Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Beach Wedding Cake

So I made a Beach Wedding cake for two reasons. 1: Because I love the beach 2: Because it seems many more people are getting married on the beach. It only made sense.
Making this cake was an experiment for me since I have never made something like this before. I spent hours making coral, starfish, sand dollars, sea shells, and more. All unventured territory. I ended up liking the shells and sand dollars probably the best. 

Tip #1: for making each of these shapes... have plenty of patience, oh, especially for making the lawn chairs. Was that time consuming. 

I did have a blast making this cake. It was fun to use my creativity to think of different ways to give the beach/ sea life feel. Aside from the cake form inside, the entire thing is edible, so imagine the fun someone would have actually getting a cake like this with a real cake inside. 

Tip #2: Look for things around your house that you can use as forms. You'll have to make sure they are clean for use with food, but be creative.  You can either use something for a texture or use it for it's shape. Be careful for some things as the fondant or gum paste may still too well to it and you'll have a hard time getting it back off. 

 So off to think of what the next design will be.. I'm thinking something using hot pink and lime green. That should be fun. I'll post it when I'm done. Till next time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dummy Cakes

Saturday, January 15:
Began making some dummy cakes this week. I had ordered stryrofoam cakes bases to cover and decorate for shows and expos coming up. Covering real cakes is so much easier. I had gone with a place to get more fondant because they had a great price. Be careful for the "deals" that are out there. We are finding that the fondant is not up to par. It feels dryer and cracks much easier. We are trying some things to overcome this, but in the future, I am going to go with getting fondant from my usual place, even if it is more expensive. You get what you pay for.

Sunday, January 16:
So we found a remedy to our dry fondant problem.... Pam cooking spray. That stuff is awesome!! So after recovering from the fondant issue, away we plugged along. Working on a 4 tier wedding cake. I decided to go with different covering techniques to show.
The first cake is a circle 4" white covered cake. The bottom tier is the quilt pattern, the second is covered in 1" flowers, the third is covered in decorative piping, and the top tier is beaded. I carried the flowers up to the top with the small flowers and made Calla Lilys to put on the top and a few on the side. This would be nice for a spring wedding. Some other flowers that would have liked on top would have been light pink roses. Truthfully I wanted to change the calla lilys for the roses but it was too late. The lilys had already set up on top and it would have destroyed the top tier to change it.

Monday, January 17:
The next cake I have to do is a 4 tier modern square wedding cake. I am still deliberating over which idea I will use for this one. Following that will be a 3 tier circular cake. Deliberating here as well since I have so many ideas. It will definitely be something bright and colorful. Send in your ideas or colors that are your favorite. Perhaps you may see it on a cake coming soon.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Right tool for the job

Have you ever tried  to tighten a screw with a dime or trim grass around a post with a pair of scissors. While it may have worked, it is frustrating. Having the right tool for the job is essential for being more efficient at your work. I keep collecting tools to replace my make shift items. Where I once used a clean salt shaker top to make small fondant circles, I now have small cutters. I must say that I felt very ingenuitive coming up with different ways to make due with what I had. Very resourceful. While rolling fondant one day with my wood rolling pin, which is about 12" long, and noticing that getting an even thickness across took so very long, I hoped their was an easier way. On my next shopping trip out I looked at different rollers. I found the perfect one. At about twice the length I found my new fondant roller, perfect for the job. So excited, I opened it and thought, "Now I am ready." Upon inspection from my husband, a small divot was found in the roller. I contemplated keeping it since it was already purchased, the store I bought it from was an hour and a half away, and I was ready to use it. I just couldn't keep it though. The reason for buying it was to increase ease in making the fondant look its best. Even the smallest divot would cause blemishes in the fondant and I can't have that. So back in the packaging it went. Now it sits on my counter, all wrapped up, ready to be exchanged at the store. 

Another item that I am so glad to have is my turntable. Holding my cakes in the palm of my hand while with the other trying to work, I thought, "What if I drop this cake?" The idea of that was not acceptable. Time and money then wasted and my time and money is scarce. So I bit the bullet once more and purchased the Wilton Trim 'n Turn Cake Turntable. It has a non slip gripper on the bottom as well as a non slip grip on the platform for your cake. The ease it gives me to put on my butter-cream frosting or work on detailing was so worth the investment. No more fears about dropping the cake. Sure, I could have come up with other jerry rigs, but this just seemed like a no-brainer.

 A good knife, a stand mixer with its different attachments, baking pans, baking spray (priceless), and numerous other things that I just couldn't do without. To some these may seem like the basics, to others frivolous. I know flash back to those times when I didn't have a screwdriver around and so used a dime instead or when my weed eater broke and thus used scissors trim certain places in the yard.

Having the right tool for the job not only saves you stress, but also time!!

What are some tools that you just can't do without now or what are some jerry rigs that you have come up with in the past?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Behind the Scenes

When a performer comes on stage, the audience raves about their performance, whether singing, acting, dancing, whatever. What they usually don't see or may not pay attention to are the tons of others behind the scenes that are working hard to help make the one's on stage look good. One thing that I want to make sure of in beginning this business is for you to know the one's working behind the scenes for Tummie Yummies.

Thomas Grubbs is my husband. Not only is he a HUGE support for me in whatever I do, but he is also hard at work behind the scenes helping me with this business. When I first started out baking and such, he would help by taking care of the kids in the evenings so that I could bake. He would also help me clean up in the kitchen most of the time after we are finished testing recipes and such or experimenting with fondant designs.
This new venture is also his new venture. He has taken a big interest in making these cakes with me. He is an awesome fondant roller and can make awesome figures as you may have seen the snowman on the wintery Christmas cake and the Lego man on the lego cake. Both of these are his work. He is very creative and keeps coming up with new ideas for cupcake flavors and such.
He is also the TY Bakery web designer. That is something I would have no clue about, but he has spent and still plans to spend more time working on a website that is user friendly and looks awesome. I couldn't do this without him. He is such a huge part of the TY Bakery.

Other people that are helping are the supporters. Those who encourage, advise, and assist in the business details. Dee Spruce is a friend of mine who is a business coach. She has been working with me for some time now assisting me with business know how and getting things off the ground. My mother-in-law, Janice Grubbs has taken it upon herself to help promote me in Virginia through her friends salon, Do or Dye. My father-in-law, Thom Grubbs, is helping with photography. Then there are others who I mustn't forget. It is people like my mother, Cindy May, who have encouraged me from the git go, not knowing whether it would be a success or not. Just with supportive and loving words, giving me what I really needed to be successful, and that was he being mom.

Many others, like perhaps yourself, who just send a brief message saying a cake looks awesome or through the look on an 8 year olds face when he gets a cake and he is filled with such excitement. These sorts of things are really what make doing what I do so worth while.

One that is last but not least, is Jesus Christ. He is the reason why I even can do what I do. He has given me this gift and this opportunity. He is the whole reason why I have such great people to count on. He is worth living for and giving my best for.

Know as you buy your pastries, cakes, or whatever Tummie Yummie you choose, know that there are many behind the scenes working to give you the very best we have to offer!! May your day be sweet and filled with all things good!!
From our Bakery to your home,
God bless!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Beginning the Journey of TY Bakery

It is interesting to see how things work out. What started as a love for hospitality and cooking has now turned into a business. Looking back to see how I got here has really happened very fast. I picked up an extra job working at a local coffee shop doing some baking. I have always been really good in the kitchen and have enjoyed creating new foods. Baking is one of those things that I did, but no more than the rest. I watch Food Network often and have had a fascination with the cake challenge shows, Ace of Cakes, and such. Only in my dreams did I imagine that I might be able to begin doing these sorts of things. After working at the coffee shop for only a month, I was let go due to what I was told, were budget cuts. Feeling energized in that kind of work, I began to make things that I had created for others. I made little papers that told people what I would make and for how much. Mostly people would request things that were not on the list, one being quiches. Those were a hit, Orders for those kept coming in. Cinnamon rolls were another.

First Fondant Cake
One thing I knew is that I had to create something that people couldn't just go to Walmart or Food Lion and pick up for themselves. It needed to be all from scratch, taste better, and look better. That was my goal. One day a friend of mine asked if I could make a cake. I knew I could. Then she asked if I could make a fondant cake. Oh... I had never really done that before. I played around with some home made fondant one time with my daughter but not really "made" a fondant cake ever. In nervousness, I said "sure"!! My stomach felt weak. I had to do this and it HAD to be good. I had watched so many shows and had heard so many tips about how to do this, I felt, I CAN do this!!! I bought what I felt I needed and got to work.

I couldn't believe what happened. The cake was AWESOME!! Now, it wasn't a Duff cake or anything, but I was proud. I began to think, wow, this is something I'm good at, and imagine how much better I'll be if I just practice. And practice is what I did. I went out, bought more fondant, colored it, and went to work. Well, during this time I also wanted the cake itself to be different and awesome, so I played around with different recipes, finding just what I wanted. And they were good too. 

Winter Cake
Opportunities just kept presenting themselves. A friend of mine, Dee Spruce, who is a business coach as one of her professions, began working with me (Also the same one who ordered my first fondant cake). She is still working with me at this time and is pushing me to really take this seriously. My mother-in-law, who also is acting as a business coach, is also pushing me the same. I am continuing to make more cakes. Each one I try different skills. I am so excited to see what is coming out. I see where I need to practice more but encouraged that I do have a gift for it. My husband is also very gifted in this.  
So in launches TY Bakery, really Tummie Yummies, but TY is so much easier. A facebook page is made. A website is made, Now a blog. Next.... a store. Something like this for our town is just what it needed. We don't have anything like this around here. And more importantly.. this is what I needed. I love doing this. I'm looking forward to sharing my journey with you. I'll post about success and the stresses. Please feel free to chime in on this journey with me. It will be a blast.  Feel free to email me:  

8th Birthday: Cake order
Happy Valentine's Day
Wedding Topper or Valentine's Day Cake