Friday, February 11, 2011
Back in the day when I was a brand new wedding cake baker the trend in tony Dallas Texas was that "Everything had to be made from scratch !" Now I had been baking from Pillsbury Plus box mixes forever. I knew exactly how many boxes for each size tier. And though I made my chocolate chip cookies that I became famous for ( truly ) I gained equal fame for my brownies ! Guess what ? Yup, from a box too ! It was easier and took up less room in our tiny kitchen and I wasn't going to change my ways just to be trendy ! At one time the Pillsbury company had a deal where you had to save so many ( I forget how many ) box tops and you could send them in for a Pillsbury Doughboy statue. Yes, everyone in my family got a rubberized doughboy for Christmas ! We would clip our coupons, bake our cakes and brownies and hide the evidence ( empty boxes ) in dark black trash bags so no one would see. After a while I became tired of lying and took the scandalous chance, letting my secret out ! Wedding cake sales went up, up, up. No one cared as the cakes were good! In 12 years I baked, decorated and delivered over 33,000 sets of cakes. That's a lotta cakes ! I was lucky to have my wife and son to help in the delivery process, they were great door holders ! What made me snap out of the Box vs Scratch worry ? I was at the shop one day when I got a call from one of my largest vendor or referral giver of my wedding cakes. She asked me to make a Pecan Praline Cake for a wedding. I said "No Problem" as I snuck into her house to steal the recipe ! Mildred , her housekeeper was happy to give it to me, then offer me smelling salts to wake me up after I had passed out ( not really, just kidding about the passing out ) upon finding out that " Miss Scratch" asked me to make a cake that required a yellow cake mix. Whatever ! We did make all of our icings from scratch though. There were some bakers who used scratch recipes for their cakes and bought tub after tub of pre-made icing, Not ! Oh well, life went on !
Posted by Paul Jerabek at 8:55 AM