Updated: Nov 30, 2020
Lets just say this, when I started "Caking" ya girl thought she knew what she was doing! LOL.....a few YouTube videos and I was ready to be a cake boss! Or so I thought......
My first time baking from scratch VS My first time designing a fondant Cake
If you read my first blog, you kind of know by now that my first time baking a cake from scratch was during a Thanksgiving gathering. I believe it was 2013 because this year my family all gathered at my parents new house in MD, and this was the year the Ravens played the Steelers (needless to say the Steelers lost). We had like 60 something people in the house this day, and my mother is no baker, so I agreed to make a Red Velvet Cake from scratch. And it was delicious!! I still use this same recipe to this day.
That Cake went so fast, I just couldn't help but be proud of myself lol. People had always talked about how baking is a science and its so hard, so I was just shocked that it was so easy for me. My Pops told me soon after that, his mother (My Nana) was a baker. See I never got a chance to meet the wonderful lady, but I have heard several stories. So to find out that I had something in common with her, I felt good! So I figured why not see what else I could do. I found out real fast that baking wasn't really that much fun lol....The fun came from the decorating.
So soon after I baked the red velvet cake for the family, I started to pay attention to more TV shows like Cake Boss, and watching more videos on YouTube. And that's when I discovered fondant! So you mean to tell me there is something I can play around with and design onto a cake? I thought I hit the jackpot. It was time for me to let my creativity take over and I was beyond excited, because I knew I would get board with just baking. While I love hearing all the amazing compliments that I get for the taste of my baked goods, I found myself more intrigued with how people would respond to my artistic side. Now my issue is that I am a visual learner. I thought that if I watched enough shows and videos, I could just hop right in and do it. lol
These first few cakes I had done, I just knew these cakes looked good! And to be honest, now that I look back and realize that I went from no experience, no teaching, nothing, to just watching a few videos and I was able to create these....I didn't do too bad. LOL The first two pictures were for actual paying clients. Luckily back then I had no idea how to charge for cakes, because I think I charged exactly what they were worth lol, nothing more and nothing less. The clients pretty much paid for the ingredients, and that's okay. The last cake I did for my daughters 2nd or 3rd birthday (I cant remember), but I was experimenting this time, and I thought that in order to get a shiny cake, I had to wet it with water. I was so wrong because fondant is nothing but marshmallows and powdered sugar....adding water just melts it lol.
Needless to say, even though I knew how to bake, I definitely needed a lot more education in cake decorating and fondant. Even though I made several mistakes within my first few cakes, and even years of cakes, I do look at everything as an experience. Before I decorated my first cake, I had never done anything like it before, and I could never say I did it had I not tried. Because I tried, it made me want to keep on trying. I am so glad that I never gave up!
What I had to realize is that progress takes time. Ima be honest, I wanted to rush every bit of the process. And because things weren't moving fast enough, I wound up taking pre mature steps that I wasn't yet ready for. I signed up for another culinary school because I thought that's what I was supposed to do. My parents were both shocked and proud that I had made that decision, but I realized soon after, that I made it for them and not for myself. Taking my first class was cool, I gained a lot of knowledge when it comes to the cleanliness of being in the kitchen. I even gained my ServSafe License during this time. But the next set of classes changed everything. I had to take a math, and writing, cooking and language course. Ill never forget the terrible feeling I had. I just knew that wasn't what I wanted to do.
So I quit! While quitting was what I needed to do because my heart wasn't in it, it stunted my growth again because I was a tad bit disappointed in myself as well. I didn't fully start progressing until I realized that in order for me to be successful in the cake business I have to stay true to myself. I am a hands on learner, and paying a collage do teach me something I could learn other ways just wasn't it. So once I decided to do my business full on, I decided to look up some cake artists in my area and decided to call one of them. I asked her if she was interested in an assistant because I was looking for work. God is so good, because it just so happened that she just lost an assistant. Cindy is her name, and she was sort of skeptical of me at first, but when I told her I have my son with me while my daughter is in school, and she told me she has a daughter the same age, somehow she knew it would work.
Working with Cindy became the biggest blessing of all. It was amazing that a woman allowed me into her home, to teach me the same things that I was trying to learn so I could branch off on my own. At first I was scared to ask her to go above and beyond and give me business advice until she said to me "Girl there is a McDonald's on every corner, and they all make money!" Not only did Cindy teach me how to do better designs, she has taught me how to take better pictures, build my clients, and even what to charger for my cakes. Even though I have moved further from Cindy, and I no longer work for her, she still calls me to this day to keep in touch and provides the best advice! I have dubbed Cindy my mentor and I love her for that!
Once Cindy and I realized it was time for me to move on, my business took off from there. I am still in the progression phase as we speak...and to be honesty Cindy just called me the other day to lecture me on what I MUST charge for a 3D cake from now on lol. Even though I am still growing, I feel like I gained some of my best experiences by being hands on and just going for what I want, instead of waiting for someone to teach me. I have learned more about the baking community in the past year by actually being in it, then I ever would have anywhere else. I have also realize that I have an amazing skill set that not too many people can achieve. And because of this it just makes me want to push harder and see how far I can go.
It Wouldn't be right if I didn't introduce Mrs. Cindy herself!
Her Work Is amazing!!! And she has the confidence to prove it! She definitely shows me how a true Cake Boss is supposed to act!
-If you find something you like doing, stick with it until you get it! Giving up won't get you anywhere but the same place you were in before you started.
-If your working at something, and how your doing it isn't affective for you, its okay to try it a different way. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
-If you have the chance, find someone who has the same passion as you. Talk to that person and learn from that person as much as you can. God puts people in your life for a reason, so take full advantage of that.
Like always I love you guys, and thanks for reading!!!! Don't forget to comment below and let me know what you think! If you have something your working on, tell me? I wanna know? I'm a tad bit nosy as well lol