Here at work - I won't bore you with details about what I do and where I work and such - we recently underwent an audit. The stock and administrative assistants raced to Hell and back trying to get this place in order for the occasion. They did a fantastic job and we passed with flying colors. So to thank them, I baked a cake.
And it was good.
Dark cocoa-flavored with a hint of coffee to deepen that aroma and taste of the chocolate. There was no butter, so this wasn't a dense cake, and it was slightly spongy in texture without being chewy. I paired it with a strawberry-infused SMB (Swiss meringue butter cream) and everyone raved over how delicious and silky the frosting was. I got compliments, like always, and the cake practically disappeared in under 20 min, like usual. I walked into work today and I *still got comments on how good the cake was, which has happened before. I received an e-mail from a co-worker who was out yesterday, heard he missed out on cake, and practically begged me to make one again as soon as possible. This, too, has happened before. And as I sat down at my desk, someone walked by my office and called out, "You should open up a bakery."
I have heard this too many times to count. Nearly every single time I bring in a baked good- gluten free, egg less, vegan, cookies, cake- I hear this. And it doesn't happen just at work. Oh, no, it happens everywhere. My friends have said as much, my family agrees that I have a collection of yummy recipes, and even my picky grandmother enjoyed the lemon pound cake I made for her. So I'm sitting here, thinking back to all the compliments and reviews, and I can't help but think... Yeah. I should.
But the harsh truth is, I'm not that good of a baker. I've gotten lucky with most of the recipes I find. They were already wonderful and moist and delicious without me. I pluck them out of cookbooks and food blogs and change the ingredient list before I'm halfway done the trial run. I'm incredibly picky, as well. If I make brownies, I can imagine just how gooey and chocolatey they should be. If they don't reach that level then I never make that recipe again. If I don't love it, I don't share it. Which means I eat a lot of the failures myself with copious amounts of sobbing. It's hard being so picky. I have no head for money or numbers or any kind of figuring such as how much equipment, supplies, ingredients, space, building, a lease, electricity, convection ovens and employees would cost. Hell, I wouldn't even know how much flour to buy. I purchase ingredients as sporadically as I bake, and sometimes I do a lot of specialty buying/baking such as almond flour for my friends with Celiac disease, or dehydrated blueberries for my killer blueberry cheesecake, or mango for yogurt-pops.
Then again, there aren't any local bakeries that I'm fond of frequenting because their products just aren't at the level that I crave. There's a French-Asian bakery about 20 min away but it's pricey and considerably... well, French. I like macroons as much as the next person, but I tend to shy away from the red-bean paste and pistachio flavored shells. There's a traditional bakery/cafe not even 5 minutes further down the road but they serve Hershey's Ice Cream instead of home-made soft serve. Their coffee is from a Folgers can. Their donuts look like Krispe Kreme rejects. I'll pass.
I know there's potential, and it's been my dream for a few years now to be able to have a baking business of some kind. I've tempted the idea of operating from my own kitchen, but I'm completely clueless as to how to make it work. As I said before, I have no head for money, so I would undoubtedly go bankrupt in the first few months. Also, there's the difference of baking for a party of 10 and baking for a crowd of 50. The quality degrades with the increased number of sales and customers, plus the time limits allowed per baked good.
I'm ranting, I know, and I'm probably nonsensical about the whole thing, too, which is another reason why the idea wouldn't work. Did I mention I kind of crazy? No? Oh, well, guess I wanted to surprise you. So for now, I'll bake for friends and friends' boyfriends and holidays and co-workers. I suppose that's enough for me. Maybe one day I'll make a food blog and actually take pictures of my creations, post said pictures on the internet and get gratification that way. I'm not original in my idea or discovery of such a release, but I'm OK with that.