Hi!!! As I mentioned in another forum I'm new to CC and am looking forward to learning as much as I can. I'm not sure where these questions should actually be posted; so I'm just taking a chance:
1. What enables smaller operations to offer a wide variety of cake flavors in various pan sizes without the use of cake mixes? My understanding is that recipes/formulas are written for a specific pan size and when the pan size changes, the amounts of baking powder or baking soda must be adjusted accordingly. What underlying guidelines or principles are being used to scale recipes for different pan sizes? Hypothetically speaking, how would a chocolate cake recipe be written to yield 6", 9", or 12" cake layers?
2. To date, my experience has been with operations that pre-freeze their cakes as part of their inventory. How do smaller operations offer a wide variety of cake flavors manage their production without pre-freezing the cakes? Is it plausible that the number of customers taken on is minimized? Generally speaking, how ould the production of 5 cakes, all different flavors, for 5 different customers whose delivery date is on the 15th be approached?
My questions really come from seeing many custom cake designers advertising that all their cakes are made from scratch without being pre-frozen. Because I've only worked in establishments that freeze their backup cakes as part of their inventory, I'm wondering how their operating procedures allow them to do this. I recently ran into my former pastry instructor and made this inquiry. With her 20-30 years in the industry, she also found it hard to believe that people aren't freezing some of their cakes as part of their inventory.
Any help in gaining more info about this would be appreciated.
With her 20-30 years in the industry, she also found it hard to believe that people aren't freezing some of their cakes as part of their inventory.
All I can contribute to this is one year, my co-workers told me I just HAD to try a local bakery's cakes (I hadn't lived in Indy very long yet). This bakery advertised that they didn't freeze their (wedding) cakes. That may be their loophole in this story, but bear with me.
My co-workers bought me a cake from this bakery for my birthday .... and it was so frozen solid that you couldn't cut it. My supv took it back to get another one ... and MADE them cut it in front of her so she could see that it wasn't frozen. When she brought it back to the office, you could see the condensation on it, so you knew it had been frozen.
By the way, it tasted pretty much like every other bakery cake I'd ever had ... nothing special.
My shop produces 50 - 60 custom cakes a week, along with 60 - 70 cakes that are sold on a walk-in basis, and 15 - 20 wedding cakes, all in one week.
We use a commercial cake mix, but enhance it to produce 25 flavors of cake. We do not freeze anything. We bake 2 - 3 times a week, store all the baked cakes in a high moisture walk-in cooler, where they actually get moister.
Once decorated, they are stored in a low moisture walk-in cooler, so the icing does not sweat.
Once they are baked, the cakes are decorated in 2 - 3 days. In the cooler, they would actually have about a 2-week life, but ours are gone within the week.
All we make are decorated cakes. We are not a bakery. Most of the bakeries in our area freeze all their party cakes, but bake the weddings fresh each week.
Thanks so much for your replies. I'm still new to the industry and hope to offer custom cakes as a small business at some point. I'm still curious about the baking powder/soda issue when producing cake batter for different size pans.
Again, I appreciate your answers.