knifes
Posted: 20 March 2017 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2011-09-11

could any one give me some advice on how a serrated knife should be used. Let me explain i always thought a serrated knife is supposed to be used with a sawing motion always..using whole knife only, but seen where they are also used with tip down and saw through things ...up and down but with tip only not whole blade, and also where blade is used whole and straight down to cut cake ...no sawing here just straight down.  Is this normally how you use a serrated knife?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 23 March 2017 11:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  59
Joined  2017-01-05

How you use the knife depends on the task.

During cake decorating (leveling, torting) a sawing motion is use.  Full blade, no tip. 

For slicing cake to serve, heat the knife, then press down, no sawing motion.  The reason being is you want a clean cut straight through the icing.  If you use a sawing motion, you will smear icing.  Wipe the blade clean after each cut.

Regarding use of the tip…no.  Place a chef knife next to a serrated cake knife.  Aside from the scalloped blade, the other noticeable difference is a rounded or blunt tip on the cake knife.  The chef knife will have a sharp, pointed tip.  A rounded/blunt tip is not designed to cut.  If you press the blunt end into a cake, instead of making a clean, sharp slice, you risk punching a hole in it.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2017 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2011-09-11

what i am asking is why this cutting with knife angled chef knife is to be used vs the straight down cut..Ask Keegan Gerhard: How to Properly Cut a Cake this video shows what i am asking. also on the above question with a serrated knife you can just push straight down to bottom slice and it will cut it. i thought with the scalloped edges it could not make a clean cut like a straight blade knife does when you cut down at bottom. how is a serrated knife can cut the bottom of the sliced cake being scalloped. to me its like cutting hair with thinning shears cant really cut your hair.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2017 02:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  59
Joined  2017-01-05

Keegan Gerhard is cutting straight down, so I don’t know what you are referring to when you ask the reason for slicing with the knife at an angle. 

Some people think holding the point downward while applying very light pressure prevents a cake from falling apart. Certainly, really tall and fluffy cakes, like angel food and sponge cakes, can be difficult to slice without crumbling or squishing because they are so light and airy.  But the best way to slice these types of cakes is with an angel food cake cutter. 

Regarding serrated vs chef knife,  either type of knife works on most cakes. However, a serrated knife works better on cakes with light, airy texture.  The denser the cake, then a straight blade sharp knife works better.

Even with a serrated edge, you get a clean cut when you slice to the bottom.  Yes, the uneven edge of a serrated knife has less contact than a straight edge knife.  BUT, that’s what makes it cut cleaner and sharper.  Since the edge is uneven, the pressure at each point of contact is much greater.  That difference in pressure results in a sharper cutting angle as the knife edge passes through the cake.  That’s why serrated blades are used to cut soft or delicate things like tomatoes, bread, and cake.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2017 02:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2011-09-11

i thought it was at a angle bec. way he comes out of the bottom slice.. i was told that the reason you do a tip down on knife was so you could have a good point on the cake slice edge ......read that in a old cookbook ...but he says something to in his video to on the point of cake slice. i thought serrated blades were for just sawing not coming straight down. so for cutting cake u basically use straight down no saw.
you said ” Regarding serrated vs chef knife,  either type of knife works on most cakes. However, a serrated knife works better on cakes with light, airy texture.  The denser the cake, then a straight blade sharp knife works better. ”  is this with a straight down cut you are talking about?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2017 05:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  59
Joined  2017-01-05

To get the cake point on a round cake the first thing you need to do is slice the cake completely in half.  A lot of people start slicing the cake from the center out.  You won’t get a good point unless the cake is first sliced completely in half.  That center cut defines your point.  That is why you need a knife that is longer than the cake is wide.  Most people don’t think about the length of the knife because most people fail to make the first cut through the middle of the cake.

The center cut is your point of reference to slice a perfect triangle.  Once that center cut is made, you align the knife perpendicular (90 degrees) to the center cut.  It’s not the tip of the knife that creates the point; it’s the center cut and the degree in which you make the second cut in relation to the center cut.

In fact the tip of the knife should be just beyond the center cut. Did you notice there was a slight gap where the cake was sliced down the center? The tip of the knife should be in the center of that gap. 

But I wouldn’t get hung up on that cake point because that’s not the proper way to slice a round cake.  Caters and bakers don’t slice cakes in that pattern because it’s significantly reduces the number of servings per cake.  A restaurant owner will not earn a profit slicing gigantic slabs of cake in that manner.  If you’re hosting an event, that slicing method will dramatically increase the cake cost as you’ll need three or four times more cake.

It’s ionic that he demonstrated “proper way” to slice a cake” when in fact he demonstrated the improper way to slice a cake.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2017 07:38 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2011-09-11

so for cutting cake u basically use straight down no saw.
you said ” Regarding serrated vs chef knife,  either type of knife works on most cakes. However, a serrated knife works better on cakes with light, airy texture.  The denser the cake, then a straight blade sharp knife works better. ”  is this with a straight down cut you are talking about? when would you saw a cake?

Profile
 
 
Posted: 24 March 2017 09:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Newbie
Rank
Total Posts:  14
Joined  2011-09-11

also was wondering why you might cut a cake with knife tip down like shown in this video…...How to Cut A Cake Like A Professional by Chef Coco Kislinger
https://www.saltedtv.com/.../how-to-cut-a-cake-like-a-professional-by-chef-coco-kisli it is.. a working video might have to go to google and type it in. Thank you for your help.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 March 2017 12:34 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  59
Joined  2017-01-05

She’s not slicing the cake properly.  A sawing motion, as you can clearly see in the video, results in icing sticking to the knife.  As her knife went up and down, she smeared the icing down the inside of the cake.

The reason she’s using a sawing motion is she’s trying to cut the cake with the tip of the knife. That is also the incorrect way to slice a cake.  Sawing motion, in short incremental strokes forces you to break through the crust over and over again.  In addition to smearing icing, it causes the cake to crumb a lot more than a swift, single stroke slice.

Her knife is also too short. Most people do not think of the knife length because they either cut the cake with the tip as she did, or more commonly, they begin slicing the cake from the center to the outer edge.

The correct way to slice a round cake regardless of the type of knife:
1. Select a knife longer than the diameter of the cake
2. A straight edge blade should be thin, not thick like a chef knife
3. A serrated edge blade should not have worn scallops
4. Heat the blade by placing it in very hot water for a minute
5. Dry the blade
6. Place the blade edge down fully across the center of the cake
7. With even pressure, slice straight down
8. You will feel initial resistance as the blade cuts through the crust
9. Maintain the same pressure; once through the crust, the knife will easily slice through the soft interior
10. Wipe the blade clean
11. Place it in hot water to reheat; dry and repeat for each slice

The scalloped edge of a serrated blade has fewer points contact than a straight edge blade.  But the pressure on the points of contact are far greater. The increased pressure on the points of contact and fewer points of contact results in a cleaner slice.  When a cake is very light and airy, a straight edge blade will squish the cake.  This principle of fewer points of contact is best demonstrated with the Angel food cake slicer. It’s not a knife; rather, it’s a large fork like comb.  The tines ensure the fewest points of contact; you make a clean slice without squishing the cake.

If you are concerned about slicing technique, consider baking a batch of cupcakes to practice on.

One last point about both videos you referenced: caterers and event cake bakers do not slice round cakes in wedges.  Wedges dramatically reduce the number of servings.  When designing an event cake, event slicing patterns is used to determine the size of the cake.  If you are the host, estimating servings based on wedges like that will result in your spending 3-4 times more money for a cake way larger than you need.  If you are the event baker, then you need to know how a cake is sliced in order to design and bake a cake for the number of guests.

Just because someone posts something on the internet doesn’t mean it’s correct.


http://larkcakeshop.com/pasadena/CakeServeGuide2.pdf

Profile
 
 
Posted: 25 March 2017 04:04 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
Member
RankRankRank
Total Posts:  59
Joined  2017-01-05

Sugar blossom I don’t know if my response to your PM went through as its not in my sent box.  So I’m posting my response here as well….

1. Can you “cut with tip down in short sawing motions you dont disturb the filling as much”?

Cutting through a pie is different than a cake. Pie crust is considerably firmer than cake.  Pie crust is also a mere fraction of the thickness compared to a cake layer.  You can cut through pie crust in a sawing motion, much like you cut a crusty loaf of bread. 

Then there’s the difference in the amount of filling.  Pie filling is two or more inches deep. Filling in a cake is about 1/2” deep.  In addition, pie fillings tend to be thinner (meaning more liquid) in texture than cake filling.  With pie filling, you don’t want a gelatinous texture.  Cake filling has to be thicker and stiffer.  If you layer a cake with thin filling, the cake will absorb the liquid.  You’ll have a very unsightly mess.

Given the ratio of cake to filling, and the texture of cake and filling, there’s no benefit to short sawing motion cuts when slicing a cake.

2. “when people cut down a cake slice and you come out from the botttom of slice some angle knife blade up and out and some just come straight out with knife blade”

Once you complete the cut, try to pull the knife straight back.  But really the angle in removing the knife after the cut is not as important as the motion of making the cut.  Keep in mind the goals in slicing a cake are: a) to cut geometrically uniform slices; b) cut clean, sharp sides so the slice of cake will make an appetizing plated presentation.

3. “angel food cake if dont have one of those combs,can you cut with a serrated knife with sawing motion”
Yes, you can use a serrated knife and sawing motion on angel food cake.  But the pressure must be very light or you will reduce it to crumbs.  Or you will squish it into an unappetizing blob.  My late mother in law baked angel food cake for every occasion.  And when slicing it she always squished it into a disgusting blob.  But she was a sweet woman so I ate it anyway. 

And yes, you can use a sawing motion on a Bundt cake too…Bundt cakes are very sturdy.  If the Bundt cake is thickly frosted with a cream cheese style frosting, just press the knife through the frosting before you start sawing.  It’s it’s a glaze, saw away.  I just sliced sawed a Bundt cake with cream cheese frosting at a family gathering last week. 

Profile
 
 
   
  Back to top