Sunday, October 10, 2010

October 2010, back from Sabbatical

So, after 9 months 'off', I'm back. Now, when I say "off" I mean just from customer contact really. Can a baker or artist really take time off? I don't think so.

Taking time 'off' is pretty interesting. You actually have the choice of what you want to do during that time. I chose to write, although that's not apparent in my blog! I almost forgot about the blog.

You think you're going to have all this time alone or off or doing the things you've always wanted to do. But is that what happens? Not really. I guess you have the choice to go that route, but I need projects. I need things to do. Sitting at home waiting for the kids to get back from school or sitting around waiting to be needed isn't my thing. I need something to do and I sure don't like what does that leave? Creativity, lol

The art doesn't leave your head. Because of this and the need for a project, I took time to work on a long awaited project. Something I've been wanting to do for the last 2-3 years. I spent the better part of the first 6 months writing a cookbook called "The Top Shelf Baker-Sweet Treats from a Well-Stocked Bar" while gaining a ton of weight, ha ha ha. Allergies popped up fiercely which then allowed me to lose the weight that I had gained during the testing phase of the book.

For those of you who follow me on Facebook, you probably already know all this.

I've also been travelling a lot for teaching. In my travels, I've met so many wonderful people while getting to share cake decorating! How cool is that? Is that not the best job ever??? From Virginia to Georgia to San Diego to Vegas and soon to Arkansas...Way too cool!

Finally also got to meet some of the people I've fallen in love with through the internet. People like Debbie Goard from Debbie Does Cake. Debbie Does Do Cake alright!

Anyway, enough rambling.

Hopefully thoughout the rest of the year I'll remember to take photos of some step by steps and baking prototypes to share with you. This week it's caramelized cocoa nib cupcakes. The experiments have been pretty interesting, lol...

Until next time...

Friday, March 12, 2010

Tell me....

what you want to see here. Are there any questions that you want answered? Any techniques you want shown? More info on cookies? Let me know what you want to see and read and I'll hop to it!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


So, I've been away for a little bit. Those of you who follow me on Facebook already know the scoop and have seen the photos.
Two weeks ago I was fortunate to be chosen to compete at the Connecticut Cake Competition in their live challenge. The theme was "Child's Play" but it had to be between 24-36" tall. My usual partner wasn't able to come with me this time, but I was so lucky to be able to partner with Pam Zola of . She's FABULOUS! Oh, and she's a great roommate too! This was Pam's first live competition, but I had complete faith in her because I know what she can do. She had placed 2nd at The Art of the Cake with an amazing painted cake...only 1 point behind the winner. Check our her website when you get a chance.
We up against some stiff competition and all the cakes turned out nice. We made a popup story book with a 3d-ish treehouse in a tree. The judges seemed to like it but they said that while it was well executed, it just didn't have the "wow" factor of the size of the others. Lesson learned. We were proud of our cake and ended up taking third place. YAHOO!!!!

Now, onto this week. Anna and I were selected as the only non-local team to compete at the Central Ohio Home and Garden Show in Columbus Ohio. On Sunday, March 7th, we gathered up our things and went to set up at the competition. Most of the things were ready, but we did get a little bit of a late start. Fortunately, we were on our game on Sunday and the late start didn't end up hurting us. Thankfully, it didn't seem to hurt any of the other competitors either.

Around 10:30 or so, the crowd started filling the chairs. I was amazed to see how many people came. Of course, they weren't necessarily there to see us, but to see Mary Alice and Geoff from Ace of Cakes! It was pretty cool to see them, and they're so very nice. Mary Alice is so tiny!

We plugged along and were able to take the last hour to fuss over the tiny details of our cake. All the cakes were coming along great. We were pleased to see that everyone created a cake to be proud of. It was also pretty neat to see the variety of ideas and interpretations of the theme "The Art of the Garden" Wedding cake.

Ours was a 2 foot tall tree with miniature wedding cakes hanging on swings. We LOVED our idea and I have to say, we worked steadily for 3 weeks on the details for the cake. We had a day where nothing really went wrong. We also knew we were taking a huge risk by doing something "non traditional" but figured this was the best time given who the judges were. We just really wanted to do this design!

Well, it worked out to be our lucky day and a risk worth taking! WE WON!!! I jumped up and down and hugged Anna then jumped up and down on the stage while trying to walk over to get the prize.

The miniature wedding cakes are only 3" tall. All the gumpaste flowers were made by Anna. I did the leaves and the big stuff as usual :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Just thinking....

You know, it's funny. When I was in high school, my favorite class was creative writing. I use to love coming up with short stories and creative writings in my head that would be put into words on paper. It was fun coming up with the fantasies. I even had a poem published oh so many years ago. Couldn't tell you what it was about but I remember being excited that they chose it. And yet, when I get on here, I'm a jumbled conglomeration of a multitude of ideas (much like those who know my thinking process in real life!) Ahhhh, memories...

It's kind of funny too that it's hard for me to write on paper now. I don't journal, I don't write, I barely read (although I know HOW to). I talk.

Back when I first had children, I was a crafter. Actually, before I was married I was into the whole DIY thing. Well, except for wallpapering and full room painting. (Ask Jeff about the bathroom experiences, lol!!) Albeit basic, I stencilled, sponged and muraled our house's interior. I think that must be where my desire to figure things out on my own came from. Figuring out how to get my ideas to work in the medium I'm working with. I can't draw on paper, but over the years I've been able to get to the point where I can get my ideas across. Stick figures and all!

Fast forward several years and look where my creative outlet lead to...Cakes! Put a piping bag in my hand and it's a whole different story. It all started with a desire to bake for my kids as a stay at home mom. I love to look at them, bake them, decorate them, eat them and share how to make them. I become a different person with cake, and no I'm not talking about the girth I've added because of them, lol. It's my peace. Pardon the pun. It's my solace. It's my happy place. It's also my nemesis, my crutch, my addiction, my life. Anyone who shares the passion of cake decorating understands this good versus evil struggle that sugar artists or really any artist faces every day. You love it, yet you curse it. You think of it all day. You go to the store and see things and say "Oh my, THAT would make a great cake design!" Even during my little hiatus, I think about cake everyday.

I won't be writing about my husband, children or family because I choose that part of my life to be private. You might hear me say something about Jeff because he's my right hand man. My rock. My armature dude.

So, I guess that's it for now. Now you know a little bit more about me and how I got to caking.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Ultimate Cake Off!

On February 15, at 10pm. on TLC, the team that I was lead assistant for, will be featured on Ultimate Cake Off. John Auburn from JW Desserts on Whidbey Island, WA, was our team leader and when I say team, I mean team.

John treated us all with respect and listened to our ideas. He felt like it wasn't just about him, that it was about the whole team. He treated us as a team, not just as assistants to help him win a title. The communication between John, Martha, Eric, and I was phenomenal. Well over 100 emails and a trip to Seattle lead to our final design. John incorporated ideas from all the teammates which made us much more accountable and excited for the final cake. We all knew what jobs we were responsible for and John made sure that we also knew how to do the jobs of everyone in case of any 'issues' or set backs.

Eric Woller back from a shopping trip. It was an honor to be able to work with the mighty Eric Woller, armature king! The genius that man has in his head is incredible. Not only can he put together the most amazing armatures, he's a sculptor and artist.

John checking on the many things we had to do. Notice the huge pile of modelling chocolate in the corner of the photo.

Martha and her mad skills with a sawzall! Martha's skills as an artist came into play with her work on our project. Can't say just what yet, but her talents were a tremendous asset to our team. She also has great problem solving skills.

The team at breakfast.

I felt like a movie star when I arrived in Los Angeles. I was greeted by Ryan, one of the Production Assistants. He was holding a sign with my name on it! IN TYPED letters! I had to take a picture because I've never even been picked up from an airport by anyone other than my husband or family member. Ryan was so nice and friendly. A chatty guy who let me be a total "dorky" tourist as I took pictures of the Hollywood sign and downtown LA as we drove past.

From the time they said "Your time starts NOW!" to the time they said "STOP" we were a non stop swirl of work. We worked our asses off. There was icing flying, modelling chocolate all over the place and piping gel stuck to our fingers. John made sure to continutally check on everyone's progress and was encouraging throughout the whole competition. We laughed and had fun during the competition and just had a great time, even through the stress of putting together a 7 fooot tall by 9 foot wide cake! We were working like we'd always been working together. And it was the first time we had all been in the same kitchen at the same time.

I have also never laughed as hard as I did on this challenge. We met up on Tuesday and laughed for 5 days straight! By the time it was competition day, my abs hurt so bad that I thought I couldn't take anymore. Of course, by the time the competition was over, my legs hurt so bad I didn't know how I was going to walk the next day! People don't realize the amount of stress these challenges put on a body...especially an out of shape body like mine! LOL

The whole experience was something that I will never forget, nor would I ever want to. I loved meeting George Duran, the new host and seeing Margaret Braun and Leah Grode again. This was my second time doing an Ultimate Cake Off. Even the judges had us laughing. :)

Watch next Monay, February 15 at 10pm on TLC to see how things worked out. Just remember...editing is not always in everyone's favor. It's for the drama of it all...

And a great big THANK YOU to John Auburn for making us all feel like a team!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Strawberry Daiquiri Cookies

On a snowy day like today, I figured it'd be a good day to bake. I went back to our original recipe for the Strawberry Daiquiri Cookies that we developed 2 years ago. Still need to amp up the strawberry flavor because even with 1.5 TBS of strawberry extract, they're still not strong enough. Now, this is a cookie that matures as it sits, but I like a strong flavor in my cookies. We've struggled with these cookies in getting just the right mixture of flavors and we're almost there, just not quite. Some of the other cookies were so easy to get to the final product, but not this one.
The pictures in order are: after mixing, rolling in sugar, ready to bake then finished product.

Friday, February 5, 2010


I guess I should have called my blog "About the Cake and Cookies too..." since right now I'm going to talk about cookies. I'll probably bounce around a lot between cookies and cake, so bear with me. Chances are, you'll see what madness I have in my head and wonder about me, lol.

This year I'm writing a book about cookies. Fabulously unique cookies. I'm writing it because I have some of the most fabulous (well, in my mind) cookie recipes and I feel the need to share them with the world. You'll probably see pictures on here of some of the cookies as we prototype them. We (my sister and I) already have several of the recipes worked out, but there are more that we want to do so we have a completely cohesive book.

I'm also going to need some taste testers. If you're interested, let me know. Can't promise, but I would like to ship them so we can also find out about the shipping quality of them.

So without futher adieu...COOKIES!

The picture at the left is our signature line "Cocktail Cookies" . They include many of the cookies that will be featured in the book. Pina Colada, Fuzzy Navel, Margarita, Nutty Irishman, Alabama Slammers, Kahlua and Cream and Lemon Drops. Tempting, eh?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Introducing myself

This is me. My name is Becky Rink and I'm the owner of About the Cake, Inc. in the Cleveland Ohio area. I love everything about cake from making it to designing it to creating it to eating it. I've been a fan of cake for, let's see, about 40 years. I've only been decorating it for about 10. During that time, I've discovered the unbelievable world of sugar art and all the wonderful and amazing things you can do with sugar.

I'm also the co director of The Art of the Cake, a cool cake show in Cleveland that happens every January.

I'm not really all that philosophical. I'm sarcastic and love humor, but also believe that everything happens for a reason. Karma of sorts.

I've competed on two TLC Ultimate Cake Offs and hope to do more. I've done other competitions too, but they've more local cake show style shows.

If you have any questions about how to do something (cake related!), just ask. I might just have an answer! AND I just might have step by step photos.

The first post

Hi Everyone. Although I'm not one to get sucked into the latest fads, I thought it'd be fun to start a blog. Not sure what all will be on here right now, but maybe this will give me a chance to have another creative outlet, with cakes as the focus of course!

Welcome to the blog!