With two bank holiday weekends, and a coronation in May – we know many catering kitchens will be looking for a touch of the celebratory in their desserts menu – with some show-stopping (or budget busting) cakes!
From the perfect frosting tip, to a crumb coat, there’s lots to learn when it comes to baking so we’ve asked some experts for their top cake hacks & listed them below. How many do you know???
The 10 (or 15) Second Rule
First rule of cake club, try after ten seconds. If your icing surface smoothes over in less than 10-15 seconds, its too runny and will need mixing for longer, with more icing sugar to thicken it.
Adding colour? Do your darks first!
Dark colours tend to ‘bleed’ into the lighter ones, expert bakers let the dark colours dry before filling any adjoining sections with a lighter colour.
Don’t forget the Crumb Coat
Want a smooth, professional edge on your cake? Step in the Crumb Coating.
A crumb coat is a thin layer that traps crumbs, before applying your outermost layer of frosting, put a very thing layer of frosting around your cake and pop it in fridge for about half an hour. Once you’ve removed from the fridge, frost as usual.
Your crumb coating will ensure that your cake looks smooth without any tiny scattered crumbs.
Keep it Still
When stacking a layer cake, it’s crucial that your creation stays put. To keep the cake planted where you want it, first put down a small dollop of frosting on your cake plate, then set down your bottom layer. The frosting will act like glue to keep it still, and ensure no slips!
Give your Traybakes an extra Flare!
Perk up your tray cakes with a pretty finish. When you’ve finished your cake or tray bake, use the spatula to move across the frosting in an ‘S’ pattern, giving a pretty swirl. It gives your flat cake a bit of sparkle. You can also top it off with some tasty tidbits such as chocolate curls or crushed nuts or sweets.
The Right Drip…
Drip cakes have been in great demand since the advent of Instagram & Tiktok, but there’s lots that can go wrong with a drip. Whether you use a spoon or bottle, start with the sides of your drip instead of pouring your ganache in the middle & trying to control the topping all at once. By working your way around the edges first, you give yourself more control, filling the centre afterwards, once you have the desired drip effect.
Patience, Patience, Patience
… And the biggest tip we got, be patient with your baking.
A cool cake is always easier to frost & decorate, than watching your frosting slide over a warm bake. It also helps with a drip cake, before jumping headlong into it, do a practice drip – if it slides right down to the bottom, your ganache is still too warm – give it a little more time. Make sure you bake earlier in the day or when you have plenty of time to return to it, and get it right!