Archive for May, 2010

A Cake Maker’s Dream Comes True

Friday, May 21st, 2010

Found this great story in the Greely Tribune:

A slice from a topsy-turvy birthday cake or a bite from the romantic elegance of a spring wedding cake will lead you into one woman’s small but booming cake boutique in Erie. No matter your style, Rachael Teufel has the taste for it all.

Working for years as a physical therapist in Connecticut, Rachael always knew she wanted to expand on her favorite hobby — cakes. Ten years ago, she finally took her hobby seriously.

With no formal culinary training, Rachael began taking cake decorating classes. After moving to Colorado in 2006, she transitioned from physical therapy to her lifetime passion, officially started her own business, Intricate Icings, in a rental kitchen. Focusing primarily on wedding cakes, by 2008 Rachael was creating four to five cakes per weekend during wedding season, all by herself.

As her business expanded, Rachael moved Intricate Icings into its own shop in Erie in May 2009 and hired two employees. Along with wedding cakes and cupcakes, Intricate Icings designs novelty cakes for other events such as birthdays, anniversaries and retirements. You will not find standard grocery store sheet cakes at Intricate Icings.

“Everything I make is in 3-D,” Rachael says about her cakes.

Rachael has come a long way in a very short time. She believes much of the success of her business has to do with the growing popularity of cake shows on television. But now she is part of that realm, too. She recently filmed an episode of the Food Network Challenge in Denver that will air this summer. The show presents a variety of culinary types, and Rachael was invited to appear on a themed cake decorating episode. Rachael will compete against three other designers and the winner will be awarded $10,000 and a gold medal.

“The Challenge was a blast,” Rachael said. “Such a great experience!”

Rachael still finds pleasure every day with her new career. Designing cakes from scratch every week is a huge relief from her previous tedious daily life. Coming up on the busiest time of the year — wedding cake season — Rachael embraces the long hours in the bakery and never looks back.

Do any of you have dreams of being a famous cake maker? Share your story!

Spiced Honey Cake with Caramelized Figs Recipe

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Mmmmm…. summertime…  the best thing about cakes is that there are really a variety of cakes that are great for different occasions. You can have birthday cake, wedding cake, rainy Sunday afternoon cake and my favorite summer picnic cake! Think about: checked table cloth, picnic basket, romantic encounter and spiced honey cake top with caramelized figs. We have to thank @drdavid for pointing us to this recipe; as he is a doctor, I’m going to keep on pretending that its healthy.

http://www.chow.com/recipes/28254-spiced-honey-cake-with-caramelized-figs?tag=main_body;item-Recipe-28254

INGREDIENTS

For the cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  • 1/2 C zested orange
  • 1 1/2 cups honey
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup strongly brewed coffee
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature

For the topping:

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (1/4 stick)
  • 2 pints Mission figs, halved (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/2 cup honey liqueur, such as Bärenjäger
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 T Balsamic Vinegar
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. For the cake:
  2. Heat the oven to 325°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with butter; set aside.
  3. Whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt, and clove in a large bowl to break up any lumps and aerate; set aside. Whisk together honey, oil, coffee, sugar, and eggs in another large bowl until eggs are broken up and mixture is smooth and combined. Add dry mixture to wet and stir just until combined. Add orange zest.
  4. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out completely clean, about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, transfer cake to a rack, and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Then run a knife around the inside perimeter of the pan and remove the springform ring.
  5. For the topping:
  6. While the cake is cooling, add the butter to a large frying pan over medium-high heat. When the foaming subsides, add the figs cut side down. Cook undisturbed until browned, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the liqueur, honey & balsamic, stir to coat the figs, and cook until the syrup is golden brown and the figs are soft but still intact, about 10 minutes. Top the cake with the fig mixture and serve.

This Week’s Contest

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

Contest Announcement: This week we want you to give a cake to your friends and give you a chance to win one as well. To enter, use the “suggest to friends” link on the left. Suggest this page to your friends. Then ask your friends to post a comment to our facebook post saying: (your name) suggested this page to me. Whomevever gets the most friends to post wins a cake. PLUS, two people from the comments will also win cakes!

tiramisuhappybirthday

This Cake is Amazing.

Thursday, May 20th, 2010

atatcake

Courtesy of http://www.boingboing.net/2010/05/18/at-at-wedding-cake.html via Theresea Ulrich

Board Game Inspired Cakes

Wednesday, May 19th, 2010

We love it when people send us their favorite cakes in the mail. In particular, we really love when McLean, the writer behind Deacon Does DC, sent along boardgame themed cakes. Candyland cake? Yes, that is what has been missing all my life.

candy-land-cake-1

candy-land-cake-2

(From Deacon Does DC via Geekologie)

operation

(via Uneasy Silence)

scrabbleboard2

(via The Celebration Cake)

cristy-j-candyland1

(via CakeWrecks)

Passion Fruit Pound Cake

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

**** Do you have a favorite recipe? Shoot us an email with the recipe and if we decide to post it, we will send you a free cake! Kristina (at) bakemeawish.com

Makes one 9-inch loaf

12 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for pan

1½ cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

¼ teaspoon salt

1 cup sugar

Finely grated zest of 2 oranges

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Glaze

½ cup strained passion fruit pulp

1/3 cup sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease the inside of a 9-inch loaf pan. Dust lightly with flour, tapping out excess. Line bottom with parchment paper.

2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

3. Using an electric mixer, cream the sugar, butter and orange zest; beat 3-5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

4. Meanwhile, beat eggs and vanilla together, then dribble it into the butter mixture, while mixer is running.

5. Gently fold in the flour, until just combined. Scrape batter into pan and bake 55 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove cake from pan, remove parchment paper and turn cake right side up on a plate. Let cool while you make the glaze.

6. Stir strained pulp and sugar together, but do not dissolve. Use a wooden skewer to poke 50 holes in the top of the cake, all the way to the bottom. Spoon half the glaze evenly over the top, then turn the cake on its side, and coat the entire cake evenly.

- Adapted from David Lebovitz’s “Ready for Dessert: My Favorite Recipes”

Cake Balls and A Heartwarming Story

Monday, May 17th, 2010

Check out this heartwarming story….

From Gangs to Cakes: An Unusual Career Path

A First  Communion cake

A First Communion cake Credit Lee Elkins

Kelly Lindquist took the long way to being a pastry chef. From graphic design to mentoring gang members to social work, her road has been full of twists and turns, ultimately leading back to her Connecticut roots as the owner of Sweet Rewards cake shop.

Lindquist’s love of all things sweet began in her grandmother’s kitchen. Growing up in New Fairfield, Lindquist said her grandmother taught her to enjoy baking.

Leaving baking behind, she graduated from Endicott College with a degree in graphic design and marketing and took a job as an art director for a Boston newspaper. But in the early 1990s, her desire to help others led her to a grassroots effort called Gang Peace.

This non-profit group worked out of a house in a rough neighborhood south of Boston. Lindquist lived and worked among Gang Peace’s clients, starting a newsletter and encouraging the boys she met to use their creativity in productive ways.

Although it took a long time to gain the gang members’ trust, Lindquist, 37, says, “the boys loved writing rap, which is poetry.”

But when she was expecting her daughter, who is now 13, Lindquist headed home to Connecticut.

She took a job with Danbury’s Family and Children’s Aid as director of a day treatment program. But Lindquist found that working for an agency supported by the state was too limiting, so she took a break from social work and began baking for a caterer friend.

While working for the Danbury caterer, a couple requested an unusual cake for their Halloween wedding. And Lindquist obliged, creating a four-foot mummy cake served on a casket-shaped board. Word spread, and soon Lindquist opened up her first shop in an old house near Brookfield Lanes.

Now living in Sherman, Lindquist was thrilled to find a more modern facility in her new location at 18 Old Route 7, near the Hearth Restaurant.

“Considering the quality of work that we are doing, we wanted [the space] to reflect that,” says Lindquist.

With more space and updated appliances, Lindquist and her team create cupcakes, cookies, wedding cakes, birthday cakes and sculpted specialty cakes, as well as her famous Cakeballz.

Cakeballz are small, truffle-like bites of cake mixed with frosting then dipped in semisweet chocolate. Sold individually or in boxes of six or 12, flavors may include Marble Bavarian, marble cake mixed with Bavarian cream and dipped in chocolate; Elvis, banana cake mixed with peanut butter frosting and dipped in chocolate; or Chocolate Raspberry, which features chocolate raspberry cake blended with raspberry buttercream then dipped in chocolate.

Along with the Cakeballz, the demand for cupcakes has been “ridiculous” since the move. Red Velvet and Chocolate Raspberry are the most popular cupcakes, but other flavors include Banana Split, Toasted Almond and Tiramisu.

Lindquist still keeps in touch with some of her “boys” from Boston. And as she reflects on the path she has taken and what her past has in common with her present, she muses that “some brides can be just as intimidating as gang members!”

A Guest Blog Post

Friday, May 14th, 2010

We love the posts by CakeGrrl– a blog out of Sacramento. The posts are informative, the blogging is great and the cake pictures make you want to reach into the computer and touch them (fine, sometimes I want to lick the screen- I’ll admit it).  Because of our slight obsession with the blog, we asked the CakeGrrl herself to guest blog for us. Her post is below.

Cake Making is both a tedious process and a passion…
…and not always so much a profit in the end. I wanted to explain the cake making process to some people out there who might get a little sticker shock when they ask for a cake quote from me and it comes back in the $100-$400 range. This is what special cakes cost, as they are not only food for your guests, but are focal points and works of art at your parties! :)

Before I elaborate, I’d like to thank the Bake Me a Wish Blog for contacting me and asking me to do a guest post.

I was given a little set of questions I’d like to answer before I go into the process of explaining one of my latest cakes. I’ll address those first:

1.) What’s your favorite cake flavor?
Come on!! That’s like asking a mother about her favorite child. :) OK, I am partial to chocolate and love the incorporation of delicate mocha flavors in cakes… I love vanilla bean as well. I also really enjoy using flavors in cakes that are not used very often. Citrus zest is so delectable in buttercream. To answer the question though, I guess chocolate cake (brushed with Kahlua) with chocolate buttercream filling and vanilla frosting is my fave.

2.) What got you started in the cake business?
I got started in 1999 when I began taking decorating classes at a local Michaels craft store, and bringing the leftovers into work. A coworker asked me how much I would charge for a birthday cake, and it all spiraled out of control from there. :) Soon, I was making 4 or 5 dozen Christmas cookies for another coworker, and then a wedding cake for another co-worker. I decided to get certified with the health department and soon I had a small bakery business out of my apartment in Dayton. When I moved to California, things changed a little, and I was no longer allowed by law to have a home bakery. I became ServSafe certified and now rent kitchen space when someone orders a custom cake.

3.) What do you think it is about cake that really makes people go crazy?
I think it’s programmed in from birth. Cakes are always in direct relation to celebration. It’s a big cake when you turn 8 or 10, and then a huge cake when you graduate, get your first big job, or get married. Cakes are the centerpiece of a celebration. I guarantee that most times, you won’t remember what you had to eat at a party, but you will remember the cake, and if it was good or bad. Sometimes this means grocery store quality–memorable in a bad way–or a spectacular centerpiece, of course memorable in a good way.

4.) What’s your dream cake experience?
Dream cake experience? Kind of weird question, but I guess mine would be that my buttercream and cake didn’t contain any calories?? Unfortunately they do, and so I don’t get to have much of it.

5.) Share your favorite cake memory.
I have many favorite cake memories. Some of them have been cakes made for me, and some of them have been cakes I have made for others. But I always remember the CAKE making or breaking the party. I guess the most inventive cake was one I did for my 30th birthday party in the shape of a piece of sushi. It was green tea flavored cake with lychee buttercream.

Sushi cake for my 30th

So now I would like to detail just exactly what goes into a special celebration centerpiece like the custom cakes I design…

First, I collaborate to come up with a concept with my customers. Usually they have something in mind they want to convey, and an occasion to celebrate. For the cake below, it was the screening of Le Couperet for the Sacramento French Film Festival. The client and I decided to make the cake into a reel-to-reel. The star came about in my mind when I had leftover cake from baking the main two and wanted to incorporate it into the design. I cut out a star to add to the “Hollywood” appeal.

So, to backtrack a little bit the cakes are baked. This particular cake (to feed 60-80 people) took about 3-4 hours to bake and cool. Then, the cakes are cut into their needed shapes. For the rounds, I simply leveled the tops and torted them to fill them with chocolate filling. I cut the star by hand. Usually I make the fillings and frostings while the cakes are baking and cooling.

Then, after the cakes are cooled and cut, they are covered in a layer of buttercream and then a layer of fondant. Now, I do not use the boxed fondant by itself. I make a fondant from scratch with better flavor and mix 50/50. Mixing the fondant and getting all the colors I need takes about an hour or two, depending on how many colors I need. So now, we are up to 6 hours without any decorating time at all.

Then the main cakes are covered and I clean all the extra powdered sugar off of them as I go. In this case, I spray painted the cakes with edible spray paint to clean them up really well before I continued decorating.


Then I rolled out big circles of gray fondant and used a cutter to make holes in it to resemble a reel. When laid down on the black layers of “film” the cake began to take shape… :) At this point, I have put about 7 hours into the cake.


Little pieces of rolled out black fondant are formed into the film, connecting the reel-to-reel, then I paint the entire cake that I want to be shiny with an edible metallic paint made from lustre dust and vodka.


Here’s the final cake that was enjoyed at the Le Couperet premiere. It was one of my most fun pieces to make and decorate and a memorable piece for a good acquaintance of mine. I am looking forward to the French Film Festival this June and will be involved with it in some way, and even more with the upcoming tenth anniversary. I am pretty sure I put in about 10 hours into this cake. The price of this cake would be $200, so if you do the math, you can safely assume that with ingredients and labor, I don’t really make much profit. I do these projects because they promote this website, they are fun, they make people gorgeously happy, and they rock your event!!