Quitting Cakes

01/16

“THAT’S IT!” I cry. “I quit.” My eyes welling up with tears, my hands shaking with frustration. “I’m clearly not cut out for this. I can’t do it.” I open my laptop and go to the CV uploading website I had visited the previous week. Once again, I start re-writing my resume with both disappointment and regret.

I had only been running my business for two weeks and already handed in notice to myself three times. Before this, working a 9-5 admin role was what filled my days and baking and cake decorating for friends and family was just a hobby that filled my evenings.  Well… took over my nights. “Another 2am finish” I had thought just a month ago, “Something’s gotta give.” And so it did, I had taken the stupid brave decision to leave the safety of full time employment and spread my entrepreneurial wings. The only trouble was, all of a sudden, everything was different. I was different.

There was an added pressure on me to get this perfect. Now, if I made a mistake, my reputation was on the line. The last thing I wanted was to ruin my career before it had even started. Yet,the tasks that had once been so simple to me were becoming problematic. “Calm down, Britt. Breathe.” I say to myself as I re-bake the batch of vanilla cupcakes for the fourth time that evening. The first batch had no sugar, I had simply forgot to put it in. The second had cases peeling away and this time I had mistaken plain flour for self-raising and essentially made dry scones. Not the light and fluffy cupcakes expected for the Christening tomorrow. “Vanilla cupcakes are a basic staple of a baker. If I can’t get this right, what’s the point in trying to run a business?” Talking out loud to myself.

In the time between handing in my notice at the 9-5 and right now, my self-esteem, confidence and belief had hit an all time low. The week before when I had decided to create a recipe for my new blog, I had mistaken ‘pink lemonade concentrate’ for just normal pink lemonade. I thought being creative would make me feel better. So 24 hours after I left my pink lemonade cheesecake to set, I took it out of the fridge. Serving plate and camera at the ready, I unclipped the tin and WHOOOOOSSSSSHHHHHH. Pink lemonade spilled out from the metal ring and covered the entire kitchen. “I can’t even get this right.” I thought. “I have no business being in business.”

I took a few days out. I walked, I wrote, I chilled. I went to the park to have a word with myself. “This is what you want to do. This is what makes you happy” I mused. I was taking every mistake as a personal failure. Each time I messed up, I sank deeper into doubt. Then, I realised. I’m making mistakes BECAUSE I’m stressed out. I’m putting far too much pressure on myself. “That’s what you have to do though, isn’t it?” I thought. When you are running your own business, the buck stops with you. Every mistake costs YOU money. If you aren’t worried about it, you don’t care, and if you don’t care you don’t make money. Those thoughts spiralled so fast in my head. But it was those thoughts alone causing me to slip.

I sat in the park and cried. I cried for so long in fact, I cried until I laughed. The reality was that I had two options, give up before I’d even begun and get a ‘proper job’ or give it another go. I couldn’t walk away from it. Not now. “You’ve sacrificed so much to get here” I thought, “don’t quit.”

So I dusted myself off and got back in the kitchen. There were tears, there was laughter and there was being so broke that dinner was a 17p pack of noodles. But more importantly, there was a sense of achievement I had never felt before. I was the only one standing in my way and it was time to step aside. I am baker, hear me roar.

I’m so glad I stuck to it. It wasn’t easy and there were bad days and bad weeks of course, some worse than the ones that led me to the park in the first place. But good days too, and fantastic days, and spectacular days and days when I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. Joys which I would have never experienced if I quit when it felt like everything was against me.

It’s now a few years later and here I am. An award winning business woman. I’m really very proud of myself and of She Who Bakes. I’m far from perfect though. I still make mistakes now, I’m only human. I make more mistakes some days than when I first started out. But, I don’t hate myself for it like I used to. I’m learning every day and I’ll never stop learning. I’m smiling every day and I’m loving it! I guess the moral of the story is, in the words of Winston Churchill – “Never, ever, ever give up.” 

Britt xoxo

 

 

 

How To Make A Car Cake (Mini Cooper)

01/16

Hello bakers,

Here is a step by step tutorial of how to make a Mini Cooper car cake! These basic principles are easily transferrable to any car cake.

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  1. Bake two 8 x 10 cakes and stack them straight on top of one another.
  2. Cut a length off the side to make a better car width.
  3. Round off the corners.
  4. Carve the back of the cake in a slope for the boot.
  5. Carve into the front of the cake and slope down from the top to create the bonnet.
  6. Carve two indents into the bonnet to create the shape of the headlights.
  7. Split your cake into however many layers you would like.
  8. Fill your layers with your desired filling.
  9. Stack your cakes back onto each other and leave to set. Then cover your cake in a thin layer of buttercream/ganache in a ‘crumb coat’.
  10. Roll out your icing to 5mm thick.
  11. Cover your cake with your rolled out icing smoothing it down with your hands as you go and lifting out any pleats and folds. Use smoothers to get a great finish.
  12. Add on your details with a little edible glue.

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Step back and admire your awesomeness!

Give it a go and as always let me know how you get on via FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Happy baking (& decorating!)

Britt xo

How To Make A Starburst Decoration For A Cake

01/16

A starburst is a simple way of making an effective decoration for your cakes. It really adds a ‘wow’ factor! Follow my tutorial below to make yours!

  1. You will need thin (24/26 gauge) sugarcraft floristry wires, flower paste, a flower (posy) pick, florist tape and cutters.
  2. Roll out flower paste on a surface dusted with cornflour to the thickness of a 20p.
  3. Cut out your desired shape by pressing down hard into the paste to make sure it’s a clean cut with no frayed edges.
  4. Holding your cut out shape gently between your fingers, twist in the wire until it is just over halfway into your shape. You will be able to feel this.
  5. Leave your wired shapes to dry on foam.
  6. When your shapes are dry, paint them if desired and arrange them all in different heights and sizes.
  7. Holding the ends of the wires between your fingers, cut them to a desired length.
  8. Once cut, use some floristry tape to stick the bottom of them all together.
  9. They should be bandaged up tightly.
  10. Get your flower pick and fill it with a small sausage of flower paste.
  11. Push the taped wires into the flower paste filled flower pick. Leave this on it’s side to dry.
  12. Once dried, push the starburst into your cake, leaving a little bit of the pick on show to take it out easily when cutting the cake.
  13. Spread the wires out so your shapes are evenly spaced.

Please note. Never put wires directly into the cake! As well as being able to drop deeper into your cake, affecting your design, this is also a major health and safety issue. These wires are not ‘food safe’ and can break inside your cake. Make sure you always use a flower pick. These can be bought easily in cake decorating stores, usually right by the wires. I would also strongly advise against you or your customers attempting to eat the wired decorations. As well as them not being ‘food safe’, you may hurt your teeth and even choke on broken wire. Stay safe cake people!

How To Make A Starburst For A Cake

The perfect finish to your cake!

Give it a go and let me know how you get on either on FacebookTwitter or Instagram!

Britt xo

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