Johnny Cake

When my sister and I were growing up our father worked out of town a lot. We only got to see him a couple times a year usually but when we did it was always a special treat. One of my fondest memories growing up was one morning waking up to the smell of some kind of corn bread wafting through the house. I came downstairs and my dad had made something called Johnny Cake for breakfast. What? Cake for breakfast? I was sold.

Now on some of those rare mornings I have time I throw together this simple recipe and then smother it with butter and maple syrup for an amazing breakfast treat.

If you ever feel like something other than pancakes and waffles definitely try this recipe out, eat it warm, I promise you won’t be disappointed.

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup oil

Sift all the dry ingredients together, make a well in the centre. Blend all the wet ingredients together in a separate bowl and then add to the dry ingredients. Fold together only until clear. Put into greased 13×9 inch pan and bake for about 25 minutes at 425F. You could also add cheese, sweet corn, or even sausage if you so please.

Serve warm with pure maple syrup and some butter and you have cake for breakfast!

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Baking Vegan

Lactose intolerant? Allergic to eggs? Looking at going vegan? This post is for you.

Vegan baking is baking without the use of any animal products or byproducts. When you think of baked goods some of the very first ingredients that pop into your mind are most likely animal based…Eggs, milk, butter. But today I will tell you some other options to help with your preferences or allergies.

img_7225Because of the growing trend in veganism and the growing awareness of allergies more and more options have been popping up in local grocery stores. Some options being the vegan Becel butter substitute, Veggemo milk which is a vegetable based milk substitute, So Nice soy beverage, and Earth Balance soy free butter substitute. All of these options found at a Save On grocery store here in Edmonton. As for egg substitutes you can use what you most likely already have in your house, baking soda and vinegar. Use 1tsp baking soda to 1 tbsp vinegar per egg. There are also many egg replacers which can often be found in the baking section of local grocery stores or organic shops.

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Lets bake a vegan red velvet cake! What you’ll need:

  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp cocoa
  • 1/2 tbsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 3/4 cup soy milk (can also use other milk substitute or even water)
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • red dye (until desired colour)

Sift all dry ingredients together and put into mixing bowl, add wet ingredients and mix on low speed until everything is incorporated. Bake at 350F for about 45-60 minutes. (Depending on size of cake).

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Vegan ‘butter’cream!:

  • 2 cups vegan Becel butter
  • 8 cups icing sugar
  • 1/3 cup soy milk or other milk substitute
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • pinch salt

Mix together until fluffy consistency. Now decorate however you please!

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Cupqueen

The daily question; You own a business? How old are you?

Well today I will tell you about how I came into this amazing opportunity at only 20 years old with Flirt Cupcakes.

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My business partner Michelle LeMoignan and I when I first bought into Flirt Cupcakes. (2013) 

I was working for Michelle and her business partner Rick for almost a year baking and looking after the Jasper Ave location before becoming a partner myself. Michelle and Rick had started Flirt Cupcakes 6 years prior to my entering the picture.

One day Rick came into the shop and told me he was looking to sell his shares, it was time for him to move on and he wanted to let me know first if I had any interest. At 20 years old I really hadn’t given too much thought into owning a business this soon, it seemed like a far away dream only attainable after years of school and planning…and money. I thanked him and told him these thoughts and that would have been the end of that. I brought this conversation with Rick up at a family dinner some time later. My grandmother then pulled me aside to tell me that all of the grandchildren are getting quite a large inheritance. She tells me I will get mine now if I plan on buying the business… The rest is history.

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Cupcakes out for delivery!

I learn and grow from the business every single day. There have been many good days as well as bad ones. You learn quickly there are no sick days when the shop needs to be opened, you are the one to answer to the angry woman who asked for pink, not purple buttercream! But you are also the one to create new flavours, meet amazing people through marketing and events, choose employees that you appreciate as much as they appreciate you and so so much more.

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Art for the shop done by talented friend Molly Little.

The biggest lessons were the hard slow months where Michelle and I wouldn’t pay ourselves so we could afford groceries for the shop, pay our employees, etc. Recession hits hard for small business’. Michelle and I put our heads together and pushed through some very scary and shaky times in 2015. We soon made the decision to shut down one of our locations, (a terrifying decision!), we crossed our fingers that we would lose the extra costs but not the customers. And lo and behold 2016 was our best year yet, Flirt Cupcakes is flourishing! I cannot wait to see what 2017 brings for us.

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Valentine Man-Cakes from 2016.

Though I have been a part of Flirt for over 3 years now I still have so much to learn,  that’s where school comes in. Very excited to bring back what I have learned and use it immediately at the shop.

Though I am still learning feel free to ask any questions or just come in and visit me at the shop any time. I love showing off what I have helped grow.

-Brianna Vallet (CupQueen)

Website link if you want to learn more!
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