Prof. Vollmer English 1113 Essay 3 Making a professional cake Cake has always been a large part in our society. You go to a wedding and you leave with sugar gut. The only reason why we go to office birthday parties is for the cake. However just almost anyone can follow the directions on the back of a Duncan Hines cake box, so how do you get that “wow” cake, the cake that they’ll be talking about around the water cooler? You need a few things before you can even think about making a professional cake. Those things would be time, patience, and skill. A professional cake can take anywhere from five hours to five days.
A very elaborate wedding cake might take up to a week to fully construct. In that time you will get very frustrated, so it is extremely important to have patience. If you don’t have patience, you had better find some or else your cake will suffer. Lastly skill is required. If you have no experience and you think “oh I’m going to make a 3 tiered fondant cake, and this will be my first,” then you will be sadly mistaken. The reason why those “professional cakes” are so much is because the baker has had years of experience. So sometimes you need to simply leave it to the professionals.
Although this doesn’t mean that with the right instruction you can’t make a beautiful cake, it just takes time, patience, and skill. Creating a elaborate cake on your own is very fulfilling. Not only will it taste great, it’s a great bragging right, you can say, “ya, I made that myself”. Every job begins with tools, and when you are wanting to make a professional cake, it takes a lot of tools. First, it takes the tools to make the cake itself. You will need, cake mix, cake pans (several sizes for the tiers), cooling rack, cake leveler, Pam, a spatula, and toothpicks.
Now that you have your cakes, tools start to gather the decorating tools. These would be butter cream icing, fondant, several spatulas, a rolling pin, a cutting wheel, decorating dust, dust brush, icing bags, icing tips, and a water mister. All your tools are now gathered, so let’s start making a cake! Wrong; you first have to decide what kind of cake you’re making, and for what occasion. The occasion for the cake is very important. You don’t want to make a funny cake for a wedding (unless it’s the groom’s cake). How do you know what cake is appropriate for the occasion?
Ask the host of the party or ceremony what he/she was wanting. The host has a idea of what he pr she wants the cake to be even if the response is “I don’t care. ” Most occasions either have a theme or a color scheme. The host has gone to great lengths to plan the occasion, so it is important to respect what the host wants. Ask of there is any cake flavor, filling, or icing requests. There might be someone who has allergies, which is something you must work around. Knowing what kind of cake your client wants brings about a whole new problem.
What kind of cake mix, or do I want to make a cake from scratch? The answer most bakers will tell you is to use a cake mix rather than making one from scratch. This is because the cake company has already formulated a yummy cake mix, and why would you want to fix a good thing? The two favorite cake mixes of professionals would be either Betty Crocker extra moist, or Duncan Hines extra moist. Can you understand why these cake mixes are preferred? The answer is that they both create extra moist cakes It’s in the name. The reason why they prefer a moist cake rather than a dry one is the flavor.
Bakers not only want their creations to look amazing, they want them to taste even better. By now, you are wanting to get started. Now that all your tools are gathered, and the type of cake has been confirmed, its time to make the cake. Gather those tools for the cake that were explained earlier. Look at your cake mix box, and gather the needed ingredients for the mix. Preheat your oven to the recommended temperature. Mix the ingredients all together. Spray your pans with Pam, or any other pan releaser. Then lightly sprinkle flour over the Pam.
This will ensure your cakes come out in one piece. Fill your cake pans about half way full. This will ensure that your cake is not over flowing. Slide your cake pans into your already hot oven and wait. Remember time is a factor when making a professional cake. so follow the instructions exactly, or it may cost you your cake. When the timer goes off, get a toothpick and insert it into the center of the cake. If you pull it out and cake is attached to the toothpick, the cake is not done, but if the tooth pick comes out clean your cake is fully cooked.
Now retrieve your plump cakes and let them cool; this may take up to an hour. Now that your cakes are cool, gently flip them out onto the cooling rack. With your cake leveler slowly cut off the lumpy top. Wrap up your cakes in plastic wrap and place them in the fridge. Leave them there overnight. The reason why you need to let your cakes cool so much is because if you try to ice them right away, the crumbs will be very visible in the icing. A crumb coat is the answer to this, simply coat in a light layer of icing and place the cake in the fridge.
When the cake is cool to the touch, ice it for real. This technique is used on cakes that only have a butter cream icing. Since ours is a fondant cake, we don’t need to worry about seeing crumbs. The fondant will cover them up. Now that your cakes are cool it’s time to arrange and ice them. Start with the largest cake, ice in between its layers. When icing in between layers, use your icing bag and a round tip. Start in the center and slowly, in a circular motion, make your way to the edge of the cake. Ice the sides with your icing bag and a large icing tip.
This is a flat tip which is used to ice sides. Now that your cake layers are iced, it’s time to apply the fondant. Fondant has a sugary play dough consistency which is used to make cakes look polished and professional. Place your fondant on a flat surface which has been dusted with powdered sugar to prevent sticking. With the rolling pin, roll the fondant out into a large circle. The fondant should be about a quarter of an inch thick. Now this is the tricky part. Gently roll the fondant over your rolling pin. Lift it over to your cake and gently and slowly cover your cake layers.
Using clean hands and a fondant paddle, smooth the fondant onto the iced cake. On the sides, it is best to use both hands and paddle to smooth the fondant down to the edge; this is a process which is very hard to verbally explain. After your layer is covered, trim around the edge to get rid of extra fondant. Repeat these steps and stack all the layers together, largest at the bottom and smallest at top. Congratulations. Your cake is iced and covered with fondant now you can decorate it. Now you can decorate your final product. There are lots of different things to decorate your cake with.
If you are experienced, you can make roses, animals, faces, lettering, or just about anything you can think of. These techniques must be learned, from either a book or a class. The one thing all layered fondant cakes need is a border to cover up where the tiers meet. This can be done by hand using your icing bag and a tip of your choice, or by rolling your left over fondant into a snake-like tube. The hand method is only possible if you know how to apply it. The fondant tube is simple though. Using the fondant that you cut off your cake, roll it into a ball.
Then with clean hands, roll your fondant in a back and forth motion until it resembles a snake. With your water mister, lightly mist where the fondant will lie. The water will act like glue, adhering the fondant to the fondant. Now gently place the fondant around the gap, lightly press down to ensure a tight fit. Repeat this step to all the layer gaps. Another simple decoration to enhance your cake’s look would be decorating dust. This is an edible sparkly dust, which can be dusted on icing to create a light color effect. Using the duster brush and the dust, lightly brush the fondant, covering the entire cake.
When you are done, the cake will look fantastic, even better than the expensive cake. Your cake is finished; now you’re done right? Wrong; the final thing you must think about is transporting your cake. When transporting a cake, you need someone holding the cake to make sure it does not topple over. Another factor in transporting is temperature. If it is too hot, your butter cream will melt, making your fondant roll right off. If it is too cold the cake will freeze, so when you take it inside, the warm air will melt the butter cream, forcing the fondant to fall. Another factor is wind.
Whenever you are transporting a cake, if it is too windy, the cake will fall right over. When making a cake, consider the weather be a contributing factor in your baking process. When you are driving, take it slow to ensure your cake gets to where it is supposed to be. Now your cake is done and at the location. Everyone is happy, and it tasted great. By now, you have had a dozen people asking if you will make a cake for their niece’s birthday party. You are a professional cake decorator. Congratulations. You finished your cake, and your name has been linked to an amazing cake, and best of all you didn’t pull your hair out.
Work cited “Wedding Cake Decorating – Learn How to Make Your Own Cakes! ” (PastryWiz) Food Resource Center Food & Fun Starts Here! Web. 15 Oct. 2010. “Tiered Cakes: Time-Tested Ways to Build Tiered Cakes From Wilton. ” Celebrate With (Wilton) – Create Beautiful Wilton Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes & Candy With Wilton Decorating Techniques. Web. 15 Oct. 2010. <http://www. wilton. com/cakes/tiered-cakes/>. “Tiered Cake Construction Techniques at Bake Decorate (Celebrate)” Welcome to Bake Decorate Celebrate! Web. 15 Oct. 2010.