"Hey, I can do that!"

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Practice Cake: Completed

Practice Cake, Tapered Round
+5 skill points -> 150/400

Last night I made a cake to practice a few things:
  • baking with rose nails
  • tapering a cake
  • icing with IMBC
  • piping with IMBC
  • 7" - 6" tapered round
  • French Vanilla cake (box mix)
  • milk chocolate frosting as filling (tub)
  • IMBC icing (made last Friday)
    • shell border on bottom
    • rosette border on top
  • drizzled with melted chocolate
I volunteered to make a birthday cake for my aunt's 60th birthday, and I've been trying to come up with a design that would be fun yet mature ... definitely something unique and special.  Here is a cake I found on cakecentral.com that seemed to fit the bill:


It's a tapered round cake with ribbons randomly strewn across.  After making my own tapered cake, I decided the size was not appropriate for the number of people attending the birthday party.  It was fun, though.  That will get tucked into my bag of tricks for later.

Instead of using baking strips, I wanted to try baking with rose nails in the middle of the pan.  The idea is that the nail heats up so the center can bake as fast as the sides.  The nails were covered using non-stick spray and were placed upside down in the pans.  A single cake mix was split between a 6"x2" round and my new 7"x3" round.  The rose nails didn't seem to really help as well as baking strips.  Both cakes still had domes.  Too bad ... it's a lot easier than getting those strips around the pan.

2 cake boards were cut to a little less than 6" and 7" circles.  The cakes were leveled and torted, using the chocolate frosting as filling.  I stacked them upside down (7" at the bottom) with cake boards at each end as per advice on tapering cakes from cakecentral.com.  Using a bread knife I carved the slant by pressing the knife against both boards as I cut.  The entire thing got flipped over so the widest part was on top.  This ended up working well.  The shape was fun and unique.



I let my IMBC come to room temperature after being in the fridge since Friday.  When I opened the container I could see that the icing had destabilized (looked a little chunky and you could see crystals).  Since I was just doing the crumbcoat first, I went ahead and used the icing.  That could have been a mistake.  After crumbcoating it, the cake was put in the fridge for a few minutes to firm up while I rewhipped the rest of the icing.

The icing came together nicely again after whisking on high.  I also added some ivory food coloring.

When I spread the good icing on the crumbcoat, the crumbcoat came off the cake and stuck to the new icing.  The destabilized icing stuck to the stabilized icing instead of to the cake!  It was very difficult to spread evenly because pockets of icing would detach.  Oh well, lesson learned.  What didn't help was the crazy Austin weather.  It was actually hot last night (after weeks of cool weather).  The icing wasn't going to hold very long outside the fridge!  And this morning, you know it ... COLD and rainy.  I don't think I should depend on IMBC for anything important.

The shells and rosettes were made using tip #22.  The rosettes weren't close enough to the edge, so I wanted something else to decorate with to detract from that mistake.  I heated up some leftover chocolate and drizzled it over the rosettes.  That worked well :)


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