"Hey, I can do that!"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Engagement Cake: Completed

Engagement Cake
(+5 skill points -> 120/400)

I finished Hang and Sandi's engagement cake in class today (Wilton Course 3, Class 2).  Hopefully they'll like it!

On Friday I made another batch of Devil's food cake.  This cake baked up much better than the last batch.  I'm assuming because I was well prepared this time around.  The oven was preheated and the pan was greased and floured before I started mixing the ingredients.  I actually followed the directions exactly.  After reading a page full of baking tips, I was reminded that these directions are not arbitrary.  Batter should not be over or under mixed and should not wait long to get into the oven.

As that was baking, I moved on to decorating the ivory fondant square.  The template I made was copied from their wedding invitations.  Doing all of those intricate swirlies would be impossible, so I broke the image down into simpler parts.  Here is the template from the original to the reduced sections for brown and orange:


I traced the orange template on to my ivory fondant square using an old-school ink pen.  Food coloring and gin were my ink.  It worked well, despite the fact that my food coloring set doesn't even include orange.  I used golden yellow, no taste red, and brown.

After outlining the design for the orange swirlies, I took the fondant off the light box and filled in those sections using a paintbrush.

While that dried, the icing needed to be prepared.  I used my first batch of IMBC for the filling.  Sandi likes coffee flavors, so I added 3 tablespoons of instant coffee dissolved in 1 tablespoon of boiling water.  Earlier in the week I had done some research for flavoring icing with coffee and several mentioned either instant coffee or instant espresso.  What slipped my mind was that it was supposed to be 3 Tb for a full batch, but my IMBC was a half batch!  My husband thinks that the chocolatey cake and other icing will help balance out the strong coffee flavor.  I made a full batch of chocolate BC to be used as the foundation and for decorating. 

On Saturday I finished painting the ivory square.  The lettering was done with a small batch of royal icing and the very last drop of my brown food coloring.  The table took on another stain.  Folks, when coloring, use protection!

I trimmed and torted the cake layers.  The coffee IMBC began to destabilize as I was spreading it.  That's not too surprising if it was due to the humidity.  It was raining cats and dogs outside.  More on that part in my class post.  The chocolate BC went on well and eventually I was left with a rectangular prism.


The fun part was getting everything to class while a monsoon was going on outside.  I found a cardboard box to stuff the cake into and covered it with a trash bag.  It was embarrassing to show up to class completely drenched, but the cake survived.

I learned how to cover a cake with fondant without making any pleats or trapping air bubbles.  Unfortunately I didn't want to hold up the class so my fondant didn't get kneaded properly.  That resulted in little cracks and blemishes.  My instructor helped me flatten some out by spritzing water on the top and rolling it with a little wooden fondant roller tool (which I now want to purchase).  I popped some air bubbles with a pin without an complications.  Here I am putting the ivory square on top (glued down with piping gel).


We had rolled out the fondant on to a greased Cake Dividing Wheel.  This was basically a plastic? vinyl? circle with measured markings.  I rolled out a blog of fondant until I passed the 16" mark (my cake needed at least 14").  The fondant sticks to the circle, so you just pick the whole thing up and lay it across your cake, then peel it off.  That was easy, and I was still able to make a correction when I found I had laid it off center.

Shell borders went on top and bottom to finish it and hide the seams.

  • visible brush strokes on the fondant painting (I think this can be reduced by proper drying and using more food coloring to less alcohol)
  • coffee flavoring IMBC was too strong
  • IMBC began to destabilize
  • fondant was not kneaded properly before rolling
  • out of brown food coloring! set doesn't even include orange! 
  • cake was too soft to keep crisp edges
  • filling is spewing out the side under the fondant
  • visible pleats

  • using ink pen to trace image worked well without damaging the fondant
  • cardboard box made for safe and secure transportation
  • water + wooden rolling thingie smooths out fondant
  • Cake Dividing Wheel made placing the fondant on the cake easy

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