Friday, September 18, 2015

Cake fillings... the difference between "cake" and "dessert"

After baking and decorating cakes for so long, I am very picky about the cakes that I choose to eat. I love cake, but eating a piece of ho hum cake with ho hum icing is like eating... well, "just cake," and I would just as easily pass it by. But when you have a deliciously moist piece of cake with a scrumptious filling and a great icing, it becomes a delightful dessert instead of "just cake." That is hard to resist. At Cathy Leavitt custom creations, we offer a wide variety of different fillings, from fruity to chocolate to fluffy mousses. Each one, combined with the right cake and icing, can be very tempting indeed. I have combined some of my favorite flavors as our Specialty Dessert Cakes on our menu. It's hard to pick a favorite, but anything with chocolate is always a hit. Lemon is becoming a strong second. 

Dark Chocolate Cake with Raspberry and Fudge Filllings

When we add a filling to a cake, I slice each layer in half. Note: I have an Agbay cake leveler that levels the top of the cake layer and slices the layer at the same time. One of my very very favorite decorating tools. Pricey, yes, but so worth it! Over the years, I have used many cake levelers and the problem is... they just don't work. If you're serious about cake decorating, look into this amazing tool!

Each cake normally consists of 2 layers, so after you slice each layer, you have four layers. I put filling between the top 2 layers and the bottom 2 layers, and add whatever icing I'm using in the middle. Before adding the filling, be sure to apply an "icing dam." Not only does this hold in the fillings, but it keeps the cakes level. Click here to visit my tutorial on filling cakes. This tutorial also contains recipes for an easy basic mousse filling and Bavarian Creme filling. To make a yummy coconut creme filling, you can add toasted coconut to the Bavarian Creme. (And then try not to eat it all before putting it on the cake... I know this from experience.)

Dark Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Mousse

Fill cupcakes? Oh yes, but you do not need a fancy cupcake corer in order to fill them. Just load your decorating bag with a large open round tip, like #12, push it into the center of your cupcake and squeeze... just don't go overboard. After awhile, you'll get the knack of it... so easy. After you've eaten a filled cupcake, you'll not go back to one without. 

 Spice Cake with Salted Caramel Mousse and 
Cream Cheese Icing, Drizzled with Salted Caramel
 White Almond Sour Cream Cake with Raspberry 
Filling, Vanilla Buttercream, and Toasted Almonds
Chocolate Cake with Bavarian Creme,
Chocolate Buttercream, and Toffee Bits

Fresh fruit can also be used as a filling in cakes. It is best to add a thin layer of whipped cream or mousse to the cake first, and then slice and layer the fruit on top. Some other good fruit fillings to use are Solo Raspberry Filling, Dickinson's Lemon Curd (my favorite), and Cherry All-Fruit Spread. Be creative and try different combinations! 

 Yellow Cake with Whipped Cream and Fresh Strawberries
Sample Cakes for Cake Tasting-
Chocolate Mint Mousse, Shirley Temple (1 layer of vanilla, 
1 of chocolate, with Bavarian Creme and white chocolate curls),
Lemon with Lemon Curd and Lemon Buttercream

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