BAKING IN THE DESERT
As if it wasn't already hot enough under the Arizona sun, some years ago I started baking regularly for family gatherings and the holidays. It was such a joy seeing them so happy that I decided to get my degree in baking and pastry. Since then, I've worked in some pretty amazing kitchens over the past several years.
BAKING IN MY SOUL
On top of my studies, I've learned a lot with every step along the way. But I always dreamed of doing something on my own, even with every lesson learned and every step I took. Something a little more personal, because baking is in my soul.
The desert is also in my soul. I happen to be in the Sonoran Desert, in the southern part of the state of Arizona, to be exact. I've studied here, I started my career here, and I met my husband here. Between school, the jobs, and the relationship, I have learned a lot about life, business, cats, strange eating habits (my husband)--and even more about baking.
I always thought that if I could have a website (at the very least), where people could go and answer these questions at their leisure, then that would make ordering so much more simple, fast, and easy. Plus, who doesn't dream of being their own boss?
I was still in culinary school when I began making custom cakes. Since then, I've been able to work on a number of pieces in addition to my restaurant job, but I always thought it would be so much easier if I could simplify the ordering process.
All I need to create your amazing cake is a little info: What kind of cake, what kind icing, and what kind of filling? Also, how many people will be attending, and what's the theme of the event? Finally, what date and time do you want the cake delivered?
It's a simple few questions, and it doesn't take much time to get them answered. But coordinating schedules when you work "restaurant hours" and your potential customers have "regular" jobs, hasn't made it so easy to get that part done.
I've also learned that food is business. And business is branding. At least, it's that "something" that makes what you do, different than what they do. And that got me thinking about where I live, here in the middle of Southern Arizona.
FIRST, THE CHILES
I lived in other states and countries as a child, but I've been here the longest, and I definitely call Arizona home. We also definitely like our Mexican food!
I wasn't always into spicy chiles, but over time I've learned to appreciate them the same way that I appreciate many other particularly pungent or spicy ingredients: They have their place, they're a great flavor component in many dishes, and they can be consumed in any number of ways--fresh, fire-roasted, dried, canned, pickled and even toasted and ground like a spice. Chiles also pair exceptionally well with fruits, desserts, and baked goods. Sweet, spicy, salty, tangy: It's everything you could ask for, all at once!
I learned all this, not only on the job but in my life outside of work, too. Once I began to open up to the world of chiles, I started thinking about some of the other things I might be missing out on. I found that when I used Mexican chocolate in a number of my recipes, the results were fantastic and just a touch different. And then I remembered the mesquite flour.
I can probably Google "mesquite flour" and be able to tell you it has this much protein and that much fiber and maybe it's a little healthier for you (or something like that). But for me that's not usually what it's about. Mesquite flour has a very unique and distinct flavor profile that I myself enjoy very much--and so does pretty much anyone else who gives it a try, too!
But I didn't want to simply add mesquite flour to my usual recipes and call it a day. And even though I managed to figure out how to offer a Mesquite Smoked Buttercream Frosting option for my cakes and cupcakes, not everyone needs fire-roasted chiles, Mexican chocolate, and custom cakes all the time. In fact, some folks might not realize they're able to enjoy high-quality baked goods, because they're gluten free or vegan. Whether it's your health, diet, or preference, the best thing about Desert Bakehouse's Mesquite Flour Baked goods is our proprietary gluten free mesquite flour blend, which we use for all of our gluten free and vegan baking. Those chocolate cupcakes you saw? Each element of that dish is vegan and gluten free--from the cupcakes themselves, to the chocolate mousse and chocolate ganache. If you don't believe, take a look around the site and book a tasting for your party or event today!