Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

The Honor of a Reveal Cake

16 Mar

It’s an Honor

Last week, i did my first reveal cake.  I wasn’t aware of this type of cake, despite the quite obvious name, which doesn’t become obvious until you know the reason behind it.

So, i am now aware of 3 ways to find out whether you are going to have a boy or a girl….

1. The doctor tells/shows you during the doctor’s visit.

2. You find out when you give birth

3. You have your doctor tell someone else, who then makes a cake with either a blue or pink center and you gather all your friends and family around and you cut into that cake with bated breath!

    

I did this cake not for some random person who found out that i make cakes… I was asked by a dear friend.  She is the daughter of who i consider my spiritual parents, and so to be asked for this favor, for this reason, blew me away!  After the initial phone conversation where she presented this idea and told me all of the logistical details of when and where and how many people, etc… I hung up the phone and took a minute to really think about what i was just asked to do.

Her doctor was going to call me…. I was going to be the first to know…. My cake was going to reveal to her and her husband’s family and closest friends whether in 6 mos a baby girl or baby boy was going to come into the world! WOW!  What an honor!

I have done my fair share of birthday cakes and wedding cakes…. but by far, this was my most favorite cake to do.  I think it was the emotional tie that it had to my heart as well and knowing the weight of information that i was about to put into that white icing… sitting there in a stainless steel bowl, waiting to get a dowsing of either deep pink or royal blue coloring….

I heard a friend, the other day, define honor as “the attitude of the heart”.  If this is indeed an accurate description of a word that seems to have lost its place in our everyday vocabulary…. then a perfect exchange of honor took place last week.

My friend honored me with trusting me to not only make a beautiful cake that would be a fun addition to the party, but she also trusted me with such a precious piece of information that was meant to change their lives!  In return, i honored her by protecting that information and putting my best forward in every step  of that cake!

Not every cake i do will have this kind of connection for me…. but i will sure treasure those that do.

oh and btw: It is a girl 🙂

Mise en place!!!

18 Nov

Mise en place

      As some of you may have seen on the jennycakes facebook page, I am knee deep in making Whiskey Pecans right now.  It is a recipe I picked up from a chef I learned under in Georgia during my internship, and I think I will always have it memorized and take it with me where ever I go!  As an intern, you are given much grunt work. So during my time at Sea Island Resort I scooped thousands of cookies, mixed hundreds of batches of cheese biscuits and made tray after tray of these whiskey pecans…. I guess Southerners have to find something to do with all those pecans down there!!

So, as I am preparing myself this afternoon to make a few batches of these incredibly addicting pecans, I began to think about what I will need.  Ingredients, equipment, temperature on the oven…etc.  And as this list was forming, a phrase from culinary school came back to me: mise en place.  Little did I know until looking up the “official” definition, the culinary school I attended actually “coined” the phrase in the culinary world…

I decide what ingredients to put together based on when and how they are incorporated into the recipe. If you look closely, you can see brown sugar, salt and cinnamon all in the same bowl together.

Mise en place (pronounced [miz ɑ̃ plas], literally “putting in place”) is a French phrase defined by the Culinary Institute of America as “everything in place”, as in set up. It is used in professional kitchens to refer to organizing and arranging the ingredients. (Wikipedia)

We all know the situation:  you think, “Let’s make cookies!!”  You find a recipe and just start throwing things in the mixer…. If you are like me, you haven’t even read through the recipe because you think, “of course I have everything”, as you briefly scan the pantry.  But then you come to that one ingredient… baking powder…. eggs…. chocolate chips…. and you either don’t have enough or any at all!

 

 

**** I have the solution to the above situation!!  Mise en place!!! ****

my next two batches of whiskey pecans and ready and waiting!

If you have wondered why in the world you may need a million different sized bowls and ramekins…. now is the time to have an epiphany.   Measure everything in advance!  There are two main advantages of this: 1. You will know if you have everything you will need. 2. It makes whipping up those cookies so quick and easy!!

So friends, I highly recommend you heed the mise en place rule.  Measure things out first. Be an organized baker!  It will prevent that great idea of making cookies from turning into a very frustrating experience!!