Sunday 25 February 2018

Red Velvet Cake Tasting #2

Following the success for the original or #1 cake tasting session (see here) using this recipe for the cupcakes,  you may recall me suggesting that there could be a second tasting session.  These, for this session, were made as two small 4.5" cakes, still using the Red Velvet recipe but, this time, to include the simple syrup

This session, I hope will be the last session, as I need to get this right! However, I'm going to say that this post should have been called "The Good. the bad and the ugly!"

No, I didn't get it right! Being an amateur, I learn as I'm going, usually from other peoples blogs or YouTube. I have noticed that far too few blog entries by others, don't document the massive fails.

So here goes ... first I'm going to start with ...

The Good!

Seen above, using basic buttercream for the crumb coat and the layer on top before the fondant. This was a round cake, about 4.5" and covered in pearl-sprayed fondant. I trialed some decorations for the bride and groom-to-be to see what is available.  On the image you will note that they don't exactly match and have no theme.

I used a simple rope decoration for the join of the cake to the board, or in the final cake, the one tier to the other.

I trialed some white roses, from a latex mould, and affixed four to this 'tier',  I am not sure if these will work, but this is a sample piece.

I've also tried, rather quickly and more of an 'after thought' some pearl garlands with pearl drops at the apex of each of the 'swags'. Once sprayed with pearl lustre, I left it so it did not become overcrowded with decorations.

I was running out of time, the recipient was due in less than an hour and I still had to decorate the second cake. Now here comes the disaster zone ...

The Bad And The Ugly!

Oh just look at it! I've seen better looking mud pies made by kids in the park!

Here are the issues:
  1. I used a 4 - 4.5" heart shaped baking tin. Not an easy shape to work with when so small!
  2. I used cream cheese frosting
  3. I tried Cornelli Lace
  4. I was out of time
The cream cheese frosting was a hit for flavour! Recipe here. The recipe was too soft, so I added 100g more icing sugar, that helped, but not that much at all.

As time was getting on, I placed the crumb coated cake in the freezer for 15 mins before frosting it, again using cream cheese frosting. It was still slipping off. The humidity in the kitchen was only 40% and the kitchen was suitably chilled. But slip off it did. I reapplied the frosting and placed in back in the freezer.

It was the swiftest fondant cover-up I had ever done.  For the first 15 to 20 mins,  it looked amazing. But as I left it harden and the frosting defrosted and came to room temperature, I watched it bulge and ripple as the frosting slipped down under the fondant. Crisis! 

I was ready to bin this monstrosity and quit. But no, I carried on in the mindset that became a comedy in my kitchen. As I watched it slip and deform I thought I'd just break into a little Disney song and dance! Not safe for children though!

"**** it all! **** it all!
I can't hold back anymore,
**** it all! **** it all!
Just watch it slip to the floor!"

OK, so It doesn't rhyme, fit or work, but it did for me at the time. 

Still humming that tune, which I shall just leave here for you ...

... I tried some Cornelli Lace - I'm really pushed for time by now and the royal icing was too cold, actually, my kitchen was too cold! It didn't work!

With a burst of **** it all! **** it all! I grabbed a spoon and smoothed it about! That just made it worse, so I added some pearl 'romance' mix, hearts, sugar strands, little balls etc. Buuuut they just flew all over the floor! **** it all! **** it all!  is still reining supreme in this Grandma's kitchen tonight!

With one last **** it all! I just vandalised the rest of it! I scrapped the ideas for the decorations, after all, they weren't going to stay on that slippy mess! Well, I'm never afraid to fail! I am more afraid of never trying than failing, I mean, how else am I going to learn 

Whilst the cream cheese frosting that I made was an amazing success, taste-wise, stability-wise, it's an amazing fail! I will not be using it for the real cake, the cake will not make the 100s of miles journey it has to go on and remain standing when I deliver it.

Even though the second cake was an amazing fail, it was the one I had the most amazing time with!

When "Plan A" doesn't work, there are still 25 more letters.

Let me tell you what didn't fail ...
Unbeknownst the the bride and groom to be, I froze these sponges! Which made absolutely no difference to the taste. I did this because ...
  • I needed to know how they would taste
  • I might have to freeze some sponges in order to save me time in the days leading up to the wedding
  • I might have to transport one portion of the cake project whilst frozen because it won't have fondant on, and I had to know that the quality of the texture and taste wouldn't diminish.


  1. Been there many times with various cakes but've made my day with your wonderful tale of how to fail with fun.

    1. Crafty Welsh Grandma14 May 2018 at 08:34

      I don't think I'll ever forget that experience lol


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