I am doing a wedding cake next month and need some filling advice. My friend wants me to use some organic blueberry preserves that his fiance picked out. They brought me a jar of it so I could try it out. I baked a 2 layer, 6in cake (the same as will be the top layer) and made my icing dam around the edges. I cracked open the jar and find it's totally watery! I've never used preserves before, just jelly, so maybe this is typical for preserves? I put down a thin coat of icing so it wouldn't soak into the cake too much and get soggy. As soon as I started to ice the sides of the cake, the top layer totally shifted! I managed to pretty much get it even again, but when I woke up the next morning to take it to my friend, there was some preserves trying to ooze out. You could see it through the icing. So I thought I would mix the preserves with some buttercream as I've heard people on here talk about. But, I had to add so much preserves to the buttercream to give it a blueberry taste- it was still runny!
My questions are: Are preserves always this runny and if so, what do you do to combat it when you use them as a filling? How do you appropriately mix the buttercream and preserves to make it a good filling?
We've already settled on a great yellow cake recipe that he and his fiance love- and vanilla buttercream. The filling is my only hold-up. I'm usually a simple filling person! Thanks for anyone who can help! I'm thinking of making another cake this weekend to see how the filling will hold up so any help is appreciated!
No it should not be runny! Something is wrong w/the recipe or how it was made.
Maybe your could use those preserves as the liquid in the b'c recipe. That's all I can think of.
Otherwise I'd tell her it's not useable.
Yes, preserves are usually runnier than jams and jellies. I would advise you to boil the preserves until most of the liquid evaporates. If you lose too much, then I'd go with kakeladi's recommendation of mixing the preserves in with your buttercream.
You could also try melting it down and adding some liquid pectin to it.
You can also try cornnstarch...
Thanks so much for your suggestions! I baked another sample cake yesterday and this time tried some blueberry jelly that I found myself. I figure that if they like it ok, it will save me some trouble. Everything seemed to be going ok and I iced the cake. A couple of hours later, the icing dam was starting to push out! Ahh! I've never had this happen to me. What causes this? The dam being too big? (I did try to make sure it was going to be enough to keep the filling in since it was oozy last time). Was the dam too close to the edge of the cake? This was my first thought, but I did it the same as any cake I've made in the past. I'm so frustrated!!!
Sounds like there was too much filling. When using a fruit filling, it should be a thin smear - less than 1/8" thick. Plus, blueberry is generally runnier than other fruits. When I make blueberry jam, I have to use a TON of pectin. Blueberries don't have a lot of natural pectin.
You'll get lots of conflicting advice, but I'll start with what works for me. Pipe the dam 1/4" in from the edge of the cake. Spread the filling so it is lower than the height of the dam. Place the next cake tier on, place a cakeboard on top of that and press firmly to 'seal' the layers. Continue until all layers are stacked.
Then, I let my cake rest for at least 4 hours - preferably overnight. For the resting period, I wrap them in plastic wrap, place a cakeboard on top, then weight the cake with one or two boxes of cake mix (be sure to shake the box so the mix is evenly distributed before putting it on the cake). Alternately, you can just put a heavy cake pan on top of the cake.
I don't know what to tell you BUT... That sounds delicious!!!!!
I do the same thing an Diane when I am filling a cake.. works everytime. OF course I say that and I'll have a blow out.. .
I agree with DianeLM but as far as my dealings with the preserves, I generally, when I use a runny mixture, mix it with BC icing which I thickened up with xtra confectioner's sugar. I haven't had a cake slide just yet and I usually use some pretty liquid fillings at times. Even caramel. Boiling, straining and also using it as a coating before applying the BC/Blueberry mix seems to make the layers a little sticky and give that extra added flavor.
Jan H posted a great idea for me a while back. The advice was a way to use Jello and add it to fruit preserves. It boosts the color and flavors and a great deal of my clients love it! You can even use the sugar free variety It also thickens the preserves and makes it a nice spreadable consistency. If I am not wanting the extra boost of color or flavor I have experimented with using gelatin powder the same way. I generally empty the jar of preserves into a microwave safe container and microwave it until it starts to bubble then add the packet of Jello or gelatin to the mixture and stir it in until well dissolved. Then I let it cool. As it gets cool it thickens up nicely. I don't know if this will help you out any but it has worked out great for me. I have never tried the idea of mixing preserves with my bc. I might have to try that out sometime to see if I like it Good Luck
Just a thought, what about mixing it with Pastry Pride??