BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
There is no need to undercoat every cake. But there are many than benefit from an undercoat. Any cake that has a lot of crumbs on the outside edges has to have un undercoat so the crumbs are trapped in the undercoat and do not show through on the finished cake.
Typically, carrot cakes, banana cakes and others finished with a powdered sugar based frosting do not need an undercoat because the cakes do not crumb much and also because these types of frostings can be put on thick enough one step. However, if you have any question, always apply an undercoat.
While it is an extra step to undercoat, sometimes referred to as a crumb coat, the finished cake will be so much better looking. This is particularly true for cakes finished with Italian or French buttercreams or a ganache. Ganache will follow the side of the cake very closely making for a rippled effect on the sides. Continue reading →
Splitting cake layers – As anyone knows who as been reading this blog, I like to bake the exact number of cake layers I need as opposed to splitting them. However, I realize that not everyone has as many cake pans as I do. There are many ways suggested to split cake layers. Toothpicks marking where the cake should be sliced as well as an adjustable cake slicer are a couple. However, one thing is not usually mentioned. If the layers are partially frozen, they are easier to slice cleanly. This is especially true of sponge and chiffon layers which are light and delicate. A long, sharp, serrated knife can be a big help as it can go from one side of the cake to the other.
Filling cake layers to avoid trimming them – This is a method we used at the bakery for a lot of our cakes, especially if they had wiggly fillings, like ganache, pastry cream, lemon curd, etc. You will need a deep cake pan the same size as the layers. In other words, we used 9×3 inch cheesecake pans to assemble 9 inch cakes. Our pans had removable bottoms but that is not strictly necessary. Place a cake layer in the pan, Continue reading →