EDISON, N.J. -- Five minutes is all you need to turn frozen cake layers into decorated products that will attract high rings at the in-store bakery, claimed Patty Wozniak, bakery specialist for Food Scene, a Colts Neck, N.J.-based food broker.
At the Eastern Dairy-Deli-Bakery Association's Taste Show & Exhibition held here, Wozniak acted on her claim, proving on the spot, and within five minutes, how in-store associates can create special-occasion cakes and upscale-looking all-occasion cakes.
"In that short time, you can turn a frozen layer or quarter sheet into a high-ring cake, for $9.99 and above," Wozniak said.
The bakery specialist demonstrated icing techniques that she said could be used by associates who have little cake-decorating experience.
She also suggested some decorating shortcuts that can be used without compromising the look of the cake. She advised using butter cream icing on most cakes, for example, because, she said, fudge icing is more dense and tends to pull the layers apart.
"For maximum speed and efficiency, you should also always use a turntable. And be sure to mound an adequate amount of icing on top of the cake as a first step," Wozniak explained. It is easier to spatula-off extra icing than it is to put additional icing on after the job has been started.
The icing procedure should be in two stages: covering the cake completely with icing, and then making it smooth, she said.
In under five minutes, Wozniak created a single-layer round chrysanthemum cake that had the look of a high-ring specialty cake. She used a chocolate butter cream icing, and applied a pointed spatula as she spun the cake on the turntable, creating a swirled effect with the icing. In the center of the cake, she built a chrysanthemum blossom with a tube of orange icing. The last touch was a dusting of edible orange glitter on just the flower blossom.
For holiday cakes, Wozniak suggested using products such as Edible Images, which are completely edible decorations that come packaged.