In the world of baking or cake decorating I knew one thing I needed to learn was business skills. But, I was not prepared for the things I did not know about running a bakery. For instance I got an order for 50 mini apple pies.
Breeze right? Nope. Because I primarily do cake decorating when I get an order for something big like 1,500 cookies, or 50 mini apples pies I first need to figure out how much ingredients I need. In the past I have definitely over estimated, which I think is better than running out in the middle of baking; but I now have 50 bars of margarine sitting in my freezer. Ok they freeze well and that is not a problem. But I also have 30 extra apples and they do not last. My kids are the beneficiaries of that. All of a sudden I realize how important math skills are.
But there was another problem making these relatively simple apple pies. The papers I used to bake them in leaked. I needed them to be in pretty holders because they were the individual plated dessert at an event and serving individual apple pies which are by nature a little messy was not an easy task. I decided that if I bake them in pretty individual paper holders they would taste delicious and look very pretty on the plate. But not so simple.
I picked gold cupcake holders that were also tall so you could fit a lot of apples in there. I used a circle cookie cutter and cut out the pastry dough and put them in the bottom of the holders, added the apples and crumb topping and finished them off with a pastry flower and a drizzle of chocolate. Only problem was they made a mess; all that delicious juice that makes an apple pie so delicious, was oozing out of the papers making them sticky!
In an apple pie all the juices stay in the glass, or tin pie pan. But here it was paper. I tried doubling them up, adding a different type of paper to the inside but to no avail most of them still leaked. This was where I was definitely thinking I needed the experience of a working in a bakery to help me. Somehow this order which in my mind should have taken 2 hours, ended up taking almost 10!
I ended up sliding an extra gold paper under the baked apple pies which solved my problem. The clients LOVED the apple pies both the presentation and the taste; “finally an apple pie with more apple than pie crust” they told me!
Well, this was a learning experience. Tell us about a baking experience you had that didn’t go as planned.