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Everything posted by atcake

  1. There shouldn't be a difference. Using your example above, the 6-8-10 configuration, I figure it at 64 (10-22-32) servings (again, we all use different charts-ranging from 53 to 78 servings for the same size), then the cake is charged at 64 servings. If the client needs 70 servings they're still charged for the 64 and if they only need 60, then they're still charged for 64. I give them the option of making a larger/smaller cake (changing the tier sizes) or paying for the larger/smaller cake. For me, in a basic flavor, basic design, they'd be looking at $192.00. I suppose technically, you could also charge it by the tier (based on the numbers mentioned above) but people are so used to the per person price that they don't even think about it any other way. To split it out, it'd be $30.00 for the 6" tier, $66.00 for the 8" tier, and $96.00 for the 10" tier, totalling the same $192.00.
  2. Good afternoon everyone. Anna Weisend (The Grand Finale) and I (Becky Rink, About the Cake, Inc.) are pleased to announce a new and exciting event happening here in Cleveland. Yes, you read that right...in CLEVELAND! I know it's early yet, but we wanted to get you to mark your calendars! We are hosting a Wedding Cake Competition, Tasting Competition, and mini classes on January 26-27, 2008 at True North Cultural Arts Center in Avon Lake, Ohio (20 miles west of downtown Cleveland). For more information, please click on the link below. Please join us for a weekend full of fun, competition, and learning. http://neohiodecorators.tripod.com/
  3. I think if I were just baking for my family, I'd probably do scratch, although they like the cakes I bake for clients. I think part of it is a matter of what you're used to. My mom is a good scratch baker, but boy oh boy has she had some dumpers in the past! LOL For me, I think it's more a case of the 'uncertainty' of some scratch recipes, rather than convenience. I need to make sure that my cakes come out the same everytime. I'm sure with more practice, and more recipe experimentation, I'd probably come across a host of good scratch recipes to work with, but at this point, my clientelle is asking for what I'm providing. Personally, I don't think there is any right or wrong in the decision to go box or scratch. A lot of bakeries go mix because as LFarkas said, you need to have something that anyone in the bakery can make in a pinch. If you had only scratch, that could present a problem. Of course, if you had the resources, you could have only PCs on staff, thus eliminating that issue...sort of. All PCs, although probably similarly trained, still have their own methods, thus creating different results. That is probably why some fabulous scratch recipes bomb for some people and not all. I've used some that work well for me, but others said they've tried it and failed, and vice versa. If I could use only pound cakes for my cakes, I'd be a happy lady! LOL
  4. Actually, I grew up all over the place, so although I've heard about Hough Bakery, they were gone by the time I came back to the Cleveland area. I keep hearing people talking about how good they were (and sometimes how gross they were, lol), but didn't they use the all shortening icing too? Forgot to mention too, that I do make my icing from scratch too. I like to sometimes eat the canned frosting, but the longer I go without it, the less I like it. Can definitely taste the chemicals in that! I will not use it on a cake though.
  5. Fantastic! I'll take a look and see what they offer! Thank you for responding.
  6. I use both scratch and 'premeasured', lol, cake mix. I agree with most in that a basic plain box mix is ok, but when you add more ingredients to it, it changes it completely, depending on the amount of ingredients. I only have 3 scratch cake recipes that come out the same just about everytime...pound (YUM), carrot and date nut. The rest, for the most part are mix. Now, I am perfectly capable of making a scratch cake, and enjoy doing so from time to time, but when you're a lone baker trying to get 700 servings out and they have to be the 'same', I stick to the mix. All our cookies and most of our pastries are scratch. Many of our fillings are scratch as well. I do find it very interesting, though, at how hot the debate can be. The end result, in my opinion, is what really matters. Clients dictate what you make. There are scratch and mix bakers all over my area, and there is a definite market for both.
  7. Does anyone know of a good edible flower source? I need approx. 150-200 flowers that will be crystallized with sugar for an August wedding. I'm near Cleveland Ohio and shipping would be just fine. Thanks in advance!!
  8. Thank you for the additional information. I'll be checking those out.
  9. You guys are awesome! Thanks!!!
  10. I have a client that is gluten allergic. She has requested a flourless almond cake. Does anyone here have something I can use for her? I'm gluten-free ignorant. Thanks!!
  11. I could be completely off base here, but perhaps the all shortening version came about when butter and such went into ration. A lot of recipes changed during that time because they couldn't get all the ingredients so they had to modify to suit the times.
  12. Ok, I'll play too. I happen to enjoy eating fondant covered cake. I happen to enjoy covering cake in fondant, and decorating in fondant. In fact, I use it almost every single week on either a wedding or all occasion cake. While many people do not care for it, it has now become so mainstream that they know to 'peel it off' as you say. I've seen people do this with buttercream too. They simply eat around it. I do agree that it seems like a waste by leaving it on the plate, but for some designs it is essential. Personally, I'm not a big fan of the old style decorating (aka Wilton style). I like the Lambeth method, more because of it's difficulty and artistic quality. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE icing..if it's good. I always request the corner piece and the 'rose', lol. I know how to do this type of decorating, and think I'm not too shabby at it either. However, I prefer the more contemporary look of fondant. I like the crazy crooked cakes. I like the daring things we now can do with cake, with the help of fondant. What other canvas provides the smooth finish of fondant? What allows you to do intricate painting and eyelet work on a cake? What else can create that sleek contemporary perfect look other than fondant? Buttercream can be smoothed out to close to perfection, but try to paint it and you can get gouges in your icing. Some designs simply can't be pulled off in buttercream. (A raw silk effect for example.) There is nothing wrong with a cake that has the swirls and whirls of icing on it. That is, if that's the 'look' you're going for. It can be a lovely addition to an event. However, today's brides are being fed that they should to have a personalized cake. I'm totally down with that too. I also like shiny cake, lol.
  13. Thanks! I found a recipe from Alton Brown that uses the heavy cream and it gave me wonderful results. Exactly what I was looking for. Thanks!!
  14. I've only ever made ganache with heavy whipping cream. Is it possible to make ganache with heavy cream rather than heavy whipping cream? Is there any proportion difference? (I bought the wrong cream and got heavy cream rather than heavy whipping cream) TIA! Nevermind...have my answer
  15. Coconut in the cake, but add a pineapple-rum curd and ice in the cream cheese or butter based buttercream.
  16. Well, it seems that for now we will be putting plans on hold. We just found out that my mom's cancer is incurable and we don't have any idea how long she has. I'm pretty much the only one with a flexible schedule who can take care of her, so for now...we'll wait. Doesn't mean the future doesn't hold hope though...
  17. Yep, it's certainly a space thing, lol. I would certainly have time for additional orders, especially if I get help. I try to stay organized and get baking and prep finished early in the week so the end of the week is more for construction. I'm about 1/10th of the way through the health code......
  18. Actually, due to the size of the petals, my guess would be individual petals placed on the cake then add the center. You could attach with royal icing or chocolate. It looks like a rose petal cutter would do the trick.
  19. I most certainly would! LOL Thanks!
  20. So....I'm about finished reading Mel's accounts of the year she opened her bakery. It sounds delish (the food, not the rest of the story! LOL)!! Oh to be in Portland right now!! It's really great to be able to read the trials and tribulations of what she went through. Scares the h@#l out of me too, lol. Granted, some of the stuff she talks about may or may not apply (but probably will!) since she's on a larger scale, but nonetheless, it's stuff to think about. There's still the issues of employees, vendors, merchant services, what to sell, and so on and so on... Gave me some insider perspective as to what I may be getting myself into. I completely understand the administrative aspect of things. Believe it of not, that's my background. Was a bookkeeper and administrative assistant in my 'former'/prebaking life. 10 years of it before I became a stay-at-home mom and then onto a cake maker. I do currently employ the services of a bookkeeper and a tax accountant. My bookkeeper keeps track of everything and the tax guy files all my paperwork...except sales tax. That's still my job In most ways, this seems to be a natural progression of my business. We're official incorporated now, with new bank accounts to boot, lol. I'm in the process of changing everything over to the inc. including my vendors. I completely understand the more hours than your open and busting your butt, and not having time at home. I think what scares me the most is the start up costs and the insurance and the taxes...AKA MONEY, lol. Where I live is considered somewhat upscale (Avon Ohio) and there isn't a bakery around for miles. I do believe that the area will support it...as it seems we eat out a lot in Avon, lol. I know, I know, I sound so naive. And I am. VERY naive. I still have TONS of research to do, and appreciate y'all being part of the process!
  21. Get LOTS of paper!!!! ← Yeah! Tell me about it! LOL On just Mel's posts, it was 36 pages!
  22. Thanks. To give you a little more info, I currently take on approx. 50 weddings per year, plus serveral (2-10) party cakes each week. I have a kitchen that we built in the basement set up for this. My biggest issue is that I'm running out of space and the calls keep coming. I've taken over approx. 1/2 of our basement already, meaning about 700 sq. ft. of space. The kitchen itself is 385 sq. ft. Also, I already am using a commercial (49 cuft) refrigerator, 2 freezers (bringing in a 3rd one today or this week), baker's rack, 5 qt, and 20 qt mixers, and 2 ovens. I do carry liability insurance on the business and we are finishing up the incorporation process as I'm typing this. Our official inc. date was April 20, 06. I guess I'm seeing this as a 'natural' progression. Still don't know what we're going to do, but I appreciate the advice. Thanks for the link about Mel. I'll be printing it off to read!
  23. Thank you so much for your input and advice!
  24. Yes, actually, it is currently just me. I have my sister who volunteers once in awhile when I'm backed up, but for the most part, I take the orders, bake 'em, ice 'em, decorate and deliver (when delivery is part of it). I thought about just making some more room in the basement where I currently am, but DH doesn't want me taking over the entire basement. I'm already almost half way there! My kitchen is currently 385 sq. ft. Gee, maybe I'd just be better off building a shed in the back for the extra storage? As for hours, at this point, I'm 10-6 Tu-F, 10-3 Sat so I can do deliveries and consultations. Everything is by appointment.
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