Monday, September 17, 2012

Baking business underway (sort of)

Wedding cake number two is well underway done! After one weekend spent baking my little heart out and another spent making copious amounts of buttercream (each batch is tested for safety and taste), I am 2/3 of the way into done with my second (or third if you count the practice cake) wedding cake. I'm very grateful to friends Jake and Alicia for this opportunity!

As they are having a wedding about twice the size of mine, I've gotten creative with how to make sure there is enough cake to feed that many people. The solution, one large traditional cake, and two smaller nine inch cakes to echo the main cake and still look lovely. Creative thinking, for the win. My freezer is full of cake, and if this gets any more serious, I'm going to invest in a small chest freezer, as we don't have the space for this kind of excessive baking.

Because I am apparently a glutton for punishment, on top of cakes, I've been working on breads. This weekend, I made baguettes, which I am incredibly proud of. They're lovely to look at, quite tender, and while the crust isn't as dark as I'd like it to be, it has the right amount of chewiness. I'm very proud of these loaves.

I keep getting asked, when I mention that I'm making a wedding cake, if it is a side business. I answer, "sort of." It could be, and I definitely would love to have opportunities continue to develop. So, friends, if you, or someone you know, lives in the DC area and needs a wedding or special occasion cake, send them my way!

Update: The cake was very popular and well-recieved. Someone even asked me my secret and a I laughed as I told her that it was all the America's Test Kitchen Baking Book. I'm also looking at a few websites (Smitten Kitchen mainly) for inspiration for other types of cakes. I'm willing to branch into chocolate, and I'd love to see how cupcakes work out as a wedding cake.

And I apologize that I don't have any pictures. I can't bake, assemble, and frost while thinking about taking photos. But, if you've seen my wedding cake. you get the idea.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Grandparents Day

Sadly, none of my grandparents are no longer on this earth, but I still think about each of them for various reasons. Lately, I've been thinking about my Grandma Dunlap a lot though. She left her KitchenAid mixer to me when she died, and I am forever grateful. I don't know that she knew I'd be making wedding cakes with it, but every time I've mixed up a batch of buttercream in the last few months, I've thought of her. I've thought about how I was kind of surprised that she left it to me, since I didn't bake much at her house, but she knew that I would put it to good use. I've thought about how I hope she's looking down, happy that it's life has been extended, and it's still going strong. I think about how even I didn't expect that I'd be doing these things, but am so glad that I have this mixer, because some of the stuff I make wouldn't be possible without it.

I remember when I was starting life on my own, and my grandmother had just passed away. I was fortunate that I got many things from her home, from her silverware to her car. Those things weren't quite as special as the KitchenAid. When my friends were making their wedding registries, I felt a bit smug at knowing that I already had an off-white mixer sitting on my counter. Now, I just feel a bundle of emotions ranging from happiness to sadness to contentment when I use my mixer. Thanks, Grandma, I think of you every time I use it.

PS - Am currently working on another wedding cake, to be in a wedding this weekend. I'm working on a blog post about that.