Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The beginning ...



...of something good?

You know how it goes. You make something terrific and people say- Ooh, you should sell this! You hear that enough and you start to wonder if you could sell some things. How would it work? What exactly could you sell? Where could you do it? Who would buy your stuff? How could it happen without disrupting your life or costing too much to get started? Etc. Etc.

Let it be said, I'm interested in cooking for money again. Not as a full time gig, however. I enjoy cooking and entertaining, and I enjoy the rest of my life which does include a 1/2 time job teaching. I don't want for that to change. But, how great would it be to have some people who regularly or occasionally bought some baked goods from me or hired me to cater parties?

I've mentioned this to several people in the last couple of months and I intend to put together a reasonable list of things I could offer, including some prices. That's in the works, but not yet ready. In the mean time, if you're in need of any items or catering don't hesitate to give me a call.

One of my dear friends, who has listened to me ruminate on this project, had an occasion this last weekend where my services were exactly what she needed. She'd gotten in over her head a little bit in throwing a birthday brunch for a family friend. The guest list grew and grew and things took a serious turn when she discovered that the menu needed to be kosher for passover. Yikes! No bread for brunch?? What about birthday cake? This put a serious wrench in her well laid plans. We talked and she offered to hire me to provide some quiche and a cake, and she handled the rest.

Kosher for passover is different than regular kosher- the main restriction for us was no flour, no leavening, and for those of you jumping to the logical birthday cake option of a flourless chocolate cake with ground nuts, due to an allergy, no nuts were permitted either! You can use ground matzoh as a substitute for flour, but without time to do a trial run and tweak a recipe, I figured I would use a recipe that I knew. I chose the Chocolate Oblivion cake from the Cake Bible. It's a pound a chocolate, a half pound of butter and 6 eggs. This satisfied the dietary rules, and is darn tasty.

A flat, dark, kind of dull looking single layer simply would not do for a birthday cake. The dense texture of this "cake" made it a little challenging to fancy up. I decided on a raspberry whipped cream piped on top with some pretty fresh raspberries. This was not the time to try new things, since I had to make the delivery in less than an hour, but I wanted to make it even more dazzling. On the second try, a band of white chocolate lattice/scroll work/squiggles whatever you want to call it, worked! It was even sturdy enough to survive the car ride and made it in good shape.

For the quiche, large potato latkes served as the crust, and the filling for one was mushroom, spinach, sun dried tomato and feta. The other was caramelized onion, asparagus and chive. I made a third for our own brunch on Sunday of the remaining fillings and it was really good. I like the Silver Palate quiche custard formula of 1 1/2 cups of cream to 3 eggs. And, if you can use flour, their pate brisee recipe makes a perfect crust.


-Janet

6 comments:

Maxine said...

I wish we lived closer - OMG!!!! I would hire you in a heartbeat!!!

katskitchen said...

That cake looks awesome. I'm trying to figure out how you did the white chocolate lattice...hmmm...

Janet said...

yes, next time I'll try to document the whole nerve racking process! Take a piece of parchment that is the length of the circumference and make a mark on it indicating how wide you want the chocolate to be. You'll have extra paper at one side, but the other side should have chocolate right up to the edge. Then just draw squiggles with the chocolate. All you need to do is make sure there is enough overlap so that there aren't any obvious weak spots. Once it's not runny, but not yet firm, wrap it around the cake and get it in the frig. Once the chocolate is set, peel off the paper. There are instructions in The Cake Bible, too.

lisamichele said...

That cake is freaking gorgeous, Janet. You've got some mad talent!

Elissa said...

WOW. I cannot believe how amazing this cake looks. Please, please post a tutorial on how you decorated this cake! It looks fantastic... really professional. I'm so impressed!

Ria said...

Wow Janet! I loved the lattice! Super cool!!! :)