Friday, November 21, 2008

Cake! Shop!

Cake Shop!

Dear Friends and Cake Lovers Far and Near:
I am so very excited to announce that Short Street Cakes has signed a lease at 225 Haywood Road! Located in the beautifully renovated brick building at the corner of Haywood Road and Howard Street, in Lovely East-West Asheville, Short Street Cakes will open soon featuring coffee, cupcakes, special order cakes, wedding cakes, and whole cakes. Short Street Cakes will carry on the tradition of lovingly hand-crafted, all-natural southern cakes, with an expanded menu debuting in January 2009. We will be closed November 24 to December 6 in order to move. Starting December 6, special order cakes (48 hours advance notice) will be available for pick-up at the new Cake Shop, and grand opening, new menu, and cafe hours launch in January. I am so excited to begin this new adventure, and feel so incredibly grateful to every person whose love and support has made this adventure possible!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Short Street Cakes in Verve Magazine!

Check out the brand new Nov/Dec issue of Verve Magazine- there's a sweet article on cupcakes on pages 46 and 47, featuring me, Short Street Cakes, and my Frigidaire Flair. Here's an exerpt:

"Rhoden of Short Street Cakes says the cupcake, compared to a cake, has a favorable moist-to-crunchy ratio that could help explain its ascending status in the public’s hearts and mouths. “They bake differently,” she says. “You get a little cake and a lot of crust. People like crust. And you get a lot of icing and a lot of cake in each bite.” And then there are the practical reasons behind the cupcake’s popularity. You don’t need a plate or a fork to eat one. “It’s a portable passion,” says Corley. Self-indulgent self-restraint may be the last word on the subject. Unless it’s been a really bad day, says Andrea McMullen, “one single person can’t eat a whole cake.”

ALT-CUPCAKE: Jodi Rhoden bakes her cupcakes in a retro 1963 Frigidaire Flair oven and makes sugar-free, gluten-free and vegan versions, along with traditional recipes. Rhoden represents the indie end of the Asheville cupcake spectrum, baking her cakes and cupcakes to order out of her home on a 1963 Frigidaire Flair oven given to her by an elderly neighbor. Her products start with local apples, organic local eggs, locally milled organic flour and organic spices. For Rhoden, an activist and former social worker, the choices are not just about the flavor. “It’s about contributing to the local economy and creating a new business model,” she says. “I want to bring other producers along with me.”

Short Street’s menu features homey recipes like carrot spice cake as well as decadent ones such as triple-chocolate ganache. Rhoden makes sugar-free and gluten-free versions of her cupcakes and has vegan recipes as well. “Vegan cooking is a whole different thing,” she says. “You can’t just take a regular recipe and ‘veganize’ it.” Her standard chocolate cake recipe is vegan because it tastes more chocolatey (dairy products mask the taste of the cocoa).

Rhoden, whose cupcakes were featured in Brides magazine earlier this year, emphasizes taste over fancy appearance, foregoing elaborately drawn icing figures in favor of simple swirls or accent flowers grown in her backyard. Her food-coloring-free icing and cake recipes are “old school Southern” with a different feel from the European tradition of desserts. Her bridal clients tend to be very laid back. “I tell them, if you want your cake to look like a piece of Wedgwood china, I’m not your gal,” she says."

Read the whole article here. Article and image copyright Verve Magazine, article by Joanne O'Sullivan, Photo by Rimas Zailskas. Thanks, Yall!

Monday, November 17, 2008

When Good Things Happen to Good Cake

This just in!!!
The NC State Legislature just passed a new provision to the tax law exempting "artisan bakeries" from charging state sales tax!
From the NC Department of Revenue:
"As rewritten, prepared food other than bakery items sold without eating utensils by an artisan bakery is subject to the applicable State and local rates of tax. Bakery items (bread, rolls, buns, biscuits, bagels, croissants, pastries, donuts, danish, cakes, tortes, pies, tarts, muffins, bars, cookies, and tortillas) sold without eating utensils by an artisan bakery are exempt from State tax and subject to only the 2% local tax applicable to sales of qualifying food. An “artisan bakery” is a bakery that derives over 80% of its gross receipts from bakery items and whose annual gross receipts, combined with the gross receipts of all related persons as defined in G.S. 105-163.010, do not exceed $1,800,000.00."
Cake lovers, rejoice- you now have 4.5% less to pay for your baked goods, as long as you buy them from a qualified artisan. Less sales tax for the state of North Carolina = more cupcakes for you. Awesome.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Short Street Cakes on Pies

In case you missed it in the Citizen-Times on Wednesday, (I dunno, maybe due to the fact that the front page news was something about a historical event of international import or something), there was a sweet little article about pies, along with a few recipes from the pie department at Short Street Cakes. Click here to read the article, and here are some of the recipes:

Fall Pies using WNC Local Produce
By: Jodi Rhoden, Owner, Short Street Cakes, Asheville, NC

Pie Crust Recipe (adapted from “The Gift of Southern Cooking” by Edna Lewis and Scott Peacock)

1 ½ c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. salt
½ t. sugar
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons lard (substitute margarine if you cannot find non-hydrogenated lard)
4-6 tablespoons ice water

Place flour, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Whisk to combine. Cut chilled butter and lard into pieces and scatter on top of the flour mixture. Cut fats into flour using a pastry cutter or two knives, until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle ice water on mixture, one tablespoon at a time, and gently fluff the mixture until one large dough mass forms. Knead gently, 3 or 4 times. Flatten dough into a disk and wrap well with plastic wrap. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 2 hours.

Roll out dough and line an 8 or 9 inch pie plate.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Fill with one of the following pie fillings. When you place the pie in the oven, reduce heat to 375.

Apple Custard Pie with Crumb Topping (Recipe by Jodi Rhoden):
A great WNC apple for this pie is Mutzu. Its firm, like a Granny Smith, but sweet like a Golden Delicious.

Combine, one ingredient at a time:
½ cup brown sugar
2 T. flour
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup sour cream
½ teaspoon vanilla
1 egg

2 cups diced apple pieces

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cup butter
Combine ingredients with fingers and sprinkle over pie filling. Bake at 375 for 30 minutes, or until the pie becomes slightly firm in the center.

Pumpkin Pie from Scratch (Recipe by Jodi Rhoden):
Choose a small, fleshy pie pumpkin from a local WNC grower (find them at one of the many tailgate markets in the area, or the Farmers Market on Brevard Road). Slice pumpkin in half from top to bottom. Scrape out seeds and stringy pulp, and roast the seeds! Place pumpkin halves, cut side down, on a baking sheet and bake until soft.
Let cool, then scrape out the pulp.
Mash the pulp in a bowl with a potato masher.
Place pulp in a strainer, and strain over a bowl for 2 hours, or overnight in the refrigerator.
Some bakers puree the pulp at this point, but I think its optional.

Now, for the recipe:
Combine, one ingredient at a time:
1 ½ c. pumpkin
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 T cinnamon
½ t. ginger
¼ t. nutmeg
½ t. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 425. Pour into prepared pie crust. Turn down oven to 375 and bake at 375 until the sides are firm but the center is slightly jiggly.

I know, I know, its Short Street Cakes, not Short Street Pies. But I can't help it. When the weather turns and the leaves fall, I'm all about some pie.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Yes. We. Can.

At this moment, I am so inspired, so proud, and so happy that our country has elected Obama as our next president. His election truly represents a sea change for this society and the world- in the significance of having a person of color in the white house, in the hope that the world could believe that perhaps, as Obama says, the United States can change, in the hope that we can elevate the conversation above pettiness and fear-mongering and cynicism. I believe in Obama, and I believe that he will continue to inspire people to believe in themselves.
I have to admit, I didn't think it would happen. I thought that the "powers that be" would have too much at stake to let him win. But apparently, the Powers that Be are WE. And we can win, and we did.
I feel the call of the world striving for love and healing. I feel the call of a new way of relating to one another in the world. I feel the call of a shift towards cooperation and community. I feel the call to strive to be the best person I can be for myself, my family, and the world. I feel that call and I'm so excited to follow that call in how I create the business that I am building- It is a new day, a historic day, and I feel the hope of what we can create. Si se puede. Yes we can.