Monday, March 5, 2012

Bon-Bons and Cake Truffles: Ways to use up leftover cake scraps

If you are a cake decorator, you will often have scraps leftover from sculpted cakes. It seems like such a shame just to throw those scraps out! Here are three things you can do with cake scraps:

Cake Bon-Bons - Put your scraps in a food processor and press pulse until they are all reduced to small crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a bowl. Have a liquid of your choice ready, such as cream flavored with a little vanilla extract, almond extract, or a touch of liqueur. Another liquid that some cake decorators like to use is liquid flavored coffee creamer (i.e. Irish Cream or French Vanilla). Whichever liquid you choose, add it to the crumbs just a spoonful at a time. How much liquid you need will depend on the volume of crumbs you are using. You are done when you can gather the crumbs together and roll them into a good tight ball. Roll balls of about ping-pong ball size, and lay them on a plate or cookie sheet. Refrigerate until set, at least one hour. When they are chilled, cover them with milk icing: Mix 2 cups confectioner's sugar with one tablespoon milk. Stir well, adjusting the sugar or milk until you reach a thick but pourable consistency. You can add a touch of vanilla or some coloring to the icing if you wish. Pour spoonfuls of icing over the bon-bons slowly, covering each one. Add sprinkles, if desired, right away before the icing hardens. Store in the fridge until ready to eat.

Cake Truffles - Same process as for bon-bons, but cover with melted chocolate instead of milk icing. (Just melt some chocolate chips in the top of a double boiler for a few minutes until smooth. Keep the melted chocolate hot over the double boiler as you are taking spoonfuls out to cover the balls, otherwise you may need to reheat it). You can then roll them in nuts while wet or roll them in cocoa powder after the chocolate dries.

Toba Garrett's "Spackle Paste" - Toba Garrett, renowned cake decorator and author of The Well-Decorated Cake, has this recipe for "Spackle" Paste: Mix 3-4 Cups of leftover cake crumbs with 1/2 to 3/4 Cup Buttercream to make a thick paste. This is something you can spread over cakes just like spackle paste on your walls - it fills in gaps and holes, making a nice even surface to work with. After covering it with spackle paste, you would then frost the cake as usual. You can also use this paste as a filling between layers. the crumbs give it a nutty flavor, so it is a "faux-nut" filling.

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