Of all the things I learned cake making last year, there a few little tips are the make a huge difference.
1. Cake Photography
If you are an amatuer photographer like me, with a point and shoot camera, the single, most helpful purchase I have made is a large cake box. White on the outside. Largest one I could find in our little town.14" square cake box. I folded it inside out, white is on the inside, leaving the top up and the front open. It is the perfect background for cake. Also, I have taped a little bit of white tissue paper over my flash to make it not so harsh. However, placing the white box near a window during daylight is the best condition all around for lighting.
2. Measuring Ingredients
The second most important tip I have learned is to weigh my shortening for frosting. I use a 1:1 ratio with butter. Once the butter is in the mixer, I use that wrapper to weigh out the shortening. Why is this important? Simply because it is one less mess measuring cup to wash. It only makes a difference if you are also the Head Dishwasher in your bakery.
3. Stacking Cake
There are plenty of websites that describe in detail how to stack cake. If it is a small two tier cake, you can use large soda straws, not the skinny ones. Google "bubble straws" and you'll see what I mean. I can find those near the ice cream cones in our local grocery stores, for milk shakes I think. But if you want to stack more, a lot more, you need this:
A brand new, stainless steel, unopened pair of nail clippers. These clippers are absolutely perfect for cutting wooden dowels without leaving splinters. It is easier and safer than cutting plastic dowels with a knife. Quicker, cleaner and more precise than a hacksaw for wood. No splinters, sanding or dust to worry about when you stack a cake. Give me a pack of wooden dowels and these clippers and I can stack cake all day.
A few little tips can go a long way up the learning curve!