circus-carousel-cake.jpgToday, Kate shares a great lead for those who want to experiment with cake baking:

I don't generally write about activities outside of the Boston area, but a recent trip to N.Y. Cake provided me with inspiration. And of course if you can't get to the store in New York City, you can order online.
I've always loved to bake, and have recently become interested in trying my hand at more elaborate techniques, particularly for the frosting and decorating of cakes. I'm generally a little cowardly when it comes to pastry bags and careful designs -- I'm better with projects that look none the worse for sloppy edges or shaky piping -- but several recent cookbooks have encouraged me to try my hand at floral and other design elements to beautify my baked goods. Lots of enthusiasm from my daughter has also helped to spur me on.

During a visit to New York City, I sought out N.Y. Cake, a mecca of supplies for both the serious at-home baker and professional chefs. The store features long aisles and floor-to-ceiling shelves of pans and trays and frostings and colorings and spatulas and sprinkles and many other items the purpose of which I'm not entirely sure. Want to bake a six-tier wedding cake from scratch? N.Y. Cake can provide you with everything you need, including cake toppers and a champagne fountain. Always wanted to try your luck at shaping a football out of chocolate fondant for a special boy's birthday? N.Y. Cake is the place to go. I walked up and down the aisles several times -- almost exhausting my boyfriend in the process -- and ultimately picked out some pretty basic items for frosting and decorating cakes in sugarpaste. I have a feeling I'll be a regular at N.Y. Cake, whether when I'm visiting NYC or online.

N.Y. Cake & Baking Distributor, 56 West 22nd Street, New York, NY 10021

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Editor's note: Image credit -- Carousel Cake Set from N. Y. Cake. I'm also tempted to purchase the castle cake kit and make this for Laurel's next birthday. She is obsessed with cake challenges on Food Network and would freak out if I could make something like this!