Everybody deserves cake on their birthday. And my husband is no exception. (See my Gluten Free Yellow Cake Recipe coming soon.) Unfortunately, when visiting friends out of town, I don't always have access to my usual baking tools. (Invest in a good set of cake-pans if you're going to be baking cakes for friends and family a lot. They're worth it!) This cake was made in a rather old set of cake pans with an oven that is temperamental, to say the least. And so, my husband's cake suffered.
Sometimes, though, there can be happy accidents. This was not the cake I planned on baking. This...let's be honest, this was a disaster. So, without further ado, here is how to fix a broken cake.
The biggest problem when dealing with a broken cake is the fact that it's...broken. Most people don't want to blow out candles on a pile of cake crumbs. And don't get me started on the serving problems that arise. So, what do you do with a cake that tastes amazing but looks awful? The answer is to glue it back together.
Now, most of the time, the option is to use frosting as the glue. Unfortunately, the buttercream frosting I was planning on making would just be too heavy. Frosting has a tendency to pull the larger cake pieces into it and create a muddled mess. It's not pretty. No, I needed something stickier.
That's when the idea of jam came to me for the filling. (Make sure yours is fructose free!) I had a jar of delicious strawberry rhubarb jam just waiting to be used. Jam has the wonderful ability to be spread rather easily. It also has a strong enough flavor to stand on it's own.
But what about the frosting? I needed something not only sticky, but light. I couldn't have a heavy buttercream pulling at the loose crumbs. So, I turned to the lightest and fluffiest "frosting" there is. Meringue. (See my recipe for Maple Meringue Frosting coming soon.) With a mixer, some egg-whites, and a sweetener, meringue was the perfect glue to piece this kitchen disaster back together.
The light texture allowed me to simply plop dollops of the meringue over the crumbling cake. It spread easily, while holding all the little pieces together.
Don't forget to add little peaks to the top of your design!
Pop it under the broiler or use a kitchen torch to create that beautiful caramelized finish! Then all that's left to do is sing happy birthday before slicing in to enjoy!
It may not be absolutely perfect, but it saves an entire cake. When the flavor and texture is there, but your cake might have stuck through the greasing process to some old metal tins, here's a way to ensure that all that hard work doesn't go to waste!