First, I want to say, CC is THE best cake baking community out there and I really appreciate all the information, pictures and recipes that everyone has provided on this forum. You all in some fashion helped me with your post, responses, and encouragement.
Okay! Now, I am SOOOOO excited about making cakes its unreal. Hopefully within the next 3 years, I will have enough funds saved up and experience under my apron that I can enter into the wedding cake market. For now, I'm just selling cakes on either a donations or amateur basis price on a word of mouth basis. I'm sure everyone who started out have those "I'm not there yet" feelings.
Well, this week I was asked to make a basic cake for a retirement ceremony. The customer hated colored frosting anything and only wanted an "all white" buttercream cake with the exception of the image and the writing "congratulations". She requested a 2 layer cake with raspberry filling and large enough to serve 60 people.
So, what did I do and learn? Logged on CC!
I learned from indydebi's many post on how to calculate servings based upon the size of the cake pan. It was the post where (after she showed the formula) her closing sentence was "Do the math....." LOVE IT Indydebi! Thank you because that indeed helped me and I NOW know how to calculate servings.
I also learned about the Cakeboss software! LOVE IT! Even though I made this cake on a "donation" basis, I still wanted to have some idea as to how much its costing me to make cakes. I came across this software on here and purchased it immediately! Thanks for the discount CakeBoss! All I can say is WOW! Next to replacing my wilton's pans with Magic Line pans, this was THE best purchase I have made to date. Thanks to whoever came up this this software and offered it to the public. Well worth the money!
Icing: I learned that smooth buttercream frosting cannot be obtained (again, I'm still a babe) without HIGH RATIO SHORTENING. If you are still using crisco, STOP IT and go get you a 12lb box of Sweetex! OMG, what I difference it made in the consistency of my buttercream. Bye Bye grittiness!
Global Sugar Art: You had me at "hello" This is a huge one for me because I am in Germany (military spouse) and it literally takes a couple weeks (sometimes longer) to get boxes. I was hesitant about ordering anything last minute, but GSA proved me WRONG. My first order of materials I purchased on Jan 5. and I received my boxes on Jan 12. My second order, Jan 15, I purchased a (week before cake due date) box of sweetex and tones of cake filling in various flavors. Skeptical that I would get the stuff before the 24th and there was a holiday. GSA proved me wrong and my boxes arrived on the 22nd. My loyalty is now with GSA.
Key to smooth frosting: Yeah, some say its in the VIVA method and hey it has worked for me depending on the frosting. But what I am SOLD on is the hot spatula method. As I am frosting the cake, I dipped my spatula in a pot of boiling water I had on the stove. Dip (water), Dip (frosting), Spread baby! Maybe I can make a dance out of it!
Oh and the customer gave me a donation of more than want I would have charged. So I made a hefty profit and a couple of new customers who had the cake at the ceremony. I also received phone calls at work asking why don't I just drop my job as a deputy comptroller and go into cake making. I don't think I'm there yet, but definitely appreciated the compliments.
Sorry for the long post, but I LOVE this place and can't help but share. To be continued.....
This place is very helpfull, that's true. Good on you,keep baking.
I love your enthusiasm! Thanks for an uplifting start to my morning.
If you want smooth buttercream try the foam roller method!! The hot knife method works but the roller takes half the time and looks AWESOME!!!! From a distance they'll think it's fondant!!
You bring me back to when I first discovered Cake Central. It is a goldmine of inspiration and advice.
Wishing you great success with all your caking endeavours!!