Friday, September 26, 2014

Mmmmm cake...

Years ago, I started baking cakes because I love the science of it. 

I like the idea of creating flavors that are classic and unique in desserts.  I often asked people to challenge me to create a cake flavor.  (Key Lime Pie is NOT easy to duplicate in cake, in case you're wondering.)  Most of my cakes, initally, were rum or vodka cakes.  I don't like a lot of icing on cakes I plan to eat.  A well done cake doesn't really need it, in my opinion.

Somewhere along the way, I started decorating cakes.  I was asked to make some large cakes for big events.  Corporate celebrations or weddings turned into birthday requests and one year, I was leaving my full-time job to go home and bake 3 or 4 cakes.  Decorating on weekends during the day and acting in shows weekend nights.  I barely slept.  My health declined.  I was having a hard time at work.  Something had to give.

I had to make a decision if I was going to continue baking and after realizing that a: I couldn't bake enough to match my full-time salary without investing in a facility and staff  and b: I would HATE that and baking in short order.  So, decision made, I did my last batch of holiday cakes and stopped baking unless it was a word of mouth referral from someone close to me. 

I did the occasional wedding cake or baked for someone to take home or to an event.  I stopped experimenting with flavors (much to my coworkers sadness as they were my taste testing audience for new flavors and failures).  I reprioritized.

As I get older, I realize that if I ever retire, I would want to bake still as a side business.  Just enough to make me happy and pay for itself.  So, to keep my skills up and learn new ones (I still haven't played with my icing spray paint unit!), I've started experimenting again.

This past weekend, I made a key-lime ginger cake (no booze, but ginger beer would work and be super tasty, I bet!) and a champagne-orange (booze cooked out) ginger cake.  I am currently on a ginger kick, it's that time of year after all.  I think I am going to find myself a butternut squash and revive my butternut squash cake recipe and my pumpkin pie rum cake recipe.  They needed adjusting anyway because they were a tad too moist.  Tasty, but a tad mushy not with the fluffy crumb I prefer.

Oh - and here's a couple pics of the wedding cake I did recently.  (Outdoor weddings are tough, especially when it was 90+ degrees outside. We had to wait until the last second to set it all out or the cupcakes would have melted away.  Also mixing the right color of coral sight unseen (no sample was given...I learned a lesson) was a challenge, but I managed to nail it!  On the 3rd or 4th batch...there are still flowers at my house...still)

So, you know, if you need to purchase a cake or want me to create a new flavor.  The challenge door is now open and orders are being taken (within reason).

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