MemberJune 9, 2021 at 5:46 pm
Why yes, I did go down a rabbit hole of the Internet – why do you ask?
This is all my sister-in-law’s fault. Everything has to be Pinterest worthy in her world and so I am to make a cake with a race car theme for my father-in-law’s 85th birthday this weekend. The plan is the side of the cake will look like a checkered flag. I assumed I would have to make this out of fondant. However, to know me is to know that I can’t stand the taste of that stuff out of the tub. This brings me too “well I guess I’m going to have to make my own.” I found a recipe that I’m happy to try, but I’m a tad concerned reading the reviews how difficult it would be to actually get it to be black for the checks on the flag.
Then I saw a cake on my favorite recipe site for cakes (sweetapolita) use a rolled and cut chocolate technique that sounds very easy. And you know the words “very easy” means everything in the world could go wrong. Right? Yeah. Me too.
Here is a link to the technique she referenced. Now I could actually buy the tutorial probably, but why would I do that when I could wing it and see if I can screw it up right? Of course! Because is sounds easy.
The recipe for the chocolate is basically melted chocolate melts and Karo syrup that you roll out and cut into your desired shapes. What could go wrong?!
Or, should I try my hand at making fondant and see if I can get it all the way to black?
What say you?
PsHere is the Chevron cake design that started me down this rabbit holehttps://sweetapolita.com/2013/03/chevron-cake-chevron-stache-party/
I’m sorry for all formatting issues in this message, I’m using my iPad and I don’t know how to fix it.
MemberJune 9, 2021 at 6:11 pm
The chocolate and Karo sounds like ‘modeling chocolate’. I make a version of it with real chocolate (versus the melts). You can add food color to modeling chocolate. It tastes very acceptable compared to fondant.
When I need to have a really black buttercream I use Americolor Super Black and dark cocoa powder. But I have no idea if you can add the latter to the modeling chocolate (which is pretty easy to use).
One other idea is marshmallow fondant which is supposed to taste good but I’ve never attempted.
You are a brave and better woman that I!
MemberJune 9, 2021 at 11:12 pm
Ha, Yes I think it’s called modeling chocolate too. I didn’t know if real chocolate would work so I found Ghirardelli candy melts. Hopefully, that will taste better than Wilton. I think I’m going to try to give that a try. I bought a pasta attachment for my KA so I don’t have to spend the day trying to roll it out. I’m going to try to add Americolor super black to the dark chocolate and see what happens. Don’t know if I should even try adding white color to the white chocolate in hopes of a truer white. It means a trip to the supply store. It sounds like it will be easier to deal with this because it doesn’t stretch like fondant, but we shall see.
I don’t feel brave, I feel like this is all a crazy idea!
And I still don’t even know what kind of cake I’m going to make for the inside! I told my sister-in-law I would make chocolate unless he has some favorite flavor he would prefer. She text me saying he said his favorite cake is “rainbow”. Yeah, except that’s not a flavor and now everyone has an opinion on what I should make. Sigh.
MemberJune 9, 2021 at 11:51 pm
Fyi, if I end up making fondant (which hopefully won’t be this week) this is the one I plan to try. Many reviews (including pros) think this is better than mmf. Yes, I went down that rabbit hole too. You’re welcome, lol! Had to do some digging to find this recipe as it’s no longer posted and instead is for sale. However, it makes a lot. It never lists an actual amount it makes, though someone in the comments said it covered a three tier cake with enough left over for an 8 inch cake.
MemberJune 10, 2021 at 1:04 pm
Maria, getting a solid black fondant is difficult without adding too much of the coloring gel taste. Personally, I’ve tried and failed. Also I’ve made MMF and it’s very easy and takes lighter tints with no problem, but can be a bit stretchy. Now, when I need a solid black for a GBH, I just buy a small 1 lb package of pure black fondant and use that.
Is the entire circumference going to be checkered….or just 3-4 checkered flags? If the later, you wouldn’t get as much of the fondant taste.
Or you could use checkered ribbon and wrap it around the cake like they do for wedding cakes, to be removed when cutting the cake. but I think I saw Walmart even had edible checkered sheets.
MemberJune 10, 2021 at 2:53 pm
It’s a checkerboard all around the sides, like your first picture (except that doesn’t look like icing, that looks like cake). I am going to make a checkerboard interior as well, I think to prepare for failure I’m going to buy some black fondant as I have to run to the cake store supply place anyway. Then I’m going to try to get the chocolate modeling both black and white using white chocolate and dark chocolate melts with tint. If that doesn’t work, I’ll just resort to the fondant and tell people they can peel it off to eat. Always helps to have a back up in case of disaster!
MemberJune 10, 2021 at 1:08 pm
Oh, I’ve also made that glycerin version…it works too but you’re still stuck with tinting to a pure black.
MemberJune 10, 2021 at 6:37 pm
That one cake perimeter is icing, piped with a small tip. I’ve made striped fondant; just roll each color into a tube or sausage like a tootsie roll, line them up side by side and then cut across the rolls. Then alternate cut pieces. Then lay silpat or parchment over all and roll to desired thinness. The fondant will merge together and form one piece. You’ll need to work out the starting diameters based on the height you want to end up with.
- This reply was modified 2 days ago by marilynfl.
MemberJune 11, 2021 at 1:31 pm
I hate to admit defeat but I very well may end up with fondant. Right now I’m trying to mess around with the “modeling clay“ and it’s been pretty much a disaster. I’ve had to heat it three times to get it workable. The Wilton instructions to leave it sit overnight wrapped left me with a solid block of chocolate. Then I finally decided to see if somebody else had better instructions and found a video that had a whole lot more information like not adding the Caro syrup unless you’ve warmed it or it will seize the chocolate. Ha Hah Hah Hah Hah… So true😢
I’ve also tried to add the black food coloring and a little more Caro syrup which kind of left me with lumps of chocolate in a puddle of oily stuff, but it sorta came together with kneading. Also a whole bottle of Wilton black food coloring (for candy!) and it’s still not fully black. I bought a pasta roller for my ka to try and roll it out. It’s still morning here so, not fully given up hope yet.
MemberJune 11, 2021 at 2:54 pm
(((Oh Maria))), I so feel for you. It took me a while to get the hang of making modeling chocolate (although I’ve only done it with real chocolate, not chips). I definitely threw out a few attempts that were disasters. I haven’t made it in years because I’ve decided to stick with buttercream-only cakes:)
MemberJune 11, 2021 at 6:42 pm
At this point, given everything else that’s gone wrong, aka everything, I’m out. This has definitely been an epic if it can go wrong, it will experience. Even just getting items from the baking supply store. Things I thought nothing of running out to pick up, nobody had because of supply chain issues caused by the pandemic. Also, my sil has OPINIONS on how it should look. (It must have a racing car theme with the checkered flag wraparound design. I Said oh OK — I bought a hot wheels Porsche racing car to put on the cake because dad used to race Porsche. No I don’t want that. Besides, Dad is into NASCAR now. But I don’t want that either. I want two generic cars one red and one yellow — like the ones in this internet picture. FYI, she’s not getting that.)
For the one cake I need to serve tomorrow, I’ve basically made 4 cakes today and my feet feel everyone of them. I decided to do a checkerboard cake so that the inside would match the outside. I even found the special cake pans for that right where I thought they were the last time I saw them, which was probably 1971. This called for me to cut my three layer chocolate cake recipe and three layer, new to me, vanilla cake recipe in half. So just stop for a moment and realize that I’m having to ponder math. This is me, I am math challenged. Then I’ m doing things like having to half eggs so now I am down to whipping, then weighing and dividing eggs. Long story short, you saw this coming didn’t you… That cake batter was too runny to use with the dividers in the pan. So now I’ve got cake batter for one and a half layers of each flavor. I bake a layer of each. I remake another half batch of the chocolate and the vanilla. So I have two layers of vanilla and two layers of chocolate that I just got out of the oven. I will cut them to make the checkerboard. I have a leftover amount of batter of each for one additional layer or cupcakes. At the moment I don’t want to do anything with it. Did I mention the new to me vanilla cake is much denser and Is a different height from the chocolate despite weighing each pan? Oh and I made 8” instead of the normal 9”, meaning only have two of those pans, so had to bake/cool/wash/reuse and because the lip on my cake stand I have to cut down the cake board?
I made my Swiss meringue buttercream yesterday and put it in the refrigerator overnight. I’ve never done that before, I usually make and serve the same day. It says bring to room temperature and re-whip if needed. I haven’t had time to do that yet because oh my KA bowl/etc is in the dishwasher right now waiting for the next round. I’m hoping it all comes together, but I will say I’ve never seen my Swiss meringue buttercream look like this. Here is a picture below of how it looks right now.
Also below is a picture of what that modeling clay looks right now. What you don’t see in the picture is the blobs are as hard as hockey pucks and I’m really over warming it in little batches and kneading it.
Also now that I have four layers of cake, I’m concerned that I’m not going to have enough of buttercream. I do happen to have some liquid eggs and enough butter to make a half a batch more. But oh I so don’t want to.
So with all that going on as well, pretty sure I’m going to finish it up with that $20 tub of black fondant (the only size they had) and then just tell them to peel it off before eating.
Never in my life have I wanted to just chuck it all and go buy a cake. Today is that day.
MemberJune 12, 2021 at 7:45 am
Oh Maria! Know that I’m sending you a huge, virtual hug:)
Were you able to save the buttercream?
You can warm small pieces of modeling chocolate by the warmth of your hands. For larger I’ve put in the microwave for something like 3 second intervals until I could finish it off with the heat of my hands.
I’ll be thinking of you ALL day!
Thanks, I need all the good thoughts!
No, the Swiss meringue buttercream was unsavable. It tastes great, but it looks like mayonnaise. Another batch is whipping right now. I have cut the cake into rings and swapped them out so it ends up with a checkerboard pattern and those layers are freezing, prepping for the crumb coat. I’m a little bit worried about this batch of SMB because though I didn’t break the yoke into it when dividing the eggs I did see some flecks of yellow and tried to get all of those out using an eggshell. So fingers crossed. Even so I may need more because it’s 4 layers, unless I leave one off. 🧐
Feeling ambitious I made a batch of royal icing to color and cover the cake board this morning as well. We shall see timewise if I’m able to do it. I’ve given up on the chocolate. For some reason – that is probably quite delusional, I’ve put all my faith into the fondant and pasta attachment for my KA (yay Amazon 1 day shipping!), both of which I’ve never used before.
Did I mention how nice the lady at the cake supply store was? She was so nice when she heard what I was trying to do she took me into the back room where she decorates her cakes and we went through about six huge Rubbermaid tubs of cutters till we found the right size square one to make the checkerboard that she lent me out of her personal collection. That should save me a huge amount of time instead of using a ruler to cut out each square. This is possibly what’s making me feel slightly overconfident at this point that it’s all going to come out OK, lol.
It’s 11am, I have to be there at 5pm. 🤞🤞🤞🤞🤞
MemberJune 12, 2021 at 1:01 pm
This is all so beyond my pay category.
But I actually can feel the angst.
MemberJune 12, 2021 at 2:38 pm
Oh, I just invented a cool way to make strawberry flavored icing. (Well I likely didn’t invent it, but it was something I decided to try.) I found some freeze dried strawberries from Trader Joe’s in my drawer so I buzz some up in the vita mix and added a bit of that powder to the mayonnaise Swiss meringue buttercream that I stuck in the fridge just to do a taste test. Oh wow is it great! I’m gonna put this in the layers And then I’ll have a flavor Neapolitan cake. So hopefully if I can’t get the outside done right at least the inside will taste good.🤞🤞🤞
I figured out what I did wrong with my Swiss meringue buttercream because I just did it again, I forgot to switch over to the paddle attachment to add the butter somehow this turns the butter cream into soup even though I had super stiff peaks before. So I’ve stuck it in the refrigerator to see if I can firm it up and not have to make yet a third batch…sigh. Yeah, decided I shouldn’t wait. Just made my third batch of smb. Good thing too because when I pulled the second batch out of the bowl I saw the butter wasn’t incorporated. Good thing I’ve already showered today and know what I’m wearing.
MemberJune 12, 2021 at 4:00 pm
Well the first time in 50 years I admitted complete defeat. With the third try of the Swiss meringue buttercream it did the same thing as it did the two other times -the eggs and the sugar whip up beautifully, but before I can get it cool enough to add the butter the meringue collapses. I cooled it down with ice packs, as always, but by the time I finished putting the butter in, this time using the paddle attachment, it was just runny.
I had already decided to forgo even attempting Fondant due to time constraints. I was going to run to the grocery store and get the Ghirardelli Squares to stick on it.
But by the time I finished putting the butter in this time using the paddle attachment it was just runny.
It’s 77% humidity. I never have to think of humidity here, but the Internet says anything over 70 is considered high humidity. So maybe that’s why I kept collapsing? How do people but live in humid climates make this work? There must be some sort of fix?
I called the good bakery, all they had on hand was vanilla w rainbow sprinkles, so vanilla it is.
MemberJune 12, 2021 at 4:15 pm
I hold my breath whenever I make SMB (which is very infrequently). I have, too many times, had the result you had.
You deserve a medal for going above and WAY beyond!!!
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