Posts Tagged ‘cakes’

Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Cake Keeping

April 17, 2018

“Your cake will only last as long as its quickest expiring ingredient.” – Craftsy

This quote popped up on my feed earlier and gave me pause.  While the cake itself may last a while, the fillings, frosting or decorations may not. Once that buttercream, cream cheese icing or fruit filling starts to go, the whole cake needs to follow.

Consider the ingredients when determining the shelf life and storage of various foods. Donuts may sit out indefinitely, but cream filled crullers or eclairs should go in the refrigerator, and be tossed after a couple of days. Use this tip to safely determine the proper storage and expiration date for all the food you may have on hand.

photo: Glasshouse Images

 

 

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Layer Cakes

May 24, 2016

It is the time of year when we make lots of cakes. Graduations, birthdays, bridal showers; there is so much to celebrate! There is nothing more special than a homemade cake to mark the occasion. Making a simple layer cake doesn’t have to be daunting, if you follow a few basic tips.

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Tips for Making Layer Cakes: 

Let the cakes cool fully in the pans before removing them. This holds true with almost everything you bake. Once the cake is cool, it will release from the pan more easily. It is also important to wait to frost a cake until it is cool. Warm cake will melt the frosting, leaving you a with a less than perfect coating.

I like to cut a circle of parchment and place it on the bottom of the pan to prevent the cake from sticking. Spray or grease the parchment as directed in the recipe.

When cake bakes, it often rises and forms a little dome on top, which can give you a wobbly surface when stacked. If your cake has a dome, use a serrated knife to carefully trim the top to make it even. It will help the layers be more stable when stacked, and give you a more symmetrical finished product. Cake with a very fine crumb can be trimmed using dental floss. Just gently pull the floss across the cake to shave off the excess.

Apply a thin crumb coat to lightly cover the entire cake, and serve as a “primer” for the frosting. This will help prevent crumbs from showing on the surface. If possible, refrigerate the cake for 15-30 minutes before continuing to apply the final coat and your buttercream will glide on much easier.

Place your cake on an inverted bowl to elevate it a bit, making it easier to work on, and giving you easy access to the whole cake. To get the smoothest most evenly distributed frosting, hold the knife or bench scraper steady, and turn the cake.

Lastly, remember that your cake is homemade, and a labor of love. Unless you are a pro, it won’t, and shouldn’t look like it was made in a commercial bakery. That perfect imperfection is part of what makes a homemade cake so special. As long as it tastes delicious, people will forgive you for a few little blemishes and shortcomings.

Enjoy!!

Photos: Glasshouse Images

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Kitchen Tips Tuesday: Pan Liners

October 20, 2015

When baking a cake, the recipe usually requests greasing, or greasing and flouring the pan for easy removal after baking. Butter, a hefty squirt of cooking spray, or a slick covering of coconut oil usually does the job. Even when the pan is properly treated, a layer of parchment paper facilitates a clean removal of the cake.

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Last weekend, I started watching the Great British Baking Show on Netflix, where amatuer bakers congregate in a huge tent tricked out with kitchens to compete for a title of Star Baker. During a cake challenge, I noticed that most of them lined their square pans with parchment paper that hung over the sides. When it was time to remove the cake, they simply grabbed the over-hanging paper like handles, and lifted the cake right out of the pan.

By doing this, they avoided the cake getting stuck, or deflating a bit as they flipped the pan over and banged on it a bit to get the cake to fall out.

While I have used this technique before on specific items ( like my marshmallows,) it is now going to become common practice on all of the cakes, brownies and bar cookies that I bake in square or rectangular pans. No more scars in the bottom of cake where a little piece got torn. No more fighting with the caramel that clings steadfastly to the side of the pan when making pecan pie squares. I am a little embarrassed that I haven’t been doing this all along!

A squirt of cooking spray in the pan helps to keep the parchment smooth and in place, and another squirt on top of the paper keeps things from sticking. The rest…pure genius!

Photo: Good Life Eats

Check us out at indigojonesnyc on instagram.

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Check out our new site Indigo Jones Eats

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Download the Homemade app to get home-cooked food in New York City.


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