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Old 09-02-2006, 03:59 PM   #11
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Glad to help. I'll keep my eyes on this thread while I'm here in case you need to bounce any more ideas off anyone.
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Old 09-02-2006, 04:26 PM   #12
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If you plan on a circular cake to serve 30 or so, you will need to make several cakes to feed everyone. Don't think you want to stack and stagger them, as a wedding cake. Rectangular/sheet cakes are easily obtainable from bakeries, and will save you a lot of headaches. If you want to make rectangular/sheet cakes on your own, & are unsure, make one test cake first. If it is your first attempt, I would keep it simple and stick to one flavor, icing, filling, and spend the time decorating/personalizing the cake(s). What's important is that it tastes good, and serves the right amount and an appealing presentation.

One of the best surprise cakes I had was chocolate with a raspberry layered filling. A friend of mine made the most beautiful cakes (circular) with dew drops (gel?) and flowers. Anything with ganache and strawberries is a winner, for me.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:38 AM   #13
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Ok, so after several additional tests, this is the cake I've decided on:

I will bake three 13/9" genoise cakes, using a heating core (since my tests indicate that the centre is mush without one). Each cake will be sliced in two, giving me a total of 6 layers.

I will turn these 6 layers into two separate cakes, 3 layers each. One will be chocolate, one vanilla. The chocolate will be filled with chocolate pastry cream and frosted with chocolate (or possibly milk chocolate) buttercream. The vanilla will be filled with vanilla pastry cream and frosted with vanilla buttercream.

I will glue the two cakes together, so they will become one cake. For decorations and incriptions, I will use a basic decorator's buttercream, or what I think of as classic birthday cake icing (what you find on any commercial birthday cake) The inscription will be "happy birthday" on one side of the cake, and "bonne fete" on the other side, with "grandma" in the middle, straddling both cakes. (incriptions will be either yellow or blue buttercream) There will be a large buttercream transfer rose in red and green buttercream in the centre either above or below the "grandma" inscription, and the border will be green buttercream flowers made with a closed star tip with red centres.

The only thing I haven't decided on is what syrup to use on the cake layers. I could play it safe and use a cocoa or vanilla syrup, but I was thinking of being bold and doing raspberry. The problem with raspberry of course is that the recipe requires a raspberry liquer. I find alcohol to be revolting, and the last time I followed a recipe and used alcohol to flavour anything, it completely ruined the entire cake, so I am suspicious of any alcohol in a recipe.

The other thing I am not decided on yet is the frosting for the chcoolate cake. Plain chocolate italian buttercream is kind of so-so, even with the best chocolate. If I had my way, I'd frost with pastry cream (which is far tastier than buttercream in my opinion) but I want a firm texture so I can stamp the inscription before piping it in, and I don't think pastry cream will work. I am going to test a milk chocolate buttercream at some point to see if it will give a better taste. Does anyone have any good chocolate buttercream recipes?
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr
using a heating core (since my tests indicate that the centre is mush without one)
I've never heard of a heating core jasonr. What is it, and where can I get one ?

Update: I googled it, thanx
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Old 09-06-2006, 12:45 PM   #15
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I hadn't heard of a heating core either until I started researching how to make larger than 10" round cakes. My last experiemtn baking a 13/9" genoise confirmed that at this size, the centre of the cake will not bake properly and comes out mush.

As soon as my heating core arrives in the next few days, I will conduct a follow-up test to make sure that it solves the problem. I am hoping that it may also make my cakes a little less likely to droop in the centre after baking. That would be a bonus.
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:11 PM   #16
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Yes jasonr, I agree. The thought that the heating core might bake the center sooner, keeping it from sagging is an impressive prospect. It makes perfect sense. I'm also hoping to find taller, thinner ones to use in my cheesecakes. WOW, this is exciting. hahaha
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:28 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alix
Jason, why don't you make three or four circular cakes and then rather than stacking them...create some kind of funky design with them on a large piece of heavy cardboard covered with foil. Say...a four leaf clover or the Olympic symbol. Is there something from the birthday boy/girls life that is particularly significant that you could emulate? We've done trains with rectangular cake pans, hearts, and many other designs in this fashion. It looks cool, you have a lot to serve and you can use your regular pans.
I was thinking of doing the Olympic symbol too. Eerie, huh? :cue the twilight zone music:
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:45 PM   #18
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Ok, I just got my heating core in the mail. I understand how it works and how to use it. But what I can't figure out is how I'm supposed to remove it from the cake after baking without leaving a giant gaping hole in my cake! The instructions are totally silent on this point. Am I crazy?
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:53 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vagriller
I was thinking of doing the Olympic symbol too. Eerie, huh? :cue the twilight zone music:
Do do do do do...beyond sight...beyond sound...

jason, can you post a picture? And I was sort of wondering about the hole thing too. Maybe you could bake an extra small cake to fill in the holes?
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Old 09-08-2006, 03:56 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonr
Ok, I just got my heating core in the mail. I understand how it works and how to use it. But what I can't figure out is how I'm supposed to remove it from the cake after baking without leaving a giant gaping hole in my cake! The instructions are totally silent on this point. Am I crazy?
"fill with batter like the rest of the pan, bake as usual. When finished baking, pop the cake in the core out, plug the hole and decorate. The cake will naturally seal together for ease of decorating when cooled."

Found this on the Google search I did. I guess you just need to make sure the inside of the core is greased up too.
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