November 19th, 2006

The chocolates & cakes on my stall list

cakes.jpg-

First, about how last Saturday went:

Broadway Market can develop strong blustering gusts like in a wind tunnel. Pleasant in Summer but in Winter it can be bitingly cold.

The market wind is truly nasty. It would blow my stash of empty cake boxes away & would scatter my stall neighbour Kim’s handmade cards & plant holders everywhere every 30 minutes. When the wind is so strong, the stall table would shake magnitude seven, & I hold down on it like I’ve encountered a storm on a sailing journey. Which may sound like an exaggeration, but I remember my Danish stall neighbour’s rack flying off her table & smashing her beautiful plates… But last Saturday, the gust of wind blew the plastic sheet off the roof of my stall…! Thank goodness it wasn’t raining – otherwise it could have ruined all my chocolates & cakes… Sales-wise, it went well, but except for my truffles – I had atleast twenty left. Truly disheartening when this happens, but not so bad an outcome for D & my friends in my neighbourhood…
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For this week’s entry, I’ll list the chocolates & cakes I currently sell at the market.

  • Flourless Moist Chocolate Cake: Sold as slices & as whole cake. The ingredients are just butter, sugar, eggs, organic chocolate & a tablespoon of Triple sec (orange liqueur). It’s my ‘best seller’ & it’s the one with many repeat customers.
  • Gateaux Basque: Sold as slices & as whole cake. A very rustic looking French cake with a layer of custard cream & dried prunes baked in to it (in the picture above). The surface has a hand-drawn pattern – done by rubbing egg wash (coloured brown with coffee granules) first & then drawing the pattern with the end of a spoon (hence scoring the coloured egg wash away).
  • Tarte Tatin: Sold as slices & as whole cake. See my earlier entry to read more about it.
  • Poppy seed & Summer Fruit Sponge Cake: Sold as slices & as whole cake. I love the slightly nutty aroma & taste of poppy seeds. The tangy taste of the berries go really well with the sweet sponge. The colour of deep-reds & blues from the berries look great against black-specked sponge.
  • Caramelized Banana Loaf: Sold as slices & as whole. The banana has been cramelized first before being incorporated in tho the cake batter. There are broken up walnuts in it too, it is a really good combo with banana.
  • Luxury Brownies: Chunky squares full of pistachios, walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds, & pecans. Pure luxury. There is a big ‘brownie-battle’ at the market with so many stalls selling it, but I can truly say it is the most chocolatey & most & dense of ‘em all!
  • Fresh Berry Tart: Small, medium & large sizes, also in individual heart shapes (pictured above). It has baked almond cream sponge (or frangipane) under the packed layer of fresh fruit like raspberries, blueberries & strawberries. It makes the stall look colourful & it often catches the eyes of the passers-by & hopefully stop them on their track!
  • Pear & Almond Tart: Small, medium & large sizes. Frangipane with sliced pears & almond slices.
  • Lemon Cream Tart: Small, medium & large sizes. Frangipane with lemon cream & white chocolate lettering.
  • Chocolate Tart: Small, medium & large sizes, also in individual heart shapes. Filled with dark ganache infused with cinnamon & raspberry puree layer underneath. Decorative cocoa powder stencil work on top.

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And then there is the chocolate truffles & molded bonbons, sold in bags or in a box selection):

    • Caramel Truffle: tempered dark chocolate coating. Caramel liquid & chocolate is mixed to make the ganache.
    • Earl Grey Truffle: tempered milk chocolate coating.
    • Raspberry Truffle: tempered white chocolate coating.
    • Classic Vanilla Pod Truffle: first coated with tempered dark chocolate & then dipped in cocoa.
    • Hazelnut Crunch Truffle: Gianduja (chocolate containing about 50% hazelnut & almond paste) ganache mixture, coated in tempered dark chocolate & then covered in caramelized hazelnut nibs.
    • Mendiants: White, milk & dark. Molded chocolate discs with nuts & dried fruit, or with candied orange discs.
    • Molded chocolate shapes: White, milk & dark or a marble effect. Rabbits, cats & heart shapes.

    -
    As you can tell, I make quite a fair bit. I get asked numerous times about how long it takes to make them, & the answer is…

    = I spend at least twenty hours during the week (on Thursday evenings & about fifteen hours on Fridays) & then about seven hours on Saturday to sell it.

    At the end of Saturday, it feels like I put my body & soul in to it. But without question, it is never a chore. I enjoy it (except for the washing up part!) & my effort is rewarded. I love being ‘my own boss’ & make what ever I want to make. I love selling directly to the consumer & enjoy chatting to them (except for when some bloke really haggle at the end of the day, to the point of disrespect – ‘cos it’s what you do at a market innit?‘).
    -

    So anyway, hop down to the market & sample some of the items! Come on, I know you have a sweet tooth in you!!

36 Comments »

  1. Hi there! Wow! They all look delicious and I was trying to decide which one I want to taste first but I couldn’t decide…I’ve never tried the Gateaux Basque so maybe that one..if only Japan was closer and I could casually pop by one weekend…

    Comment by Akiko - November 24, 2006 1:20 am

  2. Hello Aki-chan!!!! Thanks! Indeed, if only Japan was nearer we could meet up… I wish we went on our Paris trip you’ve mentioned… maybe next Summer when you come over?

    Comment by tamami - November 24, 2006 12:13 pm

  3. Really?? I’m all for it so pls think about it! That would be sooo cool! Besides, you can look into all the patisseries which will no doubt give you good inspiration and me a big belly!

    Comment by Akiko - November 25, 2006 2:46 am

  4. Hi Tanami!!

    I was not sure the best way to contact you but I was wondering if you could spare some time to answer a few of my questions?? First of all, I am a Chinese/Vietnamese Australian currently living in London. I have just spent 4 weeks in France learning abit of French Patisserie, but would also like to try and sell at markets-one day!! Was wondering if you were completely self taught/or did you undertake courses?? Also what kind of requirements/regulations are required for selling cakes at markets?

    Would greatly appreciate to hear from you. I will also try and pop down to your store in the coming weekends as your cakes look great!

    Thanks!

    Annie

    Comment by Annie - November 11, 2008 1:20 am

  5. Hello Annie, thanks for inquiring.

    I am mainly self-taught, with a bit of apprenticeship in a hotel pastry department. You need to have a “Hygiene & safety” certificate as well as register your kitchen as a food premises before you operate. You will also need a “Public liability insurance” set up. Most markets will require you to have that.

    Good luck with starting a stall! And let me know if you do! I’ll be very interested!

    Tamami

    Comment by tamami - November 11, 2008 8:59 am

  6. Thanks Tanami!! I need alot of practise yet, not to mention a decent oven- my current flat’s one is not very good!

    I will try and get down to your stall in the upcoming weekends and try your cakes and speak to you more!

    Thanks

    Annie

    Comment by Annie - November 11, 2008 11:54 am

  7. Hello Annie,
    good luck with it. And hope to see you one day. T.

    Comment by tamami - November 11, 2008 10:06 pm

  8. Hello Tanami !

    I have stumbled onto your blog for the first time and have not let go of the computer since several hours. Not only is your writing is sincere and heartfelt but your cooking looks delicious and generous. Your approach to cooking is very holistic. It is clear that baking is a source of pleasure for you. Please do keep some secrets to yourself though. I would like people to come keeping to your stall again and again and again..Warm wishes and all the best.
    I am addicted to your blog for life !

    Comment by Swati - January 21, 2009 9:07 pm

  9. Hello Swati! Wow! addicted?? LOL! That is sooo sweet! Well, I don’t post as often as I should, so I’d suggest reading slowly…! xx

    Comment by tamami - January 22, 2009 8:31 am

  10. Hallo Tanami,

    I am about to do my first cakes for a summer market in Tasmania and couldn’t believe my luck when I came across your blog.
    I just have one big question for you: how do you get your brownies into neat slices? I have made so many brownies and never managed anything remotely neat enough to present at market…. and I need to get it right!
    Thanks,
    Tamsin

    Comment by Tamsin - January 26, 2009 4:38 am

  11. Hello Tamsin, the brownies are laid to ‘rest’ (‘mature’) after baking for almost a whole day before cutting. the texture of it completely changes for the better when you rest it, aswell as making it easier to cut neatly! Good luck with the market! xx

    Comment by tamami - January 26, 2009 12:14 pm

  12. Hi Tanami,

    Thanks so much! I am going to do my baking on Saturday and will start with the brownies. I’ll let you know how it goes!

    Tamsin

    Comment by Tamsin - January 29, 2009 9:21 am

  13. ;-)

    Comment by tamami - January 29, 2009 9:24 am

  14. Hi Tanami.I am in the process of researching(and practising making and tasting of course!) chocolate products which i hope to sell on stalls and farmers markets in the Derbyshire area where I live. Looking at your site has fired my imagination.We have a daughter at primary school so I am keen,like you, to work what I do around her. I love making cakes and truffles and it would be fantastic if I could sell them towards earning a living. Your stall looks brilliant and so colourful..I just wish I lived nearer to come and sample! Although this project seems like it may just be a dream when there is such a lot to do to make it happen, to see someone like you who is so enthusiastic and making a success of their dreams is very inspiring! Very best wishes, and if you get chance to reply i would appreciate any tips for starting up a stall…x SARA

    Comment by sara davies - March 20, 2009 8:56 pm

  15. Hello Sara,
    thank you for your lovely comment!! Tips?? hm, let’s see…, well, an important thing to remember is to define your customer type, & never be afraid to change/ evolve. – For example, my stall has changed a fair bit since I first started, & I now know what sells the best & what to make more of. – Another bit of tip I guess is to never let your standards go down, even if it gets busy!
    Anyway, good luck with setting up a stall, & do let me know when you do! xx

    Comment by Tamami - March 21, 2009 9:51 pm

  16. Hi Tamami,lovely of you to get back to me and thankyou for your words of wisdom! I have been dreaming in chocolate and cakes since looking at all your pictures…I can think of worse dreams though eh? Just busy gathering all the info from local council and farmers markets that i’ll need to set up. I’ve ordered some of Willie Harcourt Coozes 100% cocao to play with but suspect it may not be what i’ll be using on my stall. It’s expensive and don’t know how people will take to it,although it’s all about learning for taste buds..our daughter loves dark chocolate because we’ve always given her it and used it in baking.Did you see the programmes about Willie? I loved his enthusiasm and madness and thought he gave us a lot to think about with his 100% choc, with all it’s health benefits and various uses.I’ve looked at various suppliers for chocolate and equipment..could I ask if you use couverture and if you can recommend a good supplier? Let you know how my 100% stuff works out! x Sara

    Comment by sara davies - March 23, 2009 9:32 pm

  17. Hi Tamami..Sara here again,just to let you know I’ve just read your very helpful article on tempering chocolate where you do indeed mention the use of couverture…but any supplier websites would still be gratefully received!x

    Comment by sara davies - March 23, 2009 9:52 pm

  18. Hello Sara, how exciting that you are getting ready to set up. If you want cacao mass, there’s plenty of cheaper options – try Keylink & Vantage House, they are the ones I get my chocolates from.
    - I saw the programme you mentioned. As much as I admire his drive, I thought his madness was often in his own way. I would have done it differently.
    - 100% is a niche market, not ‘mass’ market, so I would suggest starting with easy-going stuff…
    - Anyways, good luck xx

    Comment by tamami - March 24, 2009 5:00 pm

  19. Dear Tamami.
    I have just found your web/blog and have to say it is fabulous one of the best if not the best that I have found. I love your recipies, and the info on virtually everything one needs to kow about chocolate, it is so well informed.I have just started a small chocolate truffle company called Cacao Brown and still have a lot to do getting my website up etc etc etc, you know how it is! I also make my own chocolates and it is great getting new and fresh ideas. Like you I also buy from Keylink, and am mastering tempering! I will be at Richmond Farmers Market as from mid June so if you are around our way do pop in to the stall and say hello! and I will do likewise if am in your area.
    Can I ask you what you charge for your truffles please. You have been a great help to me, and thank -you so much.
    All the best . Best Wishes Janie.

    Comment by Janie - June 7, 2009 10:00 am

  20. Thanks for your lovely comment Janie!
    Sure, I charge 80 pence a truffle – I know it’s not the norm – usually chocolate shops sell by the gram – but what I found annoying in those shops is that I never knew how many I was getting exactly – & you get silly total amounts like £3.77. Very fiddly. I haven’t changed the price for 3 yrs – & all the flavours are the same price.
    Good luck with your new venture – let me know when your website is up, will you? – I ‘d love to find out more about your stuff!! Take care, t x

    Comment by tamami - June 7, 2009 9:00 pm

  21. Hi, i was wondering if you could give me some advice! i want to make some chocolate from home just simple bits into molds and sell them at a couple of craft fairs over xmas, do i need to have a basic food and hygiene certificate to do this or do i need more just to sell on a stall? Any advice would be great thanks so much! x

    Comment by Amanda - November 12, 2010 8:14 pm

  22. Hello Amanda,
    thank you for contacting me, but I think it might be best if you check with your fair-organizer… sorry I’m not much of a help…! Good luck! t x ps: it’s a good certificate to have around, so why not take the course anyhow? It’s only a day course!

    Comment by tamami - November 13, 2010 2:39 am

  23. Hi Tamami,

    I was wondering if you take orders out side of the saturday market. I am having a dinner party this friday and i have been trying to find you on the web and now i finally have. if you do take orders, can you email me at xxx.xxx.com? I would like two cakes and would really like a pumpkin cheese cake as well as some kind of chocolate cake. Please let me know. thx

    Comment by Christine - November 22, 2010 10:44 am

  24. Christine, I’ve sent you email!!! xx

    Comment by tamami - November 22, 2010 2:51 pm

  25. Hi Tamami,

    I came across your website today and like many other people, I am hooked.
    I too share a passion for cooking and I have been selling at my local markets in the South West of Australia for 5 months. I am always on the hunt for new and exciting recipes to trial on myself, my customers and work colleagues and your moist chocolate cake struck a chord with me as I’m a HUGE chocolate fan. I haven’t ventured into your entire website yet, so I haven’t seen it, but wanted to ask you if you have this recipe available to view so I can recreate it?
    If not, I completely understand as I have some recipes that I’ll take to the grave :0)

    Many thanks, Melissa.

    Comment by Melissa Robeson - April 4, 2011 1:59 pm

  26. Hello Melissa,
    wow! Thank you for checking my website out! Yes, unfortunately, I haven’t published my flourless chocolate cake recipe – but I’m sure there are plenty of similar recipes about! ^^ All the best, & I look forward to hearing from you again soon! t xx

    Comment by tamami - April 4, 2011 4:14 pm

  27. Hi, I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what brand chocolate do you prefer to use for your truffles and coating?
    I want to make some next week but there are so many different kinds of chocolate out there and I really don’t know which would be best!
    :) x

    Comment by DawnLouise Millmoor - June 20, 2011 3:49 pm

  28. Hello DawnLouise,
    I use a brand called Barry Callebaut that I purchase on wholesale. I don’t think normal shops have it though. So, store-bought-wise, I suggest you make sure to use couvertures, & definitely not the ones that use vegetable fat in substitute of cocoa butter. Happy truffle making!! xx

    Comment by tamami - June 20, 2011 9:55 pm

  29. Hi Tanami,
    I have followed your blog for ages now and absolutely love it and thought who better to ask for advice! I have been in business since September last year and mainly bake and sell from home but did a little spate of festive markets at Christmas time to drum up trade. I’ve booked a few events this year but they’re in the summer and was wondering what you do to keep the food cool and keep the bugs/flies away?
    Any advice would be massively appreciated.
    Helen x

    Comment by Helen - March 20, 2012 10:48 pm

  30. Hello Helen!
    Thank you very much for reading this blog! :) In the Summer, (in fact, all year round), I only bake “baked through” products that doesn’t require refrigeration (ie: not using any creams for example). On my stall, all the food is “open”, but it has never attracted flies. At one point of the year, it might attract bees/ wasps with the sweet smell. When that happens I swat them! Lol! Also, looking like a trader that “cares” is a good thing & customers appreciate it. – Traders such as meat & cheese have ice-sheets underneath their food during Summer. – Hope this helps, & good luck with it & do let me know how it went! T x

    Comment by tamami - March 21, 2012 9:41 am

  31. Hi Tamami,
    (Sorry for the spelling mistake on my last post!)
    Thank you so much for your reply, I will be doing baked goods only so that’s good to know. I’ll let you know how I get on, first one is on Easter Saturday.
    Helen x

    Comment by Helen - March 21, 2012 8:35 pm

  32. Helen, no probs! :) I’ll look forward to hearing from you again then! :)

    Comment by Tamami - March 21, 2012 9:12 pm

  33. Hi,

    I found your blog a few months ago. I’m in the early stages of starting my own cake stall. I was wondering how you transfer your products from home to your stall. At this early stage of my business the baking bit is the easy bit, it’s the transfer that seems to me to be a logistical nightmare!

    I like the selection you offer and your tarts look delicious.

    Comment by Christina - August 20, 2012 12:40 am

  34. Hello Christina, I transfer my cakes in a cardboard delivery trays, purchased from Reynards. They are quite big in size. I have noticed that other stalls use food-containers like big tupper-wares. – I hope this is all helpful, & good luck with your new venture!! Best, t x

    Comment by Tamami - August 20, 2012 3:19 pm

  35. Thanks. I’ll have a look at their website.
    I hope to visit your stall soon.

    Comment by Christina - August 20, 2012 11:28 pm

  36. Pleasure! :)

    Comment by tamami - August 21, 2012 12:42 am

 

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