Friday, April 14, 2006


Cake Decorating Made Easy! Vol. 1 & 2 are finally ready! At 9:00 AM Thursday morning, we had so many orders, it crashed our system! By the time you read this, we should be back up and running 100% again, so if you haven't seen the web site yet, go see what all the fuss is about! (Don't forget to check out the two video clips on the page!)

Also, we've been swamped with email requests and questions, so, your patience is greatly appreciated! We'll get back to you ASAP! Thank you!
- Michael

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Only Two More Days!

On Thursday, April 13th at 9:00 AM, we will release our all-new "Cake Decorating Made Easy!" 2-Volume Video Book set! In case you missed the Frequently Asked Questions email I just sent, click the link on the right that reads, "FAQ Email." We welcome your thoughts!
- Michael

Friday, April 07, 2006

New Videos, Release Date & Free Report!

If you'd like to watch SIX sample videos, read about the "7 Biggest Mistakes Cake Decorators Make ...And How To Avoid Them" AND, learn the launch date for the two new Cake Decorating Video Books, just click on the "7 Biggest Mistakes" link over there on the right, under LINKS. Then, come back and click on COMMENTS under my name, and tell us what you think!
Thank you!

- Michael

Thursday, April 06, 2006

They're Coming!

Sorry it's been awhile since my last post. We've been working so hard on the new books - we just haven't had time! But, check back here in the next day or so, and we'll have a very exciting, MAJOR ANNOUNCEMENT! Gotta go back to work... (These new books are so full of new material, it's taken a LOT longer to finish than we anticipated, but wait till you see 'em! They're turning out even better than we imagined!)
- Micheal

Friday, March 24, 2006

New Video, Pages

I just uploaded two pages from Vol. 1 of our new "Cake Decorating Made Easy!" 2-Volume set. The second page contains a link to another "how-to" video. The production of this video is slightly different than the first one, so we'd really appreciate your feedback.

Look to the right column, under LINKS, and click on "Sneak Peek Page (New)". After you check it out, come back and click on the word, "COMMENTS" next to my name at the bottom of this post, and let us know how the video worked for you.

And, if you haven't already, please sign up for priority notification over there on the right. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you!

Friday, March 17, 2006

Blarney Stones!

This JUST in! When I read Janelle's email, I immediately asked for the recipe. Here's Janelle Miller's "Blarney Stones"...

"My St. Patricks Day treat for office staff has long been "Blarney Stones." It is a basic sponge type cake, made in a sheet, frosted with a smooth, very soft buttery frosting then rolled in crushed salted peanuts. De-lish!"

4 egg yolks..................Beat until thick and lemon colored.
2 c sugar......................Gradually spoon into egg yolks, beating thoroughly after each addition.
1 c boiling water..........Add to egg/sugar mixture, beating to combine.
2 c sifted flour.............Stir into batter.
Pinch salt.....................Stir into batter with flour.
4 egg whites................Beat until stiff. Fold into batter.

Grease a 17"x11" jelly roll pan. Cover the bottom with waxed paper. Pour the batter onto the paper. Bake at 350* for 15 mins. Cool in pan 20 mins. Remove from pan and cut into squares. Frost each side of the squares, then roll them into crushed peanuts. (May use fine coconut.) Store in air tight container in refrigerator.

4 c powdered sugar
1/2 c softened butter
1/3 c plus 2 T cream

Combine well with a mixer.
1/2 pound salted peanuts, crushed
Thanks Janelle!


New Featured Cakes Pics

I just added some new photos to our "Featured Cakes" section. Click on the link and scroll down to see the latest additions!
- Michael

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Quick Cake Questions & Answers

Hi Cakers,

Michael here, with some answers to the "baking strips, heating cores, & flower nails" questions on our blog after watching the video clip in the "Sneak Peek Chapter."

Latonya asks... I have had problems getting the baking strips to stay up around the pan after wetting them. They always want to slide down no matter how tight I try to pin them. Any suggestions?

A) You could try wrapping the baking strips around the pan before wetting them. Once the pan is wrapped, immerse it in water to completely soak the strip (you may need to hang on to the strip to keep it from slipping off). The strip will swell slightly with water and make for a tighter fit.

Remember to dry your pan well before greasing and flouring!

Deb asks... If I try the core idea, how high do you need to fill it and will it create a sinkage in the middle of the cake? Can you use this with a rectangular cake as well?

A) You would fill the heating core with enough batter to match the level of the cake batter.

When your cake is done and you remove the heating core, you will have a hole in your cake which you'll 'plug' with the piece of cake from inside the heating core.

As for rectangular cakes, the magic number is 10 inches. If your smallest diameter is more than ten inches, regardless of the shape of the cake, a heating core will help to evenly distribute the heat. A standard 9" X 13" sheet cake does not need a heating core.

Pamela asks... Couldn't make out the remark about using water with them.

A) The 'water' instructions refer to the fact that baking strips need to be wet to work. One side of the strips is an aluminum material, the other is an absorbent band which needs to be completely wet to cool the sides of the pan while the cake bakes.

Just Ducky asks... I never baked without the strips. BUT is there a way to use them or a trick for doing something else whith specialty pans. I use the open book shape and t-shirt pan quite a bit.

A) Baking strips really don't work very well with odd-shaped pans. It would be difficult to fit them properly to the odd-angled sides of specialty pans and keep them from slipping off. (But, you could always try!)

Susan asks... I was wondering if you are going to have any glutin free cake recipes in your new book. I have celiac disease and on a glutin free diet and I'm finding it hard to find recipes that taste good. My father has Celiac Disease as well and I would love to surprise him with a cake he can eat on my parents 50th wedding anniversary at the end of March.

A) Yes! The new books contain recipes for several allergy-sensitive and restricted diets. There will be recipes for dairy-free, gluten-free, and diabetic-friendly cakes, fillings and icings. We want everyone to be able to have their cake and eat it too!
(P.S. Susan, I emailed a recipe for a gluten-free version of the Butter Cake in Sam's ebook for your parents' 50th, did you get it?)

Gizzema asks... ...not too sure how the wet towel idea would work though? would it not burn?

A) Real live baking strips, aluminum material on one side and an absorbant band on the other, are the ideal choice, of course, but in a pinch, a wet clean thick cotton towel (emphasis on the 'wet'), will work just as well. It won't be in the oven long enough to totally dry out or even think about burning.

Anonymous said... The middle of my cakes get done but the outsides still seem to get a little crispy. Will the flower nail or heating core still help me even if the middle of my cakes are getting done?

A) The heating core or flower nail will help to evenly bake your cake if the diameter of your pan is 10 inches or more. Smaller cakes don't need help to heat their middles. As for crisp or burnt edges, you could try the following tips as outlined in one of Samantha's recent articles.

Sam writes ...

Why do cakes sometimes burn around the outside edges?

If your oven is too hot, or heats unevenly, edges can get burned. Also, make sure you prepare the cake pan by polishing it liberally with solid vegetable shortening.

Never use butter, margarine or a liquid based vegetable oil as those can cause the edges of your cake to crisp and burn.

Oils and butters can also cause your cake to stick to the pan.

I know folks that put a small pan of water (1/4 cup) on the bottom rack below the cake rack while baking. (Some people like it, some don't. I've done it and it worked for me!)

Cakes with crisp or burnt edges are key candidates for baking strips! Try them, you'll like the results!

More soon!
- Michael