About Me

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Durham, NC, United States
My name is Veronica and I own Southern Gold Leaf Cakes. I opened my home-based business in 2008. I am a licensed and inspected home bakery specializing in custom cakes. Since all cakes are made to order there are no frozen cakes here, only fresh and only home made. I am a self-taught baker but I have a strong art background with years of baking experience. It is the most rewarding feeling in the world when you can apply your skills to do something you love. To see my cake creations and view our yummy menu visit us at www.southerngoldleafcakes.com!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Thanksgiving Blessings

 This turned out to be just a cute little pumpkin cake (really carrot cake on the inside) for a friend who wanted just a small dessert for Thanksgiving.   Sometimes just some delicate piping is just enough. 

The pumpkin was sugar with vines and leaves piped on it.  All in all a wonderful little cake that was a joy to make.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Cake pops - experimenting

So here is the beginning of my experimentation into the world of cake pops.  Step one is crumbling the cake and preparing it for shaping.  The next step is to add your frosting to a sticky but not overly mushed consistency.  The size does matter in this case because they will fall off the stick of they're too big.  Chocolately coating is next and then you're done. 

This is a new level of mess in my kitchen.  You become accustomed to a certain level and type of mess when baking.  Working with chocolate is a whole new level of mess and patience.  However they are very tasty and very popular.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Gift card purchase and chocolate!!

Thanks to a very awesome birthday gift card from Kara of  A Cake to Remember, I FINALLY got out to Barnes and Nobles and realized it had been far too long since I was in a bookstore.  I had a couple of books in mind but was immediately captivated by the cooking/baking center table that had some really great finds!

My eventual purchase was "Cake Pops" by Bakerella (Angie Dudley)!  I was so excited simply because I've seen her on-line so much and find this the cutest idea.  I am constantly baking for preschool classes and the idea of keeping things neat and small - they're four.  It's hard to do both small and neat when you're talking snacks for this age group.  But the ideas in this book are pretty endless once you get the hang of it.  She teaches you the basics of over three dozen different designs and that is the ground work for you to be able to expand in any direction you'd desire!  If you are the experimental type this is an excellent find and can be used for so many occasions.  I am super stoked about trying this out! 

I also picked another little piece of literature called "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" - yes, I'm weird but I've never said otherwise!  All in all a fun trip to the book store that reminded me I have got to get out more! 
Another quick tid bit for the fans - Bobby Flay has just put out "Throw Down" and will be in Cary, NC on 11/14 for a book signing!  This is local for me and very exciting so I thought I'd share! 

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...my splurge ended with a lovely piece of Godiva Chocolate! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Baking substitutions

Since I bake scratch I've never really tried this method, and I'm sure there's a scratch recipe that uses it I've just never looked, but last night I had some cupcakes a friend made where she replaced the oil, water and eggs in the box mix with a can of diet soda (sprite alternative).   I'd read about such substitutions before but never really felt the urge to see what would happen. 
  Overall the cupcakes were still tasty.  The texture was light and the crumb moist but they didn't want to hold together once removed from the wrapper.   It was as though structurally they just didn't hold together if that makes sense.  They were tasty but felt, I guess the word is, insubstantial.  I felt like I could probably eat a dozen before I felt like I'd had cupcakes.  This is not to say the weren't tasty or bad just very different. 
  I'm not sure the purpose of making such a substitution but now I know the outcome.  Would they have been different had she just used regular soda (or regular sprite alternative)? 
  Has anyone else ever tried this with different results?  Did you like them or not?  Curiosity takes the field on this one.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Listen to the words...

A recent phone conversation that went something like this:

Me: "Good morning, Southern Gold Leaf Cakes.  This is Veronica.  How may I help you today?" (said smiling)

Lady:  Who is this?
Me:  This is Veronica.  May I help you?
Lady:  I'm trying to call this cake place.
Me:  Well, I own a cake place.
Lady:  Where's it at?
Me:  Well, I do appointment only meetings.  What can I help you with today? (not giving her my address)
Lady:  So you make cakes?
Me:  Yes, ma'am.  Do you need a cake?
Lady:  Where do you get them?
Me:  I'm sorry?
Lady:  Is this the place that makes cakes?
Me:  Yes, ma'am.
Lady:  Where do you get the cakes?
Me:  (deep breath, roll eyes) Ma'am, I bake and decorate all the cakes at the time they are ordered.  Do you need to talk about ordering a cake?
Lady:  Yes.  That's why I called.
Me:  What type of cake would you like to order?  Is it a wedding  or birthday? 
Lady:  No. 
Me:  Ok.  Well, why don't you tell me the kind of cake you need and we can set an appointment for a tasting.
Lady:  Chocolate.
Me:  Ok.

This went on for some time and eventually she realized that she wasn't the right person to make this call and said she's have someone else call me back.  I wasn't sure if I wanted them to or not. 
The lesson (I think):  no matter who is on the other end of the phone you must always maintain a level of calm professionalism.   Even if they don't call you back and place an order the amount of bad advertising they can spread when telling their friends about the rude phone call can do massive damage.
On the other hand, if you happen to be the person making the call (we're all consumers at some point) know who you're calling, what you want and listen to the words on the other end to avoid confusion!