Saturday, September 19, 2009

Coffeeshop failure, pineapple flower success!

A little while ago I was asked by a coffeeshop owner to bake some of my cupcakes for them so they could see if they wanted to buy them off me and sell them in their store. At this point i think i was very lucky that i didnt widdle myself on the spot. Ive been so bored and have wanted to bake, but not eat all the baking, so i figured this would be perfect! I went into the shop with a list of cupcakes i can make (which i spent aaages preparing excitedly) and handed it over. The lady looked at it and said "oh, i dont care what you make, make anything, except peanut butter, i hate anything with peanut butter in it." i should have known from that moment something was wrong and that i should not even attempt to do business with these people, i mean, who doesnt like peanut butter baked goods?? I tried to talk to her about what prices she would be looking at paying, how many a day they would want, just to get an idea whether i could do this but she brushed me off and said she would see me the next day with my samples.
So i rushed home and made three of my favourites, black bottom cupcakes (chocolate cake with a dollop of cream cheese baked into the middle, nummers!) cookie dough (you'll just have to wait till that one comes, trust me though, it's worth it!) and hummingbirds. I was up till midnight, i was exhausted, and still had to decorate them the next morning. But i was still excited and my keen-ness kept me going. All that left the second i turned up though. Before she even tried my cupcakes or even really looked at them, she told me that the prices i was asking were too much, and they were really just looking for a colourful, plain cupcake for kids. I looked over at my hours of baking, my 30 dollar investment, wasted. I wasnt trying to rip her off, i was asking less that what i sold them for at the markets, i figured out i would be making less than 10 dollars an hour even at the price i was willing to sell them at. I left them with her though and told her to get back to me. I know it sounds like im a horrible baker in denial, but really they were just looking for a wholesale seller who could afford to sell their cakes for peanuts. I asked around and everyone that has met this lady agreed she was scary, wish i knew that before! But oh well, all an experience! Plus it inspired me to make these super pretty pineapple flowers I found in martha stewart's cupcakes. Totally worth it just for that. (Did this make me sound bitter? I meant to sound all 'whatevs' about it but reading over it, eep, i smell bitter... whoops)
Here are my lovely samples all ready to go in my lovely cupcake courier, which i would marry if it were legal.

And here are my lovely pineapple flowers all close up. Stylin' no?

And an aerial shot for reference later.

Dried Pineapple Flowers

Martha Stewart Cupcakes

Makes 24 flowers

2 large or 4 small pineapples, peeled (I only bought one pineapple, and because it was my first time giving it a go, i admittedly only got like 5 decent looking flowers. If you need alot of them, and youre unsure of your cutting skills, probably get 2 pineapples)

Preheat oven to 110C. Line two baking trays with baking paper. Use a small melon baller (or in my case a knife) to remove pineapple 'eyes.' Use a large sharp knife to cut pineapple into very thin slices. (I thought i wasnt cutting mine thin enough but just did my best, and they still worked really well, so dont freak out if yours arent paper thin, when they are dried out they shrink down a fair bit.) (Here is where im going to reference the aerial shot. My pineapple slices were all smooth and round, but i wanted them to look more like petals so i cut triangles out of the edges, i think you can see this best on the left flower. Up to you if you want to do it, i just like it this way!).

Place slices on baking trays. Bake until tops look dried, about 30 minutes and flip them. Bake until completely dried, about 25 to 30 minutes more. (Go a little more or less depending on thickness. Mine were done on the second side after like 20 minutes, so you just have to keep an eye on them). For curved flowers place them in a muffin tin, otherwise just leave them on a wire rack. (I dried mine on a rack but they still dried curved up). Once cooled, flowers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days.

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