Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Buttercream is dangerous and cake ingredient musings!

The last cake was made from chocolate buttercream. Since I use all butter and high quality chocolate, I found it WAY yummy. I kept grabbing a new plastic spoon to get another taste every time I went to the kitchen! I had to put it in the freezer to stay away from it! Way dangerous stuff! Nibbling on cake is a non-issue as it always gets sent away, but leftover buttercream? DANGER CITY!!!

I've been working on a system to store buttercream too. I really don't like making buttercream because it is messy and greasy. I already told you that I make triple or quadruple batches (I think I'll stick with triple batches - fits better in my mixer). I store those in 6 cup plastic containers and freeze them if I don't have plans for right away.

Well, I've also startes storing leftover colored icing. I seem to use a lot of red, black, green, red, and royal blue. I will use what I need and the rest I will store in a ziploc and store in the freezer - taking it out for the next cake. Since it's not good to freeze and refreeze items, I store them in small batches so I can just throw away what I don't use of the already frozen buttercream.

A gal on a forum I read said that she will store them for a time and if they don't get used, she'll combine them to make an unsavory colored batch and then turn it into chocolate buttercream. This could work in a pinch, but I'm already thinking, "I don't like food coloring in the first place, why would I now taint my chocolate buttercream with food coloring". But, I'll put it out there if other people want to try it. I won't, but that's because I'm trying to bill myself as a close to earth baker.

I just bought an organic and differently formulated baking soda. I'll have to try it on an experimental cake (for home) to see how it works.

I also need to make my own vanilla. I've been buying organic vanilla, but I'm switching over in the about 10 weeks to organic homemade vanilla. It will be cheaper for me. Vanilla is one of the most expensive parts of a cake! It's about 40 cents a teaspoon and a typical cake with buttercream uses 3-4 teaspoons of vanilla - that's about $1.50 a cake... It takes about 8 weeks to make homemade vanilla extract, but I think I can get my costs down to then about 25 cents a cake for vanilla - but would need to make an initial investment in small glass bottles too.

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