I love baking gourmet cakes, and sometimes I am asked to make them for friends and family, which I really enjoy. I love the fussiness of whipping up entirely different recipes from scratch for each distinct part – a filling, a frosting, a drench, maybe a ganache or caramel drizzle, and of course the cake itself.
What I don’t love? Decorating the durn things. I prefer the classy and understated look of simple chocolate shavings, or some melting ganache, perhaps some powdered sugar or something very simple. I’ve always been particularly trepidatious about writing on cakes, because the slightest mistake and it’s ruined. If you’re lucky you can wipe it off and start from scratch – but often, you can’t.
I can’t believe it took me so long to figure out that the professionals don’t write directly on the cake. Get this: you print out your text – using whatever font you want, sized to fit – and then you put down parchment paper and trace over it. Freeze it and then place it on the cake the next day.
My cake baking life is forever changed. No longer shall I fear the round tips of the baking aisle.
Sofía really enjoyed getting to eat the leftover letters, too. She should – seeing as they were pure bittersweet chocolate and heavy cream.
Tip #2 – the one that really made possible all the lettering and switching of points that last night’s experimentation entailed – was from this little gem on how to easily load a reusable frosting bag using plastic wrap. (Click on over for step by step pictures).
Basically, you dollop your frosting onto a sheet of saran wrap and twist it up into a tube. Pull one end of the tube through your tip and bag, snip it off, and use like normal. You can pull out the saran tube and switch colors and points without needing a new bag each time. Which is great, because I only have one. I generally use ziplocks when I need extra bags, but for a ganache frosting this thick the ziplocks were busting open at the seams when I tried to squeeze.
And this method makes cleaning out the piping bag so much easier. Especially if you happen to be partial to heavy dark chocolate frostings or pure-butter buttercreams!