It’s time for a cuppa and a sit, I’ve started my baking today for our next Open Day. I thought I’d share with you how I manage to get all those cakes on display still fresh and delicious. Today I’ve started with cakes, and once I have enough, I’ll move on to cookies, slices etc. It’s a tremendous job, but someone’s got to do it. ahahaaa
Because of the sheer numbers, there are a few sleepless nights, but with my trusty freezer, I’ll be sorted for the day.
I know some of you may think it’s a sin to freeze cake. Well, I’m here to tell you that, that is so wrong. A lot of professional kitchens freeze cakes. It’s the only way if you have a huge job in front of you.
In fact, just like a casserole, they taste better after they’ve had a spell in the freezer. Providing you take the proper steps of course. It gives the flavours a chance to even out and develop. Popping the cakes in the freezer the day after they’re baked then putting them on hold till you’re ready is the way to go.
Why not the fridge? The fridge has a drying atmosphere, and if I stuck all those cakes I make in the refrigerator, they would be stale and dry for the big event. Not a good representation of what we do!
Freezing your cake puts it on hold. Think about bread. What happens when you put bread in the fridge? I know you’ve all seen what happens to a sandwich that’s been popped in the fridge without wrapping. How long does it take for the corners to curl and not long after it’s inedible? Hours!
So why else put the cake in the freezer?
- First of all, it takes the pressure off. If you’ve ever had to decorate a cake, you’ll know what I mean.
- It makes the structure easier to carve if you’re doing any of that.
- It makes them a little more robust while you’re working on them.
- It’s so much easier to apply the crumb coat to a very cold cake.
- And of course, it stops them from going stale while you’re organising the rest of the decorating components. You can do it all in your time and not in a panic.
Here’s how a professional kitchen or bakery freezes cake.
- Make and Bake your cake.
- Leave it on the bench, covered with a clean cloth till it is at room temp. Overnight is fine too.
- The next morning you can either fill the cake with buttercream or leave it plain. Pop it back in the cake tin it was baked in, lined with baking paper, then wrap in a couple of layers of clingfilm. Or as in my case if you need to use the tin again, set it on a board or plate with a layer of baking paper underneath then wrap in cling film then in a sheet of good quality foil. Make sure it is well bound.
- 12 – 24 hours before the day of serving, remove the cake and place it in the fridge to defrost or out on the bench, depending on what you’re doing to it next. Leave all the wrapping on it because condensation will gather on the outside of the wrapping and you want that to stay outside, before finishing the final coating and decorations.
Other things you need to know about freezing cake?
- You can fill your cake with a stable buttercream but don’t do a crumb coat or final coat until the day or day before your serving. Freezing will cause thin layers of buttercream to crack because your cake will expand on freezing. Filling a cake Inside with buttercream is okay because it is well insulated, it won’t be a problem if you have a good recipe.
- If you’re not filling and your cake has layers use baking paper between each layer to stop them from sticking together before wrapping. Make sure it’s sitting on a good sturdy base so it won’t break while you’re working with it. If your cake has lots of layers, use a board every two or three layers for support especially if it has a tender crumb.
- If you have other food in your freezer like meat or fish, make sure they are also well sealed and stored below the cake. Don’t use a freezer that smells of freezer burn or other weird smells. Try to keep well-wrapped cakes at the back of your freezer where it’s the coldest.
- If you need to carve your cake, remove it from the freezer and pop it in the fridge for a few hours. Take it out while it’s still semi-frozen and you can carve it with ease.
- Apply the final coat of buttercream once the cake has defrosted but still cold from the fridge.
- Use a crumb coat on your cake to make the final coat clean. A crumb coat is a thin layer of buttercream that is applied all over the cake. It’s smoothed off as neat as possible, then placed in the fridge to firm up. You can apply this coat when the cake is very cold on the outside edges, but not frozen. Crumb coating makes it so much easier to apply the final coat of buttercream, ganache or RTR.
- Make sure the cake remains cool until it is served. Either place it back in the fridge or an icy spot in your home.
So, there we are, the images I’ve inserted in my post are of cakes I’ve made in this very way. Freezing them till I have everything ready to assemble and serve. Nothing wrong with them right!
I made the cake below for the Grand Opening of Coles at Casey Central. If I hadn’t frozen the cake, I’d never had been able to assemble it in time. Even then I was running; every part was edible except for the boards it sat on so I had the opportunity to make all the components in the weeks leading up to delivery while the cakes sat perfectly safe in the freezer.
The day before delivery I took the cakes from the freezer. Very early on the day, I started the assembly. There’s a bit more about this cake in this post on Casey Central Shopping Centre.