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Made my first cake today

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My experience is all culinary and I've never really baked. But this semester I tried a baking and pastry course for no other reason than to just learn about it. I thought the semester was a disaster but somehow I managed a B in the class. Of all the things I did in the last few months, baking cakes came the easiest to me.

So I've decided to bake a cake (from the box and the icing is store bought as well) and decorate it. The purpose was to see what it was like to work with icing and such. I thought it would be somewhat easy even though I knew there would be a certain touch required for it.

So here is my first attempt at it. It's a 6 inch strawberry cake. It is split in half. It is built this way: Bottom layer, pureed strawberries allowed to soak in, chocolate ganache, sliced strawberry, chocolate ganache then the top half of the cake.



As I said earlier, this was a practice for myself to see what it was like to work with. I gave it to my neighbors so I have no idea what it's like to eat but will hear back in a few days.

I do have a few questions though. The cake sat for a few hours before I got it to them and in that time, the strawberries on top bled out and stained the icing. Is there a way to prevent this?

I did a crumb coat on the cake and put it back in the fridge to harden a bit so that I could do the other layer crumb free. Yet I still had the sides filling up with crumbs. Where did I go wrong? Is it technique?

Obviously practice work with icing will help out in making a smoother coat on the outside. One doesn't have to look closely to see mine isn't that smooth. How do I properly practice this stuff? It's said that practice makes perfect. But I believe that if you practice making crap, you'll still end up with crap.

I'm making another practice cake later this week. It's going to be a challenge because it will be aimed at diabetics.
Hopefully that one will be looking a bit better.

Thanks.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

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post #2 of 10
Cake looks scrumptiously delish! Congratulations. I've always found baking rather intimidating and complicated, but cakes are a great treat.
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Who doesn't love to cook?
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post #3 of 10
well, the store icing for some reason is ALWAYS too soft and will do that, the strawberries bled because you need to "seal" them. You could've done it 2 ways, actually dip them in chocolate or a bit of warm jelly brushed on.

or not cut them, use them whole.

with cake decorating, it just takes practice and a good eye. I can decorate rings around most people...but I cannot plate a dish even if I PAID someone else to do it for me..

lol

So, not too shabby for your first try and I have NO doubt that your neighbors will love it...after all ...

Strawberries and Chocolate? what's not to love?
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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post #4 of 10
Yes, I agree with Risque...I'm not a pro, but cake-baking has always been a hobby (it's sooo much fun to bring a scratch-made beautiful cake to gatherings with friends). I think home-made frosting is much easier to work with than store-bought -- I don't usually have the issue with crumbs as you did with store-bought.

And in the end, making your own cake-batter and frosting really isn't much more difficult than using store-bought. And it allows you room for the point of practice: experimentation to see what consistency works best for you.

Good luck and have fun!
post #5 of 10
pastry isnt my main thing but

I think your brumb issue is that you arent starting with enough icing. its like spackel (the wall stuff )

strt with way to much and you evenutally take it away..that should help your crumb issue
post #6 of 10

Beautiful

Wow that cake really looks amazing for a first! you really have something to be proud of!!

Alexis
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Wow! Thanks for the compliments and support :D And for the tips as well. I really don't know what else to say other than thank you. For the last 2 days no one replied so I was beginning to think it was kind of a joke. It's obviously not anywhere near the quality of the stuff Risque puts out (that is just amazing stuff) so I wasn't sure how it would be viewed here. Just need more practice and guinea pigs to try my cakes.

I'm hoping that the diabetic carrot cake will be easier to do. At least on that the icing doesn't have to be fancy. And I've got another request to do a new york style cheesecake.
Finally following my heart to do what I love.

1 ACF Bronze
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Finally following my heart to do what I love.

1 ACF Bronze
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post #8 of 10
I forgot to say nice cake. I did show it to a buddy im working with and it made him hungry.

Man I would love to be your neighbor. now I know how my freinds felt when I was doign the pastry part of school. They ate al lthe stuffi brought home.

Other things you can do and I think would work with the carrot cake. is to do bag work. use different tips and even try 2 colors in 1 bag.

Take pics of the next cakes I and we want to see them
post #9 of 10
Yes, I forgot to say the cake looked beautiful, too, especially for a first time! And the filling sounded awesome...

And don't be intimidated about bag work...it's not really hard at all once you get the hang of how to handle the bag -- my first time I had frosting covering the counter, both hands, down my arms, LOL (I had wayyy overfilled the bag.)

It took me awhile to start working on my dream...I was 32 when I went back to school (not for cooking, tho, lol), and there were definitely things I had to do that I thought, "I hated that in H.S." or "I was really bad at that in H.S." and I had to fight not to avoid them. Instead, I decided that if I was going to really pursue my dream, I had to embrace the entire new experience and get rid of all my pre-conceived notions of who I was. Now I'm a 4.0 (well, 3.92, stupid A- last semester) Junior B.A, B.F.A. student who speaks passable Spanish and can tell you how a cell works (things i NEVER would have been able to do in HS, LOL).

So enjoy the new stuff, and congratulations on throwing yourself into it!
post #10 of 10
Lol, thanks for the compliment! though I'm sure that after 30 years of doing cakes I"m sure you could be even better than me..lol

That's how long I've been decorating cakes and I STILL have a lot to learn and a long way to get there!!
Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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Food may bring us together, but a CAKE makes it a PARTY!!
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