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 →
BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.
One of the most frustrating aspects of baking is to spend time making a scratch cake, putting it into the oven and waiting for it to bake – only to have layers that are humpy in the center. Of course, they can be trimmed flat but why not bake them that way to begin with? In a professional bakery, trimming takes time and wastes money.
Traditionally, cake pans have been greased and floured or sprayed with a releasing agent. And therein lies the problem. When cake layers are baked, the edge bakes first as the heat takes time to travel to the center. When pans are prepared in this traditional manner, the edges rise, and because the rest of the cake isn’t baked yet it can’t support the edges, so they slide back down the greased pan resulting in a humpy cake. This assumes the recipe or formula being used is balanced.
By preparing the pans without greasing them, the cake edge will rise and then stick to the pan because they can’t slide down. They wait there while the center catches up, resulting in a flat cake layer. When I discovered this, we prepared all of the layers this way including the largest layers of a wedding cake. It saved us an enormous amount of time and we didn’t waste cake that had to be removed. Continue reading →