Day in and day out you see pretty pictures of the cakes I make and design for clients. I thought it would interesting to give you a few behind the scenes updates from my kitchen to give you a better idea of what really goes on over here.
As most of you know, I work from home. Not my home, though. My parents have a nice and spacious kitchen with a new stove and lots of counter space. Plus, there is lots of storage here too, for all of my cake-making supplies--pans, ingredients, sprinkles, you name it. Having such a great space to work in has really made it possible for me to grow my business. Since I work on my own, what has also helped me and has made things SO MUCH easier is having two Kitchenaid stand-mixers. I don't know how I ever survived without these babies. They really save me so much time and help with multi-taking when I have lots to do. They also make the fluffiest buttercream icing--I can't even imagine making frosting with a hand-held mixer now.
I've been trying for months to make the perfect French macaron. A couple months ago I used an entire bag of almond flour from Costco attempting to make them and it was a huge mess! I didn't realize how tricky they are to master--from making the perfect meringue, to the precise measurements, to the mixing, also known as "macaronage," to the baking. I gave up. Two weeks ago I thought I would give it another go. Clients keep requesting them for their cakes and I've also had people ask to buy them by the dozen. I've always had to outsource them or decline requests. Well, not anymore! I FINALLY had success this time around (after 4 attempts over the last week and a half in addition to my previous tries). I am happy to say that I am now offering them in my new online shop. I even registered for a class at Le Detroit Macaron in Michigan to help me because I was having so much trouble. I'm still going to the class because this little shop is amazing.
Over the last 6 months or so things have really picked up. I'm fully booked almost every weekend and I'm having so much fun. As you may or may not know, I do have a full-time job, so I try to run my cake business on the side for now. It's a lot of hard work and long nights, but when you're doing something you love it makes it worth it! I remember when I first started the business a little over a year ago I was only making orders for friends. I would check my business email everyday, but I would find it empty (so sad, I know). I can't even explain the excitement I had when my very first client placed an order. She ordered cinnamon buns and I was so excited that someone who I didn't know wanted to try my product. At this time, I was selling a wider variety of food products--bagels, cinnamon buns, pies, etc. I've really refined things since then, sticking to what I enjoy most and what I'm best at--cakes (mostly)! Thank you to everyone who has supported my little cake business since its inception and to all my new clients who allow me to express my creativity everyday. Who knows what the future holds!
I really try to bring my creativity and passion into all aspects of my business. I've been experimenting with some new flavours lately and have added a few as options on my website. There's something about unusual and unique flavours that really intrigue me. I don't know if it's the fun of testing things out, if it's the unknown that motivates me to figure out what tastes good, or if it's just the fact that I get bored easily and want to keep myself stimulated. Probably a little bit of everything. One of my favourite ways to incorporate new and exciting flavours is through buttercream--you can very easily steep flavours into the butter before you whip it to create buttercream with a punch! I usually make buttercream with two cups of butter (plus icing sugar, salt, vanilla, and milk). Before you put your butter into the bowl of a stand mixer, take one of the two cups and put it in a pot with something that steeps easily--earl grey tea, lavender buds, etc. Bring it to a boil, take it off the heat, and let it sit for 15 minutes at room temperature. Then strain it into a separate bowl and pop it in the fridge until it becomes the consistency of room temperature butter. Then all you have to do it throw it in the bowl with the rest of the regular butter and make your buttercream how you normally would from there!