Hey, all! Even though it's still chilly today, we have great glimpses of the warm weather to come. That reminds me of a cake flavor that my son helped me to dream up a few years back. We'll get to that in a minute. John wanted me to remind you that Michelle Bommarito from Food Network Challenge will be joining us for a FREE demo on Saturday April 10 at 10:45. John and I, who most of you know were just married in September, were lucky enough to have Michelle as our guest for the week and to make our wedding cake. I'll post a picture of it here. It was SO awesome, that Bride's magazine wants to do a new shoot of the cake, a little revamped. Taking that into consideration, please remember that our website is copyrighted and that the picture should not be distributed. That way she can reap the benefits of it being a "fresh" cake for Bride's magazine! Go Michelle! So anyway, we were so blown away with how beautiful the cake was. We had the ceremony, took some pics, ate, etc., and then cut the cake. I joked with Michelle after the cutting while everyone was watching, and said, "Ah, it's OKAY." She cracked up. John was speechless. He said he never dreamed that cake could taste so good. He later made a point that we should stress to our customers that their cakes should be not only beautiful on the OUTSIDE, but also beautiful on the INSIDE. This brings me (finally) to the subject of my blog.

We've mentioned this before in snippets here and there, but here I just want to throw out some inspiration for you to take the inside of your cake to a new level. Try what I suggest, then let your mind wander. Sometimes I find myself looking at patterns on purses, shoes, little girls' dresses, and saying in my head "THAT would make a great cake design!" We should do the same with flavor, right?

Back to the flavor that my son came up with. He was way into drinking lemonade with strawberry ice cream syrup in it. I asked him to help me come up with a new, summery flavor to offer to brides, and without hesitation, my (at the time) 6 year old quickly said, "Strawberry Lemonade", as if I had asked him where my socks were. Of course! It was summery, and it was BEAUTIFUL! I swirled lemon cake and strawberry cake together, and when we cut into it, it was such a happy, fun cake!

So here's how you do it. Icing Fruits. They are a magical thing that all of you should have in your kitchen. It's basically concentrated fruit. It comes in Raspberry, Orange, Strawberry, Lemon, Cherry, Banana, and we are hoping Lime. You can use a tablespoon of it stirred into whipped cream (stabilize that whipped cream with a tablespoon of clear piping gel, kids, and keep it from getting mushy!!!), or stirred into icing, pastry cream, etc., and you will have a yummy, natural tasting filling. Check back on my "torting layers" blog to see about getting it layered inside properly without squishing out). The icing fruits willl serve a different purpose here. Here, we will put it IN the cake batter. Take your standard white cake recipe (yes, if you are a box mix person, it's fine to do that), and split it in two parts. Stir in a tablespoon or two (to taste) of lemon icing fruits into one, and strawberry icing fruits into the other. The color will be there, but they're not keen on adding artificial stuff, so if you want to enhance the color a little bit with Americolor Lemon Yellow and Americolor Super Red or Deep Pink colors, you'll get an even better look. Place some lemon batter in the pan, just in big blobs, leaving a little of the pan exposed. Place a little strawberry batter in the pan in big blobs, and keep alternating until the pan is appropriately filled. Take a butter knife and swirl through the batter, alternating with circle and figure eight patterns. Don't over swirl! Bake as you normally so, and fill and ice as you normally would, and you will have a beautiful cake!

So as I was saying, let your mind wander on flavors. At the fair? Cotton candy tastes great? That would make a great cake! We have Lorann flavors in Bubblegum and Cotton Candy that work great in cake batter (and candy, ice cream, punch, cookies, incense burners, seriously!). Had a chocolate covered cherry? Yummy! Try a chocolate cake filled with Cherry (from the icing fruits or Lorann flavor) whipped cream (don't forget to stabilize!). But don't want to give up the Almond flavor? Me, either! Alternate chocolate cake layer with almond (use our Almond Emulsion so the flavor doesn't bake out of the cake so much) filled with your magical Cherry Concoction, and Almond cake layer (from Almond Emulsion in the batter), also filled with your magical Cherry Concoction. Your guests eyes will get BIG!!!!

So that's my two cents on the inside of the cake for today. I invite you to click on the option to follow my blog - I promise I'll add posts m ore frequently. As always, I am happy to get suggestions on what you want to hear me blog about! Have a great week!!