A Trial Run

Monday, March 7, 2011

The difference between a layer cake perfectly clad in a fluffy robe of icing and a lumpen brick daubed with gloop is practice. Practice in cutting the layers evenly. Practice in getting icing to the right consistency. Practice in applying the icing to the cake without getting crumbs all over the place. Just practice, and lots of it. Such a small word, and yet such a big deal. And so many carefully baked (and delicious) cakes sacrificed in the name of beauty. If only there was an easier way!

Chocolate cookie layer
Chocolate cookie layer “cakes” from The Decorated Cookie. And they have pink icing, too!

These layer cookies look like a great way to practice – they scale it all down to a manageable size but, perhaps more significantly, cookies are typically quicker to make than cakes, and a bit more resilient. Although it would be important to use flat-ish cookies to produce a tidy stack; this might not be the place for a Momofuku-style compost cookies with all their indulgent lumps and bumps! Rolled or sliced cookies would be perfect...

Sables from He-Eats
Sables from He-Eats

I’ve also thought about practicing with bought cakes, perhaps using cookie cutters to scale them back to a more manageable size (and to avoid being deluged in cake for the sake of some experimentation).

Mini tiered chocolate cakes from Kitsch in the Kitchen
Mini tiered chocolate cakes by Kitsch In The Kitchen on Live Journal via Pinterest

Have you tried making mini versions of something tricky to get better at certain baking techniques? What else works for you? I’d love to hear about it...

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