Friday, May 25, 2012

Ask Me Anything - Post 6

Ask me anything is a weekly post where I answer any questions you may have about me. Cake decorating related or not :)

This post is dedicated to my best friend - the barrel cake aka the extended tiered cake.

Why is it my best friend you ask? Well, because when I first started decorating (and was so naive) I thought covering a slightly taller tier would be no harder than a regular tier. Yes I can hear all of you sniggering at me now.

So for my first ever wedding cake I agreed to make an extended tiered cake and have it plain (because this was cheaper for the client and less work for me right?).

You know how I always say you learn from your mistakes? Well I promise you after the experience of staying up until 5am the night before the wedding and having to recover the tier three times, I well and truly learnt my lesson. So the question below has pretty much been summarised from the multiple questions I received on this topic.


How would I go about covering a double barrel cake? How is it set up inside? How do I get the sharp edges?


Covering:

Depending on your design there are a couple of ways to cover a double/triple/ extended tier. There is no right way. You need to choose the best way based on your design/ abilities but generally if the height of the tier is more than the width of the tier, the best way would be to wrap the fondant around the cake. I always go with the easiest/ less risky option based on my design. There is no point trying to be a fondant hero - in the end no one will know how that tier was covered except you!

Wrapping - I use this option the most. This is when you roll a long rectangular piece of fondant and wrap it around the tier and gather the top right into the middle (imagine a dumpling) and then trim off the access. Yes it will be really messy in the middle of the top of the cake, but if another tier is going on top of this then there are no issues. You will need to cut the seam down the sides so that they join and then use your hands to blend the seams together. How well the seam blends in depends on how fast you work. With this method you will need to design to hide the seam (for example, stripes, polka dots, stencilling...etc).


Top Down - This is when you cover the extended tier the same way as a regular tier. I would only recommended doing this if you have no choice but I will never do this for a cake that is more than a double barrel cake. That is just cake suicide.


Wrap and Top Lid - This is when you cover the top area separately and then wrap the fondant just around the side of the tier. This is the easier option but will also leave you with two seams you need to cover. The one around the top of the cake and the one on the side.

Set Up:

The double/ triple barrels are set up in a similar fashion as a tiered cake. Like tiered cakes, it needs to have boards between the cakes and well as dowels. The only thing that is different is that the boards that are between the cakes should be one size smaller than the cakes itself. That way the boards are not poking out and will not leave a mark in the fondant when it's covered.

Sharp Edges:

This is done the same way as a regular cake with the fondant smoothers. You can refer to this previous post.

If you’d like to ask a question feel free to email me (creations_at_sharonwee.com.au) or send me a message through Facebook.

8 comments:

Arilena said...

Ohh, thank you so much for this information. It is realy help me answer the "mystery" behind your perfect tall cake. Did you used water or crisco to smooth the seam of the cake?

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I've been waiting for this!

katiebussbakes said...

Thank you for this week's post, this was extremely helpful!

Lena said...

Thank you SOOO MUCH, Sharon!! I appreciate it a lot, thank you for sharing and for your time XX

Bellenza Wedding Bistro said...

I don't bake myself, but your tips and advice are so clear and practical, it almost makes me feel I might dare try!

Cloe said...

Thank you sooo much for sharing your experiences and knowledge Sharon!! Your work is amazing!! I left a comment earlier on another one of your posts asking if you drape (top down) or use the barrel method on your taller cakes - this post completely ansers that! But the pictures are not loading? Can they be found somewhere?

-cloetzu@hotmail.com

Cloe said...

Thank you sooo much for sharing your experiences and knowledge Sharon!! Your work is amazing!! I left a comment earlier on another one of your posts asking if you drape (top down) or use the barrel method on your taller cakes - this post completely ansers that! But the pictures are not loading? Can they be found somewhere?

-cloetzu@hotmail.com

Anonymous said...

Oh, what a shame it is not possible to see the pictures in the post :-(. Can you fix it please? Thanks
I love your blog!!!!

Victoria

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