FAQ

Who made your mascot/logo? Who made the little cake robot (BeepBoop)?

The cheerful little chef in the sidebar was created by Champasaurus. I commissioned her through Tumblr and can vouche that she does amazing work.

BeepBoop was made by artist Mimolette Monster. Mimo is composed 50% of cute, 50% of creepy and 100% of talent.

Do you bake professionally? Have you ever thought about opening a bakery?

Yes and yes. In an attempt to answer this thoroughly, I have created a short timeline of my career:

– Began teaching myself baking/decorating as a pre-teen.
– After high school, worked in a grocery store bakery and attended culinary school for pastry and baking.
– After culinary school, worked at various restaurants, cake boutiques and pastry shops for about 6 years.
– Briefly owned a bakery business. So, yep, thought about it and done it! I say briefly because it was for about a year. I realized the business would rob me of time with my family and I decided to close.
– Currently splitting my time between freelance professional kitchen work and blogging.

In your opinion, is culinary school worth it?

[Please note this only applies to the United States, as that’s where I have all my experience.]

I feel like I have no short answer for this. I guess my answer is that it can be. The skills you learn in school are incredibly useful, and culinary school was a fantastic experience for me personally. However, it’s wise to educate yourself about salaries in the food industry and weigh that realistically with the cost of school. It IS possible to work your way up in a kitchen without a culinary degree. If you can’t afford it, interning or apprenticing somewhere is a valid alternative, and something you’d be doing after school anyway.

Additionally, I will say with no reservations that you should NOT go to culinary school without working in a kitchen in some capacity first. Wash dishes, scoop cookies, whatever. Working in a professional kitchen is nothing like home baking, and culinary school isn’t much better in terms of preparing you. Don’t put tens of thousands into an education for something you might not like! Personally, I worked in a grocery store bakery before school and it was fantastic. High end kitchens are not all that different from less fancy operations, and I went into my first high-end job so much more prepared than my peers.

Do you have your _______ recipe in metric/imperial?

I put up all my recipes in both metric and imperial measurements. That said, some recipes cannot be given in cups, or rather SHOULD not be given in cups. With certain things, weighing ingredients is essential. In these cases I will provide grams and ounces.

Where did you get [specific mold/ingredient/etc.]?

With all my specialty equipment and ingredients, I try my best to link to where I got them in the relevant entry. These will usually be listed at the end of each recipe.

If there’s any other thing you’re looking for, feel free to ask where to find something in the comments or via e-mail. If I know a specific brand or where to purchase something, I will be more than happy to share that information with you.

Can I make one of your recipes, but substitute various ingredients?

Depends on the recipe and the substitution. If you ask me about it in the comments section or in my e-mail I’ll do my best to give you whatever advice I can. Disclaimer: I don’t give advice about gluten free substitutions with much confidence, because in my experience gluten free baking is an art of its own. I can give you a vague guess as to whether something would work, but I prefer to leave gluten free recipe development to people who specialize in gluten free baking.

I found a typo/recipe error!

Thank you for telling me! No, seriously. Things slip through the cracks, and I really appreciate people pointing it out so I can get it fixed. E-mail me about any errors and I’ll fix them as soon as I can.

What are “affiliate links?”

In the sidebar and at the end of some of my entries, I provide affiliate links to products I’ve used in the creation of the recipe. I only link to items I personally can vouche for or specialty items necessary for a recipe. When you click an affiliate link, I receive a small commission if you make a purchase through that link. It will not increase the price you pay in any way, and it will help me keep Pretty Cake Machine up and active!

Katharina McCawley is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

2 comments

  1. Kat says:

    Do you have any sort of gluten free recipes? As someone who has a gluten allergy, i would love to see gluten free recipes!

    • Katharina
      Katharina says:

      Hi, Kat! Gluten free is always a tricky one for me, because turning gluten-based recipes into gluten free ones takes many many experiments! I typically leave it to people who specialize in allergen-free baking, because I want to feel 100% confident about the recipes I post, and I just don’t have that experience.

      That said, LOTS of wonderful desserts are inherently gluten free! Macarons and vacherin, for example, but also the vast majority of the mousses posted on this site. I also have a German candied almond recipe I often make for my friends who can’t have gluten, and I’d be happy to move that up and post it sooner if that sounds like something you’d like. I’ve also been wanting to do a dacquoise recipe, so if that’s something you’d be interested in I’d definitely be glad to do it soon! Let me know. 🙂

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