Saturday, February 21, 2009

bumpy-like-a-lemon cake

I've learned a lot of things about cake decorating in the last year or so, and the most important lessons have to do with compromise. You can have a moist, tender, delicious cake with real butter buttercream, or you can have a cake that looks nice. I've yet to find a way to have both at the same time. Real butter buttercream is out of this world delicious, but you just can't decorate a cake with it and have it look anything other than pathetic; at least not in the climate I live in. Palm oil shortening is a very good subsitute for Crisco; not too much healthier, but it's organic and sustainably harvested so, you know, that's good.

As for the cake itself...I've come to the conclusion that I can't use boxed cake mixes. I just can't. They crumble and fall apart when you ice them, and they collapse under the weight of the fondant. It doesn't matter how good the batch of fondant came out if the cake itself is lumpy and falling apart.

So the cake I made yesterday was pretty disappointing. Delicious, of course (lemon cake with raspberry buttercream filling), but disappointing. Lumpy and lopsided and...sigh. I'm tired of eating cake but I have to keep on trying because I AM GOING TO GET THIS RIGHT!

This actually looks better in the picture than it did in real life, if you can believe it. This was before Jackson put a hole in the side with his finger.

I have three cake recipes and a different fondant recipe that I want to try. With God as my witness, I am going to find a combination that works for me before Jackson's birthday. Even if I have to just give up and do it in buttercream instead of fondant, I am not bringing a lumpy mess of a cake to that party.


k^squared said...

I remember hearing of similar problems. I saw on TV once where it was suggested to first use buttercream and then put the fondant on. I wonder if that would work.

Kerry said...

That's what I do, but the cake falls apart when I put the buttercream on. I need a firmer cake.

Mother Hoodwink said...

Maybe just make a pretty cake then when no one is looking switch it with a delicious cake all cut up and ready to be served. Sorry, wish I could give you some real advice but that is totally what I would do.

Kerry said...

LOL, I'd totally do that if we were going to be at home, but we're going to be at the beach. Maybe everyone will be so dazzled by the pretty cake and the gorgeous scenery that they won't notice that the cake is dry? I plan on making the crisco-buttercream banana flavored, that might help.