Most helpful critical review
31 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Gorgeous end result, TONS of work required
on June 27, 2011
Before I start going into why I only gave this product three stars, I'd like to say that the castle came out pretty fantastic, but I have to give a lot of the credit for that to myself because anyone who puts 14 hours of work into a cake deserves many pats on the back, even if they're self serving.
The kit comes with instructions (and photos on the box) for three different types of cakes: Romantic, Medieval, and Candy. I made the Romantic because this cake was for my daughter's 7th birthday. I used pink frosting for roofs and coated them in edible glitter. Just to warn people, cutting out and making 285 little flowers is a maddening affair. You'll need to schedule yourself a massage or make time for some peaceful bliss after making them.
The pieces of the kit include four of three sizes of towers and these towers help to take a lot of work out of a castle cake that would otherwise require you to make turrets out of Rice Krispies treats. Having tried that myself, I know what a massive pain in the ass it is, so that makes the plastic turrets worth it already.
The problem is in the base. They're just flat bottomed with no supports at all, which mean when you insert them into your cake, they tend to just start tipping over. Unlike others, the ones I was able to secure the easiest were the ones that were to stick to the cake board because I could gob a lot of chocolate on and you had two flat surfaces glued together. Makes sense.
For the cake layers, however, Wilton instructs you to buy plastic dowels and "attach" them to the turrets with melted chocolate, then insert them. This is NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. Seriously, imagine taking a thin pipe and trying to "glue" it to a flat bottom of plastic with chocolate. Add in the fact that the dowels are a horrible product and you can barely get it cut straight. Keep in mind too, that you have to hold it there as the chocolate dries. Which means your chocolate in the bowl is cooling down too. Unless you've got 10 arms, doing this for 12 turrets is a ridiculous feat. And even then, how do you put them aside? You can't. You have to just insert it then and there, and the chocolate just breaks off anyway.
In my opinion, this kit should have come with the tools to cut the flowers and the tips for the leaves and windows. It's a bit misleading to have a kit that requires you to go out and buy a whole set of flower cutters (just so you can use one of them), decorating tips, dowels, and bags. One last thing, if you cover the turrets in fondant, you obviously have to soak them to wash them. This ends up leaving you with water in some turrets. Make sure you shake them in consecutive uses because I had dish water leaking out onto my fondant. It was nasty!
In the end, be prepared to pour your soul into making one of these.