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Everything posted by atcake

  1. So, over the last year or two, my DH and I have been considering going into a shop and moving the entire business out of the house. We're currently on the look out for potential buildings, but would prefer to own, rather than lease. You know, keep the money in 'our' pockets, lol, so to speak. I'm very nervous and confused as to what we should do. Yesterday, I was presented with an opportunity to supply cakes to a local restaurant. Granted it's only 6 cakes a week, but I thought, maybe this is the arrow telling me to make the move. (Yeah, I know, it's a small arrow, lol). I'm not sure if I can legally do the wholesale thing from home, which is why I'm maybe seeing this as an indication. Business has been very good, booking rate at approx. 80-90%. Party cake calls have been coming in almost every day, multiple per day. I limit what I take on each week simply because of space and the fact that it's just me. I have a very clear vision of what I'd like to do, how I'd want the shop set up, etc. I want to have classrooms (2), would like a separate room and playground for my kids, and also be able to host "birthday cake/cookie" parties. I'd also expand the pastry and cookie end and add a few 2-4 top tables for self serve. Not so much a restaurant, but a bakery with tables and coffee. NO DONUTS though, lol Might also look into the possibility of shipping cookies/favors. We'd most likely have to gut a place to make it work. I would love to hear from those of you who made the jump. What made you do it? Are you glad you did? What did you do about employees? What about insurances? Was it worth it? Are you really happy? Are you making a profit? How long did it take to start making a profit? Did you purchase or lease? ETC... I currently work from my home...even built a second kitchen for it. But, I'm outgrowing this one and we have to consider what to do. I do understand there are a lot of costs involved, daunting really. But I appreciate any input/advice any of you can offer...good OR bad. For those of you who don't know me personally or professionally, here is a sample of my work: http://www.aboutthecake.com
  2. So true, Kate. You bring up a valid point-especially about Grandma not writing down her "secret" ingredient, lol. Acutally, as the cake sat, it did seem to firm up and 'dry' a little. Much better and closer to a regular cake. However, my dilemma is most likely solved on this issue simply because another booking came in and it looks like I won't be able to work with them. Thank you for the wonderful points of view!
  3. I don't know how much I can offer, but I'll give it a try. I freeze almost everything that comes out of my kitchen. The difference, however, is that I do it shortly after the cakes come out of the oven. This allows the steam that would normally escape into the air to be trapped in the cake, creating a more dense, moister cake. At least this has been my experience. Part of it I would assume would be the fact that if you wrap and freeze it, no 'air' would be contacting it in dry form, therefore reducing the amount of drying. I'm sure it also has to do with some chemical reaction, but I don't know what that would be, lol. I don't think that it would work as well for a genoise or chiffon cake as I think it would tend to be more crumbly than moist., but again, I don't work with that type of cake on a regular basis so I wouldn't know for sure.
  4. How does this reply sound???: Hi xxxxx. Thank you for the recipe. I've done a sample run on the cake, without the candies, and have a few items I'd like to discuss with you. Firstly, how strong is the root beer flavor supposed to be? I've not had this before, so I wanted to be sure that the flavoring was right. The sample I have made does not have a root beer flavor except for the aftertaste, but I'm wondering if it could be from the exclusion of the candy sticks. The other item would be creating this for a larger crowd in a standard wedding cake construction. It is certainly moist, however, it might be a bit 'wet' for a tiered cake. This means that the butter content is high in ratio to the flour content and that creates a more oily cake, offering a less stable cake. Based on these items, I would recommend using it either in sheet cake form or as a groom's cake. If necessary, we could work with a fake cake or partial fake for the front and serve the cakes from the kitchen. Let me know if this is something you'd be interested in doing and we can work from there. Please refresh my memory as to how many guests you are expecting.
  5. Well, I made the cake, without the candy sticks. The crumb is actually pretty decent, the texture is dense but feels a little 'oily'. I've tasted it and it seems more like a brown sugar cake rather than root beer. In fact, it doesn't taste like root beer at all, except for a subtle aftertaste. I would, however, be somewhat concerned about making this in a large batch. I have a feeling, based on the current tiny cake, that it might not be firm enough to withstand dowelling and wedding construction. The recipe barely made enough for a single layer 7" round pan. It baked up about 1-1/2", so I guess the 8 servings it estimates is a tad high. I'm more of a doctored mix person myself, so I made a doctored cake too. I don't mind experimenting at all, as that's how I came up with all the flavors on my menu. I'm thinking it may be better with a yellow base, but I tried a base. Haven't tasted it yet, but still, no root beer smell or anything. I'm thinking the flavored syrups would be better, should it mean to have a full strong root beer flavor.
  6. Thanks. I plan to do a test run today. If it sucks or is an unstable mixture, then I'll tell them so. Also, I was thinking the Bettercream or something like that, but I don't work with it as an icing. They did mention in the email that I could substitute something that might go with it, but I just don't know how well a crusting BC or IMBC would be with this. My other concern was that I don't think most people would want to eat it. Root beer is certainly something you either like or don't like. I'm one of those who likes root beer plain or in floats, but not flavored otherwise. Forgot to mention, this is their 'grandma's recipe'. Thanks for the input!
  7. But I'm just not sure how stable this would be. They've requested a rootbeer cake, which is fine, but I don't think I'd recommend using it for an entire wedding cake. Here's the recipe they've requested: Makes 8 servings. Ingredients: 1 and 1/4 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cups sugar 1/3 cup butter or margarine, softened 3/4 cups A and W root beer 3/4 teaspoon baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon baking sod 1 egg 2 rootbeer flavored candy sticks, crushed 1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed. Directions: 1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom and side of round pan, 8x 1 and 1/2 or 9x 1 and 1/2 inches, with shortening, lightly flour. 2. Beat all ingredients except whipped topping in large bowl with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds, scraping bow constantly. Beat on high speed 2 minutes, scraping bow occasionally. Pour into pan. 3. Bake 30- 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes remove from pan to wire rack. Cool completely abotu 1 hour and 30 minutes. 4. Cut cake horixontally to make 2 layers . (Mark side of cake with toothpicks, and cut with long, thin serrated knife.) Spread about half of the whiped topping over the bottom of the cake. Add top of cake. Top with remaining whipped topping. Store covered in refrigeration My question is, does this sound like it would be a stable cake? I could recommend it for a groom's cake, but I just don't think I like it for a wedding cake. Also, I can't even imagine how this would be to make it for over 100 ppl. You certainly couldn't do one giant batch of it. Any recommendations?
  8. Thank you. It was the royal icing one, like on Food TV. I had seen it done before, but most recently on there. I would like to try if for an ocean scene I'm working on. The other one, I reckon, would be for casting sugar. I need to make blue flames and wanted to try it as a cast first then try to pull them. They would need to be dark blue on the bottom fading out into pale blue. Thank you all for your gracious help! I knew I could count on you!
  9. Does anyone have a recipe for the edible coral? It starts with a simple syrup then you add something to it to make it look foamy. The other one is for the type of poured sugar you can use for pulled sugar too. I have the Venuance pearls, but need a pourable one for an upcoming project. Thanks in advance!
  10. Well, I ended up making a mock vanilla mousse, coloring it green, and adding peppermint oil to it. Made a nice, smooth gentle mint filling. Thanks for your help!
  11. I would also suggest chilling the cakes and using the cardboard. You can freeze the cakes too, but they'd still have to be thawed before slicing, or the knife won't go thru them very well. If you are using a standard home kitchen freezer (that also contains your personal food), you really should plastic wrap the cakes then place in a freezer bag to help prevent the odors from seeping in. They won't keep that well in a basic freezer for too long, as the odors will eventually creep into the cake. If you're only freezing long enough to make the cake handle well, then you don't have to worry (still plastic wrap it though).
  12. Thanks K8, lol. I've been on here for a while, just haven't posted, lol.
  13. Ooooh, the peppermint schnapps sounds really good. Never thought of that. I would suppose it would work because the extract also has alcohol in it.
  14. Super, thanks! I'll give it a whirl.
  15. I am in need of a good mint filling to go with a chocolate brownie cake. Anyone have any suggestions? Thanks!
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