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Foolproof and Simple Cake Recipes

  11/12/14 18:26, by Liz, Categories: Cupcakes

Among the many types of recipes you can find, some are quite difficult and complicated, while some are quite easy. They are so easy that you really don’t break a sweat to achieve such good looking result! There are reasons why these cakes are given names as simple cakes; yep, they are so easy to make! You don’t actually have to be a professional or skilled chef to be able to make them. The ingredients are easy to find and you don’t need abundant of them either. Simply follow the instructions on the recipes and you are good to go!

The Icebox Cake

You need to prepare:

  • A package of chocolate wafers – usually a 9-oz package
  • 2 tablespoons of confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
  • A teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Chocolate curls – optional

To make the cake, you need to:

  • Beat the cream until it forms soft peaks (use big bowl). Add up vanilla and sugar, and beat again until it is completely stiff.
  • Spread a teaspoon of it to the wafers. And then stack them until there are six wafer stacks.
  • Use the whipped cream to frost the sides and the top. Add up chocolate curls if you want to. Place it into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before serving it up

You see how easy to make the cake? You can get 10 to 12 servings, with only 15 minutes of baking – chilling isn’t included. Each serving has 235 calories, with 55 mg cholesterol, 2 g of proteins, 18 g of fat, 1 g of fiber, and 18 g of carbs.

The Glory Old Angel Cake

Another easy recipe is available, in case you want to have a regular cake instead of the chilled one. This is another easy cake to make, as you only need to prepare:

  • A cup of fresh strawberries, cut in quarters
  • A cup of fresh blueberries
  • A cartoon of thawed frozen whipped cream – have the 8-oz of it
  • A loaf of angel food cake –around 10 ½ oz
  • Additional strawberries and blueberries

To make the cake, you need to:

  • Prepare the angel food cake and then split it horizontally into three parts.
  • Mix a cup of strawberries and a cup of whipped topping. Spread it over evenly on the bottom layer and then top it off with the second layer.
  • Mix a cup of blueberries and a cup of whipped topping again. Spread it over evenly on the second layer and top it off with the remaining layer.
  • Spread the remaining topping on the top part of the cake, before you can add additional berries. It is up to you to form what kind of decoration, although a flag form is often used in this angel food decoration. 

See how easy you can achieve such tasty cake? With only total time of 20 minutes, you can have 8 generous servings. Whether you make it for your families or friends, they will surely be happy to get and taste it! 

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Steps in Setting up Your Own Cake Business

  11/12/14 14:48, by Liz, Categories: Cupcakes

Have you ever thought about setting up your own cake business from home? Are you passionate enough about the whole deal? Some people with deep passion about cooking and baking cakes like the idea about having one at home, but often times they are confused about how to start off the business professionally. If you also have the same interest, here are steps and ways of how you can deal with the issues. They are given in steps, so you shouldn’t have problems following them to the letter.

The first step is to find out whether you will need special permit or license to operate the business. Although it is home-based, you still need to check the legal requirements so you won’t be accused of running an illegal business. Contact the local chamber of commerce in your city or your state. Some states don’t allow running business from home as you need to provide a special place for the operation. Some states may have restrictions on the gross sales of your earning, considering that it is running on home-based basis. Even when you are allowed to set up business at home, you may have to do some changes or modifications so your place will comply with the legal regulations. Also consider this into your budgeting plan as it will definitely add up expenses.

The second step is to specialize yourself into a particular cake. Are you good in making cupcakes? Are you particularly good in making wedding cakes? Are you specializing yourself in any kind of cakes? Once you decide in a particular cake, you can come up with plans and arrangement for the marketing and sales. You can do your own research whether such cake has high demand in your area or not. For instance, if you specialize yourself in cupcakes, find out whether it has its own market in your area. If it does, find out what public preference is, whether it is the regular cake, the sweet cake, or the high end cake. In some areas, high end cupcakes are designed and targeted for high end markets and people who don’t mind spending extra money to get sophisticated and luxurious cupcakes – with tiara, Swarovski crystals, and such things alike; believe it or not.

The third step is to come up with solid planning and scheme. In case the demand in your area is low, consider marketing your products into other areas, which means that you may have to think about trying online marketing and sales. If you decide to try marketing your products into other areas, you need to think about the delivery, the right and proper packaging (so the cakes won’t be damaged or ruined), and many other important considerations.

After you come up with solid planning, you can contact the chamber of commerce in your area to get detailed information about how to start your business. Find out about the registration process and whether your business will have its own legal entity. Don’t forget to also plan about the business name. The right name should be catchy and easy to remember – it shouldn’t be too regular or common, or too cheesy. When you want to come up with unique name, make sure it stands out – in a positive way, not the cheesy or crappy one. If you need to have your own license or permit, apply for it and simply follow the procedures. Dealing with documentation and bureaucracy takes time, so be patient, don’t rush things, and don’t take short cuts.

The fifth step is to make sure that your business goes along with the legal and state requirements. In case you need to have your own commercial kitchen at home, you need to hire professional contractor.  Even when you have to set up your own professional and business setting, the appliance and equipments should go along with the standard, so you can ditch the idea of using your personal items to run the business. Mind you that each state has different policies and regulations, so make sure that you comply with the state – as well as local – requirements. That’s why you should ask for information from chamber of commerce.

The sixth step is to come up with menu planning. If you specialize in one variant – only cupcakes, for instance – make sure that you also provide other variants, like fruits cupcakes, mini cupcakes, birthday cupcakes, or such thing alike to avoid boredom. If you come with various products, be sure to include them. Don’t forget to include the price for each type and variants. You can think about handing out flyers, forms, or brochures. It would be very professional and handy if you can also place instruction and contact person information at the bottom of the flyers, so customers will know how to reach you. Include your phone number, email address, or other possible means of communication – chat lines or social media pages – within the menu. It doesn’t hurt to include images or pictures of your products (you don’t have to include them all – just some so your customers get clearer ideas of what to expect) so your customers know the visual look of your products. 

The seventh step is related to the third, where you need to make your own research about finding supplies, equipments, and ingredients for your business. Most suppliers can provide quite generous price cut if you buy in bulk, and they can make sure that they will provide the supply in timely manner and right on schedule. You can arrange whether you want the supply to be provided in weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly manners. 

The last step is to make sure that you make your presence known. How can people make orders when they don’t know that you even exist? Participate in social events like festivals, fairs, farmers market, or exhibitions. You can also make business page in social media like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram or set up your own official page. But if you have limited budgets, free social media can be quite beneficial and affordable.  Keep in mind, though, that you need to separate your personal account with the business account. 

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Tips in Baking and Decorating Cakes

  11/11/14 18:25, by Liz, Categories: Cupcakes

You have probably thought about making a beautifully decorated and adorned cake, and yet you are afraid of the most common thing happening in the process: cake failure. It is true that baking a cake and decorate it can be quite intimidating as the pressure to always look good and perfect is on. But you know what? Even the most professional and master cake decorators have their bad and worst moments when their creation fell apart and they didn’t make it. So, don’t be easily intimidated and put high hopes if this is your first time baking.

Keep in mind that you don’t always have to create such perfect cake decorating as seen on the magazines or TV; let alone if it is your first try and effort. Don’t be afraid of failure, because it will be your natural and effective teacher. Get rid of the feeling that you must create something that is super and amazing, because nobody expects you to do so. So let yourself free and simply enjoy the process. It will help if you follow the recipes to the letter, but don’t burden yourself with unnecessary expectation and thoughts. Toba Garrett, a well-known author from The Well Decorated Cake and instructor at Institute of Culinary Education in New York said that making a cake is supposed to be a fun way and process. People should enjoy themselves and let themselves free from intimidation. Of course you can add your known knowledge by watching decorating videos or read about the techniques, but the rest of the efforts are simply to enjoy yourself and simply have fun. Who cares if the shape isn’t pretty or attractive? As long as it is edible, then why not?

Garret mentioned some of her tips in baking and decorating cakes. The first one has been mentioned earlier: lose yourself and have fun. Not many people realize this, but cooking and baking requires good mood. If you don’t feel confident about yourself or you are in a bad mood, it can really affect your result. Even the most skilled chefs won’t be able to produce perfect result if they don’t feel good about themselves. Don’t put high hopes; simply enjoy the process. It is supposed to be your me-time where you are free to express yourself. It may surprise you if the result is better than you have expected.

The second tips is to come prepared with the basic equipments and utensils. Make sure that you have all the basic items so your baking and cake decorating process can go smoothly and well. Some of the basic items include:

1. Pastry feather weight bags
2. A set of tips as well as couplers to change them
3. Basic food colors. Some of them are available in liquid, while some in gels. You can use basic colors to produce different combination shades. If you are using the gel coloring, know that it works best when mixed with buttercream icing; not to mention that the result is more intense too.
4. Spatula to spread the frosting

If you still have more money to spend, a turntable will be a great help, but even if you don’t have one, a regular cool off cake rack will be quite handy and useful. It is okay if you want to invest your money in more sophisticated devices or equipments, but wait until you are skilled enough to do the decoration and you have extra money.

The third one is not to limit yourself. When it comes to cake and frosting combinations, your options are basically limitless. You are free to choose whatever elements you want. You can use the classic buttercream icing with sweet elements that can be mixed and matched. However, try to expand your horizon by blending out other elements. Don’t be afraid to do experiment. For instance, if you want to add elegance and sophistication into the flavor as well as the look, chocolate buttercream or meringue Swiss buttercream can be the best solution, although it can’t be mixed with regular food coloring. Learn what you can and cannot do. Develop a trick on your own; know your ability as well as the limit to each decoration that you have tried on. After all, it isn’t a test; there is no low or high scores that you have to face, so just relax and have fun. 

The fourth one is to practice, practice, and practice. You know the phrase ‘Practice makes perfect’? It is very true as practice allows yourself to see which elements will cause failure and which will support the success. If you are going to make a cake for an important event – a birthday, a wedding, or an anniversary – it is advisable that you practice first so your creation won’t be a disaster. You don’t necessarily have to make a whole and true size cake. Start small and the icing can be prepared within a small plate. Do you know that cake frosting is reusable? Who says you need to spend loads for money for the practice?

The fifth one is to develop your own techniques and make them perfect. Each chef or cake maker has his or her own technique. Sure, you can produce rose result that looks similar to others, but your process is different from the others. There are no strict or solid rules about the techniques so feel free to use which one comfy for you. However, knowing the right way to do so can help obtaining perfect result. For instance, if you are going to use the frosting piping, always twist the upper side and then gently press the frost downward close to the tip. Not only it will ensure the even stream of frosting, it will also remove the air bubbles. 

The sixth one is never beat yourself when things don’t go as planned. A ruined cake, a cracked frosting, a burnt cake….all are common things to encounter when you first try these decorating activities. Don’t beat yourself too hard. Sure, you may not make it, but you can learn from your mistakes. After all, a failed cake is always tasty. I’m sure your family won’t mind eating it despite the failed look.

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4 Easy and yet Handy Tips to Ensure Successful Baking

  11/08/14 17:52, by Liz, Categories: Cupcakes

Most people think that baking is easy and simple. What’s so hard about it anyway? You only need to follow the recipes, make sure that you do the steps correctly, and your result is guaranteed to be perfect and flawless, right? Well, not so fast. Despite the fact that you follow the recipes and steps to the letter, there is no guarantee that you will be able to produce satisfying result, earning you Master chef title. 

 

You may be wondering what you have done so wrong that the result is far from your expectation. The world of baking is actually more complicated than what you have thought of. Even the smallest and unexpected mistakes in the preparation will affect the result of your baking. If you want to make sure that the result will be flawless, there are some small yet important things you need to prepare. Here are some handy tips that can help you achieve the outcome you want.

Make sure that you don’t use cold eggs. It is important for baking experts to understand that it is not only butter that should be prepared within the right room temperature, but the eggs as well. If you use cold eggs, don’t expect the mixture to emulsify properly. The result will be a cake that doesn’t develop correctly, and the texture is quite hard and solid. Even if you don’t have lots of time or you are in a hurry, you can use the microwave. You can set the microwave to set within 5 seconds interval. You can use a small bowl filled with warm water, place the egg into the bowl, and let it inside the microwave for around 15 minutes – or at least let it for a while for 10 minutes.

Another common mistake in baking a cake is not measuring the flour correctly. Don’t try to add your own measurements, thinking that adding or reducing a little bit will be okay. There is a reason why the flour has its own measurement: to ensure the flawless final result. When you use a measuring cup, fill it up completely and then sweep the excess off on the topside by using a knife. Another handy tip is to pour the flour into a bowl, let it scatter and, and use the spoon. Don’t take the flour directly from the flour cup because you may take the compacted flour – which means that you take more than necessary.

Don’t use fingers or hands to apply butter. Use a pastry brush to apply it on the pan. The brush helps with the coverage and it will be better. Simply take soft butter with a tablespoon and then use the brush to apply the butter to the paper or pan.

When you bake using the oven, make sure that the pans aren’t close to each other as well as close to the walls. They should be located on the center so the heat and airflow will be much better and run more efficiently. If you have rather a small oven, at least make sure that the oven has different racks, so you can still place the pans freely. 

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