Thursday, July 18, 2013

Busy Baking

Those who know me well, know that I am really not a fan of baking. My greatest passion is healthy, sugar-free, grain-free (or low carb) cooking. However, I do enjoy creating customized birthday cakes. Over the years I have done them for my children's birthdays and that was plenty enough for me. Since moving to a more remote northern community where selection is slim at best I decided, with much encouragement from friends and family, to offer my services to others in the community. There are a number of skilled "home bakers" and at least one VERY talented professional baker (Abby's Cakes) in our small town so I figured I'd give it a shot. If people were willing to pay a little bit for my humble creations, then why not try? Here are some of these creations. I hope others will be inspired, as I was to create, even if it's not perfection!

My very 1st paying order was for a Topsy-Turvy Cake...

Having never done one before I decided it wise to do a practice run and offered to make one for a friend for free so I could practice. I looked up a video on YouTube and went at it (she makes it look so easy).


Base Tier
Top Tier
My angles were too extreme... 
 I used too much oil on my hands to keep the fondant from sticking and it made the fondant not only shiny, but it just didn't get that smooth look. Now, the only time I use oil (or even water) with fondant is if the look we want is shiny (to look like plastic or something) and only to rub it on AFTER.
Not my best at all, but I learned and that is, after all, the point of a trial cake.
 

The real Cake...

The final order was reduced a bit due to size needed by the client. We came up with some great ideas. and this is what we came up with in the end...
Still angled...
She had a Alice in Wonderland theme going on. The Cheshire Cat with the striped fondant turned out very well, though I would have preferred more contrast in the color of the base to the cat and stripes. Tinting can be a tricky business! The client had made a black hat to sit on top and a teapot on top of that still. I looked wonderful and they were all so pleased. Felt really good for my very first SOLD cake. Along with this order were some very custom cupcakes. She loved the ones I showed her from a birthday gift I had made for a dear friend from The Angry Turtle.
The best part about this order was that I got to meet a really nice family and we keep in touch here and there. Who knows how you might meet your friends?

I do not advertise more than the little bit on our local Facebook pages because I am not sure how busy I really want to get at this point. My prices are based on how long I think it will take to make plus the cost of materials. Being that I am not yet as proficient as a long time baker I keep my prices pretty reasonable ($10/hr at the beginning). As I do more and get better I will feel more comfortable charging more ($12/hr after more practice). I just can't see most people from our community spending hundreds of dollars on a birthday cake. Certainly, there are people out there who are willing, but I feel that this is less about making money and more about seeing people excited about their cake! Now if only I could afford to make them sugar-free & grain-free...