I have a few questions about making a topsy turvey cake
Posted: 01 April 2009 01:18 PM   [ Ignore ]
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It will be the first time I am going to make a topsy turvey cake and there’s a few things I’m unsure about.

When you have to support the layers can you use straws or kebab sticks and when you place a layer on-top of the other do you place it directly onto it or on cardboard/plastic?

Do you chill the cake after you put the crumb layer on and after you put the fondant on? If yes how long for?

And for the decoration how do you stick fondant shapes onto the cake?

Thank-you for any help.

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Posted: 01 April 2009 02:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Welcome Jazzag! I don’t have a lot of experience with stacking cakes but I’ll try to answer some of your questions. I’m sure the other forum members with lots of experience will chime in.

Yes you can use straws but make sure they are the strong kind and not the ones that bend easily. Bubble tea straws will work well. I’m not sure about the kebab sticks though.
I always chill the cake before putting the fondant on. It’s much easier to work with. Refrigerating a fondant covered cake is not recommended unless you have a low humidity fridge. Having said that, some bakers refrigerate their fondant covered cakes succesfully. There are lots of opinions on this subject.
You can use royal icing to stick the fondant shapes onto the cake. I have also used white chocolate for this purpose.

Good luck and we’d love to see pictures!

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Posted: 01 April 2009 06:35 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Okay, thank you

It was just a website I was reading said to put it in the fridge after you apply the fondant so it doesn’t get air bubbles and go sweaty; but another website said don’t put it in because it adds moisture.

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Posted: 01 April 2009 06:36 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I would not advise kebab sticks… too thin - they’d poke right through the cake and/or cardboard above.  If you’re applying fondant to fondant, you can also use a bit of water as your glue (place fondant cutouts on a damp cloth for a minute - then transfer to cake).  If you’re applying fondant to real buttercream (not the shortening stuff that crusts over), it will stick all by itself - no “glue” necessary.

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Posted: 02 April 2009 07:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Ahh, topsy turvy cakes.  Everyone loves them but no one wants to pay for them smile!  I had two this weekend and when I told the clients that the cost was $6/person, they were outraged.  But they ordered them anyway.  One was for a christening and the other was a birthday.

Anyway.

Here’s how I do it.  I think it helps with the whole effect if the bottom is narrow; when it is straight, it looks odd to my eyes.  Work out the colors and designs before you start.  I like to tell clients I need a minimum of three or a maximum of five colors to work with - I might go lighter or darker on some of them but

So I bake two 2” high layers, and split one in half (horizontally).  The other one gets sliced by putting the knife at the top edge and then go to the opposite side at the bottom.  You will flip this over so the tall sides are together and the narrow sides are together.  Fill as usual, then wrap and chill.  Then carve the bottom so it is narrower than the top (think of a V) but just by a little bit.

Then crumb coat and chill again.

Cover each tier with fondant.  You can chill fondant covered cakes, but your mileage will vary as to whether it sweats a lot or a little.  You can help minimize this by putting each tier in a plastic bag.

Using bubble tea straws or something else equally as strong (the plastic dowels from Wilton are good for this), put them inside the area where the next tier goes.  Then do the same for the second tier, marking it and putting in the straws.  Don’t put the tiers together yet, though.

Melt some coating chocolate (candy melts) and pour a little in the center of the straws and then place the next tier on top (be careful not to drip).  The chocolate is extra insurance so the cake doesn’t move.  Then put three bamboo skewers (cut to fit) to further anchor the middle tier to the bottom.  This helps because the center of gravity is working against you with these types of cakes.  Then put the third tier on the middle one in the same way (melted choc, then place tier, then three more skewers to secure the top to the middle.)  Then drive a skewer or dowel through all three tiers.

Since you’ve chilled the fondant covered cakes, the condensation will help you attach the decorations to the cake.  Or you can use a damp paintbrush to “glue” the decorations on - put the water on the back of the decoration and don’t use a lot, otherwise it will drip and mar the fondant.

Make some extra shapes and go for wired (bouncy) decorations - I like to use 18 gauge wire for this because it’s sturdy.  Make sure you curve the end of the wire so the decoration doesn’t slide off the wire once you put it on.

These are a lot of fun to do; at least the planning is!

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Posted: 02 April 2009 08:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Jeanne - 02 April 2009 10:58 PM

Melt some coating chocolate (candy melts) and pour a little in the center of the straws and then place the next tier on top (be careful not to drip).  The chocolate is extra insurance so the cake doesn’t move.

What a great tip. Thank you!

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Posted: 02 April 2009 09:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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i use vodka when adding sugar decorations fyi.

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Posted: 02 April 2009 11:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Jeanne - I want to print out all your generous advise and put them in a book!!!!  You are the Best!

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