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What consistency jam do I need to fill a cake?

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I'm hoping to bake a two-layer chocolate cake this weekend, with a chocolate ganache frosting and ganache+jam filling. I have good cake and ganache recipes.

However, I have no idea how to create a fruit filling. Will this work if I put ganache on the top of the first cake, pour on regular old jam out of a jar, then put the second layer on top? Or will the weight of the second layer cause all the jam to mush out the sides? Will the jam melt into the cake?

I have lots of good jam in the fridge, as well as frozen berries if making a thicker filling from scratch would be a better idea. Help!! I'm going for easy here; just a fruity touch to a cake that's already wonderful.

TIA

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  1. What you are looking for is spreadability. If straight-from-the-jar jam is too stiff, warm it a bit on the stove. If you already have good jam, I would not go to the trouble of creating a fruit filling from scratch given its role in this cake. Good luck and let us know how it turns out!

    1 Reply
    1. re: LindaMc

      I make oatmeal bars with a jam filling. Usually I just heat up straight from the jar and add a bit of water to thin it out a bit.

    2. I heat the jam in the microwave to loosen it up. Then it becomes like glue! I usually top it with some pudding , it contrasts with the outer icing nicely.
      Doesn't leak at all, solidifies nicely.

      1. b
        babette feasts

        why don't you just mix your jam and ganache?

        2 Replies
        1. re: babette feasts

          I thought about that, but decided I don't want berry flavored chocolate. I want a separate layer of jam that will be slightly gooey, but not runny. I might chicken out and just mix it together, though. Good thought!

          1. re: nooodles
            b
            babette feasts

            OK, how about splitting all your layers into more thin ones and alternating jam and ganache between the layers? Chocolate-berry-chocolate-berry, etc. People are impressed by cakes with lots of thin layers.

            Orrrrrr, you could make holes in the cake to fill with jam instead of layering it. Use a piping tip or a really tiny biscuit cutter to remove small bits of cake, then pipe in jam. You'd probably have to do that layer by layer as you assembled the cake, though, you wouldn't want to pick up a layer and have the jam fall out. (and then do ganache between the layers)

            I understand, though, sometimes you just have a vision and you need to get it to work. As far as consistency goes, though, if you have thick jam it shouln't be a problem, just don't use too much. Or stir in a little cornstarch and maybe lemon juice to cut the sweetness and bring to a boil (and cool) for a sturdier filling that you can pile on. Good luck!

        2. I have that problem-the jam makes the layers shift, which in turn wrecks the icing and the entire look of the cake. Is there a "stabilizer" to put in the jam; maybe cornstarch?

          1. I've never had this problem using either my homemade jam or hero raspberry. Maybe it's the type of jam you're using, or the quantity? Usually jam layers are quite thin. If you want more jam, slice more layers. But if you're happy with what you've got, I would think heating the jam would be the best choice.

            1. If you want a really thick jam layer (which can be a little cloying, IMO), make a "retaining wall" with some thick ganache and a piping bag-- and then fill with jam. I use a piping bag for this also-- just make a spiral of jam and then smooth it out with an offset spatula to avoid disrupting the surface of the cake or the lovingly applied retaining wall.

              Watch out for the frozen berries though-- they pretty much turn to mush when thawed and will seep into your cake and make it really soggy. Fresh berries work well if they are firm.