OK, so I did a 5+ tier cake, and not the VERY top tier, but the one just below it was a white cake filled with cream cheese filling and fresh strawberries. However, once the whole thing was set up, that tier started to leak a strawberry syrup, I'm guessing from the strawberries reacting to the sugar.
In the end, the entire top 3 tiers and separator pillar gave way because of this. How do I avoid this in the future. I've had clients order strawberries in their cakes before, and have frozen the cakes, just to have them not defrost all the way through before serving all of it. Is there a trick to getting the strawberries to cooperate? Please help.
When a client wants fresh strawberries, I usually fill the layer with whipped cream and fresh strawberries. I have also "packed" my strawberries with buttercream which worked just as well. I haven't had a problem. I do not ever, ever, ever freeze strawberries. It turns them to runny mush.
Never, ever freeze fresh strawberries! The cells of the strawberries burst from ice crystals causing them to leak everywhere and become mushy.
Make sure the berries are completely DRY too - wet berries are not good. (hand dry each one gently with a paper towel - and do not wash them until RIGHT BEFORE you put them on the cake)
did you sprinkle sugar on the berries when you put them in the cake?? or did you just mean the sugar from the cake itself?
When I use strawberries in cakes, I macerate the berries (berries and couple spoonfuls of sugar, and a dash of vanilla) and put them in the fridge. Once they're nice and sweet I take them out of the fridge (they have give up lots of liquid at this point) and I drain them in a strainer and kinda push down gently on them just before using them in the cake.
Make sure you give yourself a nice thick icing dam, I usually run stiffened icing around the edge of the cake using only the coupler on my decorating bag, sometimes I'll go back and add a second layer beside the first.
If my berries seem exceptionally liquidy for some reason, sometimes I will carve down into the cake about 1/2 inch leaving about 1/4 to 1/2 ledge toward the edge (only carve out the center) and make a nice little bed for the strawberries to lay in, any residual moisture will be absorbed by the cake NOT leaked out the sides
wow great tips KHalstead, one stupid question though, you macerate the berries after it's been sliced, right?
yep, I wash them, cut off the tops, slice them, put them in a bowl (depending on how sweet/ripe the fruit is) I sprinkle a little sugar and then usually a capful of vanilla per 2 cups of berries (my secret ingredient......gives them the most delicious background flavor)
then pop it in the fridge for at least an hr. then strain them, sometimes I literally pick them up in my hand and give them a slight squeeze and then spread them out onto the cake. I've never had any leak yet!
This was all VERY helpful. Guess I'll have to let people know there can't be strawberries in carved cakes, since I can't freeze them. That would explain why that doesn't work.
I meant the sugar from the cake and frosting itself, but macerating them ahead of time is a good idea.
Thank you all of you.
I put my berries in a little bit of honey, makes them sweet but not to sweet and adds a little bit of that "Whats in those" kinda thing.