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Comments

Subscribe — 35 Comments

  1. My question has to do with the freezing method. If using fresh fruits in the filling ie; fresh berries, is it safe to use the freezing method? What will happen to the fruit filling as the cake is being thawed to room temperature?
    Tx,

    • Pascale,
      Good question. I use whole fruits all the time with the cake filling method so it can definitely be done. The rule is that WHOLE frozen strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries within the filling will change consistency (get soft and ooze juices) as fruits tend to do when freeze/thawed. That’s okay. The fruit will taste exactly the same and visually, you will still recognize the fruit. The trick is to layer the whole fruit next to the cake’s sponge, as that will absorb all spare juices. Similar to how you would douse a cake sponge with simple syrup, in this case, the syrup comes naturally from the fruit.

  2. Your site has been so informative! I’m a youthful male cake decorator with about 8 years in the biz. I sometimes find it to be a little harder to find new clientele being a young guy and earning cake trust, and constantly feel like I have to quadruple-y perfect my craft because of it. I have recently relocated to a major city to spread some freelance roots that I have wanted to do since day one and it can be so easy getting caught up in all the different internet interpretations on what to do and not to do when going into independent work, but this site has been assuredly most informative! This will be my first stop for any more questions that may come up.. I guess the real question I have is when to throw the commercial bakery towel in and do it all for myself? Im nervous that I won’t make enough to quit my day job and support myself..I rarely interact with online/social media but I really loved the sites advice and information!

    • Hi Patrick,
      Well it sounds like you are accomplishing your goals in the right order in terms of getting many years of solid industry experience under your belt before attempting to open your own business. 99% of the start-up bakers out there don’t have commercial bakery experience so that puts you way ahead of the game. Also, it’s great to relocate before opening as your style and skill set will be fresher than if you stayed in the same area. Plus then you won’t have to worry about a lifetime’s worth of friends & family calling on you for discounted cakes, which can be a major problem for start-up bakers.

      As for knowing when is the right time to go into business for yourself, here are my recommendations:

      1. Don’t start until you have some capital (at least $10,000) to invest into your business. A bakery needs to buy wholesale ingredients and supplies in order to remain competitive in the marketplace. There is also the expense of equipment and marketing, all of which require money upfront. If you don’t have this kind of money saved then consider getting it from an investor.

      2. First, study your regional demographic and all the bakery businesses within driving distance of you. Position your business to fulfill an unmet need in that area. Give customers what they want/have been missing.

      3. Focus your start-up energy on product costs and profit margin. Analyze all of your purchasing and pricing decisions. Commit yourself to monthly accounting and number crunching. If you hope to succeed financially, these should be your top priorities.

      4. Keep your products simple at first. A basic and easy-to-execute product line makes a better base for a bakery business than a complicated one. Only once you’ve succeeded with simple products should you graduate to more complex ones.

      5. In the beginning, it’s safest to maintain another source of income (a day job or perhaps a spouse with enough income to float you while you grow). However at a certain point, you will need to quit that job and take a leap of faith so that you can dedicate all of your energies towards making the business work. You will know when the time is right if your own forward momentum pushes you to that brink.

      6. It helps to be young, fit and without kids when you do all of this. Not a requirement but definitely a plus!

      Good luck to you! Those are some great looking character cakes! – Kristen

    • Natalie,
      I cannot answer this question because there are too many variables involved. The type of cake batter, the amount of batter used, the type/size of oven, where in the oven you place the cake, your elevation, etc. all factor into how long it takes to bake a cake.

      The fact is, you don’t have to know how long it takes to bake a cake in order to do it right. You just have to look for certain signs, like the cake has pulled away from the sides of the pan and the top middle part springs back when you push a finger into it. If you are unsure, you can always test the internal temperature with a thermometer. It should be around 210°F.

  3. I purchased your book and I love it! Your decorating tips and ideas are excellent! I’ve read it again and again, and I’m excited to try my hand at using modeling chocolate to cover and design a cake. Although I make my own fondant, I find that many customers don’t care to eat too much of it. I love having modeling chocolate as an alternative. I still having trouble, at times, with oily white chocolate, but I’m determined to master this. Thank you so much for the book and for sharing your expertise. I’m a big fan!

    • Thank you, Naomi! Oily white modeling chocolate is the pits! It still happens to me sometimes too. White chocolate is rather hard not to overheat. I’m in the habit of kneading white modeling chocolate gently about 1 hour after making it to help re-incorporate the oil before it has a chance to set up.

      PS Thanks for leaving a link to your site. I enjoyed checking out your cake portfolio. You do excellent work!

  4. I feel like I just hit the cake designing jackpot! I’ve only seen two of your videos so far and I feel like my decorating will be changed forever! You’re awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your tips! I can’t wait to explore your site more!!!

  5. YOU AND YOUR WEBSITE ARE ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!! THANK YOU FOR ALL THE HELP YOU GIVE THOSE OF US STRUGGLING TO GET STARTED! NOT MANY PEOPLE WOULD BE WILLING TO GIVE ALL THIS INFORMATION AWAY FOR FREE. THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU, THANK-YOU!!!

  6. hi please could i have the choc reciepes please , your work is amazing and im new at this and want to learn so much , xxxx

  7. Thank You!
    I have had your book for some time now and it is my bible on molding chocolate. I have a few old books on cake decorating but they don’t have too much on this subject. I always have used fondant for character cakes but I LOVE working with modeling chocolate and learning all your lessons and tips. I hope to get better at this to be able to face decorating a character cake.
    Again, Thank You for writing this book. A whole new dimension has been opened to me.

  8. Ordered your book today as a birthday present to me, and now get to wait because they are sold out. 🙁 However, congratulations on your sales!

  9. I preordered your book on Amazon and was so excited when notified by email that it was being shipped. I first heard of you and your modeling chocolate cakes on Fabulous Cakes. I am very impressed how you can manipulate modeling chocolate into beautiful cakes. Loved the very colorful tires on the rooster cake. Since receiving your book, I have already ordered the double-sided silicone lily pad veiner to create the Blanket Flowers. Love the book and your blog. Thank you.

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