One of the most common questions I get asked is about the timeline of making a cake – when to ganache, when to tort, when to cover and how to store the cake. I thought I’d run you through the process I follow.Timeline of a Cake
Let’s assume the party is on Saturday afternoon. I like to have my cake completely finished the night before because there is nothing worse than a pre-party stress out 🙂 Sometimes a cake design wont go to plan, so it’s better staying up a bit later the night before rather than trying to change things around an hour before the party.
I always use mud cakes and bake them a few weeks before the party – mud cakes are much denser and will hold top tiers and heavy decorations. I let the cake cool in the baking tin and then I wrap it twice in gladwrap and put it in the freezer. See here for my chocolate and lemon mud cake recipes, and here for my white chocolate mud cake recipe.
I usually start my fondant decorations 1-2 weeks in advance of the party. You will find that my cakes are all similar – a plain covered cake with lots of decorations on top. This is because I prefer to have my decorations made in advance so that there is less work for me the day before the party – it’s simply a matter of sticking the decorations on top of the cake 🙂
Two days out from the party (so in this case, thursday), in the morning I take the cake from the freezer and make my chocolate ganache (which I leave on the bench until it reaches the right consistency). If I’m using a filling, I will also make it during the morning – I think by now you all know about my obsession with Italian Meringue Buttercream!!!
In the early afternoon I tort, fill and ganache my cake and leave it overnight on the bench at room temperature – or you can leave the cake in the fridge if it is too hot. I also cover my cake board with fondant and add ribbon around the edge.
The day before the party I will cover my cake with fondant and add my decorations.
Now – the question I get asked the most is…. ‘How do I store my finished cake? Do I put it in the fridge?’ and my response is always….
NO!!!!!! The fridge is evil as far as fondant is concerned…. never put a fondant-covered cake in the fridge otherwise the fondant will sweat and ruin your cake.
Your cake will need to be kept out of the sunlight in a cool place. If you are experiencing blistering temperatures, keep it in front of the air conditioner to be safe.