So, I am new with my side business of cakes and I've only done a few taste testing sessions for brides so far. I have made up to 3 flavors and filling and icing with max of 3 people. So far I've had to make each mini 6-inch cake from scratch before the taste testing. I had a friend of mine say when she got married her cake lady had cakes frozen and then brides could pick from the frozen cake flavors. I am uneasy about the freezing because I like freshness.
What do you all do for your taste testing sessions? (Not the specifics on charging, number of people etc)
[quote="What do you all do for your taste testing sessions? (Not the specifics on charging, number of people etc)[/quote]
I would be interested in hearing this as well.
Me too...I've had a few people ask about it, but then they just pick a flavor. On some TV shows some places look like they have a plate of just plain cake and dollops of fillings and frosting to try. Other ones it looks like a layer cake...do they make up a double sheet cake and cut and wrap and freeze? What a lot of work to make like 3 small cakes for free and the time, etc...or I assume these places are big and taking a sample of cake is already made so its not a big deal? Ideas would be helpful.
good question.. I have been wondering about it myself to
There are so many ways to have tastings. I make my cakes from scratch as well. I think a 6" cakes serves about 8 people so if you have a three person max, perhaps you are serving excessive cake. I bake a lot and when I do, I usually make a little extra batter and make a layer of whats left into wedding samples. I cut either two inch squares or rounds with a cookie cutter and brush them with the appropriately flavoured sugar syrup to keep them moist, wrap will in saran wrap and put them in tupperware in the freezer. When needed, I thaw out the samples and they taste like fresh baked. I must say they must be put in a deep freezer. the freezer sections of a refrigerator (even my subzero) don't freeze deeply and quickly enough.
I do the same with extra fillings and frostings. I scoop them into small balls with a one ounce ice cream scoop and freeze those in the same manner. I use mostly mousseline fruit fillings made with fresh fruit purees (I'm fortunate to have a small farm and grow most of my own fruit and vegetables) I find they freeze very well.
At the tastings, I arrange the various cake samples along with frosting / fillings balls on a separate plate for each taster and let them mix and match. I find this much more economical and my cake varieties seem to cover all the bases (chocolate, french vanilla bean, red velvet --after all this is the South,-- and carrot cake. If a bride has a particular cake (like pistachio) that I usually don't make well then i do make that up specially but it's very very rare. If the bride is considering fondant, then I put a layer of fondant onto of one of the cake samples.
My tastings are included in the price of the cake but I'm in a rural area with hardly any competition so brides usually aren't just shopping around. Other cakers often charge and then credit the fee against the cake fee if the bride goes with them.
I have the tastings in my dining room. My home is an old plantation house so the setting is conducive to a festive event. I enjoy the tastings as much as the bride and groom and family so I usually include a glass of champagne in the tasting. It's not as extravagant as it may appear. I buy inexpensive champagne by the case and add a drop of raspberry or orange liqueur and bob's your uncle it tastes wonderful. Of course any left over champagne is a toast at dinner that night.
Wow Southercross...this all sounds wonderful!! I love the way you do the tastings. A great way to reuse extra cake batter and frosting, and fillings for sure...do you freeze ganache balls too? Will it thaw creamy again? Thanks!
I've never had any problems with freezing whipped ganache. I just let it come to room temp before serving.
Well, I guess I'll try freezing. I don't have a deep freeze in the general sense of the term- just a plain old side-by-side refrigerator and another stand up fridge with the freezer above the fridge. I am even more nervous about freezing and reserving fillings, especially ones like Lemon Curd and Bavarian Cream. Well, as of now, I'm not doing the tastings all that often so I will probably continue to bake a few mini cakes (my husband doens't mind the extra and we have so many guests over all the time I have dessert already made). When my numbers get higher, then I'll go ahead and start the freezing. Thanks!
I will probably continue to bake a few mini cakes (my husband doens't mind the extra and we have so many guests over all the time I have dessert already made).
I love it, When I have extras, I disburse them to kids in the neighbourhood....I had to stop eating them myself after gaining 20 pounds!
southerncross Thank you for replying. This was very helpful.
I like the idea of adding a glass of champagne!
I freeze 4" round cakes for tastings in my most popular flavors with my excess cake batter. Frozen well wrapped cake will stay stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer. If they want to try flavors that I have to bake up special I would charge for the tasting.