Getting the most out of your birthday cakes
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Cake is one of the most versatile desserts – easy to make, easy to customise and perfect for any occasion. Some might agree that you don’t even need a special occasion to bake a cake, and your family will love you for it.
Some occasions, however, will always require a special kind of cake – and there’s no excuse for a lacklustre cake!
Even mothers who don’t have the time (or skill) to bake and frost a cake will now find a wealth of options for customised cakes to serve at their children’s parties.
No, the challenge comes in knowing how to make the most out of the cake, and what to do with the leftovers (if there are any).
Cutting a Cake
One of the biggest challenges of serving up a beautiful, frosted birthday cake comes in doing the first slice.
You not only want to make sure you don’t damage the frosting; you also want to make sure you’re able to get perfect proportions as well. As Your Cake Business says, “people who are not trained to cut a cake tend to cut slices too large and a 150 serving cake quickly becomes a ten0 serving one.”
Not to worry though, because you don’t need to be a professional baker to get perfect slices every time. M&S technologist Peter Knott has the following tips:
- Take a damp cloth and put it under the cake so you have a great cutting surface, and the cake doesn’t slide off the table.
- Remove the decorations such as flowers and sugar toppers.
- Use a long-bladed serrated knife, and make sure to clean the blade in between slices.
Here’s a great video tutorial from Dyann Bakes, on how to cut cakes without resorting to the old 8-slice technique:
Storing the Cake
If you underestimated the number of guests, or just bought a cake to keep at home, you might find yourself wondering how to properly store a cake without it drying up. Well, it actually depends on what kind of cake you’re trying to store.
For uncut, frosted cakes, Stella Parks of Table 3ten restaurant says that the frosting acts like plastic wrap for the cake and helps to keep it moist and fresh, and that this kind of cake can actually be kept at room temperature for 4-5 days.
Cut, frosted, leftover cakes, however, need to be covered with plastic wrap on the sides that don’t have frosting.
An important thing to remember though is to keep your cakes out of the fridge unless your kitchen gets very hot at certain parts of the day.
Cakes generally keep quite well in room temperature for a few days, and storing them in the fridge will dry them out and cause them to go stale much quicker.
Have you got any tips on making the most of your cakes?