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Entries in bbatter chatter (2)

Wednesday
Dec282011

Batter Chatter: Interview with Wine Country Cupcakes, Benton City WA

Things that are great: Wine. Cupcakes.

But are they better together?

Indeed, says Debra Layman, one of the owners of Benton City, WA-based special-order baking company Wine Country Cupcakes. Specializing in booze-infused cupcakes, these are sweet treats for the adult whose palate is a bit more refined but who still enjoys the nostalgia of a delicious classic childhood treat. Here's a bit more of their story:

Please...tell me your story, Wine Country Cupcakes. Who are you, how did you get started, and where are you going with your business? The Wine Country Cupcakes & Custom Cakes story………. I had been taking care of my Mother who had Alzheimer and kidney failure for over 5 years, so when she passed I was so lost I had to find something to do so I asked my daughter if she wanted to come over and do some baking I knew I need a pleasant diversion and baking always had a way of making the world better. So we baked and worked to put together a recipe for Merlot cupcakes and the rest is history. Now as far as where we are going with our business we are looking forward to expanding and within the next year moving into a larger studio. 

If Martha Stewart contacted you and wanted to try just one of your cupcakes, which flavor would you give her? Now as for Martha Stewart that was the most challenging of all the questions, my daughter Meghan and I have really struggled with this one First we thought we would give her the “Dark Chocolate Merlot” it has been our most requested flavor from the beginning but then we felt that maybe she would enjoy a more light and festive flavor which would be the newest flavor we offer which is the “Spiced Pear Chardonnay” Our many customers who are winery club members seem to really love it so I guess Martha will have to take both and decide which one she prefers.

Do boozy cupcakes actually retain the alcohol, or does it "burn off" during the baking process? Now as far as the alcohol burning off of the Boozy cupcakes …… the alcohol content in a baked product is only reduced by approximately... 60%.

Why do you always have to eat the Guinness cupcake cold? The reason we suggest that the Guinness cupcakes are better cold is due to the fact this is a very dense cake similar to a brownies so when you eat it cold it has the wonderful chewy consistency.

Is pairing wine cupcakes with wine excessive, or delicious? Would you suggest it? Oh pairing wine with cupcakes not only delicious but makes the experience brilliant , I actually have a customer who has told me the only way to do is to take a bite of the cupcake and sip the wine through it. He has told us it is heaven and we believe him because when he told us about I as we watch him explain his face went from being a professional business man to this bright eyed 12 year old boy his eye even got a sparkle to them.

What is your response when people say that "cupcakes are over"? Now as far as cupcakes being over Meghan and I both agree that cupcakes will never be over as long as we each have that inner child who allows us to enjoy the sweet moments in life.

Tell me one of your best cupcake moments of 2011. I think that our best cupcake moments of 2011 would have to be when a couple came all the way from Hawaii to do a tasting for their upcoming renewal of their wedding vows. To think that people would travel so far just to try our cupcakes amazing.

Do dudes go for the beer cupcakes more than girls? Now as far as Dudes liking beer cupcakes more than girls no really they seem to both enjoy them equally.

What’s next for Wine Country Cupcakes? To keep working with our local wineries to come up with new ideas for flavors and keep bring those smiles to our customers because there is nothing better than to watch someone eat a cupcake and watch them break into a smile, or when someone meets you for the first time and they respond with “You’re the cupcake lady!” you can’t help but smile.

For more, visit the Wine Country Cupcakes website!

Thursday
Aug112011

Batter Chatter: Interview with Town Crier Bakery of Pennsylvania

In the Philadelphia suburbs, there is a magical place called Town Crier Bakery. It's open seven days a week, and they specialize in carbohydrates of all sorts: cakes, cookies, pies (some even square! See pictures below), and bread. What's not to love? If you, like me, want more of the story, then you're in luck: I recently caught up with some of the ladies behind the baking magic, Kerry & Roseann Burns. Read on:
So...what's your story? The Town Crier was my husbands dream sine he was 13 years old. He started in local bakeries washing pans. It was not until he was almost 40 did it become a reality. I remember Kerry telling me he was eyeing a location in Peddlers Village, I told him yeah ,yeah go for it, never thinking it would happen, that is until the day he told me he quit his job for this bakery dream. I said oh boy here we go!!! Hard work indeed but it really does give you gratification, not just in the waistline but in the people you meet and the events you help shape.
I have heard of something called Philadelphia Butter Cake. Is this a real thing? How is it different from, say, pound cake? Butter cake is indeed a VERY REAL thing, the only thing it has in common with pounds cake is butter and the word cake! Philadelphia buttercake is a German tradition using sweet dough rolled out into a square foil pan and filled with the butter topping. The dough rises along with the gooey topping which at this point has melted and slightly soaks the dough. Bake at 400 degrees for a golden brown sweet addictive goodness!!!
I see something called a George Washington cake on your menu. What's that? George Washington cake is actually a spice cake, it has been a staple in my shop and in all the bakeries I have worked in for over 30 years, our spice cake uses cakes crumbs as it base and is mixed into a cake batter with spices molasses and topped with a warm fudge icing striped with a with soft fondant icing. INCREDIBLE EATS!
Do you consider yourself "known" for a particular type of baked good? if so, what? Why? We have more than a few--our pound cake is a favorite of many customers as well as my most popular cake, the forementioned buttercakes are a crowd pleaser. We can’t forget our old fashioned Philadelphia Cinnamon Buns with nuts raisins or just plain you can’t loose. The words I hear most often from customers as they enter my store are OMG , this smell alone adds calories, and WOW what variety of items you have.
I have a personal question. When I go into a bakery, sometimes I will specifically ask for a particular baked good in the case--usually "the big one". When I do this, am I being an annoying customer? No you are not, customers like yourself when they say they want the biggest or the most icing is a chance for our staff to engage you and your visit truly a memorable one!
What are the busiest times of the week at your bakery? Friday, Saturday, Sunday between 12 and 5 with Saturday being our most busy day!
What is your most popular icing? Buttercream, fondant, or ganache? Our French Buttercream, soft and not so sweet looks like marshmallow as it smoothes on cakes!
I like to say that there is no bigger bummer than a bad dessert. In your opinion, what makes a "bad" dessert? If it is to have a filling it is the “where the beef ?” when you expect a filling you should never have to search for it, but if it is dry then it is a killer. You never hear the comment my cake was to moist, but man was that a dry dessert ouch that is a death sentence.
Tell me a junk food guilty pleasure (sweet OR savory)...be honest. I have two fresh mozzarella with plum tomatoes (not junk) but I can not pass it up ever! The second one is Chocolate chip cookies, where ever I am at I MUST try the competition's chocolate chip cookies, even if I am away from home. I just love cookies.

What's next for the bakery? We are toying with a Center City location, and work to keep our menu fresh and unique, while still keeping the traditional menu in place. Our newest items the cupcake bar with over 20 different varieties and toppings is a huge hit and our ability to service customers who require gluten free or sugar free products continues to expand our customer base.

Want more? Find Town Crier Bakery online here. Follow them on Twitter here.

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