Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eggs and Milk and Flour- Oh My!

This past week, I got a call for an “emergency cake.”  The mom had purchased a Rapunzel doll at Target and taken it to a local bakery to have them make a Princess cake- you know, the one where the dress is made of cake and icing and you stick the doll down the middle.  It turns out that you can’t make those with a regular doll- or so she was told.  The way it is normally made is by using a creepy half-doll torso with a toothpick shaped piece of plastic instead of legs.  And the only doll torso they had was dark haired.  Rapunzel  from Tangled was NOT a short-haired brunette!  So, she made a call to a friend of mine, got my phone number and begged. 

As we were talking about the cake, I asked her what flavor she wanted.  The question that invariably follows is, “What kind can you make?”  Normally, the answer to that question is “whatever you want.”  However, this was a bit of a rush job so knew I had limited time.  I offered vanilla and chocolate.  If you think about it, you realize that I have a serious handicap when it comes to baking- I can’t eat it!  So really, the only things I can tell you are good are the things I had before I was diagnosed.  That means that I am trusting my memory from almost 2 years ago.  I don’t trust my memory from yesterday!  When I make cake flavors that I have never had before, I always do a test run and trust the people around me to tell me if it is good or not.  And my husband is really kind of caked out so I’m always looking for volunteers!  I knew that I wouldn’t have the time to test run any new cakes, so she got the boring answer.  She chose chocolate.

A couple of weeks ago, the Ranger and the Mrs. and my mom and dad came over to the house to help my hubby make the car behave.  I was making cupcakes for another birthday party that day, so I kept out a few extras for the car warriors to snack on.  (Not to mention, my favorite red-headed Turtle just LOVES Aunt Val’s cupcakes!)  The Ranger tried one of the cupcakes and said, “Are you making these differently?”  I answered that I was not, but my husband piped up and said that I had stopped measuring- which was only partially true.  The Ranger told me to continue to do whatever it was I was doing differently because they were better than before.  When he left, I asked Mom about it.  I wasn’t doing anything differently, so why was it different?  Of course, she can’t eat the cake either, but in between bites of her bowl of frosting (no, it’s cool- all the cool kids eat frosting out of a bowl!) she mentioned that the frosting tasted differently, too.  Apparently the amazing Mexican vanilla that I had been using for 2 months was changing the cakes that much.  Who knew?  I didn’t!

This whole thing has kind of thrown me for a loop.  I have been kicking around the idea of opening a bakery at some point in the future.  I don’t think I want it to be a vegan bakery just because that’s what I have to eat- I mean, I’d like it to make money and not go belly up in the first month!  My thought has always been that I could supplement the vegan bakery aspect of it with making cakes on the side.  But you have that whole cross-contamination issue and the I-can’t-tell-you-if-it-is-good-because-egg-and-flour-are-the-devil thing going for me.  So, I have to figure this out.  Maybe a partner?  Maybe I just suck it up and go vegan to see if it is possible?  I don’t know.  I’ve got a little while to think.  Until I get it worked out, I think I’ll just try to figure out a name.  Any suggestions?  “Meat-Eating Vegan Patisserie” probably won’t cut it, huh… 

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