Friday, April 28, 2017

Bake for Profit Revised

My ebook “Bake for Profit” has undergone some major revamping. The revised edition is now available from Amazon and the most important changes include aspects such as the type of products that are most suitable for home baking. A step-by-step checklist provides all the information you may need to sucessfully start a home bake business. 

The business side of home baking is to my mind the area where many home bakers fail and this leads to dissapointment and ultimately they give it up. In the updated version of “Bake for Profit” much more attention is given to aspects that are vital to make money from your efforts. Issues such as how to cost a recipe and to determine the right selling price are discussed in detail. A costing model shows you how to compare different recipes and to identify the most profitable options. 

Finding a market for your products is another important area that is covered in detail in this book. Product promotion techniques are discussed and ideas to add value you to your products such as candy and cookie bouquets will give you the ability to compete more effectively in the market. In the recources section of the book pointers are given to draw up a business plan. 

Your chances of making some real money from home baking will greatly improve with this practical guide that shows how to set up your business. A number of tried and tested recipes are also provided to set you on your way.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

20 Homemade Candy Recipes

Homemade Candy Recipes: 20 Old-Fashioned Recipes for Chocolate Candy, Fudge, & More Free eCookbookI came across this fantastic FREE e-book with 20 delicious homemade candy recipes. The recipes are easy to follow and many are also no-cook recipes. Included are favourites such as various kinds of fudge, chocolate candy and more. This 25 page ebook is a real gem and is available from and it is absolutely free.

They also have a wide selection of free cook e- books covering themes such as Christmas cookies and others.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Home Based Business Ideas for Bakers

Many people are these days looking at home businesses as an alternative to finding a regular job in a tough job market, or to add to their income on a part time basis. If you have some baking skills and you are interested in home baking, then starting a home business is a real option. It is relatively easy to start since you will probably have most of the tools and equipment already in your kitchen. The question of course is what to bake? There are so many possibilities but not all of them are suitable for making money.  I have been involved in home baking for profit for quite a long time and have come to realize that an important factor is the cost of ingredients and therefore not all recipes are suitable for baking for profit.  From my experience the following home baking ideas provide the best opportunity to earn a reasonable income from your efforts.

  • ·         Home bake cookies

  • ·         Homemade candy

  • ·         Cookie/candy bouquets

  • ·         Gift baskets

One of the big advantages of baking cookies for profit is that you are almost certain that you will find a market for your products. Cookies are always popular provided that you provide a quality product at a reasonable price. Again not all recipes will fit the bill, but there are certain old-time favorites such as ginger cookies, chocolate chip cookies, sugar and spice cookies that will be a success. A niche to consider is to bake diabetic cookies or cookies for special occasions. 

Homemade candy is another option that can be very profitable. Making candy does require some specific knowledge of working with sugar and chocolate but this can easily be acquired on the internet or by getting one of many books available on the subject. There are a wide variety of candies ranging from hard candy such as lollipops and peanut brittle, to soft candies such as marshmallows, Turkish delight, fudges etc. There are also no-bake candies such as coconut ice, peppermint creams etc.  Whatever your choice, it pays to take one or two types of candy and concentrate on making it something special. By taking one candy, for example fudge, and adding different ingredients such as chocolate, nuts or ginger etc., you can develop a range with variety and some uniqueness.

Home made coconut ice
Cookie and candy bouquets have become very popular as gifts and for special occasions. It is an ideal way of adding value to your products and opening up new ways of selling your products. They make excellent gifts and can be linked to special occasions such as birthdays, births etc.  Bouquets can be very simple and straight forward. You will find many ideas on the internet for cookie and candy bouquets. 

Gift baskets can also be arranged from your homemade cookies and candy. This is an excellent way of adding value and promoting your products. These are popular for special occasions such as Father’s day.

Baking from home can become a profitable home business. The best way to start is to choose one or two recipes and try your products on friends and family to get their feedback on the quality of your product. The next step is to look at proper packaging and to find the right price. Once you have a product that you can sell, the process of promoting and marketing both off-line and on-line starts.  If you want to get first hand information on starting a home bake business, why not have a look at my e-book "Bake for Profit".

Friday, July 1, 2016

Working with sugar and chocolate

Homemade candy has always been a firm favorite and if you have some knowledge of the basics involved in candy making, you will be surprised how easy most types of candy can be made from your home kitchen. The two basic ingredients of all candy are sugar and chocolate and you should know how to boil sugar and how to work with chocolate.

Boiling sugar syrup

The first important point to remember is that boiling sugar is really hot and to avoid injury great care should be taken not to spill or touch the boiling sugar mixture.  When working with sugar there are some basics that should be followed to ensure a good end product. 
Here are some guidelines:
  •   Always measure the sugar and water exactly.

  •  Mix all the ingredients thoroughly before boiling. Heat gently - do not allow to boil, until the sugar is fully dissolved.

  • Gently stir the sugar over low heat until dissolved. Never stir the boiling liquid unless directed by the recipe.
  • While the syrup is boiling, the sugar crystals must be removed from the sides of the pan. Use a small brush dipped into water to brush the sides of the sauce pan. Candy that contain cream, butter, syrup or chocolates, will rise when boiling, so make sure that the sauce pan is big enough.

  • Whilst heating, stir with a wooden spatula, scraping the bottom and corners of the saucepan.
  • Brush the sides of the saucepan occasionally with a pastry brush dipped in warm water, to prevent a buildup of crystals.

  • Ensure that the correct temperature is reached.
  • If using a sugar thermometer, dip it in to hot water before tested the sugar, return it to the hot water after testing.

  • When the correct heat is reached, remove the saucepan from the heat and place on a damp cloth, to prevent further cooking.

  • The taste of candy must be delicate and when adding flavoring, use a medicine dripper.
  • The addition of Glucose syrup will ensure a fine texture candy. Crème of tartar and vinegar will give the same result but be careful not to add too much as this will prevent the candy from becoming stiff enough.
  • When the syrup has reached the desired temperature, remove the sauce pan from the heat and put into cold water so that the temperature does not rise any further.

 Melting Chocolate

Working with chocolate requires a skill to melt the chocolate. You will need some experience to do this, but once acquired, there are many possibilities for working with chocolate.
There are some tricks to successfully melting chocolate. Whether you are working with dark, semisweet, milk, or white chocolate, here are some tips to follow:
  • Never allow any water to come in contact with the melting chocolate, unless the chocolate is being melted in a large amount of water (2 tablespoons water per ounce of chocolate is the minimum amount). Just a drop or two of water can make the chocolate seize up, or become hard and lumpy. Even the steam from the bottom of a double boiler can cause this problem. Make sure to keep the chocolate dry as it melts. If it does seize, you can blend in a teaspoon of vegetable oil (NOT butter or margarine) and the chocolate should smooth out. 
  • Chocolate should only be melted over low heat. The microwave is a good appliance to use because the cooking time is so controlled. If you stand there at the stove and stir constantly, you can melt chocolate in a pan set over very low heat. A double boiler (watch out for condensation) is a good method; make sure the water in the bottom is barely simmering.
  • White chocolate or vanilla milk chips are the most difficult to melt. Too much heat will make this type of chocolate seize.
  • To melt chocolate bars in a microwave, first coarsely chop the chocolate. Place in a microwave safe bowl and heat on 50% power for 1 minute. Remove from the microwave and stir. Continue this process until the chocolate is almost melted. Then stir until the chocolate is smooth.
  • Melt chocolate chips just like chopped bars. To make a dipping chocolate for coating candies, when the chocolate is almost melted add 1/4 cup more chips and stir constantly until the mixture is smooth. This will help set up sugar crystals so the chocolate stays firm at room temperature.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Three Key Ingredients to Make Money From Candy

When you want to make money from home made candy there are basically three important elements to focus on. These may seem very simple but it is not as easy as it may seem.
You want to make a profit from your efforts and focusing on the following will help you achieve that goal:

Selecting the right product
Making a quality product
Marketing your product

A homemade candy business can be very profitable but the competition out there is extremely competitive and you will have to do something unique to be successful.

Selecting the right product

This is probably the biggest problem to overcome to be able to earn a decent income from home made candy. There are so many candy options that it is difficult to decide which product will be the most profitable. As a general rule it is better to have a number of products that will offer a greater chance of making a profit. A range of products can be from different types of candy such as soft candies or brittles etc. The other option is to take a particular product such as fudge for an example and then by adding different ingredients such as white chocolate, brown chocolate, ginger etc. get a variety of the same product. You could also use these products to add to a special theme such as an Easter fudge candy or a valentine fudge candy. The point is that your creativity can provide that special niche for your product.

Another point to consider is the cost factor in making certain candies. Sometimes the cost to produce a product is such that it is difficult to make a decent profit from it. So each type of candy should be carefully costed to make sure that you can earn a profit from it. Also consider items such as packaging, transport etc. By using a costing tool such as can be found in my e-book “Baking for Profit – start a home business”, you can quickly and accurately calculate the profit margin of candy products and also be able to compare different candy recipes to find the best options.

Making a quality product

There is no compromise for a quality product – especially if it is a homemade candy. Consistency in quality is crucial. Every batch should be of the same high standard. The aim should be to establish a reputation for high standard products that look great and taste great. If a recipe is used for the first time, make sure that it is tested properly. When you are happy with the end product, the recipe must be followed exactly every time a batch is made.
Another important point is to make sure that you use only the best quality ingredients. Trying to save on the cost of ingredients will just be shooting yourself in the foot.  The same goes for tools and equipment. A good quality candy thermometer, electric mixing equipment and measuring tools are all vital for success.

Marketing your product

The end objective of your candy business is to sell your product at a profit. The first point is to aim your marketing effort at the top end of the market for discerning buyer. There are a few reasons for this strategy.

Firstly, you want to make a good profit to reward you for your efforts. There is no sense in doing all the hard work and not earning a reasonable return on your efforts.

Secondly, items such as packaging, wrappers etc. are expensive and you want to develop your business to a higher level for which you will need money.

Potential marketing efforts should include as many options as possible. Think of selling at flea markets, farmer markets, boutique shops and the internet. For the internet you will have to create a website. To start off you can use one of many excellent free website creators such as Simple Site, Weebly and Site Build It. You can also start a blog and start marketing through social media such as Facebook.