Zahira's a huge fan of buttercream and would always prefer to have buttercream icing on her cakes when possible. Her first cake in 2010 was in fondant because of the circus theme. So, her brother's 1st birthday cake was covered in buttercream instead. In 2011, she chose a Princess Ballerina, so I did buttercream ruffles for the tutu. In 2012, she's still girly at 5 and wanted a pink Barbie cake. Applying the same buttercream ruffles concept, I gradually layered tight ruffles from white to rose-pink. This Cranberry Orange Cake finished weighing 2kg. Mum bought and sent over the Barbie.
I'm going to take this opportunity to highlight the importance of using a good knife for my cakes. These 3 cakes had the same problem as one of my customers had 2 years back. The cakes crumbled. In the past 2 years, they've never had such problems with the cakes they got from me. Cakes cut beautifully, no complains. This time, the cakes crumbled. What changed? The venue of the party. The last 2 parties were at home hence the hosts used proper sharp (and preferably serrated) knives to cut those cakes. This time, party was held at a kids' playland and cake cutting was done using their knife by them. We don't know what knife they used or how they cut the 3 different cakes but they all crumbled. The earlier customer I mentioned with this problem had her party in McDonalds and they use....wait for it.....a pastry cutter! That's not even a knife!
So, why do my cakes require good knives? THEY.ARE.FRESHLY.BAKED. Freshly-baked cakes are always softer. And my cakes are not the kind most cake decorators bake for novelty cakes which are Madeira cakes. Madeira cake is a basic cake base which is firm, holds it's shape very well, can be stacked-stable hence very easy to cut. We are also suppose to let our cakes "age" at least 24 hours before we cover and decorate it. This tends to dry out the cake, so many will add fillings such as buttercream or jam in between the cakes for moisture. Flavoured-sugar syrups are also brushed on the cakes before they are covered in fondant. Watch an episode of Cake Boss or Fabulous Cakes, and you will understand I'm saying here. The cakes can be held with two hands like a plank or flipped around like a frisbee and doesn't break. I can't do that with any of my cakes. They are baked in the morning, cooled for a couple of hours and I decorate it by afternoon. Cake's collected the next morning for the party in the afternoon. You see, the cake doesn't even get a chance to age. This is also why, I can only do 1 cake a day!
You can see what good slices I get from my cakes from my baking blog Doing a Julie/Julia, they are all beautifully-cut using simply a cheap steak knife but sharp! It's serrated and cut using a gently sawing motion. Are we good?? *thumbs up*