Summertime and the Living is Tasty and Fun
Now that we’re through the busy spring season of confirmations, first communions, graduations and lots of birthdays, we can settle into summer and start having fun again experimenting with new stuff! This is my absolute favorite thing to do as a bakery owner. My fingers literally start to tingle when I get on the computer and start hunting for new ideas.
One thing I love to experiment with is finding a way for the flavor of the baked good to really pack a punch. So when we do CHOCOLATE brownies, I won’t settle on a recipe until I’m sure that a decent number of people tasting that brownie will say, “Oooh, chocolate!” Otherwise what’s the point in calling it a “chocolate” brownie, right?
We do go over the top sometimes (perhaps a chocolate brownie could be enjoyed without a half inch of chocolate frosting on it) but it’s worth it to me so long as it means that the eating experience of a couple of people will be a memorable one!
I’ve had a lot of fun developing our new key lime cupcake with mango buttercream. It’s always a challenge to create a strong fruit flavor because of the amount of water found in fruit. I spent almost a year fooling around with our strawberry buttercream until I finally figured out a way to make it taste like real strawberries.
It has been a similar challenge to get the mango buttercream to REALLY taste like mangos. But by using some combination of natural mango flavoring, mango coulis (yes I know that word and it makes me sound like a chef, right?), mango puree and mango pulp, I think we’re 99% there.
Another thing I totally enjoy experimenting with is making fun baked goods that will appeal to kids. What better thing to do on a Monday morning than to return to your 5-year-old self and think about what you liked to eat. When we make our oreo cupcakes, our bakers always ask me how many oreo pieces to put in the batter. I always say, “Pretend you’re a kid and put in as much as you think a kid would like!”
I used to make all the snacks for the Vacation Bible School at my church (located just two buildings away from the bakery). One of the favorites was cupcake cones with rainbow sprinkles. We always did this on the first day and the kids LOVED them. I like to think that those cupcake cones helped break the ice for those kids who were feeling a little nervous on their first day. To kids, I think the cupcake cones just seem playful and fun — a special and somewhat unusual treat.
So when I was at the grocery store last week, I bought a box of cones and we’re going to make some. It’ll be REALLY fun figuring out how to take those over the top! Maybe add oreo crumbs on top? Maybe drizzle them with a little hot fudge and then sprinkle with mini M&Ms? But for sure, there will be rainbow sprinkles involved!
It’s summer! Be sure to play a lot, enjoy a lot, and occasionally treat yourself to a sweet something or other that packs a punch of taste and playfulness!
Tuesday through Saturday 8 am – 6 pm
10419 Armory Avenue
Kensington, Maryland 20895
Welcome to JennyCakes Bakery, a tiny bakery with a BIG heart! We opened in April 2012 with the hope of creating a cheerful place where people could buy baked goods that look and taste like food baked in a cozy kitchen at someone’s home. We love it that we know the names and favorite orders of many of our customers. We love being nestled into such a bustling community and finding ways to support the many local schools and charities. And we love it when our customers exclaim “these are just like my grandma used to bake!”
Stop by sometime and see what’s baking!