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!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today is just a quick soap box about buying things that don't taste good.  I know, I know, it doesn't make any sense when you read it out loud but it happens constantly.   I will not name names, and to confide in you I was equally ignorant back in the day (more than 15 years ago), but there is one company in particular that continues to put out "edible" materials that are just awful.

In fairness, from my own personal knowledge, they may have been one of the first to market professional decorating materials and techniques available to the general baking public.  Even if they weren't the first, they were definitely one of the few to be able to hit the mark in such a way that they are still on just about every store shelf of every local retail craft store as well as on line and many times sold by and through other large on line retailers.  I know by now you know who I'm talking about but remember, I never mentioned a name.

I remember the first time I used fondant off the shelf.  Remember, this was long before I learned how to make it myself and have since found at least three different recipes I like.  The store bought stuff was hard as a rock, next to impossible to soften and tasted awful.  I couldn't imagine why someone would want this on their cake.  To this day I still have couples tell me that they don't like fondant and sometimes refuse to have it as an option because they have had such a bad experience with the store bought stuff.  This is why I always make sure I have fresh samples of mine at the tasting so that they can see how it was meant to taste.

In the last year or so this same company has started putting out edible icing sheets.   They are preprinted so you just cut them and apply them to your smoothly frosted cake and now you have a new work of art.  These are not new to the industry and can be purchased from a number of more reputable tasting companies.  But they look really great and your cake will look really great so they must be good.  It's still the same company.   I've looked for the expiration date on some of these prepackaged lovelies - I can't find one.  Everything expires so this makes me even more suspect.

With a little time and practice you could learn to make these yourself.  There are tutorials all over the web.  Just like you can make your own fondant, gum paste, edible glitters, sanding sugars and, of course, cake without the box. I know, sounds impossible really, but it can be done.  It takes more time, can be messy and does take practice but in the end it is so much better.

I guess it falls into the category of the "quick fix".  I guess that is why so many are still plucking it up off the shelf.  I am all about making this easier and quicker myself but I will not sacrifice quality to do so.  I will continue to buy a few premade items or ingredients on line either because of quantity or to save time.  But if it's something I can make myself, even if it's not the prettiest thing I put out, at least I know that it will taste great and I will own it.

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