The layered cake, all you need to know
What is a layered cake?
We talk about “layered cake” in general, but in fact it has other names (depending on its shape and location) such as the “Letter Cake” or the “Alphabet Cake” or even the “Number Cake” .
Indeed, you can make numbers as well as letters. It’s very handy, especially if the party is depressed with their age.
© Adi Klinghofer
The principle is simple, it is composed of:
– 2 levels of cookies of the same shape
– non-leaking fittings
– various and delicious decorations
You have to keep in mind that the idea of Number Cake is to have a fairly “natural” cake so we avoid artificial colors and flavors as much as possible.
This cake was so successful that its principle was also declined with shapes, like hearts, rings or unicorns etc.
What are cookies?
To make it, you have to have 2 layers of thin cookie and the same shape for each number or letter.
I advise you to take a dry cookie like a shortcrust pastry, or another sweet dough, to make it. Indeed, this will allow you to have a fine rendering, but nevertheless with good support.
In itself, it is possible to use a soft cookie like a sponge cake, a dacquoise, a joconde cookie etc. But the problem is that the final result is likely to sag slightly… Afterwards, it’s also very good, so if you’re not “maniac” on the visual, indulge in tastes and textures !
Here is a cookie recipe for making a Number Cake, the shortcrust pastry. You can of course buy it ready-made and spread on the market, but it is really simple to make and much better when it is homemade.
For information, this is the shortbread dough recipe for the CAP Pâtissier. ^^
Cookie recipe: Shortbread dough
Ingredients for the cookie: (quantity for 2 levels of 1 digit or letter in A4 format)
– Flour: 250g
– Cold hard butter: 125g
– Icing sugar: 100g
– Fine salt: 3g
– Egg: 50g (1 medium egg)
Preparation of the cookie:
1- Put the sifted flour then the salt, icing sugar and hard butter in pieces in the bowl of the pastry processor.
2- Carry out sanding by mixing at low speed with the robot leaf to obtain a sandy yellow mixture.
3- Add the egg and mix (without kneading) at a slow speed just before incorporating the ingredients. Be careful not to knead it too much so as not to give it too much body by lengthening the gluten. It would then become elastic and it would retract when lowered.
4- Flower the work plan by putting a little flour in it.
5- Uncook the dough on the work surface and crush the dough if necessary by crushing it with the palm of your hand on the work surface 2 or 3 times maximum to make the dough homogeneous.
6- Use the dough to collect the dough and make a ball that you divide in 2 (one ball per number / letter stage).
7- Roll each ball of dough between two sheets of parchment paper to a thickness between 3 and 5 mm until you get the size of your number or letter. To help you with the thickness of the dough, you can use pastry rules as a guide.
8- Cut the shape of your template, remove the excess dough and prick the dough over its entire surface.
9- Film the dough on contact and reserve in the refrigerator for 1 hour or 15 min in the freezer.
10- Bake in an oven preheated to 180 ° C for 12 min.
To make the assembly, you will have to wait until the cookies are cold.
If you have shortbread dough (normally, you will necessarily have some after the cuts), do not hesitate to bake them in the form of small cookies, it is excellent, same nature! ^^
What toppings to choose
To garnish a Number Cake, it is necessary to use a filling that has excellent support once poached so that it can support the weight of the cookie and the decorations.
You can use for example a whipped cream mascarpone, a mousseline cream (pastry cream mounted with ointment butter), a meringue butter cream, a mounted ganache etc.
Allow approximately 700g of filling to fill 2 levels of 1 digit or letter in A4 format.
Here is a filling recipe for making a Number Cake, the diplomatic cream. Concretely, it is a pastry cream stuck to the gelatin to which we add whipped cream.
For information, this is the diplomat cream recipe for CAP Pâtissier. ^^
Filling recipe: Diplomat’s cream
Ingredients for the filling: (quantity for 2 levels of 1 digit or letter in A4 format)
– Milk: 250g
– Powdered sugar: 100g
– Egg yolk: 40g (2 medium egg yolks)
– Corn starch: 20g
– Gelatin sheet: 3g (1 sheet and a half)
– Whole cold liquid cream: 250g
For a chocolate version, add 20g of dark chocolate in small pieces at the same time as your gelatin.
Preparation of the filling:
1- Put the gelatin to soak in cold water to hydrate it. Put a salad bowl and the whips of the electric mixer in the freezer.
2- Boil the milk with half the sugar. The sugar prevents the milk from sticking to the bottom of the pan and does not make a film on the surface.
3- In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar to whiten them.
4- Add the cornstarch to the egg yolks and sugar, and whisk so as not to get lumps.
5- Pour part of the milk into the bowl, whisking at the same time to avoid the formation of lumps (due to the eggs which would otherwise clot).
6- Add the rest of the milk to the bowl and refill.
7- Put the appliance back in the pan and cook, whisking constantly. Be careful to whisk well without stopping by scraping the edges and bottom of the pan so that the cream does not catch and does not burn.
8- When the appliance boils, continue cooking for 2 minutes, still whisking. These 2 minutes allow the cream to be pasteurized.
9- Remove from the heat and stir in the well-wrung gelatin.
10- Get rid of the cream in a dish filmed using your Maryse, and film on contact.
11- Cool the cream in the refrigerator or freezer or freezer. Be careful not to forget your cream in the freezer / freezer, you just have to cool it.
12- Once cooled, whip the pastry cream well to smooth it before using it. The cream can possibly be passed through a sieve if necessary to obtain a very smooth result.
13- Take the bowl and the whips from the mixer from the freezer. Put the cold liquid cream in the bowl and whisk until you get a whipped cream. Be careful not to whip too much and risk getting “butter”.
14- Gently fold in the whipped cream into the cold pastry cream and poach the diplomat cream immediately.
Generally, you pocket the cream with a smooth plain socket, but if you want to use a notched socket, it is up to you, there is no obligation.
If you want to prepare your cream in advance, you can make the pastry cream the day before and keep it in the refrigerator filmed in contact. However, the addition of whipped cream must be done at the last moment, just before poaching the cream!
If you have some cream left after making your montage, don’t hesitate to eat it in plain yogurt, it’s excellent! ^^
What are the decorations of a layered cake?
So there, that’s the most “free” part of the cake design. Concretely, you can put a little anything that goes through your head as decoration, as long as it is suitable for food contact. ^^
So you can put for example:
– Whole fresh fruit, in chips or delicately cut into slices or small pieces,
– Dried fruits,
– Sweets: smarties, ferrero rocher, kit kat, marshmallows etc.,
– Cookies: oréo, speculoos etc.,
– Edible or unleavened flowers (watch out for inedible flowers!),
– Chocolate shavings, coconut shavings etc.,
– Herbs (mint, basil etc.)
– And whatever makes you want!
Do not hesitate to use precision pliers to place your decoration elements in the best possible way (in addition, it gives the impression of being a great chef, and personally, I find that too classy! Hihi ^^).
Try to make your decoration as late as possible to prevent it from being damaged (for example candies that melt, cookies that soften, fruits that oxidize etc.).
And most importantly, please yourself above all! ^^
How to mount it?
A Number Cake is a fairly fragile cake, which is why it is better to make your assembly directly on your serving tray. Avoid carrying it from your worktop to your fully assembled dish, you could run into disaster! ^^
Make sure you do this as late as possible if you are using a dry cookie, to prevent it from softening. Or else, you can optionally top it off, that is to say cover the cookie with a thin layer of melted chocolate so that it strengthens and waterproofs it once it has cooled down (beware of taste associations, on the other hand).
Now here are the different stages in pictures with a dry cookie (shortbread).
Once you have made your cookie dough, roughly lower it to the desired shape (here, I want to make a heart ^^):
Roll out your dough
Take your template, place it on your dough (raw dough if it is a dry cookie and baked dough if it is a soft cookie), and cut the shape of your template:
Detail your dough
If you use a dry cookie (shortbread style like here), put your raw dough cut in the freezer for a quarter of an hour so that it retains its shape well during cooking. It would otherwise risk spreading out and having a coarser visual. Then bake your cookies
Bake your dough
When your 2 levels of cookies are baked and very cold (this is very important, otherwise your toppings will not hold, they will sink), and your toppings and decorations are ready for use, we can start assembling the Number Cake.
Take your serving dish and place your first cookie on it. You can optionally put a few “dots” of toppings between your serving dish and your cookie to prevent it from slipping.
On my photo, I did it directly on my work plan because it was easier for me vis-à-vis the photos. But I can assure you that I had “big sweats” when I had to move it in the end on my serving dish! hihi ^^
Gently poach your cream on all the external contours of your cookie (or on the entire surface if you only want to use this cream). You can use a pastry bag with a smooth or serrated tip, depending on the rendering you want. But try to have all the points at the same height.
Poached first floor
You can add fruit or curd for example between the “tips” of poached cream for more taste. Just be careful not to put anything flowing, so no chocolate sauce, caramel or coulis for example.
Here I put a Lemon Curd:
Vary the pleasures in the toppings
Place your second cookie layer on the cream, without pressing too hard.
If it is very hot and you have the impression that your cream is a little too flexible, you can put your Number Cake in the refrigerator 10 min to refreeze it a little before.
Cover with the 2nd layer of biscuit
When you poached your cream for the 1st floor, that’s why I advised you to make sure that you can only see the “simple” cream on the outer sides of the cookie. It’s prettier for my taste, right?
Try to have a simple and clean visual on the side
Now, we again pocket the entire 2nd layer of cream over the entire surface of the cookie, and we prepare all the decorations that we have planned around our Number Cake to facilitate the end of the assembly:
Poach the 2nd layer of garnish
For my part, I had made a Pavlova before, so I kept part of my meringue to color it and make nice little shapes for decoration:
The meringues allow pretty shapes
More than putting everything together to decorate, Youhouuuuu! ^^
Treat yourself in terms of decoration
Once finalized, keep your cake in the refrigerator until tasting.
It’s simple, right? ^^
More than to enjoy with the guests now, Yum yum!
Long live gluttony!
I was running out of time, but for even more delicacies, you can gently coat your fruit with a brush, with a neutral coating or apricot jam!
It gives you shiny fruits, like the inside of my strawberries in the photo above.
To give you some decorating ideas, I have grouped together several images of superb Number Cake. I hope they will inspire you! ^^
Happy Valentine’s day
Translation from mycake.fr (thank you)