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Friday
Jul232010

Batter Chatter: Interview with Melissa Diamond, My Cake School - Giveaway Closed

People take courses online for all sorts of things--and now, cake is one of the subjects! My Cake School is an online cake decorating school with all sorts of tutorials, message boards, and other goodies (and a new CakeSpy sponsor). Now, without knowing too much detail, I'd go so far as to say that this schooling is far funner (and more delicious) than, say, required Math credits! But how does it all work? I got in touch with owner Melissa Diamond to find out. Here's the interview:

CakeSpy Note: Melissa has also kindly offered a free 1-year membership to My Cake School to one lucky reader! Find the details at the end of the post.

CakeSpy: First things first. Who exactly are you, Melissa Diamond? And what is your relationship with cake?

Melissa Diamond: I am a wife and a mom -- and I LOVE cake decorating.  I started a home-based cake decorating business years ago so that I could work from home--- now, I love to teach!  Cake decorating is so much fun--  anyone can learn!

CS: OK. Now that we've figured that out...what exactly is My Cake School?

MD: MyCakeSchool.com is my new cake decorating website.  I have a cake Blog that is open to everyone, and then other parts of the site that are for members.  Membership is $30 for a year-- With this, you can access my cake decorating video tutorials (over 100 so far). There are Message Boards available for members to share their experiences, ask questions, and request videos!

CS: What are some of the advantages of an online cake school versus taking a course in a physical classroom or kitchen?

MD: I think that both have their advantages---but what I like the most about MyCakeSchool is that you are able to see a close-up view of the skill being demonstrated as many times as you like.  Videos are permanently posted  and available 24 hours a day--so, there are never any scheduling conflicts! Finally, it is so much more affordable! $30 may buy a 4 class course in decorating.....or a cake decorating dvd-- but with my site, you have access for a year to sooo many more videos--there is always something new to see!

CS: What is your first cake memory? 

MD: Hmmmm.. I think that it was my 5th birthday-- My mom made me a cute cake with clowns on top----the giant swirls of buttercream with the plastic clown heads!! Do you know the ones?  They still sell them!

CS: As a professional cake decorator, what are your thoughts on cupcakes?

MD: I love cupcakes!  My favorite kind are just very simply decorated with a big swirl and a cute little topper or sprinkles! Or maybe the ones injected with cream.... or dipped in ganache.....

CS: Please, tell me something that people might not know about you.

MD:  I love decorating to LOUD music!  I can't do this in my videos though!

CS: What cookbook could you simply not live without?

MD: BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking by Shirley Corriher.  Such a great book--she gives you the science behind baking. 

CS: Morbid curiosity time: if you could envision your last meal, what would you have for dessert? 

MD: This is so hard! I'm going with banana pudding!

But wait, there's more! You can experience the magic for yourself at MyCakeSchool.com. And one lucky winner will win a year-long subscription for free! How do you put yourself in the running? Simply leave a comment on this post saying what cookbook you simply could not live without! One winner will be chosen at random--the giveaway will close on Friday, July 31 at 12 pm PST. The winner will be announced shortly after!

 

UPDATE: THE WINNER! We have a winner, friends, and it is Judy R., who says "My favorite cookbook is Confetti Cakes for Kids. Also the cake decorating blogs online". Congratulations, Judy!

Reader Comments (130)

I couldn't function in the kitchen without my red binder of recipes that includes family treasures as well as recent finds from magazines. For published cookbooks, my small collection of Taste of Home annual editions are invaluable.

July 24 | Unregistered CommenterLydia

dorie greenspan;s" Baking "
LOVE IT!!

I absolutely could not live without my Betty Crocker cookbook that I received 25 years ago as a wedding present!!

July 24 | Unregistered CommenterSherri D.

I don' t have a published cookbook that I purchased that I enjoy. I have many recipes that I keep in a notebook from friends, family, and neighbors that I just love.

July 24 | Unregistered CommenterSamantha

My favorite cookbook would have to be my personal recipe book with all my family favorites, another would be the cookbook put out by my church.

July 24 | Unregistered CommenterTeela

I love Recipezaar.com for any recipe -- sweets or everyday cooking! You just can't beat recipes that have been tested by lots of people. Your cakes look truly amazing!!!

July 24 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

While I usually use the internet the most, my favorite cookbook at the moment is The Whimsical Bakehouse. It's absolutely wonderful!

July 25 | Unregistered Commentertessa

I get most of my recipes and inspiration from blogs, but I also look to Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa cookbook, and Cookie Craft for cookie decorating tips.
My Cake School - What a great idea!

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterVictoria

I own too many cookbooks! A couple of favs: Cajun-Creole Cooking (great bread pudding recipe!!), Michael Roux's Finest Desserts, Alice Medrich's books.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterDeb

Oh what a super duper giveaway!
My favorite cookbook that I couldn't live without would be The Joy of Cooking. It was my first real cookbook, and its got everything in there! I do prefer cookbooks with more stunning pictures, but Joy really does cover it all and has helped me on many occassion.

July 25 | Unregistered Commenterstaceys

Its a 3-way tie for my favorite cookbooks: the first is a cookbook that I've had since I was 5. My mom & I went to a mother-daughter luncheon, and left with memories and recipes I would never forget; to have all these recipes that were passed down from generation to generation & be able to give that to my daughter is amazing. The second, is Bakewise by Shirley O. Corriher. That book has taught me so much about baking, and has put a fire in my heart to go to culinary school! It's amazing! And finally, my notebook that I write my recipes & my upcoming, experimental recipes that i hope to use one day in My very own bakery.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterKiki B

My favorite would have to be Good Housekeeping Baking...it has all the amazing basic and classic recipes I need when I'm not feeling very creative.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterJustina

The cookbook I absolutely couldn't live without is the Be-Ro home baking book which my mum used to use then passed down to me when I moved out. Considering how old it is the recipes aren't dated - it's the book I always turn to first!

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterClaire

Favorite cookbook... hmmmm well the one i own with the most stains and pages stuck together would be a split between Martha Stewarts Baking Handbook and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World. My go to for design stuff is Professional Cake Decorating by Toba Garrett. But also the internet is my first go to for anything.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterKristin A.

The Internet is def the best "cookbook" ever. I mean, really...What book could incompass the diversity, creativity, and inspiration that the net provides?

July 25 | Unregistered Commenterjulie

I couldn't live without the Better Homes & Gardens cookbook that my mom gave me as a "housewarming" present when I moved into my first apartment in college.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterCourtney

I have to say the internet especially Wilton.com blog--i have found great great recipies and help with my baking

Lissette

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterLissette

Has to be the good old red and white checked Betty Crocker three ring binder cookbooks. It was my first one, and if I had to choose only one I suppose that would have to be it...but I'm glad I don't have to choose for real. Grin.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterMinde Briscoe

My Cake School... what a great idea!


What cookbook could I not live without? Well, I used to love my mom's old school good housekeeping cookbook. In my 'adult' life, I've preferred using the internets! I love epicurious and smittenkitchen!!!

July 25 | Unregistered Commentermlinthehowz

I love to look recipes up on the internet. However, I have been in love with The Pioneer Woman cookbook for the last few months. Love Ree. Great recipes and alot of fun to read.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

hello, cupcake or what's new, cupcake - for sure!

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterKara

I cannot live without my Taste Of Home cookbook, also Betty Crocker.

July 25 | Unregistered CommenterApril

I go through cookbook phases however there is one cookbook that I always find myself going back to my 1968 Edition ring bound copy of the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book (that I 'borrowed' from my mom). Their pumpkin pie is amazing (as are all of their pies actually) and I just find that when I am stuck for ideas I always manage to find something in there.

July 26 | Unregistered CommenterLesley

I use the "Top Secret Recipes" cook book at least two times a week. It is so fun to cook take out food at home.

July 26 | Unregistered CommenterJen

My mother gave me, The Best Recipe cookbook, years ago and it's still the only one I routinely use. They used a test kitchen to try various cooking methods for each item and explain why one may work better than the other, then they give you several variation recipes. Some of those have become my favorites and I still reference it for new ideas all the time.

July 26 | Unregistered CommenterBrigitte
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