February 28, 2009

Riding the Cupcake Wave

Wow - It's Saturday night and I'm finally feeling like I can relax a bit for the weekend.

Last night I had a fabulous friend over to do a "Uppercase Living" party. You've got to check it out! go to http://uppercaseliving.com/. It's the coolest vinyl lettering for walls and gifts and all sorts of things! We had a dozen or so people over and it was so fun! I also took the opportunity to do some market testing for my new cupcakes. It was great to have immediate feedback from people I knew (and some new friends, too). All in all, the cupcakes were a hit!

These are the flavors I made for the occasion:
Chocolate Coma
Peanut Butter Cup
Peaches & Cream

Ok - so I didn't actually serve the Peaches & Cream, because the peach flavor was just not strong enough - though my first attempt at creating this recipe did produce a wonderful, moist, fine crumb cupcake - and now I know just what to do for the next batch! I'm upping the peach power, and on top will be the "cream" - velvety smooth vanilla buttercream.

The favorite by far seemed to be the Mango/Lime cupcake, with Mango/Lime Buttercream. I made a ton - and all but 3 were gone by the time everyone left- and only because I put them aside for my family! I used mango puree and fresh lime juice, with lime zest in the cake and for garnish on top. Yummmy!

The Chocolate Coma is named after a Valentine's Day dessert I created a couple years ago - with layer upon layer of different forms of chocolate - our friend, John acted as if he had O.D.'d on the stuff, and appropriately suggested we call it "Chocolate Coma". The cupcake has several less layers - but still plenty of chocolate power. There's the wonderful, moist chocolate cake, then a layer of dark chocolate ganache glaze, followed by hefty swirl of whipped milk chocolate ganache, and next time, there will be chocolate curls to top it all off.

I laid awake the other night coming up with 4 pages of ideas for fabulous flavor combinations for my cupcakes, and I am truly excited to bake them into reality and get feedback! It's actually pretty funny that I've come to this point of accepting, and actually embracing the cupcake phenomenon. In the past, I've been known to be a bit "anti" cupcake. And, you know, I really still have to say that for the most part, I don't really think they should be a substitute for a wedding cake.

Today I had a couple come for a tasting, to finalize their flavor choices for their July wedding. They are doing a 3-tier cake with daisies and bees - will be sooo fun! The flavor will be lemon cake, with each tier having different fillings - lemon, blueberry and raspberry - very perfect for a summer wedding!

SOOOOO - I'm considering a name change. I love my Sweet Lorraine Cakes name, but there are a couple businesses in other places of the world that I don't want to be confused with. In Manilla, Phillipines, there is a business called Sweet Lorraine's Bakeshop - which has quite a large web presence, and there is Sweet Lorraine's Cupcakes in Irvine, CA (doesn't have great reviews), and there used to be a bakery in Seattle called Sweet Lorraine - which, I believe, is closed now. ANYWAY - do I change the name?????? I'm at the point where I need to print up new business cards, fliers, labels, etc. So - I really need to decide.
Some of the names I'm considering are:

Sweet Raine (still close enough to my current name, and could be used for items other than cupcakes, and a nice tribute to the Seattle area)
Emerald City Cupcakes
Emerald City Sweets
I wish I could just do "SWEET", but the .com is taken, of course
Any other ideas????