Hello my sugar friend!
Recently I sent an email out with a story and tutorial link about this giant cherry cake. One of my fav cakes of all time, mostly because it disses my sister 🙂
But sphere cakes are scary!
How the heck do you get the shape?
And don’t even think about covering it in fondant!
That’s the things nightmares are made of.
I admit sphere cakes aren’t the easiest shape to do, but they don’t have to be so awful that we crawl into the corner crying for mommy. 🙂
Here’s a few of my tips for spherical success 🙂
- Use a half sphere pan to bake if you can find the size you need. That eliminates carving and that’s half the battle.
- Once you level the 2 cake halves and put them together, you may not have a perfectly round ball. You can insert a short layer of cake (baked in the same diameter round pan as the sphere pan) between the 2 halves to give the extra height needed to create a fully round sphere.
- If you do carve the sphere from round cake layers, remember that shape doesn’t have to be perfect. You will make it perfect with the icing or ganache.
- Use a sturdy cake that can hold up to carving and it’s own weight. A light fluffy recipe won’t cut it.
- What to use for the bottom half of the sphere? It might be paralyzingly frightening to try to use cake for the bottom half as well. (It can be done with sturdy cake and proper support where needed.) But consider non cake options for the bottom half. Especially for your first go at it.
For the bottom half you can use:
– styrofoam (see my blog post linked above)
– compressed (and I mean seriously compressed) rice cereal treats formed in the cake pan
– chocolate formed in the cake pan
- Use a firm base coat under the fondant such as a super chilled butter based icing or firm ganache.
- Choose your fondant wisely. Not all types or brands will do well trying to stretch and mold over that shape.
The great Wayne Steinkopf of Swank Cake Design changed my caking life when he advised me to use a mixture of half Fondx and half ChocoPan brands for sphere shapes. It works incredibly well, has tons of elasticity, and is tear resistant. (There’s a new brand called Dream that is supposed to be like a hybrid of these two. I’ll be trying it this week.)
Liz Merek’s semi homemade fondant also has great stretch and elasticity.
- Get the cake raised up off the counter to apply the fondant. Put it on a small diameter fondant tub or something similar so you can tuck the fondant onto the underside of the ball.
- Take it easy on yourself. It doesn’t have to be perfect to look great. 🙂
Go ahead and try a sphere cake, you CAN do it!!
NOLA photography: http://bentzphotography.com/