January 24, 2011

Topsy Turvy

Back in October I made a cake for a really good family friend's 5oth "surprise" birthday party. It was pretty last minute and her husband just said to make something she would like. Free reign? Really? Now I'm the type of person who HAS to have directions and specific details in any other area. I cannot receive an assignment, in any area of life, with very few instructions and just "go for it." I need details, details, details!! In cake-ing though, it's a whole different story. At the party I set up the cake (you can see a picture here) and everyone loved it!

Fast forward to January where I get an email and phone call from another family friend (also at the party) asking if I would make her mother's 50th birthday cake. We discussed details and she explained that she wanted a topsy turvy (all tiers are lopsided and leaning), 30-serving, black/white/pink cake with a fondant loopy bow on top. No problem! Having never made a topsy turvy cake, or loopy bow, in my life I had some work ahead of me. I started my research in my favorite place, the Wilton discussion forums. (Seriously, if you are interested in cake decorating at all, you HAVE to visit this site. It is unbelievably helpful and the people are so nice!)

When all was said and done, it turned out better than I expected and I got many, many compliments on it. It looked great, tasted wonderful, and the birthday girl was very surprised! It was incredibly informative, and a great learning experience. Yes, there were some bumps along the way, but I kept on going and "made it work!"

(PS: I wanted to do a step-by-step, but had a camera that decided to give up on me. When I figure out how to get pictures off my phone I will post them.)

January 19, 2011

Doing a Little Sampling

A few months ago I was asked by one of my father's coworkers to create some sample cupcakes for his wife. She had seen my portfolio on Facebook and wanted to see for herself if my treats tasted as good as they looked. I knew that I didn't just want to go the traditional "vanilla, chocolate, red velvet" route, although those were the flavors I made the most. I decided it was time to step outside of my comfort zone and experiment.

Originally I had planned on making these samples right away so that neither of us would forget about them, however, I was right in the middle of a killer semester at school, dealing with papers every week and so much homework I am surprised I even got any sleep. Sadly, and this has never happened before, there was no time for cupcakes.

Fast Forward to January--I know, I know, it was long overdue. School was finally over; the hustle and bustle of a very busy (and crazy) Holiday season was past; and I finally found myself with time on my hands (a very rare occurrence.) So I set out to create a list of magnificent cupcakes that would be equally delicious and beautiful. I spent a week planning the flavors of the cakes and frosting's, as well as the designs that each would sport. I finally nailed down a list of flavors that would be unforgettable and classic.

I decided to go with orange cream, raspberry swirl, cookies 'n' cream, peanut butter, spice, apple pie, mocha, banana, vanilla, chocolate, and red velvet. I spent an entire afternoon chopping, measuring, mixing, scooping, and baking and created 3 each of 11 different flavors. After cooling, I held an informal tasting party in the kitchen--as in I sliced up the cupcakes and solicited opinions from my parents. Sadly, Mocha did not make the cut. The rest, I am proud to say, were successful! I was a "mad scientist" in the kitchen and did not even have to fail first to become one.

I put my best efforts into decorating each with a complimenting frosting and design and created 11 one-of-a-kind treats to send off.

Orange cream with Orange frosting; banana with vanilla buttercream; red velvet with vanilla bc; chocolate with chocolate fudge frosting; vanilla with vanilla bc; peanut butter with chocolate bc; apple pie with vanilla bc; apple pie with Caramel bc; spice with vanilla bc; raspberry swirl with raspberry bc; and cookies 'n' cream with vanilla bc.

I am proud to say that they were very warmly received and got rave reviews.

January 2, 2011

A New Year

Being that it is a new year I have resolved to not let this blog fall by the wayside anymore. It has been more than six months since I first (and last.....) posted and I am determined to not let that happen again, so, that being said, I am posting for the first time this year to put my new resolution out there! This blog will not be neglected this year!

I have a lot of aspirations for the upcoming year which include (hopefully) getting more orders for cakes and seeing my business really start to grow. I am also going to be more open to new cake flavors and ideas and try not to let the fear of failure hold me back. I would also like to post more pictures and tutorials and experiences, but first I need a new camera as mine has decided to quit on me after only 6 months of use. (I didn't even use it that much!)

What I would like to accomplish does not just include cakeing though. I would also like this blog to be a place for me to develop my writing skills (because being in college full-time doesn't do that already...?)

My first adventure will occur tomorrow. I am going to make several sample cupcakes to send to a potential client(s) in the hopes of showcasing my flavors and designs. Crossing my fingers right now!

Anyway, here's to a wonderful 2011 full of love, growth, and cake!! Cheers!!!