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Everything posted by RuthWells

  1. Thanks, CurlySue! One trick I've been using with the chocolate fondant -- I'm rolling it out on a large Silpat and using the Silpat to transfer the fondant to the cake. Much less hair-raising than using just my hands, rolling pin, etc. I imagine this would work well for moving the chocolate "paper" as well. I can't wait to see your pix!
  2. I hope this worked -- this should be a photo of my somewhat lame attempt at a package or "gift" cake (thanks for the help, JSkilling!). I've been dreaming about how to get those wonderful flaps that Elegant Cheesecake shows, and I'm beginning to think that they must wrap their cakes just as you would wrap a gift. I'm going to try that next time. I forgot about the bottom flap when I posted earlier -- I didn't even attempt a bottom flap! ← I managed to post a photo to my photo album using ImageGullet, but can't for the life of me figure out how to get the photo to show in my post -- t
  3. I am definitely a shortening snob, so I'll chime in! Thus far I have relied almost exclusively on Italian meringue buttercream for piping, but it's really not stiff enough for more intricate flowers (I can do roses, but not daffodils). I'm looking for stiffer variations.
  4. I forgot about the bottom flap when I posted earlier -- I didn't even attempt a bottom flap!
  5. I agree with you Mette...buttercream is absolutely my least favorite. As far as CC's cakes...I've had it four different times and 3 different cake flavors. All got and A+ for visual appearance and about a D for taste. To me the layers were dense with not too much "fresh" flavor and the mouth feel of the icing is just totally wrong for me. It tastes exactly like you have described...a mouthful of sweet, chemical tasting grease They are wildly popular though, so I guess I'm in the minority when it comes to this sentiment. JeAnne ← Have you tasted a non-shortening buttercream? I ag
  6. Oooh, the silk meringue buttercream is divine. I made the burnt orange variation several months ago (you caramelize the sugar while making the creme anglaise, then all orange juice & zest at a late point) and it was out of this world!
  7. Hi CurlySue, I'm so glad you asked this question! I've recently attempted the "wrapped corners" in rolled chocolate fondant with middling success -- my corners were close, but not at precise as I'd like. I will attempt to post a picture this evening when I'm at home. My method was to simply drape the fondant over the top of the cake and nudge/ease/fold the fondant over the ends until it vaguely resembled a package corner. I'd love to hear any other tricks for getting that clean look.
  8. Hi Ruth! Sylvia Weinstock's recipe makes about 12 cups of buttercream. To that I add 1/2 lb of melted Mercken's white chocolate chips (pailletes). Her recipe calls for: 3 1/2 cups sugar 13 large egg whites 3 lbs (12 sticks) butter 6 tbsp clear vanilla extract ← Thanks, Diva! Sylvia's proportions look pretty close to RLB's Italian buttercream, which is my default. I'm going to try this next time.
  9. I love that idea. It also has the benefit of being easily scalable for the number of guests -- I've seen displays where the cupcake tree is the center of the table, and there are additional cupcakes fanned out on the table itself.
  10. You made me laugh, Chefette -- my mother made both my wedding dress (including up-to-the-minute fittings) and my wedding cake. I don't think she OR I would make the same choice again.....
  11. Hi Ambyre, If you're new to tiered cakes, I suggest investing a few bucks in the book "The Whimsical Bakehouse". Great, easy, clear instructions on tiered cakes; also great instructions for some basic flower piping (if you want to try your hand). Their buttercake recipes are terrific, also, but I'd stay away from their buttercream recipes that use shortening. I especially love their attitude toward cake decorating, which is fairly loose and carefree. Great for beginners, and not too overwhelming. Good luck. And -- congratulations on your wedding!
  12. Hi PastryMama -- interesting. I found that the texture got worse upon sitting -- I was piping with a full 12" bag and there was a marked difference in texture from first flower to last out of the bag. I did mix the heck out of it, so I don't think it was undissolved sugar causing trouble. Next time I'll try cycling it on low as you did and see if that helps.
  13. Thanks for the welcome, Wendy!
  14. I always mourn the amount of glaze left behind in my fine strainer when I do this.
  15. How counterintuitive -- I would have thought that a stick (hand) blender would incorporate even more air. I'm doing it this way next time -- thanks!
  16. No matter how carefully I stir while making chocolate glaze, I end up with air bubbles. I've tried wapping the bowl against the counter (repeatedly), I've tried popping each bubble individuall after pouring (never again!). Does anyone have a method to share that can banish the bubbles? Thanks!
  17. Is this the first time you've had trouble with genoise? My first guess is oven temp, second guess is overfolding. I'd suggest trying it again without the magi-strips -- seems to me that they are recommended for buttercakes that are chemically levened, and might not be appropriate for an egg-levened batter. I'm just guessing, as I've never used them myself. I made genoise myself this week, 2 batches, using RLB's genoise classique recipe, which calls for equal parts cake flour and corn starch. I ran out of cornstarch after batch #1 and thus made batch #2 with all cake flour. I also manage
  18. "I've used an IMBC type of icing... the one Sylvia Weinstock uses in her book, but I add some white chocolate to mine. I find that if I cool it down, it stiffens up. This can be done by resting your metal bowl with icing on a cold rag or cloth. That's what I do." Hi Diva -- Great minds thinking alike; after the disappointing airbubbles I got when I added 10x sugar to IMBC, I was thinking maybe white chocolate would be a better way to go. What proportions do you use?
  19. Thanks for bringing this back up to the top, Brownsuga! I'm a brand-newby -- just discovered eGullet this week and am already completely addicted. I'm a passionate home baker and have toyed with the idea of creating my own business, but I make too much money at my day job! Until the mortgage is paid off and the kids are through college, I will continue to satisfy my need to bake by making birthday cakes for each of my co-workers, kids, family members..... basically, anyone who will let me. I go into heavy pastry mode around the holidays and am so inspired by this site that I'm already
  20. "I used a recipe that is on Sarah's Baking 911 site for Italian buttercream that has some powdered sugar worked in and it worked great for the flowers, the cake sat in my area for about 4 hours before it was taken out to the party and it held up great, no drooping petals or anything." Hi PastryMama, When you work the 10x sugar into the Italian buttercream, does your resulting icing contain lots of air bubbles? I tried this approach for a birthday cake this week, and the resulting icing gave me the stiffness I needed for nice big roses, but the quantity of air bubbles was extreme. Have you
  21. Joshalow and Sugarbuzz: When you make the Mousseline Buttercream, do you add the amount of liqueur she lists? It seems like quite a lot of liquid to add and might make the buttercream too soft. I've always cut it in half. ←
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