Tag Archives: ganache

Why, When and How to Undercoat a Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Bottom released for Why, When and How to Undercoat a CakeThere 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

Boston Cream Pie – A Parts Cake

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Boston Cream PieThis Boston Cream Pie is a perfect example of the use of component parts in one recipe. When I started baking for my family and friends, I didn’t care how many recipes I collected and used. However, when I went into baking professionally, making each cake from a different recipe was impractical.  How many yellow cakes, chocolate cakes, or white cake recipes did we need? How many buttercream and ganache recipes could we use –  each with a subtle difference?

It quickly became apparent that base recipes that could be tweaked and varied were what was needed.  Every recipe used in this Boston Cream Pie has already been blogged by me with the how-to photos, which is why I refer to it as a parts cake. Continue reading

Viennese Apricot Torte

BY HELEN S. FLETCHER, ON
COPYRIGHT, HELEN S. FLETCHER, 2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
ALL PHOTOS BY PASTRIES LIKE A PRO UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED.

Finished Photo of Viennese Apricot TorteMany years ago when I first became interested in pastry and baking, I found a book at the library introducing me to Viennese Tortes and pastries.  I was fascinated by them to the point I copied the entire book for my personal use.  This was ages before the internet and the book was no longer on the market.  A version of this Viennese Walnut and Chocolate Sponge Cake was in the book.

As with some early Viennese Tortes, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs finely ground would be used in place of flour.  Another rendering of this cake was in my first book, “The New Pastry Cook”.  It did use cracker crumbs.  However, for this version I wanted to use a sponge which would accept a brandy soaking syrup.  The original recipe for the cake in my book used only the cake and a coffee buttercream.  I expanded upon that idea for this cake.

The recipe for the Viennese Walnut and Chocolate sponge cake  is based on Bo Friberg’s Hazelnut-Chocolate Sponge in his book, “Professional Pastry Chef”.  This is one of my go to books if I am stumped by something.  The sheer volume of information in charts and graphs is astounding.  There have been several updates to the book.  I have Volume 4 which is over 1,000 pages. I love this recipe because it doesn’t require beating the egg yolks and whites separately.  It uses whole eggs that are warmed over a double boiler so they can reach maximum volume.  It is easy and as far as I can see, foolproof as long as  you fold the dry ingredients quickly and gently. Continue reading