Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Ovens, Swamp Coolers & Powdered Sugar

Yes, those three things may not seem to go together at first glance, but the month of June was all about them for the gals at Plum Crazy Cake Company.

We've been utilizing one working oven at the kitchen we rent. While there are four total, three of them have had temperature issues - one in particular ping pongs up to 400 and back to 275, making it very hard to evenly bake a cake. But, Oven Number #2 has been Old Faithful for us and we've used it over the last few months. Up until now, only having one working oven hasn't been ideal, but it's been workable with the projects we had booked.

However, in May, we had our first big wedding. Baking a two-tiered wedding cake and 8 sheet cakes in one oven was a daunting thought. But then we heard the other ovens were going to be fixed! (Yay!) And then we found it, it would be happening after the wedding. (Awww!) However, in June, they were finally fixed! (Yay!) And we eagerly set about using more than just Old Faithful #2, only to find that either the ovens weren't calibrated correctly, or the internal temperature gauges don't work or ??? Old Faithful is now Oven #4, but at this point, we're glad to have an oven that reads 350 degrees inside when you set the gauge to 350 outside.

And so the oven saga continues....however! We had a cooling breakthrough! Last summer we started our cake business and spent July, August and some of September sweltering in the kitchen, scraping up melting buttercream, etc. But, this last month was also the month we got a swamp cooler put in the kitchen! It was actually so cold, we turned it up! Now that's luxury!

And how does powdered sugar fit in? Well, it always fits in! One evening when we were down at the kitchen baking and decorating away, we started talking about what one thing would symbolize what we do. As Heather was standing in front of her Kitchen Aid mixer working on her umpteenth batch of buttercream icing, she exclaimed, "powdered sugar!" as she looked around her work area (that stuff really gets everywhere!)

This is the image that we'll always have in our heads when we think about cake.

In June, we used a lot of it working on our two orders for the month. One was for a double bridal shower. We did petit fours for each guest -- one was a two tiered buttercream mini wedding cake.

And the other was a fondant covered ring box with an "engagement ring" -- complete with edible sugar diamond. And, yes, it was all cake!

We enjoyed providing the treats for our two brides.

The other project we took on was for a informal outdoor barbeque and wedding reception that was a few weeks after the bride and groom's small and private wedding.  They wanted a blue and silver squared cake with daises in bright and cheery colors.

Congrats to Jairred and Suzanne....may you have many happy years ahead of you!

We also heard from some friends of ours in the Las Vegas area that their eldest daughter, Selah, has been taking cake decorating classes -- ever since Heather visited back in February and helped her and her younger sister, Mercy, bake and decorate fondant mini cakes for Valentine's Day. She got the cake bug and the rest is history.

Her cake decorating teacher says she one of the most talented in the class!

Her piping skills are excellent -- and she's only 9!

Great job, Selah! We couldn't be prouder of you.

Inspiring someone else to try their hand at cake decorating is an amazing feeling. Of course, we can't take credit for raw talent and ability. ;)

So, that was our June in a nutshell. July promises to be fun with a proposed cake class for kids and a first birthday cake with a Puppy theme. It's also our first anniversary of being in business. (More thoughts about that next blog post.) Of course, Launa is 36 weeks pregnant so Heather is worried that she will have to add Foot Masseuse to her portfolio!

This should be fun...