If you’ve ever found yourself with broken cake halves after removing a finicky cake from a pan, you’ll appreciate this trick. Repair the fracture by allowing the cakes to cool, then spreading a thin layer of soft buttercream frosting over the broken surfaces and reattaching the pieces. Then set the cake in the refrigerator for about an hour to allow the frosting to harden before continuing to assemble and frost it.
Instead of panicking when your cupcakes stick to the muffin tin, improvise with the crumbly (but still tasty) pieces by alternating cake and frosting to fill small, individual plastic cups. Simply rename the dessert “fancy cake parfait cups” and no one will be the wiser!
Uncracking cracked cheesecake
Even when every precaution is taken, the occasional cheesecake will develop unsightly cracks. Here’s a simple method for repairing them. 1. Remove the sidewall from the springform pan while the cheesecake is warm. Wrap a cloth ribbon snugly around the cake, preferably one that covers the sides completely (about 3 inches wide for most pans). 2. Secure the ribbon with a binder clip, and leave in place until the cake has cooled completely.
Whipping pudding into shape
If a pudding or pastry cream has become lumpy during cooking, use this restaurant trick to smooth things out: using an immersion blender, quickly blend the pudding until smooth. Then pass the pudding through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining solid bits.
Fixes for whipped cream woes
A. Unwhipping overwhipped cream If you accidentally go too far and overwhip the cream, try this trick to ensure all is not lost. 1. Add unwhipped cream to the overwhipped mixture 1 tablespoon at a time. 2. Gently fold in, adding more unwhipped cream until the desired consistency is reached.
Stabilizing weepy whipped cream
Cream begins to break down soon after whipping. To prepare whipped cream in advance, try adding marshmallow crème to keep it stable. Whip in 6 tablespoons of crème for every cup of heavy cream, along with ½ teaspoon of rum extract or vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate. The crème keeps the cream from deflating for up to a day and also adds a pleasantly sweet marshmallow flavor.
When wine gets corked up
Fix the frustration of fishing out bits of cork that have fallen into a bottle of wine with one of these remedies. A. Add a strainer 1. Cut cheesecloth into a 2-inch square, fit it over the bottle, and secure it with a rubber band. 2. Pour through the cheesecloth, leaving any bits of cork behind. B. Use a straw To remove the pieces altogether, insert a straw into the neck of the bottle and over the cork crumb, then place a finger over the end of the straw and lift it out. A vacuum is created that traps the cork crumb for removal.