Saturday, July 19, 2014

Last week in the bakery… Vegan wedding cake implosion. This week in the bakery… Garth Brooks is everywhere


It's been yet another hectic couple of weeks here in Cake Central. I wonder if, like me, other small business owners ever suffer from… sentence completion delay. SCD sounds a lot like a Kindergarden teacher speaking to an expectant classroom. My brain is so full that by the time the start of a sentence escapes my mouth I have moved on to thinking of the next thing. Mid-way through what I'm saying I get that 'what did I come here for?' moment, followed by long pause, before forcing out the end of my sentence. What is my brain full of? Here are some examples-


This vegan wedding cake was assembled and ready for the next day. The cake was waaaaay too delicate for the Irish heat wave* that hit Dublin. Miracle of miracles, this cake implosion occurred in the bakery and not at the wedding. The cake was rebaked and reinforced to the nth degree. Finished cake below.
*Over 20 degrees Celsius constitutes an Irish heat wave. 

The vegan wedding cake in situ

This was a 90th birthday cake for Jim, a jazz saxophonist, Cork man and sports fan. 

I tried my hand at driving a coffee "truck" belonging to Saltpeter Deli. No less that 6 people waved and smiled / laughed at me on the journey from Drimnagh to Terenure.




To say the day was intense would be an understatement. The barista was a no-show, it rained, surprise HSE inspection, I had no power for the first couple of hours and then the coffee grinder quit on me. But champions don't quit. Oh no. With no electric coffee grinder, ordering a cappuccino became an audience participation-type event. Here is a photo of a customer hand grinding his own shot. 


This week Caryna's Cakes and Nick's Coffee Co were reunited. Raspberry cheesecake brownies are back where they started - it that teeny coffee kiosk in Ranelagh

This week also saw the opening of Two Fifty Square, a new coffee roasters and local coffee shop tucked away on a side street in Rathmines. Me likey.


The Garth Brooks saga was everywhere this week and the bakery was no exception. We love our friendly delivery dudes and are heartbroken for this man who has given up the fight but not the dream.
Twitter: @carynascakes
Facebook: Caryna's Cakes
Phone: 086 0703425
Address: Terenure Enterprise Centre, 
17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, 

Dublin 6w, Ireland



Monday, June 30, 2014

This week in the bakery…Naked cake and superheroes

This has a been a week of goodbyes. First went Julien. He arrived to the bakery about 6 weeks ago to improve his English. By the time he left he was entertaining the room with riddles and memorized monologues from Lord of the Rings. This was all while smiling and washing dishes / scooping cookies / sweeping the floor / peeling carrots. A special lad, to be sure. 


Next went Kevin, a best friend who I met in Bakery school (we became fast friends when I realised how funny he was. His famous first sentence to me was (totally not joking), "Careful not to burn your face with that hot tray. It's amazing how one moment can change the rest of your life." With every epic sentence that comes out of Kevin's mouth, I love him more. He worked for Caryna's Cakes in the early days, when baking was done from the cottage / my house. He's off to New York City, where he has been hired to an exclusive and competitive internship programme. 

He got this naked chocolate cake with Cream Cheese frosting as a send-off. It was garnished with fresh edible flowers, fresh berries and a blizzard of icing sugar.


Ewan is 4! I met Ewan's parents at Macreddin Village market at Brooklodge when he was a bump. I made his christening cake and every birthday cake since. this year he's mad into superheroes so he got a 2 tier chocolate biscuit cake with Spiderman, Superman and Batman. 


Until next week… same bat-time, same bat-channel. 


Twitter: @carynascakes
Facebook: Caryna's Cakes
Phone: 086 0703425
Address: Terenure Enterprise Centre, 
17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, 

Dublin 6w, Ireland


Saturday, June 21, 2014

This week in the bakery… Jump Zone!

Baking cake for a living is great. That being said, there are some instances that, if I'm being but brutally honest, are awkward about being a baker:

1. Going to a party where someone else has baked a cake and being asked what I think. I'll always say it's good, just so you know.

2. Going to a party where the host serves a cheap shop bought cake and expresses their embarrassment. I'll always say it's good, just so you know.

3. Going to a party where I have been asked to bake the cake. I feel kind of shy arriving with the cake, super shy when the cake is presented to the birthday boy/girl, under pressure to perform when I am asked to slice the cake, I want to be temporarily invisible when people eat the cake and make loud deliberate, "mmmmm!"/"oh, yum!" noises and I want to hide when people feel obliged to tell me that the cake was good.  
In a normal bakery situation the cake is presented to the lucky recipient, I anticipate a reaction followed by a reaction. Goodbyes are exchanged. The cake gallops into the sunset, never to be seen again. Simple.

The only exception is a kid's party. Kids eat the cake and say it like it is. Simple. This week I was invited to my friend Pema's 8th birthday party at Jump Zone and teamed with my friend Marion (Pema's mom) to create Pema's dream cake. 



Voila. A gluten-free chocolate brownie cake decorated with a sculpted Pema jumping on blue clouds in front of a rainbow, flanked by unicorns and finished with edible glitter. Great care was taken to ensure the clouds did not look like unicorn poo. 

I may have been the only adult on the dodgeball team but my skill level was that of my 8-year-old teammates

Strategizing with the team...

I can highly recommend squeezing into a bib and being a big kid at the child's party

After the jumping really earned us an appetite, we got pizza and cake! Those kids loved the cake, especially Pema. Marion earned the right to be proud of her work. 

Photos by Marion Agogue

Twitter: @carynascakes
Facebook: Caryna's Cakes
Phone: 086 0703425
Address: Terenure Enterprise Centre, 
17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, 

Dublin 6w, Ireland

Monday, June 16, 2014

This week in the bakery… Whiskey and Doughnuts!

Here come those rare Dublin days. The days that are sunny and warm, and mean I can finally work some color back in to this pale, pale skin of mine. In Ireland, one must take advantage of these days while one can. If only those incessant dishes would cooperate...


So I have to enjoy my ice creams in the warm evenings (at which time a wine chaser is appropriate). It could be worse.




Most excitingly, this week Slow Food Dublin confirmed the details of the much anticipated Whisk(e)y and Doughnut Tasting event. I have written many a time about my love for the doughnuts at Firehouse Bakery. Well, they are coming home to momma on the 1st July, where they (5!) will be paired with whiskeys and whiskys. I am super excited about the flavor combinations that Paul Lambert and Patrick Ryan will come up with. And then feed me with. 

Tickets are limited and you can purchase them here: TICKETS


Twitter: @carynascakes
Facebook: Caryna's Cakes
Phone: 086 0703425
Address: Terenure Enterprise Centre, 
17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, 

Dublin 6w, Ireland

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

This week in the bakery…Cherry Blossom Cake and a wedding bonanza

The beauty of having an artisan bakery rather than a cake factory  is that I have the freedom to change it up when the mood takes me. (I hear we're supposed to ditch the term 'artisan' now since it's been appropriated by huge grocery companies and popping up on labels for everything from extended shelf-life granola to oily chocolate chips). 
To keep things fresh around here, I've been introducing customers to a "Cake of the Month" featuring a seasonal ingredient. For June we've gone for a cherry cake scented with orange blossom water. Here it is, for one month only: Cherry Blossom Cake

Ingredients: FRENCH CHERRIES, POLENTA, PURE IRISH BUTTER, SUGAR, GROUND ALMOND, IRISH FREE RANGE EGGS, IRISH ORGANIC YOGOURT, FRESH SQUEEZED ORANGE JUICE, ORANGE BLOSSOM WATER, Gluten-free BAKING POWDER


There were wedding cakes and pirate cakes and model schnauzers too. Here is a graduated gold wedding cake that was collected last week.


And then on to a different style of wedding cake, featuring hand molded models of Garvan and Kevin from the fabulous Two Rooms in Dublin and their adorable schnauzer, Fred 
Schnauzer in progress
Grooms in progress
Here is the finished couple...
And finished Fred, holding a pillow with the rings (those green wires are for support while the glue dried)

The figurines were collected, along with this cake, for a journey to Wexford where they were assembled. Bottom tier was chocolate biscuit cake, middle tier was chocolate biscuit cake with Cointreau and the top tier was chocolate biscuit cake with toasted walnuts.
I am dying to see the photos. I still feel panicked when releasing a cake to get driven away to a venue. I can't rest soundly until I see a picture of it at it's designation safe and sound!

Twitter: @carynascakes
Facebook: Caryna's Cakes
Phone: 086 0703425
Address: Terenure Enterprise Centre, 
17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, 

Dublin 6w, Ireland

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Recipe for the best Blueberry Ginger Cake ever

Way back when I met The Rocket Man in Cork (like, 2 weeks ago) I was inspired. The man introduced me to 2 recent food loves: pickled grapes (amazing atop salads with some yogurt) and his handcrafted, limited addition, made with care and attention, cordial. His Blueberry and Ginger cordial got me to wondering if I could use it in a cake. Experiment done. Result = lovely. Here is the recipe.

Blueberry Ginger Cake

Blueberry Ginger Cake

Serves 8

Ingredients:

110g Irish salted butter (soft, room temperature)
140g Caster sugar
3 Free-range eggs (room temperature)
175g plain flour
¼ tsp baking soda
½ tsp / 3g ground ginger
125ml low fat natural yogurt
30ml The Rocket Man Rocket Fuel Blueberry & Ginger Cordial + 60ml for drizzling later
60g frozen blueberries

Vanilla Icing
The Rocket Man Rocket Fuel Blueberry & Ginger Cordial (about 30ml or so)
Fresh blueberries for garnish

Directions:
Preheat your oven to 180 C / 350F Gas 4. Line a 7" round cake tin with parchment/baking paper.

Bowl #1: Sift the flour, baking soda and ginger in a bowl

Bowl #2: Mix the butter and sugar together until light. Add one egg at a time, mixing well after each egg. Gently fold in the floury contents of Bowl #1. Fold in the yogurt and 30ml cordial until just nearly combined. Fold in the frozen blueberries. 

Spoon the batter into your lined cake tin. Bake in the centre of your oven for 30-40 minutes. When the cake is set and hot out of the oven, slowly drizzle 60ml cordial evenly on top. This will soak into the sponge cake. Cool completely.

To frost the cake, stir some cordial into your favorite icing. Combine it completely or leave it swirly - it's up to you. Top your cake and garnish with some fresh blueberries. Enjoy!

Twitter: @carynascakes
Facebook: Caryna's Cakes
Phone: 086 0703425
Address: Terenure Enterprise Centre, 
17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, 

Dublin 6w, Ireland



Saturday, May 24, 2014

This week in the bakery… we break for Ballymaloe



This week we were absent from the Dublin Food Co-op as we took to the open road and headed to East Cork for Ballymaloe Litfest
The weekend was pure delicious inspiration. I attended as a volunteer, which meant me checking tickets at the door for a couple of talks each day. 



Let's talk about René Redzepi of Noma. He was the first celebrity speaker, at the very first talk of the event. I had 2 jobs. Just 2 jobs. Job #1 check guests' tickets. Job #2 ring the dainty bell 10 minutes before the scheduled end of the talk. And so that's what I did. I asked everyone who crossed the threshold for their ticket, like the nerd that I am. Mr. René Redzepi (otherwise known as the head chef of the best restaurant 5 out of the past 6 years) was none too impressed with me when I asked for his ticket to enter his own talk.


And to make matters worse, that dainty bell, never chimed before the moment I picked it up, was the LOUDEST DANG BELL THAT EVER RANG. At least he laughed. On the stage. Mid-sentence. In front of 300 people. Who all turned to look at me.



Luckily he accepted my apologies. I had 2 jobs...


When I was done wrecking René Redzepi's day, I was then free to attend any and all talks on the schedule
And catch up with friends 





We were even on the jumbo-tron 
This was a magical bar filled with magical beverages
There were fantastic food stalls  
Have you heard of a pickle back? A shot of whiskey chased with a shot of pickle juice. I'm bringing pickle back


Thanks to Marion Agogue for sharing all of these pictures.

Twitter: @carynascakes
Facebook: Caryna's Cakes
Phone: 086 0703425
Address: Terenure Enterprise Centre, 
17 Rathfarnham Road, Terenure, 

Dublin 6w, Ireland