Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Sign in to follow this  
LCS

Thickening jam to use as cake filling

Recommended Posts

I tried some jams that I absolutely adore and they taste great in my cakes. However, unless served direct from the fridge, they're too runny and the cake layers slide around a bit, what to speak of when a customer picks it up and takes 30 minutes to drive home. How do I go about thickening it up so it's more stable?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You can boil it down on the stove to thicken it up a bit... maybe add in some gelatin too. Also, to make it easier on you, you can spread the jam filling thin on a baking sheet and freeze it and then put it on the cake while it's frozen so it'll go on as one sheet. I saw a show where Thomas Haas was making a cake with jam layers and he sprinkled a bit of gelatin over the jam layer to reduce the sliding factor between the jam and the cake.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rather than trying to thicken up "slidy" fillings, such as jams and curds and cream cheese, I just pipe a "dam" of buttercream around the outer edge of the layer and then spread my "slidy" filling within the circle of buttercream. The "dam" prevents the layers from sliding, and also keeps the filling from squeezing out between the layers.

Note: even thick jam is still "slidy". :wink:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I dig out a shallow circle of cake, leaving an outer ring of cake "dam". Then I fill. The cake "closes" completely, and there's no ooze or sliding. ;)


Edited by Lkfarkas (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tweety- I'll try boiling it and see what happens! The gelatin idea sounds awesome, but alas, I don't use gelatin as I'm a vegetarian.

Chefpeon- I do pipe a dam. This isn't a dam issue; it's a slidy issue. A place I used to work for had a very thick and delicious organic jam (that came in 5 gallon buckets) that stay put and didn't slide. And the stuff I use now... if you don't eat it the SECOND it comes out of the fridge and you take too long to eat, it slides while you're eating it! You stick your fork in and all three cake layers start sliding, even with a thin layer of jam. I've tried so many brands and keep coming across the same problem. But I can't buy a 5 gallon bucket or else it'll just go bad. Well... unless I buy stuff with preservatives in it. *sticks tongue out*

Has anyone tried adding more pectin to jam? Hmmmm....

Or does anyone know of a vendor that sells organic filling/jam that's thick and comes in smaller sizes? Even though the place I used to work at was very high volume, they didn't use their filling quick enough and it would always get moldy before it was even half-way empty.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I take fresh or frozen fruit and add a peeled cored granny smith apple cause it has lots of juju (maybe pectin) to make the fruit stay put. I cook it all down, no water at all, and add some lemon and a minimum of sugar so it's nice & tart & contrasts with the sweet icing. Then I toss in food processor and then strain. To friggin die for good. Easy peasy to make. I have a better formula written somewhere...

Here it is:

Raspberry filling from K8

I made one by putting a 10 oz bag of thawing frozen raspberries (from the grocery store freezer section) or use fresh into a heavy sauce pan with a peeled diced granny smith apple and one third cup of sugar and a squirt of lemon juice and brought to boil stirring often while cooking gently for about 15-20 mins.

Optional: in a little cup mix 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of water, then pour into bubbling fruit stuff stirring constantly for another two minutes.

Cool, puree in food processor and then strain out the seeds. Add almond extract if you want. Be sure to securely seal the edges of the filling with buttercream.

You can actually use any combination of berries.

This is not difficult and the fresh bursting taste is well worth the little bit extra effort. Enough for a quarter sheet. Yum Yum

NB--you do not have to use the cornstarch, I usually do not. Only if I talk myself into being a wus. Just a safety valve there.


Edited by K8memphis (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could also thicken with Xanthan gum. That would do much the same job as constarch but would not require heating.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Tweety- I'll try boiling it and see what happens!  The gelatin idea sounds awesome, but alas, I don't use gelatin as I'm a vegetarian.

Has anyone tried adding more pectin to jam?  Hmmmm....

There are several vegetarian alternatives to gelatin. Most can be found in health food markets.

Agar or agar agar is an excellent substitute for gelatin. I have often used it to prepare lakhoum for friends who are vegan. It gives a lovely clear result and has a silkier texture than gelatin.

I have also used kudzu powder (which is usually in lumps) made from kudzu root and can be found in Asian markets. You have to crush the lumps to powder and soak the stuff in cold water before use.

with cooking, it can get as "tight" a jel as anyone could wish. I overcooked a small batch of mulberry jelly (which often resists jelling) and ended up with stuff that could be bounced off the walls.

Xanthene gum, as another mentioned.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tart apples like Granny Smith too for getting it to set up nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
You can boil it down on the stove to thicken it up a bit...

This was my first thought, too. Like caramel, jams are a sugar thing. The marmalade I made last year was (would have been !) perfect at 104C or 106C, but at 108C it was too thick. Ahem. Heat-retaining Le Creuset is not the best jam-making vessel :smile:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I boiled it for 5 minutes and I LOVED the results! Of course I put it through a sieve first to remove the seeds so between that and the boiling, I lost about 50%. But the texture is so perfect that for now, I don't care about the loss. But I know I will when I get more orders for jam fillings, so I really do need to start making my own.

K8, thanks for the recipe. I will give it a try. Is there a reason why it has to be a Granny Smith Apple as opposed to another variety? I'm assuming because it's low in sugar? Or does it actually have more pectin?

As for vegetarian thickening agents:

Agar- I tried this back in pastry school and it just never worked for me. I remember having to make Bavarian domes and I ended up using 3x the amount than gelatin and it still melted quickly. I tried it in a few other things as well and the same results or worse. I'm sure it works for some people, but I'm not one of them.

Kudzu- never tried it, because after agar, I was turned off by all that stuff. I also could never find kudzu except for Whole Food$.

Xanthan gum- tried it in jam and it doesn't give very nice results. It was the first thing I tried. Works well for other things though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I boiled it for 5 minutes and I LOVED the results!  Of course I put it through a sieve first to remove the seeds so between that and the boiling, I lost about 50%.  But the texture is so perfect that for now, I don't care about the loss.  But I know I will when I get more orders for jam fillings, so I really do need to start making my own.

K8, thanks for the recipe.  I will give it a try.  Is there a reason why it has to be a Granny Smith Apple as opposed to another variety?  I'm assuming because it's low in sugar?  Or does it actually have more pectin?

As for vegetarian thickening agents:

Agar- I tried this back in pastry school and it just never worked for me.  I remember having to make Bavarian domes and I ended up using 3x the amount than gelatin and it still melted quickly.  I tried it in a few other things as well and the same results or worse.  I'm sure it works for some people, but I'm not one of them.

Kudzu- never tried it, because after agar, I was turned off by all that stuff.  I also could never find kudzu except for Whole Food$. 

Xanthan gum- tried it in jam and it doesn't give very nice results.  It was the first thing I tried.  Works well for other things though.

I am surprised that you had that result with agar. When I used it in the laboratory for growth medium, we used it both in petrie dishes and in stab tubes and both could be inverted while in the incubator and the agar media would not melt. It actually had a rubbery surface that could have a wire loop dragged gently over it without it cutting into the surface.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any real tart apple like a Granny Smith. I guess the tartness has more umm pectin or something. In other words, if I used a different type of apple I would add the cornstarch probably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pectin works! Basically you can make a pate de fruit/fruit roll-up. Once, I made it, poured it into the cake pan 1/4 inch thick, and let it set up. Voila, no trimming no spreading no ooze and a perfect fit. It was mango/apricot and superyummy with white chocolate butter cake.

Granny Smiths -- pits cores and peel -- have lots of pectin, but either Pomona's Universal or the thermoreversible from Patisse work. Do a pate de Fruit search here and you'll find lots of info, just don't cook it to as high of a temp.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Similar Content

    • By Kasia
      COURGETTE MUFFINS WITH LEMON
       
      Since I found the recipe for courgette muffins with lemon on the Polish blog gotujzcukiereczkiem I decided to prepare them. My children looked at the ingredients with surprise. Courgette and cakes don't go together well. The argument that they add caster sugar to the courgette pancakes didn't convince them. The muffins reminded my husband of the lemon cake his grandma used to prepare many years ago. I just liked them. They were short lived, because they disappeared in no time, slightly lemony, moist and not too sweet. They were perfect.

      If I didn't know they had courgette in them, I would never believe it. Try it, because it is worth it.

      Ingredients (for 12 muffins)
      muffins
      200g of flour
      a pinch of salt
      half a teaspoon of baking soda
      half a teaspoon of baking powder
      150g of sugar
      peel from one lemon
      a tablespoon of lemon juice
      2 eggs
      150ml of oil
      a teaspoon of vanilla essence
      a teaspoon of lemon essence
      210g of grated courgette
      icing:
      3 tablespoons of milk
      10 tablespoons of caster sugar
      1 teaspoon of lemon essence

      Heat the oven up to 170C. Put some paper muffin moulds into the "dimples" of a baking pan for muffins.
      Mix together the dry ingredients of the muffins: flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Mix together the sugar and lemon peel in a separate bowl. Add the eggs, oil, lemon juice and both essences. Mix them in. Add the dry ingredients and mix them in. Grate the unpeeled courgette, don't squeeze and don't pour away the liquid. Add the courgette to the dough and mix it in. Put the dough into some paper muffin moulds. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Now prepare the icing. Mix the milk with the caster sugar and lemon essence. Decorate the muffins with the lemon icing.

      Enjoy your meal!


    • By Kasia
      MILLET GROATS CHOCOLATE CREME WITH CRANBERRY MOUSSE
       
      Today I would like to share with you the recipe for the best chocolate crème I have ever eaten. It is thick, smooth and very chocolaty in flavour and colour. Despite the chocolate, the dessert isn't too sweet. But if somebody thinks that it is, I recommend serving it with slightly sour fruit mousse. You can use cherries, currants or cranberries. You will make an unusually yummy arrangement and your dessert will look beautiful.

      My children were delighted with this dessert. I told them about the fact it had been made with millet groats after they had eaten it, and ... they didn't believe me. Next time I will prepare the millet groats crème with a double portion of ingredients.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      chocolate crème
      100g of millet groats
      200g of dark chocolate
      1 tablespoon of dark cocoa
      250ml of almond milk
      fruit mousse
      250g of fresh cranberries
      juice and peel of one orange
      half a teaspoon of grated ginger
      4 tablespoons of brown sugar

      Boil the millet groats in salty water and drain them. Melt the chocolate in a bain-marie. Blend the millet groats, chocolate, cocoa and milk very thoroughly until you have very smooth crème. Pour the milk in gradually to make the right consistency of your desert. Prepare the fruit mousse. Put the washed cranberries, ginger, juice orange peel and sugar into a pot. Boil until the fruits are soft. Blend. Put the chocolate crème into some small bowls. Put the fruit mousse on top. Decorate with peppermint leaves. Serve at once or chilled.

      Enjoy your meal!


    • By Kasia
      SWIFT HOMEMADE NAPOLEON
       
      Sometimes we have days – may there be as few as possible – when nothing works out. I can even burn the water for tea. I have two ways of dealing with such days. The first is to sit in a corner and wait it out – maybe it will sort itself out. I can only do this when I'm alone. When I have a hungry family I have to look for another way. My second way is to use only well-known recipes and stick to them irregardless of how well I know them. Any experiments in this situation will end in failure.

      Last weekend was just difficult. My husband helped me prepare dinner, but the dessert was my problem alone. Following the rules, I used a recipe for napoleon that is so simple there is no way you could fail. I recommend it to anyone struggling with creative impotence or who likes glamourous results after not too much effort in the kitchen.
       
      Ingredients (for 9 napoleons)
      1 pack of chilled French pastry
      500ml of milk
      6 tablespoons of sugar
      1 packet of powdered blancmange
      50g of butter
      2 egg yolks
      1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
      1 tablespoons of potato flour
      2 tablespoons of flour
      caster sugar

      Heat the oven up to 180C. Cover a baking tray with some baking paper.
      Cut the French pastry in half. Bake one half for 20 minutes. Remove it from the tray. Cut the second part into 9 squares. A cake prepared in this way is easier to divide into portions. Put them on the paper and bake for 20 minutes.
      Now prepare the crème. Boil 400ml of the milk with the sugar, vanilla essence and butter. Mix the rest of the milk with the powdered blancmange, flour and potato flour and egg yolks. When the milk has boiled, take it off the heat and add it to the mixture, stirring constantly. Put it on the heat and boil, stirring until the mixture is coagulated. Take the pot off the heat. Put the warm mixture on the whole part of the French pasty and then cover it with the sliced part of the pastry. Cover the dessert with aluminium foil and leave in the fridge for a few hours. Cut and sprinkle with the caster sugar before serving.
       
       

    • By Kasia
      CRANBERRY-APPLE CAKE
       
      The worst thing about my cranberry-apple cake is the way it looks. It didn't look impressive, but it was so yummy it disappeared from the baking pan before it had completely cooled down. My children said that it was a colourful apple pie, and it really was something like that. Apples with cinnamon are the basis of apple pie – one of my favourite cakes. However, the sour cranberries make it more fresh and interesting. The crumble topping was, for my son, the most important part of the cake. I had to drive him away, because otherwise the cake would have been deprived of its crunchy top.

      Ingredients (18×26cm cake tin ):
      dough
      200g of flour
      150g of butter
      3 eggs
      1 packet of powdered vanilla blancmange
      1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
      200g of sugar
      1 teaspoon of baking powder
      pinch of salt
      fruit
      250g of fresh cranberries
      1 apple
      3 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of cinnamon
      crumble topping
      5 tablespoons of brown sugar
      100g of butter
      150g of flour
       
      First make the crumble topping. Put the cool butter, flour and sugar in a bowl. Knead them until you have small lumps. Leave it in the fridge.
      Heat the oven up to 180C. Cover a cake tin with some baking paper.
      Mix the flour with the baking powder and salt. Cream the butter with the sugar. Add egg after egg to the butter, stirring constantly. Add the flour, vanilla essence and powdered vanilla blancmange. Mix it together until you have a smooth dough. Put the dough into the cake tin. Wash the apple, remove the apple core and cube it. Mix the cranberries, apple, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl. Put the fruit on top of the dough. Cover the fruit with the crumble topping. Bake for 50 minutes.

      Enjoy your meal!

    • By Kasia
      BICOLOUR DESERT WITH SEMOLINA
       
      Today when we think about breakfast with milk we can choose different kinds of flakes, granolas, muesli and milk which has sometimes never been anywhere near a cow. When I was a child, only semolina rolled oats and rice were on the menu. Semolina with milk – our hated everyday breakfast – means that I don't fancy using it in my kitchen. But, as they say, time is a great healer and semolina was on our table last weekend for dessert. The dessert had two colours: the first layer was vanilla, and the second was with cocoa. On the top I put some mousse with blueberries. The dessert was very grand and really very tasty.

      Ingredients (for 4 people)
      vanilla layer
      50g of semolina
      400ml of milk
      3 tablespoons of brown sugar
      1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
      cocoa layer
      50g of semolina
      400ml of milk
      3 tablespoons of brown sugar
      2 tablespoons of cocoa
      fruit mousse
      200g of blueberries
      1 tablespoon of brown sugar
      pinch of cinnamon
      1 tablespoon of lemon juice

      First prepare the vanilla layer of the dessert. Boil the milk with sugar and vanilla essence. When the milk has boiled, slowly add the semolina, stirring constantly so as not to make lumps. Keep boiling and stirring until the mixture is stiff. Put some small glasses into some small bowls and arrange them in such a way that they are resting at an angle. Put the mixture into the glasses and leave to congeal. Now make the cocoa layer. Boil the milk with sugar. Mix the semolina with the cocoa. When the milk has boiled, slowly add the semolina with cocoa, stirring constantly so as not to make lumps. Keep boiling and stirring until the mixture is stiff. Place the glasses upright and put the cocoa mixture into them. Leave to congeal. Wash the blueberries and blend them with the sugar, cinnamon and lemon juice. Put the fruit mousse on top of the dessert.

      Enjoy your meal!

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×