Is It Ridiculous To Torte A Fruit Cake?

Decorating By Faradaye Updated 14 Jul 2014 , 9:12pm by Faradaye

Faradaye Posted 11 Jul 2014 , 10:29pm
post #1 of 12

AI am making a wedding cake in a couple of weeks. The bride is Columbuan and has requested a Columbian black cake, which is essentially a type of fruit cake. I have a recipe, all looks good.

It is going to be two tiers, ten inch topped by eight inch. My tiers are usually between four and five inches tall - I'm just trying to work out how best to achieve lovely tall tiers with a fruit cake that is not traditionally torted.

I would usually bake two cakes, both approx two inches tall, cut them both in half and layer them with buttercream to achieve the height. But when chatting to my mum, she expressed horror at the very thought of layers within a fruit cake. 'You just don't put layers in fruit cake.' she told me. Very emphatically.

Her suggestion was to bake a single cake layer, all one solid piece, 4 1/2 inches tall. Is this even possible? Perhaps with a flower nail in the centre and baking strips for even baking? But then do you have a massive, dense slice of oversized cake that just isn't appealing?

I could just make one layer of cake for each tier...but then my tiers will only be two inches tall, which I don't feel is very nice, especially for a wedding.

So I am thinking about torting with ganache. I know physically it will work. But will people run screaming from the reception when confronted by a torted fruit cake? Is there another filling (I researched, but didn't find anything) people use with fruit cake I could consider?

Any opinions from the lovely cakes out there much appreciated.

11 replies
Dayti Posted 11 Jul 2014 , 10:38pm
post #2 of 12

I don't usually make fruit cakes but have watched my Mum make them all my life at Christmas. I had to make one for a customer this Christmas - English fruit cake recipe. I usually make all my other cakes 4" tall. I baked in a 3.5" tall pan with a collar, and put a lot of mixture in, since it hardly rises. I ended up with just about 3" of cake only though. So I stuck it to a drum the same size, rather than a board...gained 0.5" there. I also added a fairly thick almond paste top, and rolled my fondant slightly thicker than usual too. So all in all, my cake was about 4" tall when done. 

 

If you feel you must make 2 2" layers, I would just sandwich them together with a layer of almond paste stuck down with apricot jam to be honest. Ganache just wouldn't "go" with the flavour IMO. 

rebecca67e Posted 11 Jul 2014 , 11:06pm
post #3 of 12

Yeah, sorry, the ganache thing made me cringe a little bit. Who knows though, I never tried it :-)

 

If you have to fill with something, I'd agree with Dayti and use almond paste + jam

mcaulir Posted 11 Jul 2014 , 11:10pm
post #4 of 12

Yes, fruit cakes aren't torted, as a rule. I did one last year that I got to over 4 inches by collaring my 3 inch pan and putting heaps of mixture in. It was a 6 inch, though. You don't need to worry about people getting a big slice of dense cake - that's what fruit cake is and what people expect.

 

Don't torte with ganache - that will be very odd to anyone eating it. If you make two cakes, stick them together with almond paste and jam, not ganache.

Faradaye Posted 11 Jul 2014 , 11:44pm
post #5 of 12

AThanks for the feedback everyone.

I originally said I didn't want to do the cake when i found out it was fruit cake because it doesn't go with ganache, and I'm not confident with getting any kind of smooth result with marzipan.

But of course the old story - it's for a friend - and she INSISTED that ganache would go fine, they were planning on serving it as a dessert with a raspberry coulis, so chocolate would be a complementary flavour.

So I guess if it's what she wants it's what she gets, although it sounds like most of the guests will be cringing over my wedding cake. Which is not ideal.

You know what - I might message her and let her know people's aversions to ganache / fruit cake combo - and let her make the decision.

hbquikcomjamesl Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 6:48am
post #6 of 12

ASome comic relief: Is the bride a personal injury attorney? The groom? That would explain everything: to personal injury attorneys, everything's a tort.

petitecat Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 8:04am
post #7 of 12

Quote:

Originally Posted by hbquikcomjamesl 

Some comic relief:
Is the bride a personal injury attorney? The groom? That would explain everything: to personal injury attorneys, everything's a tort.

LOL

cazza1 Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 8:06am
post #8 of 12

I have just been playing with fruit cake and needed height.  I  joined the two layers with a paste that I made from offcuts of the fruit cake minced up with a small amount of alcohol.  I used this to fill the gap, as well, that resulted between the two layers and the larger holes.  It's not perfectly smooth as I am only playing and it only has a single, thin, layer of fondant on it, but if I had put almond icing on the bumps would not have been so noticable.

maisie73 Posted 13 Jul 2014 , 10:07am
post #9 of 12

ABake two cakes and either sandwich them together with apricot jam or jam and marzipan as others have suggested. Delicious with marzipan in the middle, practically a Simnel cake. And as for getting marzipan smooth, I find it's much easier than fondant. :-)

me_me1 Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 10:28am
post #10 of 12

A different way to get the height required with fruitcakes is to just use two of the thick cake drums at the bottom of the cake instead of the thinner cake board.  I've done that on previous occasions and the brides were perfectly happy with it.  My fruitcake bakes up to about 3.5 inches on its own.

Bluehue Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 1:58pm
post #11 of 12

Quote:

Originally Posted by Faradaye 

Haven't read all the other responses - so my response could have been already mentioned....

I am making a wedding cake in a couple of weeks. The bride is Columbuan and has requested a Columbian black cake, which is essentially a type of fruit cake. I have a recipe, all looks good.

It is going to be two tiers, ten inch topped by eight inch. My tiers are usually between four and five inches tall - I'm just trying to work out how best to achieve lovely tall tiers with a fruit cake that is not traditionally torted.

I would usually bake two cakes, both approx two inches tall, cut them both in half and layer them with buttercream to achieve the height. But when chatting to my mum, she expressed horror at the very thought of layers within a fruit cake. 'You just don't put layers in fruit cake.' she told me. Very emphatically.

Her suggestion was to bake a single cake layer, all one solid piece, 4 1/2 inches tall. Is this even possible? Perhaps with a flower nail in the centre and baking strips for even baking? But then do you have a massive, dense slice of oversized cake that just isn't appealing?

I could just make one layer of cake for each tier...but then my tiers will only be two inches tall, which I don't feel is very nice, especially for a wedding.
Could you not bake 3 x 2 inch high fruit cakes - giving you a six inch high cake?

So I am thinking about torting with ganache. I know physically it will work. But will people run screaming from the reception when confronted by a torted fruit cake? In a word - Yes. 
I don't think i could think of anything worse that eating fruit cake that has been torted with chocolate ganache.....  Honestly, i believe the Bride would come back at you and ask - WHY did you do that...it wouldn't represent the cake that she wanted.  Bake 3 cakes like i mentioned above -  If they are say 9 inch rounds.... after brushing them with an apricot glaze - place an 8 inch round board in-between each cake - then stack them.... then begin your decorating.... But, please, no chocolate ganache.... the two mediums just don't go together.  By placing a smaller board in between each cake - at least the venue will be able to separate the cakes to make for easier cutting and serving.
Is there another filling (I researched, but didn't find anything) people use with fruit cake I could consider?   No, no fillings for fruit cakes....Thats the glory of a fruit cake - its all in the Cake.

Any opinions from the lovely cakes out there much appreciated. It might not be warranted - but it is my honest opinion.
Bluehue
Faradaye Posted 14 Jul 2014 , 9:12pm
post #12 of 12

AThank you so much everyone for your responses.

The suggestions of layers 'glued' with apricot jam is perfect - thank you.

I've nixed the ganache option, even though my friend was super insistent it would be fine - it just isn't. And I think, as the 'cake expert' I need to pull rank and just say no to that option.

So I will offer fruit cake + marzipan + fondant, with layers glued together with jam, and let her know that the finished look of the cake won't be perfect.

Or if looks are a priority, she'll have to choose another flavour that goes with ganache.

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