Last weekend we had a great turnout for our Mother's Day Chocolate Buffet at The Cordial Cherry. So many people came out to enjoy tasty chocolates and wine and to support my latest endeavor, Haute Stacker. With only two prototypes to display, I couldn't show ALL the ways that Haute Stacker can be used, but I was able to at least discuss how it functions and how easily you can assemble a beautiful tower of doughnuts, cakes, cookies, pastries...anything really.
People have been stacking towers of cakes for a long time now...virtually every wedding cake is tiered. I'm always impressed with the incredible artistry (and physics) that goes into creating such an elaborate display. If you've ever watched a wedding cake get dismantled, you know what I mean about physics. The construction supporting these grand cakes is impressive. When I started developing my idea for Haute Stacker, it was certainly top-of-mind the kind of support systems currently available to wedding cake makers, event planners, caterers, and moms who want to create beautiful birthday cakes for their families. While, initially, I wanted to simply be able to stack doughnuts into a tower without them getting each other sticky or crushing the ones near the bottom, I began to realize all the possibilities. Haute Stacker can be used to display and serve towering wedding cakes, grand breakfasts, and beautiful pastries too!
So, last weekend, I tried to give a small glimpse of the possibilities of Haute Stacker, by creating two towers. One of them showed a simple doughnut tower, using donuts from Dunkin Donuts. I frosted the sides of some donuts and sprinkled an assortment of candies and glitter, and a few of the donuts, I just tied a simple satin bow around them. The result was elegant and simple. This was such an easy doughnut tower to create. Notice, that the Haute Stacker is sitting on top of a candle holder...you could set on top of almost anything to create a near infinite number of display options!
For the second display, I wanted to show that you can suspend your Haute Stacker from all sorts of things. In my case, I hung it from a chandelier to create a very fancy look. For this one, there are three "cakes"...which are actually, you guessed it...doughnuts! Again, these are the Old Fashioned donuts from Dunkin Donuts and I simply decorated them as you would any other cake. For the top one, I frosted the donut with store-bought frosting (Betty Crocker's Whipped Frosting actually), and then wrapped the whole thing with rolled fondant. I secured the fondant with a ribbon and bow...SIMPLE! The other two "cakes" were just as easy... The next one was simply frosted and then coated with shredded coconut and finished with a bow. And for the last one, I just pipped Betty Crocker's Whipped Frosting in little swirls and finished with round candies I found at Target.
For this Haute Stacker display, I wanted to show that you can stack all kinds of things to create a beautiful dessert tower. I bought some macarons from Whole Foods and Whisk and Measure (an adorable little bakery in Omaha, Ne), Lindt truffles, and Voortman's Wafer Cookies and spray painted them with an edible pearl metallic paint. Anyone can do this...seriously. I didn't actually "make" anything in this tower.
Creating this Haute Stacker display is SUPER easy, takes about 10 minutes, and costs about $12! That's what I love about the Haute Stacker....you're able to create a beautiful, show-stealing dessert with a tiny effort and expense.
Here's what you need...
~ One Haute Stacker kit
~ 12 stacker plates: 3" diameter/1.5" high
~ One dozen powdered cake doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts, Krispy Kreme, or any doughnut shop really. If you want to make your own gourmet doughnuts, that will work too of course, but the cost, effort, and time will be different.
~ Hand full of red raspberries rolled in granulated sugar.
~ A few sprigs of Rosemary.
1. Sometimes, the doughnuts from Dunkin Donuts are not completely covered in powdered sugar, so if that's the case with your's then just roll them lightly in more powdered sugar. But honestly, I think this display would look just as pretty if the doughnuts were lightly dusted...I think it would give a "naked cake" look, which is really trending right now.
2. Pick nine of your stacker plates and place a doughnut (donut) on each.
3. The remaining three stacker plates will be used to arrange your sugared raspberries and rosemary.
4. Slide three stacker plates with doughnuts on first, then an empty one, and alternate in this way until you reach the top.
5. Arrange your sugared raspberries and rosemary on the three empty stacker plates and also at the base.
6. Twist your topper on and place your completed Haute Stacker on a pedestal of your choice.
7. The red ribbon is optional...I think it adds a Christmas flare to the piece.
I love how versatile this look is...by simply swapping the red raspberries with blackberries and the red ribbon with black ribbon, you create a completely different look! I included some pictures of this alternative Haute Stacker display.
Let your imagination go wild here...this is where it gets really fun to play with different looks...imagine replacing the berries with strawberries or assorted nuts or candies or truffles or jingle bells...the sky is the limit!
I may not be the first one to ever tie a bow around a doughnut, but I can promise you, I won't be the last.This is literally the easiest way to dress up a doughnut EVER! If you can tie your shoes, you can pull off this look! The hardest part is deciding which ribbon to use. I chose a 3/8" black satin ribbon for a few reason... 1. I LOVE black...I love all neutrals actually, but black is so classy; 2. I love the contrast of a shiny, fancy bow with the rough and rustic look of Dunkin Donuts' toasted coconut doughnuts; 3. Satin ribbon is perfect for bow-tying. Once pulled taught, the bow will stay put and won't work it's way loose. Some ribbons (like grosgrain for example) are just too bulky to make a nice knot. Organza is another nice ribbon that makes pretty bows.
Once you've decided on your ribbon, it's simply a matter of tying your bows around each doughnut, placing the doughnuts on the stacker plates, and finally sliding the stacker plates on the stainless steal post.
I chose to line the bows up, but you could certainly create a random look or a swirvy look, by adjusting the stacker plates.
And, that's it...all done! Set your Haute Stacker on a pedestal of your choice, or leave it flat on a table...soooo many options! I set mine on this pretty, chrome candle holder I picked up at Hobby Lobby for $5 I think.
So, the next time you're in charge of breakfast for the office consider bringing doughnuts with bows...you could probably even attach bells and whistles to be cliche ;).
As I'm writing this...I just thought of a fun idea! You could include a little message tags on each doughnut tied with the ribbon. The message could be a scripture or proverb or encouraging word...even bride and groom's names...the ideas are endless! I love this idea...I'm definitely going to create another Haute Stacker with messages to show you!
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Remember...I'm hoping to be able to bring Haute Stacker to market soon, but I need your help. Please sign up to get an invitation for our Kickstarter campaign and then PLEASE back us when the time comes! Thank you and cheers!
It is 11:00 pm the night before my Haute Stacker website goes live along with all my social media accounts. In just a few hours, I'll invite my friends, family, and amazing customers to see my invention for the first time. I'm nervous, excited, and scared as heck! I want to write an inspiring blog post about the last couple years, but honestly, my mind is a jumbled mess. It's been such a whirlwind, I don't even know where to start.
My mind keeps bouncing from one memory or experience to another. I reflect on these moments...all of them I treasure. I set out to bring an idea to market, without a clue how to start or where this journey might take me.
There were countless sleepless nights...my mind full of possibilities, hopes, and ideas. I can't wait to start the next day, to work through the next prototype design. Mustering my courage to reach out to manufacturers all over the world...pretending I'm a big-time product developer, when in reality, I'm just a lowly chocolatier in simple Nebraska. Tack on to that...the constant question of how much information do I share and what if someone steals my idea! The disappointment of rejection...ahhh sweet rejection...it's sweet only because it gives rise to tenacity, which is a necessary ingredient for achieving anything important.
Anxious to get through our busy holiday season at The Cordial Cherry so I could pick up where I left off with my invention the day after Christmas. Hoping with each encounter that maybe this would be the manufacturer who would take me seriously and give me a chance. Saving as much money as I could so I could bootstrap my invention with no investors.
Juggling my daughter in college and my three school-age boys each day while maintaining a level of inspired energy that only true passion can harness. Using my chocolate shop as a test kitchen for working through each version of my design. Recruiting my dad and Jon and their tools to construct one prototype after another. And, this in my favorite...telling people, with all the excitement one can fit in her heart, that I'm inventing a device that will will allow you to suspend doughnuts from the ceiling and watching their bewildered expression as they try to understand why I'm so excited.
Watching my manufacturer, and now friend, share in the excitement of my adventure. Studying the art of selling and marketing and storytelling as if my life depended on it. Reading half (because my ADHD mind doesn't allow enough attention to read whole books) of many great books on how to do things I've never done before. And listening to as many TED talks and Youtube tutorials as I can handle...hoping to fill my mind with lessons while I make my precious cordial cherries at my shop.
Seeking the mentorship of other inventors. Sorting through product name, domain names, and branding ideas. And finally, being able to demonstrate what has been in my head these last two years...and watching people's expression the moment they see all the possibilities I saw from the beginning. These thoughts, while whirling around in my head, now comfort me as I continue on.
When I decided to climb this mountain, all I expected was to learn how to navigate the process, but what I got was a solidified belief that I can make big things happen in spite of fear, lack of money, and all my insecurities.
And now...I'm on to the next phase of my adventure...an unknown territory for which I've only studied in books and on that vast resource we call the Internet. I need to sell my idea. It's one thing to have an idea, and it's another thing to create or build the idea. It's an entirely different thing to sell the idea...and this, for me, is the biggest obstacle. It requires that I risk criticism and judgement. The thickness of my skin will most certainly be tested. So her we go...I hope you'll join me along the way...to be part of this chapter of my story. Please follow me on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. And any help in spreading the word would be so appreciated.