What does leftover night look like in your house? In mine, leftover night happens with frequency. Not because I cook that often, but because I only know how to cook for an army.
And I’m only one woman, so if I cook for an army on Tuesday, I’m eating leftovers for lunch and dinner on Wednesday, lunch on Thursday (but not dinner because I’d need a break from whatever I cooked - I thoroughly epitomize the phrase “variety is the spice of life” when it comes to eating). I would still be taking a break on Friday, but I would then need to be done with it by the weekend so I would finish it off for lunch on Saturday.
In the bakery world, leftovers aren’t usually a problem because there is always another project in the works where the extras can be used. (To clarify: in a bakery, leftovers are typically items that didn’t sell a day or so after baking. While most of us would eat brownies or a cake that we ourselves baked several days after we baked it in our own homes, we consider professionally baked goods to be old after a day... It makes profit margins tough.)
Your batch of cinnamon rolls didn’t sell out.
Solution: No problem! Bake them into a specialty bread pudding. #NoWaste
There’s a leftover brioche loaf from today’s batch.
Solution: Perfect! Now you can slice it and make bostock brioche for breakfast service. (And that’s a win for everyone!) #NoWaste
Cake trimmings are piling up because you can’t really use them and if you eat them yourself you will weigh over 500 pounds by Christmas…
Yeah. This is a tough one.
Let’s back up a bit - what exactly are cake trimmings? When cakes don’t bake in a perfectly flat manner (and honestly, they very rarely do without help), in order to stack your cake layers evenly you must trim off the domed portion. For those of us who are desperately trying to reduce food waste, this move is viewed as a necessary evil. It’s not so bad if you have hungry roommates who are down to taste test everything you make, but what happens when you’re baking alone?
You do all the things necessary to create the perfect confection for your client, but then you’re left with a heap of unused cake. I haven’t been able to bring myself to throw it away, so I always toss my cake trimmings in freezer bags and store them in my freezer for use in some other mythical project that I never seem to get around to.
But then the most miraculous thing happened. One of the cutest trends I’ve ever seen caught my eye: the cakesicle!
I know I’ve shared my thoughts on cake balls already, but not everyone agrees with me anyway, AND making cake balls is a really good way to reduce waste in my kitchen. Not only for extra cake trimmings, but for extra frosting, too. You see, that’s another thing that just sits around unused if I don’t have other orders requiring the exact same ingredients: leftover frosting. After I made a quadruple batch of cream cheese frosting for my pretty little birthday cake this year, I definitely had leftover cream cheese frosting hanging out in the back of my fridge.
To make these adorable, snack size desserts, I unloaded all of the chocolate cake trimmings from my freezer into a bowl and mashed in all of the leftover cream cheese frosting until I could shape it like a dough. I dyed some white candy melts with my signature purple, and painted it into the silicone molds. After the candy melts dried, I pressed the cake mixture into the molds then popped into the freezer for about 10 minutes to harden. I then smoothed on the “back” of the cake pops and set them back in the freezer to harden.
Tip of the week: Do you own a microplane? If you watched the last Baking and Boozing episode I posted, when it came time to zest our lemons you were introduced to my dear friend Emily’s tiny little grater (which was met with great trepidation from her friend Chelsey). My response to it was that I was definitely buying Emily a microplane for her birthday (which I did get for her. In addition to making her birthday cake.) to make the zesting process more... well, possible.
However, a microplane serves other purposes aside from shredding fruit skin into tiny little strips (as well as Emily’s finger. Which unfortunately happened the very first time she used her new microplane 😵Maybe I’ll just stick to giving cakes as birthday presents from now on!). In pastry school, my chefs taught us to use our microplanes to smooth out the edges of our tiny, miniature tart shells because we were expected to produce perfection at every turn.
In all honesty, I have never once done that once to my tart shells because I’m just not on that level of OCD.
However, when I popped these cuties out of their silicone homes, they had little candy melt edges that weren’t befitting the smoothness of an ordinary popsicle and I recalled the magical suggestions of my chefs to use my beloved microplane to fix the problem elsewhere in the baking real, so I decided to apply the principles to my current situation. And it worked like a charm!
Once the edges were properly smoothed down and all the candy shavings were swept away, I got to the fun part: decorating. I drizzled some more candy melts across the top of the cakesicle and doused it with a lovely sprinkle mix called "cupcake". I couldn’t be happier about this new addition to my baking repertoire because this dessert not only makes for a cute display, but it also cuts down on wasted food! Please enjoy this video of me assembling these cute snacks, and let me know what you think about them!
Happy eating, y’all.
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