12
Mar
08

Basic know-how in Cakes

 

wedding cake

CAKE PANS

Each recipe specifies the required sizes of cake pans and the necessary qualities to make your cakes look the same as the one you would see made by experts-however, cake sizes and shapes can be changed to suit yourself and your chosen decorations.

 

Use well-shaped rigid, straight-sided, deep cake pans. The ones I use are made from good quality tin or aluminum.

 

I use pans bought from cookware stores and shops specializing in cake decorating equipment.

 

TO LINE CAKE PANS

Lining cake pan neatly minimizes time-consuming trimming and patching of cakes. The lining helps to protect the cake during baking. For fruit cakes, use one sheet of string brown paper and two sheets of baking or greaseproof paper. Cut the paper at the base of the pan at an angle, so that paper fits corners neatly.

 

USUAL SHAPES IN CAKES

I used bought cake pans, however, cakes of unusual shape, such as heart, an oval, an octagon or even a petal, can all be cut from round cakes.

 

From square cake, you can easily cut cakes diamond or rectangular shapes.

 

TIERED CAKES

There are several ways to make tiered cakes. Cakes can be placed directly on top of each other, although some cakes need to be supported with skewers. This is especially necessary when heavy fruitcakes are used.

Wooden skewers bought from butchers or craft shops are ideal-these are inserted in the lower tier/s of cakes, under the area that the upper tier will cover; the size of the board on the upper tier/s should be used as a guide when positioning the skewers.

 

You will need three or four skewers to support the upper tier/s. insert the skewers, pointed-end first, in the correct position, through the icing and the cake, right down to the board. Withdraw the skewers level with the surface of the cake, noting the position of each skewer; withdraw the skewers and cut them off at the marks. Insert the skewers back into the cake, ready to support the upper tier.

 

HOW TO TRANSPORT CAKES

Cakes can be transported easily by placing them in a piece of thin sponge rubber (to prevent slipping) in a box as close to the size as possible. Cover an open box with clear plastic, sit box flat.

 

Tiered cakes are always transported with the tiers separated, and then assembled when they reach their destination.

 

TO CUT A WEDDING CAKE

As a guide, a 25cm square cake can be cut into 100 finger-length pieces. Cut round cake crossways into slices before cutting into finger-length pieces.

 

TO STORE A COOKED FRUIT CAKE

When the cake is cold, remove from the pan. Discard brown paper, leave inner lining intact. Wrap cake in plastic wrap to keep airtight, then in foil or tea towels to keep the light out. Store in a cool dark place. If in doubt about hot or humid weather, store the cake in the refrigerator.

 

The cake will keep for 1 year at room temperature if cooked and stored correctly, it can be frozen indefinitely if preferred.

 

TO STORE A DECORATED FRUIT CAKE

Cakes will keep well if they have been correctly covered with almond icing and fondant. They need to be protected from moisture in the air, either rain or humidity, or worse, both. If possible, keep the cake in a cabinet or under glass or plastic so you can check for changes in the cake’s appearance.

 

If the surface of the cake becomes wet and sticky, remove the cake from the cabinet and stand it under an ordinary reading lamp (not fluorescent). Turn the cake every now and then until the fondant looks and feels dry, and then return it to the cabinet.

 

Decorated cakes can be frozen if they are to be kept for more that 3 months. Thaw the cake, covered, in the refrigerator. This process will take approximately 2 days.

 

*image courtesy of http://www.swisspark.com

 

 

 

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