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  1. This base cake is already available from the local supermarket, in a specific size and flavor. Most grocery stores are buying in frozen, pre-iced cakes that they put the finishing touches on in -store. So they will just sell the customer one of those cakes and the customer does the finishing. And personally, it's the finishing touches that separates the amateurs from the professionals. If you are going to provide a simple iced cake, you have to account for size and flavor and at that point, now you're into customization and that's what gets expensive - the substitutions and changes from the established menu. In the last 15 years, I've been asked only a handful of times (less than 10) to provide a client with a plain buttercream cake that they can finish the decorations on themselves.
  2. JeanneCake

    Gisslen Pumpkin Pie

    the instructions have you using only 9 ounces of the dough for the crust; not the whole amount for one 9inch pie pan.... are they rolling it or pressing it into the pan?
  3. JeanneCake

    Online source for Macadamia nuts

    I've had excellent products and service from Sunnyland Farms over the years; they have macadamias but they are roasted/salted SunnylandFarms Macadamia Nuts
  4. JeanneCake

    Congrats to Rancho Gordo!

    YES YES YES! I just signed up and got my neighbors a gift subscription too Thank you for the heads up @Rotuts! So excited to join
  5. JeanneCake

    Looking for cake painting advice.

    Yes, fondant (or the modeling chocolate) will give you a smooth surface to work on and it will be less frustrating to work on; There are new edible paints available you might explore - there are a few different manufacturers making ready to use edible paints, this is one example: NYCake edible paint If you go with fondant, you have more options in terms of a painting medium - you can use straight color like the paints, airbrush color or tinted royal icing (look up brush embroidery techniques, Colette Peters is a master at this. The key with brush embroidery is the right brush shape, the right consistency in the royal icing and having the brush just damp enough but not too wet when you start making the petals.) The right brush will help make the job easier too; I've used as many as four different brushes before figuring out which one gave me the right look. Definitely give yourself as much time as possible to keep practicing to get the technique down which ever way you choose to go.
  6. JeanneCake

    Chocolatier with carpal tunnel

    what @pastrygirl says! If you are thinking of making chocolate a long term career, consider the fact that a depositor will help preserve your hands over the long haul. Don't wait and buy one in three years after the damage is done to your wrists. Valentine's Day is coming, followed closely by Easter and Mother's Day... if you are able to do enough business during those holidays, target some of your revenue toward equipment purchases that will make your life easier and you more efficient in your production.
  7. JeanneCake

    Chocolatier with carpal tunnel

    I'm a baker/cake decorator and have had carpal tunnel problems for years; during the worst of wedding season I wear the splints faithfully at night and it's a huge help. If I don't, I find that the pain/numbness can wake me from a sound sleep. I've also been told that Aleve works better on the extremities but I haven't had to use that yet.....
  8. JeanneCake

    Looking for cake painting advice.

    The wedding was Sunday, we had to deliver the cake Saturday evening. I wasn't working as a pastry chef at the time (I was still in high tech but I took the week off before the wedding to handle stuff. This was before the WWW, cell phones and the consumer use of email (yes, dinosaurs roamed the earth then too 🤣). I started baking on Thursday, assembled the cake on Friday then covered it in fondant on Saturday morning. It was a four tier vanilla/raspberry design from The Cake Bible; I bought the marzipan roses but still. Not being in a commercial kitchen with lots of space to spread out, I basically emptied out my fridge so I had room for the cake and despite having practiced all summer long, things still took me longer than I estimated. If you are working out of your friend's commercial kitchen it won't be as bad; if she covers the cake in fondant and stacks it for you, you're in great shape. Plan 2 days for the decorating so you have extra time in your schedule already built in; if you don't need it, you have time to relax. If you do need it, the additional time you built into the schedule doesn't force you to choose between finishing the cake and doing something else. I don't know how much experience you have in cake decorating so please don't be offended by my long decorating time recommendation. I would especially recommend you doing the painting on dummy cakes covered in cheap fondant to practice. You can buy styrofoam dummies and yucky fondant at the craft store (Michael's, AC Moore, Hobby Lobby, etc); for the good fondant you can buy from AUISwiss, get their Massa Grischuna with white chocolate (it's firmer than plain fondant, it has a slight ivory cast to it compared to the Americana, which is paper-white in color or the Neutral, which is more like a soft white). This is the only brand of fondant I use; it is easy to roll out (use cornstarch, not confectioners sugar, sugar will dry out the surface of your fondant more than cornstarch will); it tastes good as far as fondant goes, and it handles well.
  9. JeanneCake

    Looking for cake painting advice.

    I think they are using the immersion blender to mix the color and cocoa butter together; it's "emulsifying" in the way that you combine oil and vinegar for salad dressing and they want to spray this through an airbrush to color the chocolate molds. You can also use an immersion blender to make mirror glaze (which contains chocolate and gelatin as @pastrygirl mentioned above) so that's what I was thinking you were covering the cake with too!
  10. JeanneCake

    Looking for cake painting advice.

    A glaze is poured over the cake's surface (usually you put a coat of buttercream or even ganache on it first), while fondant or modeling chocolate is rolled out to drape/enrobe the cake. Some people use the paneling method to cover the cake - you cut a circle to fit the top, then you cut a band to go around the side and then you finesse the seam where it meets. I myself would not use glaze on a tiered wedding cake; there is no room for error when stacking it, and you pretty much have to have border of some type to mask the seams where each tier meets the one below. I've done it enough times over the years with ganache (as a glaze) to know that it's a headache I don't want to deal with (so the price would be in line with the aggravation factor 😁). If this is your own wedding cake you are working on, you don't need or want any extra stress before the big day. (I am admitting to a bias here: I made our wedding cake and my husband - to this day - will tell you it ranks right up there with one of the dumbest things I've ever done. There's so much you're dealing with in the few days before the wedding that you don't really have the luxury of taking your time with the cake. And that's when something will happen and you will be frustrated and stressed, which you don't want to be!)
  11. JeanneCake

    Looking for cake painting advice.

    I've used vegetable oil to hydrate colored dusts to paint on wafer paper....
  12. JeanneCake

    Looking for cake painting advice.

    I would seriously consider using a white chocolate fondant, or a white modeling chocolate as a means of covering the cake. You will be less likely to have problems as you paint on the sides, you can fix errors far more easily on those than you can on a glazed surface. You might also want to consider exploring a new trend similar to impasto, that is uses a painter's palette knife to apply buttercream (it could also be a colored ganache) to form impressionist-style flowers. If you are going to paint on fondant or modeling chocolate, you can use airbrush color (it will dry better than thinned gel color; which always remains a little bit tacky if you go in that direction). If that video showed using an emulsifier, maybe it's to make the "edible paint" more pliable, like paint? Does it show what it looks like before and after they mix the emulsifier in? Can you post a like to the video (I'm curious about the technique myself!).
  13. Late to the party but I see that little nook as a place a couple might become engaged... you might want to consider having that area available for reservations in case someone wants to!
  14. well, first I'd bake it in the 9" pan and use the thermapen to see what it registers since you know it is fully baked in that timeframe in that pan. I'd probably buy a second pan to be honest; there are so many variables to consider when you are doubling the recipe. And just to make it easier, weigh the final batter amount so you can still double the recipe when you prep it but scale it correctly into two different pans.