Saturday, January 15, 2011

Week One...Check!

We're All Moved In Now...All This Has
Found Its Place
So...we have completed our first week in our new shop. In it we have baked sugar cookies, cupcakes, coffee cake (two of them...will explain later), chocolately chip cookies, pizza (for a pizza party luncheon with family) and had our first wedding cupcake tasting. We finished the week off with no major casualties. We are still married, still talking and still enjoying each other. 

V had a minor setback with the first coffee cake and forgot to add the baking soda and baking powder. Amazing how two very small ingredients (and by small I mean amounts) can make such a difference. It was like a coffee cake glob. The mistake wasn't realized until J cut into the cinnamon streusel covered cake just an hour before it was to be delivered....being the team player (or Super Hero some might say), J tossed on an apron and whipped up a brand new batch. Thankfully, Leap of Taste was okay with receiving their delivery a little later than expected. The second batch was perfect and delicious. 

Coffee Cake - Baked & Packaged Off To
Leap of Taste in Klamath Falls
In just a few weeks CRAVE will be creating nearly 200 cupcakes for our first wedding. We met with the Bride and soon to be Mother-In-Law on January 1st to brainstorm ideas and flavors. The two joined us this past week for the tasting. Oh the pressure! Just about 8 months ago we were having our own tasting for our own wedding so we knew how important this was.  Would she like the flavors? The decorations? Our ideas? 

Just Moments Before They Dove In
YES! They loved 'em! Classic Vanilla with Cream Cheese Butter Cream, Mocha with Mocha Butter Cream, Milk Chocolate with Milk Chocolate Butter Cream and Lemon with Classic Vanilla Butter Cream plus, a nice little 2-layer milk chocolate cake will crown the top of the cupcake tree.

On tap for next week: 3 cheesecakes for Portland Street Market, 2 dozen cookies for our Cookie of the Month Club and we will be bringing some CRAVE desserts to local restaurants hoping they will be interested in carrying V's products. If you haven't had to the's a major OMG moment! Every bite is like biting into a little piece of creamy heaven. One New Yorker was reluctant to try it as she only ate REAL NEW YORK cheesecake...we'll V converted her. She's all about the CRAVE Signature Cheesecake.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

It's Bake Time!

Beginning Of Order #1
As devoted Oregon Duck fans we couldn't be more excited that our first order in our new bakery was for a BCS Bowl Game fiesta (pardon the pun but I couldn't resist). J, the Baker's Assistant, attempted creating the first batch of dough for the chewy sugar cookies that would be soon created. However, in his excitement J forgot to add 2 of the 4 required eggs. This resulted in stiff powdery and completely non edible product. Thankfully, V came to rescue as a if she was a Cookie Superwoman and remade the sugar cookie dough perfectly with her exact precision and techniques. J went back to his normal assistant duties.

The flour, sugar, butter and eggs were whipped up and rolled into a mountain of sweet dough. After some time cooling in the refrigerator they were portioned, rolled into small sheets then cut into perfect little circles. Baked, in the newly shined up oven, and pulled out at exactly the right moment.

Golden Brown & Delicious
Now for the fun part! Butter cream! God's little gift to earth: butter, sugar and cream. Strange how just a few simple ingredients can create such a delicious and irresistible concoction! Of course, the creamy butter cream had to reflect the game day spirit so we created bright yellow and green frosting. Then piped a small mound in the middle, smoothed it out...not too smooth...we call it rustic perfection. Then we added a few (well a lot) of tasty colored sugar and Wam Bam Thank You Ma'am the Oregon Duck cookies were born and read to be devoured, like we hoped the Ducks would devour the Tigers, didn't happen.

Go Ducks!
Thank you Miss Julie for being our first order in our new bake shop! We hope you and your fellow Duck Fans enjoyed the cookies as much as Auburn enjoyed winning that darn game. 


Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Beginning Of The Beginning

The Beginning

The Only Way To Eat Carrots!
A brilliant woman once said: when one window closes, another window opens, NOT for you jump out of but for you to look out and see if its clear. The moment we chose to dive out the window and open a bakery it must have been a clear and beautiful day, we went head first. 
This blog will chronicle the up and downs, trials and tribulations of this new journey in our life.

Useful Background Info

CRAVE is an "order based" bakery. We bake and deliver to you delicious and beautiful baked goods all over Klamath Falls (and beyond). You call us, tell us what you're craving, we create and deliver. Our products will also be available at local coffee shops, gourmet markets, restaurants and of course the farmers market (where we began...more to come). What do we bake? Anything that includes butter and sugar. This includes cookies, cakes, cupcakes, pies, muffins, scones and other sweet specialties.

We are a husband (J) and wife (V) team with big dreams in the restaurant biz. CRAVE was created as a bakery/cafe concept a few years ago and premiered at the Klamath Falls Farmers Market just 7 months ago. We spend many hours talking about our future restaurant plans like what we want, where we want it and when. A bakery was always planned to be our first venture. When CRAVE was born we both were working 70 plus hours a week, managing restaurants plus, other side jobs to keep us busy. We decided one day we needed to do something for each other and together. Many would think finding a hobby like hiking, knitting or coin collecting but we decided to start a business. Good thing our plate was a more like a platter. So, we started baking at the restaurant V (The Baker) worked at when their kitchen closed. We'd get off work around midnight, bake until 3-4am and wake up at 7am to get to market. We'd get done at the market around 1pm then jet back to our "paying" jobs to finish off the week. The market was able to get us great exposure and clients (who we call friends).orders started rollin' in 250 cupcakes, a few cakes, cheesecakes and countless dozens of cookies!

The Adventure Begins

So here we owners of a full fledged wholesale bakery. An opportunity we didn't dream would happen for many more years but will help from an amazing family and a determined husband and wife it begins...with cleaning...lots and lots of cleaning. The shop has been empty
Baking Zone!
for a few months, which meant everything was covered in a thick layer of dust. So with some Mr. Clean in hand we began our cleaning leg of the adventure. Scrubbing the walls, top to bottom removing all remnants of old frosting and food coloring that splattered from the 
previous tenant. 
Ya! That's A Mixer...We Call It Sir MIX Alotta Dough!
Ok...So Maybe I Overreacted!
As we worked our way to completion, our first injury! A fierce gouge on the hand. The very hand that creates some of CRAVE signature frosting designs and that stirs the batter with exact precious. But somehow, someway I (J - The Baker's Assistant) continued with my cleaning duties. Was it the look I was given by the V? I cannot say for sure but I sucked it up and continued. Fridges, shelves, tables, sinks and floors were all given a makeover and a second chance at life but there was one thing left... The Oven! We have been using the small apartment sized oven in our home for the past few months (as we left our restaurant jobs in the pursuit of happiness) and compared to that tiny thing this oven was huge and in this case size DOES matter. I pumped myself up, got my battle gear in order (oven cleaner, SOS pads and a damp cloth), rolled up my shelves and and tackled that enormous heap of greasy metal. Determined to turn it into a shiny silver cookie baking machine. It took elbow grease, shoulder grease, leg grease and every other type of grease a body can product but 5 hours, dozens cuts (I'll be honest know they weren't gouges just cuts) and one headache later the transformation was complete! There it stood so shiny and clean in its stainless steel glory...simply beautiful.

Isn't She Lovely!
Hours of cleaning and scrubbing, our finger prints dissolved by cleaners, degreasers and sanitizers, our hands dry as a desert and bodies feeling the pain in every achy joint. But now a sparkly, clean and fresh smelling bakery was reborn and we could stand back and official feels like us! We're ready to bake!