Cake skillz and giveaways

As some of you have assumed, I have not been dabbling in the cake making for Orlandough for the past year. The cakes were all baked and frosted by Becky. She worked really hard to make great cakes and macarons. And she built up the reputation for the the cakes and macarons coming out of the Orlandough kitchen.

And now with the recent transition, I am less-than-confident in my abilities to make a product of equal caliber of which you all have grown accustomed. So, what to do? Let the entire limb of the business die and fall off? Use gross metaphors on a site dedicated to delicious looking desserts? Persevere?

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I’ve chosen a route I hope you can get behind: practice! I don’t want Orlandough Cakes to disappear which is why the option for cake still appears on the event order form. There are certain things you can only learn (and prevent) with experience, this is especially true of cakes. With donuts, I was able to work on improving them while still flying under the radar. But now, Orlandough has name recognition in some parts of Orlando and I want to make sure cakes on par with the donuts (*cough* 2019 Orlando Sentinel Foodie Awards: Best Doughnuts *cough*). So I could either practice all alone, eating cakes and macarons and cakes and macarons until I fall into a deep sugar coma while Orlandough falls into ruin/is taken over and run better by my Mom. OR I could share this practice (read: journey, unless that word makes you gag) with you!

I also want to take this time to revamp the cakes’ look a tad. I have had a lot positive feedback and requests for the naked cake we posted a couple months ago. So when rethinking the look, I wanted to stay true to the fun nature and maintain a design that is easily customised, while refining the style a bit based on the simple charm of the naked cake. This is a process and will take time.

One change I am set on is a change to Italian Meringue Buttercream over American Buttercream. I love the USA but damn do those Europeans know how to make a buttercream! Plus, I find it to be a bit easier to work with in general, though I sometimes worry it will melt in the FL heat, as most things do (ha…ha…..*sob*).

Overall, I’m quite excited about this experimenting. Experimenting is my absolute favorite part of working with food. I mean, if the Bon Appetit Test Kitchen were hiring, I would consider throwing this all away to work in the same kitchen as Brad the Dad and Claire. Just kidding! ….sort of…who knows…

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Now to the brass tacks or whatever: things I am working on/worried about:

  • gaps in macaron shells

  • cracked macaron shells

  • hollow macaron shells

  • lopsided macaron shells

  • cracked cake frosting

  • frosting melting

  • cake drip look, too drippy?

  • lopsided cakes

  • smooth edges on cakes

  • uneven cakes

  • underbaked cakes

  • dry or otherwise bad cake texture

I guess it would have been easier to say what I’m not worried about, which is flavor. I am certain that I’ve refined my palette enough making donuts for the past two years that I can make a great tasting cake and a great tasting macaron. I just keep telling myself this is the time to trust myself with the rest. Practice will get me where I want to be, I believe.

And this brings me to my final point and probably the most exciting one for you: I will be conducting cake giveaways while I practice. Yes, I will literally be sharing this process with you, this hopefully delicious and rewarding process. Below and throughout this post you can see the cakes I made today. And if you go to @orlan_dough on Instragram tonight, you will see a post with instructions on how you can enter to win one of these. #letthemeatcake

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P.S. I might forever suck at macarons. I have read that they remain tricky even for those very practiced in making them and that’s not really my jive. Don’t get me wrong, I love eating macarons. But constant and unavoidable failure in the form of a cookie?? No thanks. I will try and maybe improve to a point of being comfortable. But I have other plans too. As you may know from Orlandough’s Donuts, there are just so many foods you can use as tasty decoration (pop tarts, rice krispie treats, meringues, cookies, etc). So why limit myself to macarons?

Elizabeth Doerr