Hello from Australia, newbie here would love feedback.

Discussion in 'Introductions' started by CandyCakes, Jun 1, 2018.

  1. CandyCakes

    CandyCakes New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi everyone! I'm a self taught baker from Australia. I would love to turn my passion into a career, but I still have plenty to learn. I can't wait to see what I can learn from you guys.

    I have attached a couple of photos of my recent cake (chocolate, Oreo icing , choc chip, choc hazzelnut marsh mellow between layers, coconut cream icing honey comb, malteezer , and a white choc variation of the same recipe with caramel syrup.
    I have also attached photos of my cupcake, each cupcake is a different flavor.

    I would love some feed back on my cakes and cupcakes, would these be worth buying? Are they visiously apealing?

    Keen to hear back from you guys.
     

    Attached Files:

    CandyCakes, Jun 1, 2018
    #1
    Norcalbaker59 likes this.
    1. Advertisements

  2. CandyCakes

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    715
    Location:
    Northern California

    Welcome to the forum CandyCakes,

    I actually saw your post a day or so ago, and pondered whether to respond. Normally I don’t give feedback when asked for personal opinions. But you state you are looking toward a baking career, and as such are soliciting feedback specific to aesthetics and marketability. So here are a couple of thoughts from that perspective.

    Insofar as marketability based on these examples, there’s no way to know. Consumer preferences and demands are unique to local markets. To assist in understanding your local market, review websites of commercial bakeries and cottage home bakers. Photos of their products will give you an idea of customer expectation for aesthetic standards. Their product offerings will give you an idea of trends and what sells in your area.

    To gain a better understanding of over all trends, look at event websites. These include caters, bridal, and parenting magazine and websites.

    While taste preferences vary by region, there are some general approaches to creating flavors that can guide you toward success.

    First, taste preferences are strongly influenced by age, culture, gender, and socioeconomics. Where children enjoy baked goods with a higher concentration of sugar, adults generally prefer less sweet cake and pastry. Culture also plays a role; Asian prefer significantly less sweet baked goods than western cultures. Americans on the other hand prefer sweeter cake and pastry than both Asians and most European cultures.

    In taste detection studies, scientist find females have a higher developed sense of taste than males. On average, males require 20% more sweetness and 10% more sourness to achieve the same detection as females.

    Understanding how these factors influence taste/preferences can guide you toward a product line that will appeal to your target customers, in your local market.

    Second, as a general rule, when using multiple components, care must be taken to ensure they are not all sugar based. Sugar can easily overwhelm flavor and the palate. Understanding how to use ingredients to layer flavors goes a long way in developing a successful dessert. In the culinary world, enhance and balance have specific meaning.
    • Enhance - means to use another ingredient(s) to bring out flavor. Example of enhance is to add espresso powder to a chocolate cake to bring out the flavor of the cocoa; macerate strawberries in balsamic vinegar and black pepper to bring out their sweetness; add a floral, note, such as lavender or elderflower, to a lemon or passion fruit to move from a single flavor dimension to a more complex flavor profile.
    • Balance - using other ingredient(s) to counteract an otherwise overwhelming flavor. Examples of balancing are pairing an acid like pomegranate to counter the sweetness of white chocolate; use a bit of baking soda to neutralize a sour sauce; balance a bitter dark chocolate with the sweetness of raisins.
    The most successful desserts are balanced in flavor, sweetness, and texture. It doesn’t take much sugar to overwhelm the senses and obliterate flavor. Keep in mind that sugar is a single detectable taste, so several layers of sugar components are not discernible, they simple increase the level of sweetness.


    Complexity is a blend of flavor and texture. Sugar is a given. So The other components should balance, rather than increase the amount of sugar. An example might include:

    • Sweet: sponge cake
    • Sour: kumquat
    • Spice: ginger
    • Floral: elderflower
    • Texture: sliced almonds
    How it might translate into a cake is a ginger sponge cake; plain simple syrup; kumquat curd filling; elderflower Swiss meringue buttercream; a low border of lightly toasted almonds around the bottom of the cake.


    It’s not to say you can’t combine two sweet components, but be mindful

    balance. I’m working on a butter caramel pecan cake now; the challenge is to let the pecan flavor come through without overwhelming the cake with sugary caramel.


    In some ways the approach to flavor is similar to the way an artist approaches color. Sometimes color is used to blend and balance; at other times color is used to starkly contrast. Flavor is approached the same way.


    Lastly, aesthetics is definitely important since the look of food determines what foods we select to eat, and how we perceive its taste. Even though sight has nothing to do with our ability to taste, sight is the second most important factor in how we preceive and identify food. The other factor in food perception and identification is smell.

    An aesthetically pleasing cake or cupcake begins with consistency and uniformity in the structure of the cake/cupcake. Level and symmetrical cake layers is the foundation of a well decorate cake.

    Cupcakes should be level with or slightly dome above the paper baking cup. When topped with buttercream, the cupcake will look full.

    When creating looks like the drip cake, it’s important to smooth the icing. The drips then standout against the smooth surface. If the icing is highly textured, the drips fade into the background.

    The viscosity is important as well. Too thick and the drips look blotchy or like sludge. Too thin and the drips lose the 2-dimensional quality.

    There are a number of tutorial videos online that demonstrate the fundamental techniques (torte, fill, and ice) to create a well structured cake ready for decorating. As you use these techniques you begin to understand the purpose of the framework beneath the declarations. And with all skills, the more you practice the better. I’m way better at baking than decorating because I just don’t practice the decorating enough. But I’m

    Commitment this year to change that.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 3, 2018
    #2
    Becky and Buddy Baker like this.
    1. Advertisements

  3. CandyCakes

    Becky Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    2,011
    Likes Received:
    756
    Location:
    UK
    Welcome to the forum! :)

    Good advice above. I agree that the drip cakes would look better with smooth frosting. How long have you been baking for?

    Hehe, I guess you meant visually ;) They look lovely for homebaked goods. A few years ago they probably would sold well in semi-professional environment, but the thing is that everyone seems to want to sell baked goods nowadays and consequently the standard is now very high. If you want to be able to turn your hobby into a money-making venture then you would need to consider what the market wants and how you can fill that need in a profitable way. The problem is that the market is highly saturated, so you need to stand out from the crowd.
     
    Becky, Jun 3, 2018
    #3
  4. CandyCakes

    CandyCakes New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    I've been cooking for about a year now but I've got a previous wrist injury so I can't cook to often. Was not sure how to do drip cakes I just used chocolate and Carmel flavoured topping.
    How do u make the stuff for your drip cakes.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2018
    CandyCakes, Jun 3, 2018
    #4
  5. CandyCakes

    Becky Administrator

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2013
    Messages:
    2,011
    Likes Received:
    756
    Location:
    UK
    I have never made one before unfortunately! What stuff are you referring to? The part that drips?
     
    Becky, Jun 4, 2018
    #5
  6. CandyCakes

    CandyCakes New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Yeah the part that drips
     
    CandyCakes, Jun 4, 2018
    #6
  7. CandyCakes

    Norcalbaker59 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2017
    Messages:
    1,209
    Likes Received:
    715
    Location:
    Northern California
    The drips are normally made with ganache. Usually a 50/50 ratio by weight of chocolate and whipping cream. You can use real chocolate, chocolate chips, or white chocolate. I don’t know about candy melts though. I’ve never used candy melts.

    Chop the chocolate, heat the cream to just under boiling. Do not boil cream. Pour the cream over the chocolate let it sit for a minute or two then stir it until it’s smooth.

    A lot of people will melt the chocolate in the microwave with the cream. I just don’t like doing it that way as I worry it will over heat.

    The key too a good drip effect is a cold cake and warm fluid ganache. The cold cake chills the ganache as it drips down, setting it in place.

    The ganache cannot be too warm though. Warm enough that it flows but not so warm that it will drip to the bottom of the cake.

    To test the ganache before applying it to the cake, chill a tall drinking glass. Turn the chilled glass upside down. Then drip some ganache down the glass as you would a cake.

    If the ganache drips all the way to the counter it is too warm. Let it cool a bit more

    If the ganache does not flow an inch or so down the glass it’s too cold. So just heat it slightly.
     
    Norcalbaker59, Jun 5, 2018
    #7
    Becky likes this.
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.