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Sunday, 16 October 2011

What to do with Leftover Cakes? Top 10 Tips

When it comes to leftovers, there is always a way to turn them into fabulous treats. They do not have to go to waste! When the leftovers are actually cake, there is a million things you can do! What you can't do is let those go to waste!! So here are the

Top 10 Tips to turn leftover cakes and cake crumbs (the byproduct of cake carving) into scrumptious treats
Crumb Cake Photo
From Martha Steward
1. Make A Crumb Cake (recipe Below)
Crumb Cakes are the most ingenious way to turn potential waste into something fabulous! This is a trick that every bakery utilises to minimise waste! Crumb Cakes are delicious. You will love them. You can even flavour crumb cakes to honey, cinnamon, fruits...etc. The options and varieties are endless!

Use Crumbs to make Cake Pops or chocolate dipped Cake Balls

2. Turn left over cakes into Cake Pops or Cake Balls.
Cake Pops and cake balls are so IN right Now!! (not to be confused with chocolate truffles*, Chocolate truffles are very different from pops or balls) They are on every cooks menu, and are nowadays found on every party menu. They are delicious, and can be made to look fabulous. They can even be themed and used for various occasions.

*Chocolate Truffles on the other hand are made out of chocolate. Usually containing a soft chocolate or praline  filling at the centre and a hard chocolate coating on the outside. Chocolate Truffles can also be left soft without the hard chocolate coating.

Bride & Groom Cake Pops
The difference between pops and balls, is that pops are mounted on lolly sticks, while balls are left as balls. You can shape the balls then dip them in melted chocolate, you can coat them with nuts, cocoa powder, coconut, edible rose petals...etc. If you dip them in melted chocolate then let them dry out, you can pipe decorations on top of them if desired for theming or just for the sake of decoration.
To Make chocolate Balls, you need to have leftover cake, reduced to crumbs. Mix that with sufficient amount of any kind of cake frosting - you just want to make sure that frosting and cake match in flavour - then mix all till incorporated. The mixture should be able to hold shape when rolled into balls. If you add too much frosting, the mixture will be wet and won't hold shape. In the same effect too little frosting will also not work. Add a little at a time, and mix, then try to roll the balls, if they hold shape you are good. if not, add more frosting. 

Once the balls are rolled, place in fridge to firm - 15-20 minutes. Meanwhile melt the chocolate. Dip the cool balls into melted chocolate to completely coat. Place on a tray lined with baking paper and leave to dry in room temperature over night. Your cake balls are now ready. If you want to roll the balls in nuts, it is best to do so as soon as you lift them out of the melted chocolate. The chocolate will work as an adhesive to stick the chopped nuts to the cake balls.

3. Make a variety of Cake balls, place them in a nice box and gift them to friends.
Gifts From The kitchen are very nice. There is a lot of effort that goes into baking and cooking, that when gifted, they make for a thoughtful and effort-full gift. You can even top each with a different topping making for a whole box worth of scrumptious treats. You can welcome a new neighbor with this box, gift it as a get well, thank you, good day or any sentiment you like. They will fly in seconds, and will make you a star!

4. Dress the left over cake differently and it will make up for a whole new dessert.
If you change around with the appearance, or flavours of the leftover cakes, they will feel new and would be willingly had as today's desserts. Adding fresh fruits, Jams, syrups, chocolate shavings, frosting...etc will all transform the cake into a new dessert. Here I had leftover Vanilla Fairy cakes and I just topped them with Home-made Orange Marmalade and served them for tea time. The addition of the Orange Marmalade, made these taste very different, and my neighbor had no idea it was the same Cupcake she had yesterday! She even said, "When do you get the time to bake everyday?" lol

5. Use the left over Cakes in Making a Loaf or muffins and use them as sweet bread for breakfast.
The thing about Loafs & Muffins is that the batter is usually lumpy. Which makes it work very well with cake crumbs. Reduce the amount of flour in the recipe by the same amount of cake crumbs and use the crumbs together with the reduced flour in making the batter. Serve these for breakfast as sweet breads. Sweet breads are great with cheeses, butter or jams. Another way is make the loaf or muffin as in recipe, then top with cake crumbs. Kind of like the crumble effect.

6. Use the Crumbs as base for cheese cakes or fresh fruit tarts.
You can use cake crumbs like you would cookies to make a shell for cheese cakes or fresh fruit tarts... Just mix them with some butter, spread along the bottom and sides of tin and place in fridge to firm. Delicious, and adds variety to your cheesecakes.

7. Use Cake Crumbs and left over cakes to make Trifel.
Trifel is an amazing and very underrated dessert. It is simply delicious! Whenever you have leftover cakes, use them in making a trifel, and you will please everyone in the family.

8. Use Cake Crumbs to dress the sides of another cake.
Once you have baked and frosted a cake, you can use the leftover cake crumbs to spread along the sides. It looks good and adds another layer of flavour to your cake. Kind of like spreading nuts on cake sides.

9. Cut left over cakes with a cookie cutter to make for new individual cakes.
This will also be helpful in adding variety to your desserts buffet, without the extra hours required to bake from scratch. Just cut the cake into individual portions and top with your desired topping and offer as dessert variations. Note that the same cake can make many options if each portion is dressed differently.

10. Use Cake crumbs to create a sand effect when decorating Cakes.
If you decorate cakes, you can use the crumbs in creating the sand effect, like you would with brown sugar. If you do not decorate cakes, but do food photography, you can use this trick to create the illusion that you are shooting at the beach or over sand.

Things to keep in mind when using leftovers of any kind
Food is to be eaten, therefore make sure it is safe. By that I mean, make sure that it is within shelf life and not expired. Also make sure it is clean, and had been kept in proper safe conditions. If it has been out on the counter while it should have been kept in the fridge, then it is a bad idea to use it!

Also consider the expiry date of the new product. When does it expire? If you gift it, make sure to tell the recipient that it has to be consumed within...amount of time.

Think of the overall outcome when planning the use of your leftovers. Think of how the flavours are going to match. Just because it is leftover doesn't mean the kitchen sink can be used in making it!
You can place Leftover cupcakes in a nice basket and offer to a neighbour, a friend...etc. Choose your favourite basket, and fill with treats and ship off :) As an added bonus to this post, here is an excellent article on making your own baskets!! If you like DIY, and have ample time on your hands, you will love this.

Recipe - The simplest Crumb Cake Ever!
You Need
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp baking powder
2/3 cup milk
left over cakes, broken into pieces

Cream together the butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add all ingredients and whisk well. Pour over a lined 9 inch tin and add the cake pices over the batter. push the cake pieces half way into the batter, keeping some exposed on top.

Bake in 350 oven for 20 -25 minutes or till tooth pick comes out clean when inserted near the centres.
Cool in pan for 5-7 minutes. Turn and cool completely on wire racks. Once completely cooled, sprinkle the tops generously with icing sugar.

Hope you found these tips helpful. You see there are a million ways to turn leftovers into delicious treats, so try some of these suggestions out the next time you have leftover cakes :)
Would love nothing more than hearing your thoughts on this post, so don't shy away and leave a comment :))