Written by David Fisco
30 November 2011
Word count: 187
Leveling the cake
Here's a culinary tip on a frugal but effective way to finish a cake:  toasted crumbs.

Most good cooks level off their cakes before icing them so the finished product has a flat top. Many cooks throw away the excess cake—or feed it to an enthusiastic dog or child.

Next time, put that excess cake to work by toasting the crumbs and sprinkling them on top of your frosted cake.

Toasting the crumbs
Finished crumbs
Place the excess cake on a baking sheet and put it in a preheated 350°F oven.  Begin checking the cake after 5 minutes.  Take it out of the oven, chop it using a large knife and remove (and retain) any crumbs that are about to burn.  Every few minutes, repeat this process of removing the baking sheet, chopping and removing crumbs until all of the cake crumbs are toasted.

Frugally finished cake
Wait until your cake crumbs are cooled to room temperature and sprinkle them on top of your frosted cake.  In addition to the heightened presentation, you get a nice texture contrast between the silky icing and the crunchy crumbs.