NordicWear reg cake pans suck

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by Norcalbaker59, May 16, 2018.

  1. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I just purchased 10” NordicWear natural metal round cake pans. They aren’t 10”! They are 9 1/2”! What the fudge. A real problem as the design and decorations for the cake I’m baking requires 4” difference between top and bottom tier.

    NordicWear makes great bundt pans, but I will never again purchase another one of their traditional pans. Not happy that I have to rescale everything to work around this problem. All my Chicago Metallic pans are true to size. Can’t for the life of me figure out why NordicWear, a company known specifically for their cake pans, can’t manufacture a cake pan true to size.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 16, 2018
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  2. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Oh no, that sucks! Given the name I was wondering if it was an imported good in the US, which might have explained the difference (bad translation from metric to imperial maybe?) but I see it's a US company so that's clearly not the problem! Will you send them back or will they be usable?
     
    Becky, May 17, 2018
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  3. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    NordicWare is an American company. They make amazing bundt pans. I own several of their bundt pans and love them. So I was really surprised to find their traditional cake pans are not true to size.

    I normally use a commercial method for my cakes. I bake in large sheet pans that are only 1” deep. I then
    cut my layers from the sheet cake using cake rings. There’s no leveling and torting. I build my cake in the cake ring with an acrylic strip inside the ring. This allows me to level everything as I go and it keeps the sides straight and aligned.

    Since the layers are cut to the exact diameters, when I use my acrylic icing guides I get a perfect 1/4” layer of buttercream around my cake. Plus I get perfectly straight sides.

    But the cake I am doing for this party is a modified chiffon. It’s very delicate so I prefer to bake it in a traditional round cake pan. That way I have crust for added stability.

    Tomorrow I am going to do a test sheet cake to see if it’s sturdy enough to cut layers. If not, I’ll bake a using 9” and 6” rounds. Then change the layout of the decorations. May have to use different types of candles as well.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 18, 2018
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  4. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Ooh is it the Elderflower cake you mentioned the other day? Hope the test goes well :)
     
    Becky, May 18, 2018
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  5. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Yes it’s my elderflower cake. The traditional British version is made with a Victoria Sponge that’s soaked in an elderflower syrup. But I’m not a fan as Victoria Sponge is a dense made more dense with a syrup.


    So I modified my chiffon cake recipe to bake in a traditional cake pan. I’ve never baked it in a sheet pan. This was a first. I reduced the liquid by 50%. It baked beautifully and cut out perfectly. I’m going to bake one more test cake at the regular hydration to see how it turns out.

    The 6” cutout. Can’t complain at all.

    DB99C260-964A-4ABD-8E5B-353D60D3402E.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 18, 2018
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  6. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Got four sheet cakes baked. They all look perfect. Brother just texted to say guest list is over 60 now. :eek:
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 19, 2018
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  7. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Glad the test went well :)

    Wow! I can't imagine catering for that many people, my mind boggles just trying to figure out where to start!

    Hope the cake turned out well :D
     
    Becky, May 21, 2018
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  8. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Lol, we have a big family so events are usually 20+ guests. But my brother always goes big.

    From the feedback I’d say the cake was quite a success. A lot of “wows” and comments like this is the best tasting cake I’ve ever eaten.

    I did an inlay design in the SMBC. First try at it. It was ok, but definitely a learning curve. But I think there’s a lot of design potential there, so it’s a technique I will work to perfect.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 22, 2018
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  9. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Well that's definitely a great sign! Must have been nice having such positive feedback :)

    Do you have any photos of the cake?
     
    Becky, May 22, 2018
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  10. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I was a bit worried about the flavor as elderflower isn’t a common ingredient in baking here. My sister took one bite and looked at me and said, “it’s very unique and interesting flavor. Certainly not a child’s cake.” Then after the second bite she said, “Wow, with the lemon filling that is an incredible cake. Oh my god. That’s amazing. May I have a slice to take home to my husband?“ So many guests remarked on the delicious combination of the elderflower cake flavor with the lemon curd. I had wanted to pair it with a passion fruit curd, but I could not find a decent passion fruit purée.

    I didn’t take pics of the cake as assemble was done on site. And too I wasn’t at all pleased with the decorating. So this pic is from another guest. Unfortunately it’s blurry as I cropped out the children. I don’t like to post pics of other people online, especially children.

    The inlay technique is from an instructional video by Erica O’Brien. Overall I think the concept is good. But it doesn’t execute that well. The devil is in the details as they say.

    So yesterday I sat down and revised it in its entirety. I’ve changed everything from the type of buttercream, prepping and coloring the buttercream, icing and prepping the cake, to the inlay application technique. My method is only on paper at the moment. I have to test it, which I plan to do in the next week or so. I think the concept has potential. Since no one likes fondant it’s a waste of money and time for me to use it. So expanding meringue buttercream design is my goal.


    A51D70C0-50AF-459B-AB5F-1E558A11EBF1.jpeg

    I started with a perfectly level and smooth coat of SMBC
    16D7322F-9546-408B-8F54-9653C5F1ADB6.jpeg

    The pockmarks in the inlay I think are due to type of buttercream and the fact that it’s warmed in the coloring process. I’m not going to use SMBC next time. And I’m going to use my own technique to develop the color in the icing.
    C2F62EF6-35B9-49B5-894A-A14BD79E8261.jpeg

    BTW note the difference in color of the polka dot on the enlarged pic and the dots on the cake at the party. When colored buttercream is brought down to very low temperatures, the food color will intensive. It’s the opposite of what happens when food color is subjected to high heat; when baked in a cake batter, the heat will fade the food color. Interesting yes?
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2018
    Norcalbaker59, May 22, 2018
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  11. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    That looks fantastic! Nice, crisp edges are always a pleasure to behold :)

    Huh, I hadn't realised that! Good to know. How did you make the spots?
     
    Becky, May 23, 2018
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  12. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    The polka dots are embedded into the buttercream like an inlay.

    It involves covering the sides evenly and smoothly; cutting out shapes; filling the shapes with contrasting colored buttercream. Then smoothing out the filled in shape to make it flush and look seamlessly embedded into the buttercream around it.

    I had this concept in my mind for some time. So I thought I would try it with easy to cut polka dots. I did some research before hand, but only turned up one cake designer, Erica O’Brien, who did a buttercream inlay. I found it on a Craftsy online course she produced several years ago on intermediate buttercream techniques.

    Buttercream is so soft it’s not given to such a technique. So it was somewhat involved.

    Overall O’Brien’s technique is good. But I encountered a number of problems. After the fact I sat down and rethought the whole process. So hopefully with a different buttercream and revised techniques I will get better workflow and better results.

    I love sharp edges and straight sides on my cakes. I love icing guides as o hate crumb coating. I just pipe a thick layer of icing around the cake, then scrape. The guides keep the scraper at least 1/4” from the cake surface. So no crumb issues.

    I use to make icing guides with cake boards. They worked, but it wasted a lot of cake boards. Then there was time involved in gluing several together to create them. So a few weeks ago I finally bought acrylic icing guides. Should have bought them a long time ago. Cake decorating is my least favorite aspect of baking and it’s my weakest area. So I’m all about the right tools to get it done.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 24, 2018
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  13. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    Ah I see, thanks for the explanation :) Was is difficult to stop the dots distorting when you smoothed it all out?
     
    Becky, May 25, 2018
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  14. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    Lol, keeping the dots from distorting was the challenge. It requires a combination of very cold icing on the cake and soft pliable icing to fill in the cutouts.

    So you absolutely have to use a real buttercream; shortening doesn’t harden when chilled, so it cannot be cutout. O’Brien used SMBC, so that’s what I used. And she heated the buttercream used for the fill in.

    But I think an Italian meringue buttercream that has been better stabilized with higher cooking temperature and a higher sugar content will work better. And I don’t think heating the fill in buttercream is a good idea as it destabilizes and already fragile emulsion.

    Im going to try the technique again this weekend, but using my methods this time. If it works, I’ll post the results.
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 26, 2018
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  15. Norcalbaker59

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

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    I played around with the inlay technique yesterday. I used Italian meringue buttercream instead of SMBC. And I didn’t warm icing used to fill in the shapes. I mixed gel color in 1/2 tsp of shortening, then used it to color the icing. Liked it much better than the SMBC.

    O’Brien says refrigerate the iced cake overnight before cutting out designs. But that created condensation. Gross! :eek: The cake I did for my niece was not chilled overnight. I chilled in freezer 15 min then cutout shapes. I think that’s a better approach.
    Fine detail doesn’t work well, the edges blur out.

    A8EF9033-2EDA-4AEF-ABCD-00929C73209D.jpeg

    Definitely cannot do a second coat without chilling about 10 minutes between coats.
    49133B1D-B2C7-4D05-BB7C-D50E80E06CE0.jpeg

    I used a piping bag instead of an offset spatula. Worked way better. Got a more seamless look
    96174D69-42CB-4CD9-A33D-853809AF3A61.jpeg

    Sliced after sitting out 7 hrs at room temperature. The design held together, no smearing or separation of the design when I sliced through the middle of it.
    E2CFD315-7016-435D-8020-6D63537CF200.jpeg

    I really like that the design held even when sliced. So plated the cake makes a nice presentation. :D I increased my sugar temperature from 240°F to 250°F for added stability. I also increased the amount of sugar since I make IMBC with less than the standard amount of sugar. So that gave me better stability as well.
    4F073A56-5F5C-487A-90DA-065281EF153F.jpeg
     
    Norcalbaker59, May 28, 2018
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  16. Norcalbaker59

    Becky Well-Known Member

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    That's a really cool effect! I love how the colour goes all the way through, it's so unusual :)
     
    Becky, May 28, 2018
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