Cutting Cake To Fill..need Help 4 Valentines Day!

Decorating By briansbaker Updated 26 Jan 2005 , 4:31am by jscakes

briansbaker Posted 24 Jan 2005 , 6:33pm
post #1 of 22

Ok as many cakes I've made, I almost never fill. I have a cake slicer thingy (Wire with handle on it) Well everytime I try, I always end up breaking the top layer when I lay it on the cake. I guess I don't know how to hold it or what on. I use another board, but I think the board is to stiff.. Need Help I would love to make my husband a beautiful, sexy, and of course tasty cake for Valentines.. icon_razz.gif
Will someone please help me get a massage for Valentines day!!
(thinking if he really likes the cake he will massage me) Lords knows I need one!!!! icon_biggrin.gif

21 replies
thecakemaker Posted 24 Jan 2005 , 8:27pm
post #2 of 22

well - the way i do it is to adjust the wire to where i want to cut the cake. have the cake on a solid surface or board and "saw" the cake with the wire untill you have two cakes. when you get almost through the "other side" i always hold my hand there so the cake doesn't fall apart when i pull the wire through. it helps to chill the cake first - don't use a freshly cooled cake or it may crumble. then slide another cake board under the top layer until ready to slide it back onto the bottom layer.

hope this helps!

briansbaker Posted 24 Jan 2005 , 8:34pm
post #3 of 22

"don't use a freshly cooled cake or it may crumble."

That may be my problem..Thanks! icon_biggrin.gif

thecakemaker Posted 24 Jan 2005 , 8:38pm
post #4 of 22

I learn everything the hard way!


SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 6:16am
post #5 of 22

And frozen is even easier! So is dental floss, if you really have nightmares with your leveller/torter. Generally, though, for larger cakes, freeze them and they are easier to handle without breaking when you go to put the top back on over the filling.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

jscakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 6:41am
post #6 of 22

SquirrellyCakes: I generally have a problem cutting the cakes when they are frozen, even if it's just to level. So now I just refrigerate them overnight before cutting. Is there something I'm doing wrong? Thanks for any information you can give.

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 7:02am
post #7 of 22

Are you freezing them in a chest freezer or just in the freezer part of the refridgerator? I ask because a chest freezer freezes harder than a refridgerator freezer.
I use a chest freezer and I find the cake is frozen enough after about 90 minutes though I will go overnight of a couple of days if I have to. I wrap cakes in plastic wrap and then in a clean unscented garbage bag.
I take it you mean you have trouble cutting into it?
Well, for one thing, though I have both the regular size and the large size Wilton cake levellers, I rarely use them, I have this cheap Bride's knife with a really long serrated blad and I use that, to level the cake. I must say though, that I generally level my cakes as soon as they come out of the pans, I just find that works the best for me, to level them when they are still hot . But to torte them, well when you have issues with them breaking when you torte them or when you are lifting the torted top off the bottom, or when you are replacing the top back on a filled cake, well I find this easiest, with the larger cakes, when the cake is frozen.
With a large cake, I generally mark off the centre with a few toothpicks to guide my knife through the cake, using a gentle sawing motion.
As was mentioned in one of the above posts, you want to have a hand on top of the cake when you get towards the end so as not to break off the end, a common problem.
I also torte cakes using dental floss or heavy thread, making a slice through the centre, marking the centre with toothpicks or icing dots so that you keep the dental floss in line with the centre. So you have an upside down "U" shape to start and crossing over the ends of the thread as you pull towards the centre like in an "x" motion until the floss crisscrosses and cuts through the centre like this usaribbon.gif smilie :
Does that make sense?
Anyway, Jscakes, if it works better for you when they are refridgerated, definitely go for what works for you. It is all in what we get used to, that is for sure!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

jscakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 7:49am
post #8 of 22

Thanks Squirrelly Cakes, will try the dental floss as you suggest and I may even try it on a "non- refridgerated" cake!

MrsMissey Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 2:46pm
post #9 of 22

You might also try the "Cake Lifter". It's like the thing they use in the pizza places, to lift the pizzas. A big 10" round metal spatula with a handle. It's wonderful for lifting and moving torted cake layers, also great for getting cheesecakes, and the like, out of springform pans. I use mine all the time! Just a thought for you! Happy baking, Missey

briansbaker Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 2:48pm
post #10 of 22

Thanks everyone!!! icon_biggrin.gif These are great ideas, I have been afraid to bake the night before. Fear someone may say " it doesn't taste fresh" , but you know it sounds much easier and gives more time in the day to decorate.. Thanks Again!!! thumbs_up.gif

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 5:10pm
post #11 of 22

Hi Briansbaker,
Most folks when making a wedding cake, actually bake the Wednesday or Thursday before a Saturday wedding and the cake is fine. I tend to coat the cakes with a thinned apricot glaze and when that is set, wrap them in plastic wrap. Others, just completely wrap the cakes with no crumbcoat on. Still others crumbcoat the cakes with thinned buttercream icing. The one thing I would avoid doing, is refridgerating the cakes. Some cakes, like butter cakes, actually dry out from being refridgerated. However most cakes can handle overnight in the fridge. Or you can freeze most akes up to a month and they will be great, as long as they are well sealed and protected from freezer burn.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

briansbaker Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 5:26pm
post #12 of 22

Hmmmm... I will have to try the glaze. I actually bought some thinking I was going to use it and it's still in the fridge. Oh no, icon_surprised.gif I suggested in the forum "whimsical cake instuction clarification" that she should put them in the fridge.. icon_smile.gif maybe you should go and give your thoughts.. It seems to me that you know what your doing..
I just act like I know what I'm doing. icon_lol.gif
Thank you!!!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 5:33pm
post #13 of 22

You crack me up, haha! Sometimes if we act like we know what we are doing long enough, we actually do, haha!
I will check it out. Thanks,
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

awela Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 7:00pm
post #14 of 22

My 2 cents on this interesting issue. For the most part my technique is similar as Squirellycakes'. I prefer to freeze the cakes (I have a freezer for cakes only and set up the temperature to #1 so they don't get too hard), this way they can be sliced evenly and with less crumbs. When I am ready to fill the cake, take it out of the freezer and mark it either with icing dots or toothpicks all around it. I have the Wilton cake slicers, but honestly I prefer to use a 14" long and thin serrated knife for this purpose. Finally, I introduce a cookie sheet to separate both sections and the cake comes out nicely sliced and still firm. As I say there are many ways to "skin a cat". Hope this will help.

jscakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 8:12pm
post #15 of 22

Avoid refridgerating the cake? I wrap them in 2 to 3 layers of plastic wrap first and make sure there are no openings what-so-ever. Apricot glaze, does this affect the taste any? I've been reading that all over the web sites and can't help but wonder about the flavor after the cake is all iced. As far as lifting the layer, I usually use the cake board or the largest cooling rack with a piece of plastic wrap on it for the larger layers and it works for me alright. This has been quite the learning forum Briansbaker and I'm thoroughly enjoying it! Thanks for all the ideas everyone.

briansbaker Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 8:27pm
post #16 of 22

And I highly agree with you jscakes. I have a sleep over this weekend with , well it was suppose to be only 10-12 girls. icon_surprised.gif But my daughter has seem to be making more and more friends as her birthday rolls near.
I have decided to make the sleep over cake with all the little people laying in the bed. I also am going to bake a huge cookie and (try real hard) to make a Tinkerbell buttercream transfer to go on it. And I WILL post these when they are completed. And wish me luck with all these girls! icon_eek.gif
Thanks a bunch to the Cakecentral Queens king.gif

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 10:05pm
post #17 of 22

I totally agree, this got very interesting and informative and I think the best thing to do is try all of the methods and see what works for you. I do also use a flat cookie sheet sometimes, but when I am not feeling sure of my hands (I broke my shoulder last year), that was when I got into freezing the larger cakes before torting them.
Oh heavens girls and sleepovers, I can relate. When my youngest was in grade 9, I think, she invited all 35 of the girls for a sleepover. Oh the noise level! Can't wait to see that cake, it should be a lot of fun!
Apricot glaze, well there are mixed reviews on it. Every time I suggest it on the Wilton site, Jeanne G comments that she tried it once and her grandchildren thought it made the cake taste yucky. However she is talking about using it pure, not watered down. Anyway, it has become almost an ongoing friendly disagreement or joke between us, haha!
It is and was something more popular in commercial bakeries and used by pastry chefs in hotels and such. Originally, well it was used as a quick method of crumbcoating but also as a means of flavouring a white or similar cake. My daughter used it in a commercial baking course and they used it full strength.
Full strength is heating up a jar of pure apricot jam, straining it through a sieve to get rid of any pulp and then using a pastry brush to very sparingly coat your cakes. Now this can be done immediately after the cakes come out of the oven and have been levelled, always used warm. Or it can be used warm on cooled cakes that have been levelled.
It is used for the following reasons:
1. To seal in the moisture so that if you are doing a lot of cakes, like, for instance, a wedding cake, well you don't have to wait for all of them to be cooled and then scramble to crumbcoat with a buttercream crumbcoat. So basically you can get them all done before the air has a chance to dry out any of the cakes.
2. To act as a crumbcoat - when applied correctly and sparingly, this will insure, no crumbs getting into your final coat of icing. You then let these glazed cakes sit until the glaze has set. You can then ice the totally cooled and set glazed cakes, or you can wrap them with plastic wrap for future icing or freeze the well wrapped cakes.
3. To act as a basis for a fondant or marzipan covering - giving it something to adhere to, although today, there is usually also a layer of buttercream applied or used in place of it before fondant is applied.
4. To prolong the shelf life of your cakes. This glaze seals the cake to the air and provides moisture to the cake so that it will prolong the shelf life and in some minor instances, will also add moisture to a slightly dry or slightly overcooked cake.
5. To add a bit of flavouring to perhaps a sponge or white or yellow cake.
Now I took a one day seminar at a local bakery and for first time decorators, they recommend using this apricot glaze strictly for crumbcoating purposes. But here is what they do. They heat up the pure jam and strain it and sell it strained. To this strained jam, they recommend you use a ratio of 2 parts heated strained or sieved jam to 1 part water. Then you reheat this on low heat bringing it to a boil, whisking it all the while and refridgerate until you need it. I like to heat up small amounts in the microwave when I need it. It keeps indefinitely, just make sure to keep the crumbs out or re-strain it.
So once it has been watered down, I can tell you that you can put any kind of filling or icing over these glazed cakes and you will not taste the apricot glaze, which is why they recommend watering it down.
The cake crumbs for me are not an issue as I have been baking cakes for 41 years, so after that length of time, you know how to avoid the crumbs. I use it more for the time-saving. It takes a lot less time to coat a cake with this or any sugar syrup glaze, then it does to apply a thinned buttercream. But the biggest bonus is that I don't have to wait for the cakes to cool and get up during the night to wrap a cake. At 50, I am tired of setting alarm clocks to check if my cake is cooled, haha!
But you do have to use it sparingly, you are going for a very slight sheen to the cake, you won't even use 1/4 cup for say, a 10 inch round cake. And you will use a paper towel to catch the drips that accumulate on the board, should you crumbcoat them on a board and not on a rack, which is preferrable.
And as long as you are careful when you ice your cake, not to ever allow your spatula to touch the cake, always only touch icing and really load that icing on, well you will be crumb free.
Now aren't you sorry you mentioned it, haha!
Hugs SquirrellyCakes

briansbaker Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 10:25pm
post #18 of 22

Squirrelly Cakes
(Cough) I told you...You know what you are talking about.. icon_wink.gif
Thank you!!!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 10:31pm
post #19 of 22

Now Briansbaker, don't encourage me or my posts will become a good cure for insomnia, haha!
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

Kiddiekakes Posted 25 Jan 2005 , 11:16pm
post #20 of 22

Slipping another cakeboard in between the layers just after you torte them will help the layer not to break.When you have filled the cake and are attemping to put the top layer back on...Get up on a chair and slide the layer right off of the cardbaord onto the cake.Mind you I am only 5 feet tall so I need a chair for everything but it works!!! Haven't broken a cake yet!!! Ha!Ha!

SquirrellyCakes Posted 26 Jan 2005 , 3:39am
post #21 of 22

Oh sure, Kidster, stand on a chair and fall and break other shoulder, icon_cry.gif haha! But you are right that does work well when you have two good arms or a buddy to help if you don't! There is a certain angle you need to get it on and off the boards on isn't there? Which explains the height, if you are not tall.
Hugs Squirrelly Cakes

jscakes Posted 26 Jan 2005 , 4:31am
post #22 of 22

...Interesting facts about the apricot glaze now I will for sure try it out-I'll use my mother for the taste test, she'll try just about anything I make and I love her for it! icon_smile.gif

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