I’m always ready, provided we’re not talking about questions that require thought in the answer before 9 am. Our freezer is almost never without frozen cake batter, frosting, dinners, fully baked or ready to make cakes, scones and doughnuts. I make and freeze pie dough, fillings, entrees and anything that might come in handy when the number at the dinner table finally gets sorted out. A lot of it ends up there because I rarely make full sized cakes and pies unless there’s a Holiday or special occasion. Easy scaleability is priority number one, alongside great taste. Plus, it’s nearly mythical to be able to pull together a few custom desserts for varying tastes at the last minute. It makes you look like you’ve really got it all together, which for me is saying a lot. Angie and I are also Sunday only baked goods eaters, or at least when it comes to large bites like slices of cakes and pie. But the “kids” (you have to use quotations when they’re 19, 20 and 22), when they’re home, like to have something sweet after dinner during the week on occasion. In about 45 minutes of mostly oven time, you can bake, frost and put together some very impressive, individual and small portion desserts for family and guests. With some common ingredients at hand, you can mix up the menu a bit. Here are a couple of small cakes (4 1/2 inch-11.5 cm spring form pans) I put together to place on the table for later in the night. I had some devil’s food chocolate cake batter and some ganache in the freezer, and some heavy cream and strawberry jam in the refrigerator. These are open to endless interpretation so have some fun with it.
Samantha and Jake are partial to berries and chocolate. The local grocery has these fantastic, natural jams and jellies well within my ingredient limit (anything over 3 and I’m not interested. Also, no science terms). I carefully microwaved some frozen chocolate ganache, 10 seconds at a time, turning each time until cool but loose and perfect for frosting. If you overdo it a bit, no worries. Just slip the ganache in the fridge for a few minutes to let it get firmer. I don’t even bother putting it in a pastry bag to frost the cake. I use the quart sized freezer bag I stored it in by snipping the tip off of a corner of the bag and making an impromptu icing bag.
A 4.5 ” spring form pan yielded a nice, thick cake that was sliced in half with a bread knife, then smattered with strawberry preserves before the layers were stacked. I spreead some ganache over the whole thing and turned it on the spinning cake plate with my angled spatula, moving slowly up the side to put some design into the presentation. Done.
Josh loves whipped cream, coffee and chocolate. I made some whipped mocha topping, sliced another 4.5″ cake in half, spread the ganache in-between the layers as well as on the top and finished it off with a layer of the whipped cream over everything. If you have some chocolate shavings to throw around the sides, the presentation on this can be nice, but whipped cream isn’t very pretty when used for frosting the sides of cake. The cake shows through in parts. Traditionally, I would set the frosted cake in a large, rectangular pan, place the cake in the center, pour some chocolate shavings, sprinkles or coconut into the pan and start tossing it at the sides. We were going for fast and delicious tonight so we skipped that step.
Here are some of our frostings and batters to give you some inspiration. Batter for a dual layer, 9″ cake will make 4 , 4 1/2″ cakes. a 4 1/2″, dual layer cake makes 4 good sized slices. I’m also listing our mason jar pie recipes, which are perfect for pulling together quickly if you make up some dough and fillings to keep in the freezer. Enjoy.
Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake Batter Recipe: (Click Here)
Chocolate Ganache Recipe: (Click Here)
Mocha Whipped Cream Topping: (Click Here)
Whipped Cream Topping: (Click Here)
Mason Jar Apple Pie and Mason Jar Pecan Pie (Click Here)
Mason Jar Cherry Pie (Click Here)
Mason Jar Strawberry Banana Pie (Click Here)