Let me begin by saying that: I HAVE SO MUCH RESPECT FOR DUFF AND HIS GANG ON "ACE OF CAKES"!!!
Cake making/decorating is not easy. While I had a good time, and learned quite a few things that would make it easier the next time I make a tiered/layered cake, it is a heck of a lot of work!
So...I used the buttercream frosting for the filling and used a different recipe (from Ina Garten) for the exterior frosting. I added butter-rum flavoring in place of half of the vanilla that is called for in the recipe, and chopped some candied pecans and mixed that all together to make the filling. I used food coloring to turn the frosting a pretty lilac color because purple is Kristin's favorite color. I piped the decoration in white and it turned out really well!
I had some frustrating moments. I think that a cake leveler is definitely worth the money. It is so difficult to get everything perfectly even. When you're just making a layered cake, with no tiers, it's not as big of a deal, however with a tiered cake, everything really needs to be level to prevent sloping and sliding.
I had a lot fun, and everyone loved the cake. They seemed impressed, as well as satisfied. The recipes were all great. THANK YOU FOOD NETWORK and Martha Stewart. :-)
Now I need to come up with another baking/cooking project. Any ideas?