Saturday marked a milestone for me in launching my baking micro-business. Tuesday evening Hana was in one of the pubs in Acton, the George and Dragon, and picked up a flyer for a pop up Rail Sale. She showed me the flyer and I thought, why not? I want to get my cakes out and in front of people and this sounded a good idea to try.
I was at work Wednesday but with Thursday and Friday free I had enough time to put together what I needed to for my first cake stall. I spent Thursday thinking about how to do it, what to bake? What would sell well. I also had to think about costing out the ingredients and pricing the cakes appropriately which meant I got to have fun with some Excel spreadsheets.
I made up flyer’s and checked I had my business cards and stickers too. Friday was baking day. I had to get up quite early any way to take a batch to a local cafe for a trial run so at 6am I was in the kitchen baking Banana Muffins (delish!) Then after coming back it was over to the supermarket and a day of baking, printing flyers and getting ready for the sale.
By Friday evening I had,
All ready to go. Saturday morning I had work as usual so Hana had agreed to go and set up the stall and be there for the first couple of hours. And as Hana is the best girlfriend ever she also made some gorgeous cupcakes which looked so yummy with their swirled icing, very hard to resist.
I got to the sale a couple of hours after it started and it was quiet. Being such a gorgeous sunny day (quite unexpected for march) most people were out in the parks and beer gardens. As the afternoon went on not too many people turned up, but it was the first time the pub had put on a sale and these things take time to build up. At the end of the afternoon we still had a lot of cake left over but had sold slices of chocolate brownie and Raspberry and white chocolate muffins to the few people who did venture into the sale.
As we packed up I spoke to Jen who was running the sale and she agreed to me leaving the remaining cupcakes with flyers and business cards on the bar for people to try. I am now on the hunt to find other sales and markets where i can try a stall and will let you know when and where this will be once I have found one. Its been hard work so far and I am hoping that getting out into the community and building relationships with other businesses will pay off. And I can take my micro-business to the point where I have clients and customers, where I have built a reputation for wonderful and fun cakes and where the people of London can enjoy eating from RussellsKitchen.
In the mean time here is a quick little cupcake recipe.
Ingredients for 12 cupcakes.
110g butter or margarine, softened at room temperature and cubed.
110g caster sugar
2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
For the Icing (Frosting)
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
Your choice of decorations, food colouring and sprinkles.
Take all the ingredients out and let the butter, eggs and milk come up to room temperature, this makes them easier to work with. Preheat your oven to 180c/ 350f/ Gas 4. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. This will take a couple of minutes to do. Sift the flour into the bowl and mix it in with an electric whisk to aerate it. Add the milk a little at a time and keep whisking so you have a light and airy mix.
Bake in the oven for 10 – 15 minutes or a little longer depending on your oven. They should be golden and risen. Test there cooked with a skewer in the middle of one of the cakes. If it comes out clean and dry the cakes are ready.
Whilst the cakes are cooling make the icing. Sift in the icing sugar(its really important to sift it so there are no lumps) into a bowl and add the butter. Beat them together with a spatula to begin with then use your mixer again or beat by hand. If using food colouring add here. Your icing is ready to pipe. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with your choice of nozzle and swirl it on. Their are plenty of videos on youtube showing how to do this. I could and have lost an hour or two watching them!