Warning: The beginning of this post is more personal in nature than previous posts. If you’d rather just see cake, scroll down!
I see that it has been awhile since my last post. My deepest apologies. It has been pretty busy at the “day job and I actually took a break from baking. I went almost an entire month without baking a single cake or cupcake. It was awful. I mean it was fine, but I always feel a bit more in control when I bake. Truth be told, I’ve been in a funk. And oddly enough, it is somewhat of a baking funk.
Forty-eight states have cottage food laws in varying degrees that allow people to bake and sell their homemade goods directly to consumers. I happen to live in one of the two states that does not have a cottage food law regarding non-hazardous baked goods. So, everything I bake is given away. I have been wanting/wishing/hoping/praying to open a business of my own, which would be easier if I were allowed to start at a small scale level from home. At this point in time however that is not possible. I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I would need to find commercial kitchen space to rent or go whole hog and start a business. The mere idea of going into business for myself is both exciting and terrifying all at once. My head starts to spin and I break into a sweat thinking of everything that could go wrong. Ah, the joys of being a pessimist…
I don’t really want to get into all of the political BS that has been happening with this law and I certainly don’t want to be the “woe is me” girl in this post. I am stubborn and when I want something, I generally find a way to get it. Eventually I will figure it all out and I hope it’s everything I’ve dreamed of. Until then, consider the beginning of this post as my way of venting my frustrations.
Now, who wants cake!?!?
My favorite niece, Ella, turned 7 last month and her birthday party had an “Under the Sea” theme. (Sidebar: she’s my only niece but fairly certain she’s not reading my blog yet, so I think I’m safe!) My parents graciously allowed Ella and her cousins full run of the pool for the afternoon and in spite of the swift moving thunderstorm that plowed through the area (hail and all), it turned out to be a beautiful day.
Of course I
needed really, really, really wanted to do a cake and cupcakes for the shindig. They live several hours away from me and it’s not often that I actually get to see Ella on her birthday, much less bake for the occasion. My sister was on board and gave me my marching orders of an under the sea theme. She had seen shark and mermaid cupcakes all over Pinterest so she sent me some ideas and I ran with it. The only direction on the cake was that it was to be lemon flavored so the adults could have something to enjoy as well.
Unicorns may still be in the spotlight for now but I’ve noticed more and more mermaid cake and cupcakes popping up in my Instagram feed. I made mermaid tails and shark fins out of fondant. Note to self for next time, I probably should have used gum paste. I don’t play around much with fondant so this was kind of new territory for me. The fondant shark fins were fine, but the tails deteriorated quickly. They smaller tails on the cupcakes held up until they were out in the sun for 5 minutes while we tried to light Ella’s birthday candles. Spoiler alert, we could not keep the candles lit so she had to pretend to blow them out! The larger tail on the cake I had to reinforce with toothpicks at it’s weakest point – where the tail and lower body meet. I pretty much knew it was going to happen anyway so I wasn’t surprised by it. Expect the unexpected!
I painted the mermaid tails with Edible Art Paint. This stuff is amazing. All you need to do is shake it up, pour it onto your palette and paint. Seriously one of the best inventions ever! I mixed some colors and topped them off with a little gold to give em’ some sparkle. I just love how they turned out! The sprinkle mix on the mermaid cupcakes is from Layer Cake Shop. I adore the sprinkles from this shop and the Mermaid mix was spot on! I did a custom blend for the shark cupcakes and I can’t get over how well those turned out too!
The birthday girl was happy, the rest of the kids were happy and I actually got to enjoy a piece of cake for once!