Saturday, February 9, 2008

First and Last time of cake decoration

Well I came to a conclusion today - that I am hopeless at spongecakes. Over 30 eggs and only one cake was successful - the one obtained from the shops.

First time:

  • Making a successful yam filling and yam cream
  • Making a 3D Novelty cake
  • Making a cake for a friend's birthday
  • Using rolled icing - I couldn't do this too well, my head was a bit of a mess on the teddy's right cheek and I had to therefore, make the hair. The skirt at the back was a bit of a mess too but hopefully no one sees it.
  • Using whipped cream to make icing
  • Putting my flower cutter into good use for flowers on presents and teddy's neck
Last time and the don'ts of cake decoration:

  • Trying to make spongecakes overnight
  • Turning off the aircon when the cream is left sitting on the table as it WILL melt into a mess
  • Combining whipped cream icing and fondant icing - it just does not mix in this humid weather and you will only find that out the next day because after placing it in the fridge, the icing goes a bit soft and then the cream will be covered with a film of condensation running off the icing! Try buttercream instead. However, whipped cream feels a bit more light and airy.
  • Making ALL the objects edible. Next time I'll just make stuff like the pillows, presents and decorative pieces from fondant and styrofoam, instead of making everything edible, but I don't really like the idea of stuff that isn't edible to be presented on the cake so it may take me a few takes before I am really convinced that I shouldn't make EVERYTHING edible.
Things turned from bad to worse on Friday - I didn't want to go out on Friday but my partner convinced that I should so we went out until 10pm before I got home. So my disaster began because I was tired and rushed so my first sponge was flat and so I made my second one. My second turned out to be uncooked in the middle only after I had it cooled after an hour. So I followed a different recipe but I ran out of custard powder and had to make a small sized custard sponge.

Things did not go too well on Saturday either - Woke up bright and early to start on my forth sponge. Didn't put in the sugar in the meringue so it wasn't holding up and became all runny but I realised my mistake before putting it in the oven. So after the fifth attempt, you'd think that I would near-perfected it but nope, middle was uncooked. Only the sixth attempt was successful but the texture is not the finer sponge type that I like.

Sunday - well today is the day that I have to present the cake and it's slightly wet after being in the fridge overnight. The whipping cream icing cracked and I had to patch it up and made a slight mess of it but I think it's still presentable. Another 6 hours to go before it all disappears (or gets thrown in the bin).

So after all these attemps, I have come to the conclusion that spongecake-making is a skill I have yet to master. At the moment, my cake is in bits and pieces as the only sponge I could get from the shops were all small round ones so I had to cut and model the sponges. It would be much easier using a slab of cake. And the sponges only came in vanilla or choc, but I wanted mine to be yam flavour!

I hope the whole cake will be ok. There are about 4 different types of cakes used for the presents, pillows, the teddy's head and body and the sofa. It would have been so much easier if I can just make my own next time.

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