Friday, July 12, 2013

Creative Cakes (part 2) or the calm before the storm ...

Marlene Terry
Regarding the progress made on a "simple" three-tier wedding cake, this part includes that wonderful blissful time when cake makers of any skill level gain confidence ... or as it is "confectionally" known, "the calm before the storm."
The cake should now be baked and leveled., with each layer wrapped in plastic wrap and firming in the freezer.

Next step? ... Assemble the tiers.

This cake has three — a 14-inch tier (the bottom); a 10-inch middle tier, and a cute little 6-inch topper tier that traditionally shows off a tiny porcelain, glass or other materials, bride and groom in various poses of happiness or a cake top of your own making!

Every tier will have two layers of cake that are set one on top of the other like a an Oreo cookie, and are glued together with a filling of your choice.
... Personally I love using plain old butter cream frosting for everything. (For the recipe click Under the Nut Tree tab above).
Want a great filling for your cake?
Mix up a batch of butter cream to use, or, for example, just add red cake color (the paste type) and some well drained and chopped up maraschino cherries. Yoila! Cherry filling.
... It's also important that the frosting is stiff enough to hold a peak. If it's too soft, you'll whiz through the icing process in a moment (the calm), but you'll have nothing but trouble from there on (the storm).
To test this. Wash your hands thoroughly. Stick your dry index finger into the finished frosting. If the dollop stands upright for several seconds without finally surrendering to gravity, you're in business. If not, add a little more powdered sugar and test again.
... And because the frosting has been on your finger and it wouldn't be right to put it back into the bowl, it's also a good time to check for taste (my favorite part). ... Which by the way is usually yummy and delicious spread on Graham Crackers ... several of them ... for testing purposes of course.

Once the layers are stacked together in a cake sandwich, it's time to make sure each tier is level. ... Your hubby's tool box will again be a good source to find a carpenter's level that you can use. Or you might opt, as I did, to purchase a mini level of your own. That way you can choose a smaller version of the 3-4 foot giants normally used in construction.
... And if your filling is ample, you'll be able to level up the cake by simply pushing down (carefully) with your hand on the top layer ... until the bubbles in the liquid on the level line up.

Next, mix up another batch of frosting for the sealing process. Sealing means you're going to place a "slightly thinner" layer of butter cream over the entire tier, that after it's set, will keep offending crumbs (crumbs from the cake and not those crummy little family bowl-lickers) from surfacing and ruining the final frosting layer.
After the sealing is complete, you can place the tiers (not wrapped with anything this time) back in the freezer, while you prepare the decorations that go on the finished cake.

On Monday we'll learn how to ice the cake, making it as smooth as glass. ... I promise. It'll be fun!

♦ Hope you'll let me share your stories and photos here at my new residence "In a Nutshell." Email me at