I recently had the pleasure of making a 6" version of my Hot Chocolate Cake for a customer's birthday. Prior to this it was only available in the petite 4" size, so I made a few changes to account for the larger size and could not be happier with the results. Instead of only chili caramel sauce between cake layers, I added another layer of chocolate chili buttercream. The smooth texture of the buttercream gave the cake an added mouth feel. I then added a thin layer of the same buttercream to the outside, and finished it off with chocolate ganache buttercream.
As I put the cake together, from torting the cake layers, brushing each with chili simple syrup, carefully pouring and smoothing out the caramel sauce, and then adding the perfect amount of buttercream (not too much, not too little!) it gave me so much joy and satisfaction. It sounds silly because it's just cake, but I cannot begin to describe how happy yet oddly calming it makes me feel putting together what I think/hope will be the perfect marriage of sweet, salty, spicy, chocolatey, creamy, smooth, with a bit of crunch. In terms of running a "successful" business, I spend a ridiculous amount perfecting each cake. Not because I'm slow but I truly enjoy every moment and want to make sure everything comes out right.
Some of my first cakes did not come out like this. Sometimes I felt rushed, felt like I should be moving a lot faster if I wanted to make a profit, felt like I should be doing something else (catering to what a customer wants instead of what I want), and results weren't always 100%. In my head, if I wanted to be a "legitimate baking company" I had to move a LOT faster if I ever wanted to get things done. But instead cakes would come out maybe the tiniest bit lopsided or the flavor wasn't where I'd want it to be. It was only until I realized two things: 1. I have to be confident in the flavor choices I make and trust my own instinct rather than conforming to what someone else wants, and 2. Stop comparing myself to other bakeries and instead enjoy each moment of what I'm doing.
After the cake is all finished, boxed up, picked up or delivered, I can't help but feel happy with the slightest twinge of sadness. Each cake is crafted with so much care and I hope the recipients can taste the love that went into it. Cheesy, but I can't help it.A heartfelt thank you to every cake order I've ever received, to anyone that's ever taken the time to read my blog, and to the encouraging words you've shared.