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!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Not from a box

I do not cut corners. I do not break down and buy a cheap box of cake mix. I do not wimp out, buy something and hope someone won't notice. I make every single cake from scratch.

Homemade has come to mean Betty Crocker and the woman on that show that's "semi-homemade".   Several times over the last few weeks I have had to make this distinction.  I understand the confusion.  I really do.  As much as it still boggles my mind, we are in a generation where people don't learn to cook unless they plan to make it a career and homemade means it comes from a prepackaged box.  Don't get me wrong, I've been there a few times in my own life.   Sometimes it's just easier to grab a box off the shelf or a bag out of the freezer to toss in the microwave and be done with it.  You're eating at home and that makes it homemade.

When I first started making cakes I told people I made them myself; homemade.  I didn't realize that was automatically lumping me into the "box mix" category.  I then started to meet other local bakers and found that *gasp* many of them did actually use box mix because it was cheaper.  Sure, they doctored it a little bit and, as they said, "most people can't tell the difference".   Holy Cow!  

In the last few months I've found myself repeatedly having to explain the difference between homemade and made-from-scratch.  When you go through the grocery line with that many eggs, boxes of butter, cans of baking powder and so forth somebody always says, "are you a baker?"  Yes.  I am a baker.  And I'd like to clarify that I bake from scratch down to the last detail.

Knowing what I know now clears up so many things.  For example, I am shocked at the number of people who tell me they like chocolate but not chocolate cake.  I understand the reasoning now as I've begun to bring them back to the delicious world of chocolate cake.  A chocolate cake from a box has very little chocolate flavor at all.  It doesn't have the same moist texture and crumb, it dries out quickly and you must use a very fudgy frosting to enhance the flavor.  To see the expression on someones face when they taste a cake made-from-scratch and it's so much more than they expected is always a treat for me.   When I do a tasting I keep the cake separate from the frosting and fillings so that they can mix and match and have the opportunity to taste each item individually.

This whole "homemade equals a box mix" thing has been bugging me for a few weeks now.  We are so advanced yet so backwards.  I like to know how things are made.  Items don't just appear, they have to come from somewhere.   The same people look shocked when they say, "you MAKE marshmallows?"  Uh, yeah.

Quality comes from caring and using really good, fresh ingredients.  I can tell a cake that's been made and frozen.  I can tell a cake that came from a box.  Sometimes I can even tell you what brand of frosting they used based on consistency.  I do everything myself from start to finish.  I sift and weigh the flour, measure out the baking powder and create mess and chaos using every bowl and measuring spoon I have.  I do it all by myself and I do it all for the people who want really awesome cake.

I'm a scratch baker, not from a box.

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