Some of you have had some questions about the cakes that we make at Hearts and Hands, so we thought it will be helpful to have a short FAQ to address those questions.
1. How do I collect the cakes?
The cakes can be collected from the home of the person who baked it. As we are not operating a business, we are not able to arrange for delivery of the cakes. On the plus side, we try to accommodate your request as far as possible as to collection times, and will try to work around your schedule as far as possible.
2. How do I make payment?
We have thought about this. And we think going forward we will give this a try: you can issue 2 cheques – one to the baker, and the other to the charity directly. That may sound cumbersome, but you will know exactly what portion of the cake price is going to the charity, and how much is going into the cost. It’s all very transparent. And we also do not have the hassle of working out the cost of 3 eggs, 1 cup of flour, 1 teaspoon of good quality vanilla or 230 grams of good chocolate (we use only good stuff so, hey it all adds up!).
The idea is that we let you know how much we recover from the cake upfront, and you can then make an informed decision as to whether you would like to order a cake from us. As a general principle, we try to make sure that the amount contributed to the charity is more than 50% of the amount charged for the cake. Afterall, a large part of this initiative is to be able to raise meaningful amounts for the charity adopted.
3. Why are your charges higher than the neighbourhood bakery store?
Apart from the fact that we do not enjoy the same economies of scale that a business would enjoy, the quality of the ingredients used has a direct impact on the price (and we would like to think, the quality) of the cakes). As this is not a business, we really are not out to compete for any “market share”. But if you want a one of a kind cake lovingly made by hand, and you like the idea that the proceeds from your order will benefit a charity, then yes, you have come to the right guys.
4. I have never tried fondant before. What is it made of?
Fondant is a decorative medium made largely of sugar. It is very sweet and kids tend to like it, though many adults I know find them too sweet for their grown up palates. I personally scrape them off the cake, and I would not mind at all if you do the same.
As it is made largely of sugar, it needs to be kept in a cool dry place, preferably an air-conditioned room. Cakes made with fondant should not be refrigerated as the condensation on the cake after it is removed from the fridge will mar the appearance of the cake.
5. What sort of buttercream do you use? Does it contain raw eggs?
Our preferred choice of buttercream is Swiss Meringue Buttercream, where the egg whites are gently heated over simmering water before being whipped with the butter. It creates a lighter texture to the cream, and we have peace of mind knowing that the eggs have been pasteurised.
6. Why do you guys do this? Haven’t you got better things to do with your life?
Seriously, we like to bake (within reasonable measures) and we also LOVE our day jobs (our bosses could be reading this). And we are too risk adverse to go into business. So this suits us fine. It is time consuming, and involves some sleepless nights, and some form of family neglect while we mess up the entire kitchen and sometimes the living room with our cakes, cakes and more cakes. But we will do it as long as we find it meaningful.
And so we’d like to end this FAQ by saying a big THANK YOU to you for your support.