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Pics from My Big Day

I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. After this “Big Day,” I was steady baking, which is a wonderful reason to not have time to blog (but I was thinking of you all).

So if you will recall, I had an order for 80 cupcakes. This order wasn’t for 80 of the same flavor, basic cupcakes. It was an order for four specialty cupcakes (times 20). It was quite a challenge, and I LOVED IT! Here are the results from that day. Everyone was thrilled!! (Click photos to enlarge)

Sam’s Carrot Cake is what I call an “heirloom” recipe I found on Allrecipes.com. I want to share that recipe with everyone because it is BY FAR THE BEST carrot cake I have had. This recipe was used by the grandfather of the poster, and he was well known for always having it on hand. The poster wanted to share the grandfather’s legacy with others, so now I pass it on to you. It is exceptional without icing, but it is slap your mama down good with homemade cream cheese icing, fresh ground sugar and cinnamon on top! UN-BE-LIEV-ABLE!!!

Chocolate Heath Bar is a simple chocolate base with the ever time consuming, but worth it, Swiss Meringue Buttercream icing. Heath bar candy was baked in the base and also dusted on the top.

Lemon Curd filled Lemon is a nice lemon base with freshly made lemon curd (made with Meyer Lemons) and topped with a lightly, lemon flavored buttercream top.

Red Velvet is as it sounds. A wonderful from scratch recipe (as all my recipes are from scratch) that folds in beaten egg whites for a light and fluffy base to off set the heavier homemade cream cheese icing on top.

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It’s Not You, It’s Me…Trading Up

It really isn’t the Sunbeam‘s fault. It’s an excellent mixer! I have to say I have only one gripe about it. The beaters are difficult to remove.

Vintage Sunbeam Mixmaster Pro

I end up getting more ingredients all over the kitchen trying to take them off than I do when I turn it on full blast. The other issue with the mixer isn’t really a gripe. It’s more of an evolutionary issue. I use Cook’s Illustrated recipes–almost exclusively now. They are constantly updating recipes as they test them and find ways to perfect a recipe, and they test equipment to determine which equipment will yield the home cook the best results. Well, sorry Sunbeam.

Mixers now have the planetary action when mixing, and they are one beater machines. Mixer manufacturers also have been making improvements to attachments such as the flat paddle, something that wasn’t included with the Sunbeam. Also, the Sunbeam didn’t come with a whisk attachment. I hate to say it, even though I’m fairly new to the cooking/baking scene, I have outgrown this mixer. I bought a Cuisinart 5.5 Stand Mixer. It was on top of the Cook’s Illustrated product test for stand mixers.

What really pushed me completely to the Cuisinart over the KitchenAid were the reviews on the Cuisinart on Amazon.com. Many of the reviews were raving of how it handled yeast and cookie dough. They were very impressed with the five (5) year motor warranty (I was, too). One gentleman actually dropped his on it’s head (you know what I mean), and it never mixed a beat (haha). He updated his review over the course of several years and the mixer was still performing with excellence even given his accident.

Cuisinart 5.5 Stand Mixer

The new mixer is pretty sweet. Beautiful, I would say. I would even describe the older Sunbeam as beautiful. I love the vintage look. I felt like it was Christmas opening this mixer up. It was so easy to assemble and use. I have made three (3) loaves of bread with it (2 batches). It made the process very easy.

My First Shot at Homemade Bread – Home run!!

I enjoyed baking the bread so much I am going to get a Cottage Foods license to be able to bake bread and sell it locally. There’s just something about being able to share something you baked yourself with others. I also will most likely be baking bread for Christmas. I think the fact that I do not dread having to make more loaves is a great testimony for the Cuisinart. The Sunbeam did make the baking process easier, but there were little things that were frustrating. I haven’t encountered the first frustration, yet. I am very excited about the prospects of selling my own creations.

So again, it’s not that the Sunbeam was a bad machine, it’s just that I didn’t enjoy using it. I actually “enjoy” using the Cuisinart. I guess if I am considering using it for business purposes, it’s a good thing that I enjoy it. I feel like it will be a reliable tool. I will treat it well, keep it clean, and in good repair. Who knows what future opportunities will arise out of this venture. I am anticipating and hopeful.

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