Friday, April 5, 2013

Favorite Friend Friday: Emily Nelson of Cult Cakes

We met Emily when she was working at a coffee shop next to our former storefront in Phinney/Greenwood. Little did we know that she was a pastry genius (and making excellent mochas as well)! When I was planning my wedding last year, Emily was working as an assistant with Kelli's Cake Creations, and she assisted and delivered my cake! The cake was dream-like, and I've hired her to make a miniature version of it for our 1st anniversary on May 5th. We at Assemble are so excited that Emily is getting her brand new business, Cult Cakes, started up, and are happy to introduce her to all of our friends and customers. If you need a delightful pastry--Emily takes the cake!

cult cakes emily nelson

Why baking? What got you started in this industry?
Food always interested me, growing up, so I was always up to something in the kitchen—-mostly baking. Around age 11, I found a spring issue of Martha Stewart Living. There was an article on decorating cakes with candied edible flowers, and I thought that was so cool. For next few years, I experimented with cake decorating, and by the time I was sixteen, I left high school to pursue a degree in baking and pastry. I've always been a creative type, so it was natural to go into cake decorating, where my two passions came together.

the small object cake topper kellis creations cakes andie powers
Photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography

cult cakes emily nelson
Photo by Cult Cakes

What does Cult Cakes mean to you?
My inspiration for Cult Cakes is usually brought about by pop culture, subcultures, different trends (fashion is a major influence) and finding a way to translate that into a cake. I want to take the cake medium, go outside the box of traditional cake d├ęcor, and give it a fresh perspective. Right now I’m working with the classic cake silhouette, but I have a lot different ideas that I’m looking forward to actualizing. Of course, there is always the indulgent aspect of cake, so I want to dazzle people’s taste buds as well as their eyes. It doesn’t matter how pretty a cake is if it doesn’t taste good.

What is your signature recipe?
I’m currently developing my own recipes, but I’m a big fan of Fannie Farmer. I used her cookbook when I was baking growing up, and I find her recipes extremely comforting. My favorite is her Peerless Chocolate Cake—-you can find that one in many of my posts on my blog. I'm also a big fan of her brioche recipe (and I actually baked you Andie a brioche from her recipe last year!) [Editor's note: it was one of the best things I have ever eaten.]

cult cakes emily nelson
Photo by Assemble

What's your favorite things to make for clients?
Oh gosh, I don’t know if I can pick. I enjoy sculpting, be it the cake itself or figurines made from sugar or chocolate.

What are your goals for your business?
I’m looking forward to running a cake shop with a store front one day. I’m a big fan of knowing where my food comes from, so I’d hope to source locally and make our fillings (like raspberry jam) and decorating materials (like modeling chocolate) in-house. I’m excited to consult with and understand my clients, especially if I am going to be creating a custom cake for them.

Photo by Cult Cakes

If you could eat at only one local restaurant, which would it be? What would you order?
This is a really difficult question for me, haha! Probably Than Brothers, since I feel like I’m always craving pho! I always order the beef pho with broccoli.

Which famous person would you love to see order one of your desserts?
Martha Stewart. I’d have come full circle. And I would cry salty tears of joy.

If you could live in any other location, where would you choose?

This is another tough one! Probably France or New York City.

cult cakes emily nelson
Photo by Jaquilyn Shumate Photography

What else do you do for fun?
I’m really looking forward to barbecues this summer. I love to feed people. I also enjoy dancing (poorly), singing, gardening, painting, swimming, reading, and sleeping. I'd like to learn French and how to throw a good punch.

Thanks, Emily!

Blogging tips