentine’s Day cake from her book, “Rose’s Celebrations”.  (Sorry, I don’t have that book with me right now).  There, she doesn’t torte the cake and just tops it with a little extra ganache and fresh raspberries.  I imagine your version would be wonderful, just rich and intense in a “gild the lily” sort of way.

Sorry I don’t have any answers for you on using the 3"deep pans, but I think FreshKid will be back by soon, now that you’ve posted the MS recipe.  My only thought is to not fill them up too full, a deep layer needs increased structure to keep from collapsing under its own weight, which necessitates all sorts of formula changes that can undermine a soft, tender texture.  Also, use cake strips (homemade with foil and wet paper towels works).

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Posted: 04 March 2009 10:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Thanks Julie

I have 6 daughters - this is # 5 to get married and I have baked all of their cakes. This time they want to serve it as dessert instead of just letting people eat it at the midnight lunch or passing a small piece so I need to be sure it is great! Thankfully they suggested the dummy wedding cake and the sheet cakes which makes it so much easier for me as I can get the dummy cake decorated ahead of time and ready to go. 

I am making the all american chocolate cake so maybe I will just syrup (plain) instead of the ganache and then use the ganache as the frosting.  Thoughts?

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Posted: 04 March 2009 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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I have been looking at other recipes in the Cake Bible and came across the pound cake with a lemon syrup which brought this question to mind.

Could I make a white cake - say White Velvet Butter cake - add lemon zest & lavender to the batter - then syrup with a lemon syrup? 

Is this cake suitable to a 12 x 18 cake?  Is there a better white cake someone would recommend that I could do this with.  I do think that most of the lemon flavour in the cake comes from the zest and the lemon buttercream anyway so maybe the lemon in the cake isn’t necessary. 

So much to think about -  I have five weeks!!!!!  lol

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