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Topic: Salsaman's hints for crisp corners...
salsaman42 07/21/2010 7:08 AM
Hi Everyone, well, you all finally wore me down! I'm going to try and share some hints with you, gradually.
Here's the first thing I do.
To keep the cake's footprint a square, I had 1/4" thick pieces of glass cut that are 3/8" bigger than the cake boards. Example, if your board is a 6" square OR round, the glass is 6 3/8 x 6 3/8 square or 6 3/8 in diameter. I have a piece of glass for every size board up to 18", square and round. I use 4 tiny balls of "stay putty" on the cake board to attach it to the glass, centering the board on all sides or all around, see attachments.
I also use the putty to attach the glass to my turntable. you only have to putty things down on cakes, say, 10" or less. The weight of the bigger cakes keep everything in place. Now, assemble your cake on the cake board, ice it, I use the big icing tip on a bag to ice all of my cakes. Now start removing the icing all around with a scraping tool until your tool is scraping the glass all around. The glass "template" keeps the cake perfectly square or round.

The icing consistency is very important here, it can't be too wet or too dry.

That's all for now, print these tips & keep them, I'm not going to repost all of this stuff constantly...I don't have the time for that.
salsaman42 07/21/2010 7:09 AM
This technique also hides the cake board(s) after the cake is iced.
Chasey 07/21/2010 7:16 AM
Oh my goodness, I never would have thought that was the starting point of your secret. Wow! I was just thinking about asking you to show us a cut slice of your wedding cake because I was uber curious about how much icing was on the outside of the cake. Now I least 3/8th of an inch!

You can make one pass with the icer tip and create the right thickness? Seems like you would have to go around the same stripe multiple times to build it up high enough to remove it back down to the glass edge.

I can't picture how you remove the cake from the glass, especially if it's puttied to the won't slide off! Maybe that will come in step 2?

Thanks for sharing! Your technique results in flawless buttercream and you are generous to type it all out!
Chasey 07/21/2010 7:19 AM
Oh wait a second, on my 3rd look at your pictures, I see the cakeboard is off center, just to show us the glass? My sleepy brain saw that clearance all the way around the board, making that 3/8" appear larger than reality. Got it. Still just one pass of the icer tip over the same spot though?
Teresa0401 07/21/2010 7:47 AM
Thanks salsaman, please keep going, I am listening. Thanks!
sweetgrandma 07/21/2010 9:46 AM
Ahhhh!! persistance won out! Thank you much Salsaman! I printed it and will keep it with my cake decorating tools!
MARIE J 07/21/2010 2:54 PM
WOW - thanks for sharing salsaman42 !!
MARIE J 07/21/2010 2:55 PM
What about transferring the tiers ?
tortnaya 07/21/2010 4:53 PM
Salsaman, I think I will speak for almost everyone: you have no idea how MUCH we appreciate you sharing your techniques with us. THANK YOU!!!! THAANK YOU!!!! THANK YOU!!!!
salsaman42 07/21/2010 7:45 PM
do you mean getting them off the glass?
SHERRI71373 07/21/2010 9:19 PM
thank you! thank you!
salsaman42 07/22/2010 4:17 AM
Here's how to get them off the glass, see pics. Run the point of a knife turned at an angle between the glass & the cake board to remove the icing there, I do it with the turntable running if it's a round tier. Then slip a spatula or knife in there & carefully twist the knife sideways, prying loose the putty. Once you get the tier picked up, I always remove the putty, as you can't slide the tier into the fridge or put it down anywhere without it sticking, plus, I don't want that putty floating around at the venue for someone to eat.
salsaman42 07/22/2010 4:35 AM
Here's how I Ice the cake.
Starting at the top, I cover it using the icing tip, see 1st pic. I'll explain what the 2 red capped items are used for later.

Then cover the rest of the cake, I start on the corners, then fill in the rest, I always toke the icing ABOVE the top of the cake. Pic 2.

Then take your spatula and drag the overhanging icing toward the center of the cake, I start close to me then move AWAY from myself while moving toward the center. I'm moving away and in at the same time. Every time I lift my spatula, I scrape excess icing off of the spatula, always starting with a scraped off tool. Pic 3 & 4

All for now, gotta get ready for work...
treeves 07/22/2010 8:53 AM
Salsaman42: just wanted to thank you for taking time out to post some of your techniques. There is so much talent on this forum and you are one of my favorites. Love looking at your cakes. Once again thanks for sharing.
momtobe 07/22/2010 9:37 PM
Thank you for sharing. I have admired your work. (I'm more of a lurker). I am intrigued by the "two red capped thing item". What is that used for? I also noticed your glass turntable, is that homemade? Pretty cool. Can I ask, in theory, would a wood cut out work the same? I'm not picturing me ever getting to your level, but I think in the abstract sometimes. Ok, I apologize for all the questions and do not expect a response, just "thinking out loud here".

Thank you again for sharing your technique. I have learned so much from so many people here.

cami5271 07/22/2010 10:11 PM
Wowzers! Very interesting technique and thank you so much for sharing! Your work is just beautiful! I would love to try it, however, am curious about the thickness of your "final" coat of buttercream. My baked cakes are always smaller than their board due to shrinkage, so they're about 1/2" smaller than the cakeboards (prebouqht cardboards), and I'm able to use the edge of the cardboards as my "guide" for a good 1/4" final coat of buttercream. If I added even slightly more depth I would be approaching 1/2" thick final coat! Are your final coats that thick?
preetscake 07/22/2010 10:40 PM
Thanks for your valuable time and for sharing your cool technique,Salsaman! :-)
salsaman42 07/23/2010 4:10 AM
the turntable is not homemade, but I did add the glass for a larger work surface. don't think wood would work, how would you keep it clean, plus the glass is perdectly flat. I'll explain the red capped things later, not enough tome right now.
salsaman42 07/23/2010 4:12 AM
In some spots, it probably is 1/2 inch, but I've not had any complaints yet. My technique hides the boards, and I use doubled boards, so they need to be hidden.
MARIE J 07/23/2010 7:37 AM
Thank you - once again for the additional information !!